Penn Arts & Sciences Logo

Advanced Writing for Children

ENGL 123.301
instructor(s):

This is a course for students who have completed either English 121 or
at least one other creative writing class. We will focus on writing
novels for children – from early chapter books to older teen
fiction—and the importance of creating compelling characters, a good
plot, excellent pacing, a distinctive voice, and an appropriate theme
with the goal of each student refining an existing project or
beginning work on a new one. There will be at least one reading and
one writing assignment each week. Exercises will include studies in
voice, point of view, plot development, humor, description, developing
a fantasy world, writing historical fiction, and memoir. At the end of
the semester each student will have completed a minimum of 60 pages of
a novel for young readers. In addition, class work will include
reading wide variety of published children’s fiction, from young
chapter books to older teen novels, as examples of the genre. Students
will be admitted on the basis of an application by email that includes
a brief description of their interest in the course and a writing
sample of no more than five to ten pages. mingo@writing.upenn.edu
<mailto:mingo@writing.upenn.edu>