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Writing for Children

ENGL 121.301

 This is a course for students who want to know about writing for children because they are writers and/or future teachers and/or interested in child development and/or interested in child language, and on and on. The class will be conducted as a seminar in which we study a wide variety of published children's books in all genres as well as how children talk to each other and what they talk about in order to make a mapping from real to rendered speech that rings true to the child reader's ear. We will discuss what makes a good book for children, how to create compelling characters, a good plot, appropriate pacing, a distinctive voice. There will be a writing assignment each week as well as a final project. No previous experience in writing for children is required but 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 1000 words. Please email applications to Mingo Reynolds at

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