Map and Compass

Online course via Zoom.

No of participants: up to eight.

Suitable for all levels of experience.

Tuesdays: April 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th, May 4th, 11th, 18th.
Time: 7.30-9.30.

Cost: £35.

This course aims to give anyone interested in writing fiction for children and young adults the tools to create a fantastic novel. Through a combination of teaching, practical exercises, and feedback on their writing, participants will develop their understanding of children’s fiction, and explore how to structure and develop their story using a range of methods including the concept of the hero’s journey.


Jenny Alexander has written scores of books for children and adults, both fiction and non-fiction. She teaches creative writing, both independently and for major organisations such as the Society of Authors and the Arvon Foundation. She has written four books on the art and craft of writing and has a monthly column, ‘Free-range writing through the year’, in Writing Magazine.  

Course outline

April 6th
Session 1: Intro to children’s writing. Writing for different age groups. Creating the protagonist and the importance of character in plotting.

April 13th
Session 2: How to create a beginning that hooks the reader. The call to adventure and initial refusal of the call.

April 20th
Session 3: Meeting the mentor and crossing the threshold.

April 27th
Session 4: How the body of the story works. The journey – tests, allies, enemies. The role of other major characters, including the antagonist. Subplots and how they work.

May 4th
Session 5: The crisis of the story, the final push. The ordeal and the treasure.

May 11th
Session 6: Creating a satisfying ending. How are the protagonist and their world changed? The relationship between the beginning and the ending.

May 18th
Session 7: Group and tutor feedback on each other’s work.

Book here via Eventbrite.