Review: Writing Children’s Fiction By Yvonne Coppard and Linda Newberry.

writing children's fiction

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Full of both inspirational and practical advice, Writing Children’s Fiction: A Writers’ and Artists’ Companion is an essential guide to writing for some of the most difficult and demanding readers of all: children and young people.

Part 1 explores the nature, history and challenges of children’s literature, and the amazing variety of genres available for children from those learning to read to young adults.

Part 2 includes tips by such bestselling authors as: David Almond, Malorie Blackman, Valerie Bloom, Tim Bowler, Anthony Browne, Anne Cassidy, B.R. Collins, Frank Cottrell-Boyce, Jennifer Donnelly, Vivian French, Adèle Geras, Mary Hoffman, Michael Morpurgo, Beverley Naidoo, Caragh O’Brien’ Mal Peet, Helena Pielichaty, Celia Rees, Meg Rosoff, Marcus Sedgwick and Andy Stanton

Part 3 contains practical advice – from shaping plots and creating characters to knowing your readers, handling difficult subjects and how to find an agent and publisher when your book or story is complete.

My Thoughts:

5 out of 5.

It has been a while since I have read a book on writing. I read a lot of them way back when I was first starting out. These days I mostly read writing tips from blogs. The chance came up to win this on twitter through the NSW Writer’s Centre, so I entered, and I won! (Thank you NSW Writer’s Centre.)

This was a really good refresher, and if you are just starting out and looking for a book on writing children’s fiction, I would recommend it to you. It is split into three parts and I’ll share my thoughts on each part.

Part one: reflections on writing children’s fiction. The authors cover many things in this section to do with the world of children’s writing. They talk about libraries, why write for children, whether it is as easy as one would think (spoiler: many people think it is going to be super easy, only to discover it is rather hard.), and dealing with the question ‘when are you going to write a proper book?’ All very insightful for writers starting out. They then go on to define categories in children’s fiction and then share their tips on becoming a writer.

Part two: Tips and Tales. This was my favourite section. In this section, guest contributors such as Malorie Blackman, Jennifer Donnelly, Michael Morpurgo, Meg Rosoff and Marcus Sedgwick, share all types of writing advice, giving us a glimpse into their writing life. I loved it.

Part 3: write on: writing workshop.This one is full of top writing tips from the two authors, as well as writing exercises. This section gets into the nitty gritty of writing such as characters, plot, voice and viewpoint, dialogue, pace and editing. It also has helpful advice on writing the synopsis, approaching agents and publishers, and self publishing.

Overall, I found it highly informative. Writing Children’s Fiction was filled with everything you need to know when writing for children. The tips were invaluable, the exercises practical, and one book is a whole lot cheaper than a writing course (though I’m not saying not to do writing courses, they are great if you have the money, especially if you want honest feedback on your work.) This is one writing book you should add to your shelf if you wish to write for children.

You can add it to your Goodreads here.

4 thoughts on “Review: Writing Children’s Fiction By Yvonne Coppard and Linda Newberry.

  1. Oh! I have the ‘How to Write’ from the same publisher (the title always makes me chuckle.. but I think it’s probably justified in my case… ‘how to write’. Lols) I didn’t know they’d released this as well. I’m gonna check it out.


  2. This sounds like a really wonderful book, Rochelle, and especially with the tips from different authors, that makes me really want to pick it up. I wrote my first full length middle-grade novel last year and it was so different from writing YA, though admittedly it’s of a darker MG, more a merger from one age group into the next. It was such fun to write and I loved it, but it certainly was unexpectedly different. Hard in very new ways.

    1. I can imagine. I write mainly YA but I have a few MG ideas and I know writing them, when I finally get around to them is going to be so different.

      Writing Children’s Fiction was great, worth the read if you can get your hands on it 🙂

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