Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

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  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: This course is for curious students and aspiring authors with a passion for writing for young readers. Participate in a dynamic online community of writers as you experiment with your own writing and develop your voice. This course will guide you with a combination of video lectures, online readings, peer reviews, and guest appearances from world-renowned children’s authors. As you work through the writing exercises, you will give and receive feedback from your peers and gain tools and techniques for improving your writing. During this course you will identify stories that matter to you, explore cultural significance and boundaries, and shape your identity as a writer…

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When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: This course is for curious students and aspiring authors with a passion for writing for young readers. Participate in a dynamic online community of writers as you experiment with your own writing and develop your voice. This course will guide you with a combination of video lectures, online readings, peer reviews, and guest appearances from world-renowned children’s authors. As you work through the writing exercises, you will give and receive feedback from your peers and gain tools and techniques for improving your writing. During this course you will identify stories that matter to you, explore cultural significance and boundaries, and shape your identity as a writer; become familiar with standard elements of narrative (character, setting, plot, theme, language, dialogue, point of view); reflect on your own work and practice essential self-editing skills; see the different ways in which words and art interact, and the possibilities of longer narrative forms; come away with practical insights into publishing options; and create a plan for pursuing your enthusiasm for writing. By the end of the course, you will have ten to twelve extracts of writing that you can develop into a portfolio. Join a dynamic community of many voices from around the world. Find inspiration in your own voice, heart, and place so that you can tell the stories for young readers you’ve always wanted to tell.

Created by:  Commonwealth Education Trust
  • Taught by:  David Hill, Author

  • Taught by:  Maria Gill, Author

  • Taught by:  Alex Alexandrou, Dr

Commitment 8-15 hours Language English, Subtitles: Spanish How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.6 stars Average User Rating 4.6See what learners said Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

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Connect with thousands of other learners and debate ideas, discuss course material, and get help mastering concepts.

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Commonwealth Education Trust The Commonwealth Education Trust invests in primary and secondary education and the professional development of teachers throughout their careers. Through education it seeks to enhance the opportunities for children from all walks of life to contribute to the sustainable development of their communities.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Your Writing Identity



Good children’s writing commonly has a strong sense of identity. This module will give you a chance to think about and practice putting yourself into your writing. We will start by looking at how you can establish effective writing habits and how you can use your own experiences and culture to enrich your writing. We will also discuss ways that you can add depth to your writing by drawing on myths and legends, and by experimenting with different viewpoints.


18 videos, 7 readings expand


  1. Video: Writing for Young Readers - Promotional Video
  2. Video: Welcome to Writing for Young Readers
  3. Reading: Course Overview
  4. Reading: How to Get Help
  5. Reading: FAQs
  6. Reading: Instructors and Guest Authors
  7. Reading: Course Materials
  8. Video: Introduction to Your Writing Identity
  9. Video: Your Writing Life - Part One
  10. Video: Your Writing Life - Part Two
  11. Video: You, Your Culture and Story
  12. Reading: Extracts: You, Your Culture and Story
  13. Video: Cultural Myths and Legends
  14. Reading: Extracts: Cultural Myths and Legends
  15. Video: Viewpoint - Part One
  16. Video: Viewpoint - Part Two
  17. Video: Interview with Uma Krishnaswami - Part One: 'the very young experience the world through their skins'
  18. Video: Interview with Uma Krishnaswami - Part Two: 'for me place and the people are inextricable'
  19. Video: Interview with Uma Krishnaswami - Part Three 'it came out in eight Indian languages'
  20. Video: Interview with Uma Krishnaswami - Part Four: 'I suddenly began to see the entire story'
  21. Video: Interview with Apirana Taylor - Part One: 'I carried exercise books with me everywhere I went'
  22. Video: Interview with Apirana Taylor - Part Two: 'I'm leaving something behind for future generations'
  23. Video: Interview with Apirana Taylor - Part Three: 'one word is worth a thousand pictures'
  24. Video: Interview with Apirana Taylor - Part Four: 'your ears are often your best editor'
  25. Video: Module Summary Your Writing Identity

Graded: Your Writing Identity: Life Event from a Viewpoint

WEEK 2


Genre, Form, and Audience



In this module we will give you an overview of genres and forms that are popular for young readers. We will then move on to a discussion of audience – who your readers are and how you can make your work appealing to your chosen audience. By the end of the module you will have a good sense of the wide range of genres and forms available to you and some techniques that you can use to make the most of the genre or form you are working in.


