ink academy creative writing course

Resources for Children’s Writers

Writers of children’s, middle grade and YA books – we’re here to help you, too! This is where we post and share all the resources we think will be most helpful to you as you work on your writing: competitions and prizes; useful Twitter accounts to follow; inspiring writing advice from authors and industry professionals; opportunities and resources for writers from under-represented backgrounds; advice on pitching your book; and which publishers are open to unagented submissions.

Bath Children’s Novel Award – international prize for yet to be published and independently published children’s authors. Submissions close in November.

First Pages Prize – open to writers of Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction and non-fiction.

The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition – first prize is a worldwide publishing contract with Chicken House.

The Jericho Prize (picture book manuscripts only) – annual prize for Black-British children’s writers. First prize is a publishing contract with Scholastic UK. Submissions close in January.

Searchlight Writing for Children Awards – keep checking their page for current competitions.

Pathways Into Children’s Publishing (for illustrators) – pioneering two-year programme for emerging children’s book illustrators from backgrounds that are under-represented in children’s publishing.

The Fab Prize – prize to help discover new writers and illustrators for children from underrepresented backgrounds.

Megaphone Writers – social enterprise set up to benefit children’s writers of Black, Asian and other ethnic minority heritages in Britain.

The Jericho Prize (picture book manuscripts only) – annual prize for Black-British children’s writers. First prize is a publishing contract with Scholastic UK. Submissions close January.

How to Approach a Picture Book Publisher – from children’s publisher Book Island.

How to Pitch a Picture Book – this is written for those working in the US market, but much of its advice will be pertinent for UK-based writers too.

Useful advice from children’s publisher Brooke Vitale on finding a literary agent – again, this is written for those working in the US market, but its advice is pertinent to UK-based writers too.

On Using Kids and Parents as Beta Readers for Children’s Fiction.

Down the Rabbit Hole – a wonderful podcast for adults who love – and write – children’s books.

Reading Zone – all about children’s and YA books, as well as prizes and events.

Paperbound Magazine – online writing magazine ‘for the young and young at heart’. Featuring new writing and art for MG, teen & YA, plus content for readers & aspiring writers.

Books for Keeps – leading independent children’s book magazine.

Chicken House – independent-minded children’s book publishing company with a special enthusiasm for finding new writers, artists and ideas.

Barrington Stoke – leading publisher of dyslexia-friendly books.

Nosy Crow – multi-award-winning independent publisher of children’s books.

Little Tiger Books – publisher of award-winning and best-selling children’s books, from birth to young adult.

The Yoto Carnegies – the UK’s best-loved children’s book awards for outstanding writing & illustration; judged by librarians.

Anna Wilson – one of our Ink Academy children’s tutors, Anna posts news and opportunities around children’s books.

Lisa Thompson – one of our Ink Academy children’s tutors, Lisa posts writing advice, tips, news and opportunities around children’s and Middle Grade books.

Vashti Hardy – one of our Ink Academy children’s tutors, Vashti posts news and opportunities around YA and Middle Grade books.

Little Box of Books – posts about and celebrates new children’s literature from a diverse range of authors, as well as literacy and inclusivity issues and campaigns.

Empathy Lab UK – creators of the #ReadForEmpathy initiative, championing writing that will help raise an empathy-educated generation.

Children’s Bookshow – national tour of the very best authors & illustrators, funded by the Arts Council.

Fierce Bad Rabbits: The Tales Behind Children’s Picture Books – gorgeous book by Claire Pollard on everything children’s books.

“Be active, brief, and cut cut cut” – Eugie Foster’s brilliant, very practical advice on writing for children.

Sara Kruger on what makes a brilliant first line in a picture book, and how to go about creating yours. She also gives examples of what has worked in some favourite books and why.

Josh Funk’s guide to writing picture books (in 12 easy steps)

“Here’s the thing about picture books. In my experience, writing them is a lot like skipping stones when you’re a beginner. You kick rocks around the shoreline until you find just the right one. You might have the perfect smooth, flat rock. But then if the angle is wrong, if you throw too hard or not hard enough, you still end up with a plunker. It takes a lot of tries to get a really great one. Picture books are like that, too. At least, they are for me” – lovely and invaluable advice from Kate Messner on writing picture books

Books Up North publish book reviews written by children – a lovely insight into what children look for in a book.

ink academy creative writing course

Apply now for the Ink Academy Writing Course

Applying to the Ink Academy Writing Course is quick and simple. Just upload a sample of your writing below, along with your name and email address, and we will be in touch with enrolment details.

The sample of your writing does not need to be polished or perfect, or even from the work you want to develop on the course. It is just so that we can ensure our course is best placed to help you. For more details, please see our FAQs.

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