Writing for Younger Children (virtual) with Janet McNaughton

This workshop will focus on the genres specific to younger children, picture book texts and chapter books, taking a hands-on approach with writing exercises in each class. People who don’t write them often assume anyone can toss off a picture book text. In fact, picture books require the skills of a poet, the brevity of a journalist, and the psychological constitution of a good parent, who can place the work in the hands of others and step back from the final process. Nonfiction picture books present their own unique challenges. Chapter books are crucial in helping children to transition from listeners to active readers, so strong writing and a good concept are important. We will also touch on the vital components of silliness and fun. Successive classes will teach research skills, character development, aspects of writing style, point of view, plot, pacing, narrative structure, descriptive writing and revision, looking at how each of these skills specifically apply to different genres. A work-in-progress is not essential but is certainly helpful, as participants can use the writing exercises to develop their drafts.

About the instructor: Janet McNaughton has written seven YA novels, two chapter books and one picture book. Her books have won fourteen provincial, regional and national awards. She often sits on writing for children competition juries and was also on the editorial board, then the picture book editor for the now-defunct press Tuckamore Books. As a freelancer, she has edited fiction and nonfiction picture books as well as chapter books and has masters and doctoral degrees in folklore.

Recommended experience level: Emerging and established writers

Location: Zoom

Dates of 4-week workshop: Wednesdays, Feb 2 + Feb 9 + Feb 16 + Feb 23, 2022 (7:00pm to 9:00pm Atlantic)

Price: At this time, registration for this workshop is restricted to current WFNS members. However, membership is open to all who write or have an interest in writing. (Find out how to join or renew.)

Member Price: $149

Scroll to Top