11 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Genre, Form, and Audience
  2. Video: Genre - Part One
  3. Video: Genre - Part Two
  4. Reading: Extracts: Genre Types
  5. Video: Form - Part One
  6. Video: Form - Part Two
  7. Video: Audience - Part One
  8. Video: Audience - Part Two
  9. Reading: Extracts: Audience
  10. Video: Interview with Finegan Kruckemeyer - Part One: 'it can be nice to write just for the sake of writing'
  11. Video: Interview with Finegan Kruckemeyer - Part Two: 'my favourite authors have permeated my brain'
  12. Video: Interview with Finegan Kruckemeyer - Part Three: 'it truly is a magical feeling'
  13. Video: Module Summary Genre, Form, and Audience

Graded: Genre, Form and Audience: Define your Audience

WEEK 3


Structure



We’ve covered qualities of writing that make it appeal to an audience – its form, its genre, and its strong personal voice. Now we’ll move on to some structural elements that are key to holding your writing together. We’ll start by looking at character and setting, then move on to plot and theme. Finally, we will focus on language. Language can really bring your writing to life by adding a layer to your characters and setting and by giving your plot a good pace. This is the last module where we look at creating new writing. In the next two modules we’ll focus on editing your work and getting it published.


13 videos, 5 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Structure
  2. Video: Character - Part One
  3. Video: Character - Part Two
  4. Reading: Extracts: Character
  5. Video: Setting
  6. Reading: Extracts: Setting
  7. Video: Plot and Theme - Part One
  8. Video: Plot and Theme - Part Two
  9. Reading: Sample Plot Chart
  10. Reading: Extracts: Plot and Theme
  11. Video: Language and Dialogue
  12. Reading: Extracts Language and Dialogue
  13. Video: Other Language Tools
  14. Video: Interview with Tololwa Mollel - Part One 'I let an idea simmer in my head'
  15. Video: Interview with Tololwa Mollel - Part Two: 'let the story show you the way'
  16. Video: Interview with Tololwa Mollel - Part Three: 'I give them their right to live as characters'
  17. Video: Interview with Tololwa Mollel - Part Four: 'I really enjoyed the act of writing itself'
  18. Video: Module Summary Structure

Graded: Elements of Structure

WEEK 4


Editing and Proofreading



In this module you will learn how to transform your draft work into something that flows well, is free of errors, and is ready to be published. We’ll start by looking at structural editing, where you look at your work’s plot, structure, and themes. Then we’ll move on to the copyediting and proofreading stage, where you focus on perfecting grammar and spelling. We have provided resources and checklists that will help you to practice applying our editing tips to your own work.


10 videos, 3 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Editing and Proofreading
  2. Video: Structural Editing - Part One
  3. Video: Structural Editing - Part Two
  4. Video: Structural Editing - Part Three
  5. Reading: Structural Editing Checklist
  6. Reading: Extract: Structural Editing
  7. Video: Copyediting and Proofreading - Part One
  8. Video: Copyediting and Proofreading - Part Two
  9. Reading: Copyediting Checklist
  10. Video: Interview with Summer Edward - Part One: 'The story keeps telling itself in my mind'
  11. Video: Interview with Summer Edward - Part Two: 'don't be afraid to cut'
  12. Video: Interview with Summer Edward - Part Three: 'I practice silence'
  13. Video: Module Summary Editing and Proofreading

Graded: Editing and Proofreading

WEEK 5


Publishing



In this final module you’ll learn about different ways that you can get your work published and into the hands of young readers. We have included information about a range of different publishing methods available to you, from traditional print publishing to digital publishing. You can also listen to our guest writers talking about how they publish their own work. This MOOC is just a starting point for your writing life. You will soon be ready to join a global network of writers.


12 videos, 3 readings expand


  1. Video: Introduction to Publishing
  2. Video: Forms of Print Publishing
  3. Reading: Examples of Different Publishing Platforms
  4. Video: Forms of Digital Publishing - Part One
  5. Video: Forms of Digital Publishing - Part Two
  6. Reading: Examples of Different Digital Publishing Platforms
  7. Video: Publishing Opportunities
  8. Video: Approaching Publishers
  9. Video: Interview with Victoria Azaro - Part One: 'every day I learnt something new'
  10. Video: Interview with Victoria Azaro - Part Two: 'you need to wear lots of hats'
  11. Video: Interview with Victoria Azaro - Part Three: 'I really draw from my culture'
  12. Video: Interview with Victoria Azaro - Part Four: 'write from the heart'
  13. Video: Where to From Here
  14. Reading: Examples of Writing Organisations
  15. Video: Module Summary Publishing

Graded: Publishing
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