Creating children’s fiction: how to write for 7-12 year olds

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Join children’s author and editor Kesia Lupo for this three hour masterclass in writing ‘middle-grade’ fiction, for children between the ages of seven and twelve - and get the inside track on getting published.

This interactive course will provide you with practical industry tips and advice, taking an in-depth look at the creative and editorial processes involved in writing this popular genre. 

Literary agent Louise Lamont will also be on hand to provide you with valuable insights into what an agent does and how to make the most of your submission journey. 

The course will cover: 

  • An introduction to ‘middle-grade’ fiction: What is it? What are the common themes and plot lines? How long should your novel be? And what is the difference between ‘younger’ and ‘upper’ middle-grade fiction?
  • How to capture an authentic voice and tone that will resonate with your audience
  • How to tell your story through world building
  • Character development
  • The next steps for when you’ve finished your novel and are thinking about getting published 
  • A Q&A session with both Kesia and Louise  

After the course, if desired, Kesia Lupo will critique a one page query and provide feedback to help you hone your pitch. Delegates will also receive a suggested reading list of recent middle-grade fiction to help familiarise yourself with today’s middle-grade landscape.

The course is appropriate for anyone interested in writing in this genre; those who don’t yet have a story idea, as well as those who are already working on something.

The course will be accessed via Zoom and will include some practical exercises. You will be encouraged to have your camera on and required to have your microphone on at certain times. 

About your tutors:

Kesia Lupo joined Chicken House in 2015 as Junior editor – she is now Senior editor, commissioning and editing fantastic authors including James Nicol and Costa-winning Jasbinder Bilan. She has a BA in History and an MA in Creative Writing, and previously worked in editorial for Pan Macmillan. Her YA fantasy novels, We Are Blood and Thunder and We Are Bound by Stars, are published by Bloomsbury.

Louise Lamont is a literary agent at LBA. She joined the company in 2013, after seven years at the literary agency AP Watt and a very brief spell in film development. Her authors’ new releases include: Three Girls, a hilarious teen novel about friendship by Katie Clapham; and a thrilling MG debut of sisterhood and Polish folklore, The Bird Singers by Eve Wersocki Morris. She is based in Edinburgh.

The ticket price will include your entry fee to The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2022 (normal price £18). A discount code will follow after the course. The Times/Chicken House Competition is the biggest and longest running children’s fiction competition in the UK.The competition is open to anyone who has written a full-length novel for children or YA readers and the prize is a publishing contract with a £10,000 advance from Chicken House and an offer of representation by Louise Lamont from LBA Books. Find out more at  You are not obliged to enter the competition as part of your attendance on this course.

Here's what participants of Kesia's previous course on how to write children's fiction told us:

"I found it inspiring"

"Loved the exercises, the feedback, the practical advice. All of it."

Course date: Saturday, March 5, 10:00am-1:00pm

Price: £90 (includes entry fee for The Times/Chicken House Children’s fiction competition)

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