How to write children's fiction & get your book published

Online course

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Join publisher Barry Cunningham,  author James Nicol and editor and author Kesia Lupo for the inside track into the creative, editorial and publishing processes of children’s fiction.

Would you like to be a children’s book author? Whether you’ve already written a novel or are a complete writing novice, our online evening masterclass will give you valuable insights into how to make your dream of writing fiction for children a reality.

The session will be led by experts in their field. Each section will be focussed on practical industry knowledge with the tutors sharing their own journeys and experiences whilst you hone your writing skills through short inspirational exercises.   

On completion of the course you will have learnt about:  

  • World-building and plot development
  • Character development and dialogue 
  • The roles of an editor and publisher
  • The author’s journey to getting an agent/getting published

There will also be the opportunity to share and receive feedback on what you’ve written and a dedicated Q&A session at the end. The course is most suitable for writers wanting to produce fiction for children from 7 years upwards, through to young adult books.

The ticket price will include your entry fee to The Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition 2022 (normal price £18). The Times/Chicken House Competition is the biggest and longest running children’s fiction competition in the UK. Find out more at You will receive further information and booking code when you have booked your place on the course.  You are not obliged to enter the competition as part of your attendance on this course.

About your tutors:

Barry Cunningham has worked with all the great names in children’s books including Roald Dahl and Spike Milligan – as well as acquiring J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for Bloomsbury. In 2000, he started his own publishing company, Chicken House, a lively and creative publisher of highly original and enjoyable children’s books, with a special emphasis on new fiction.

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.

James Nicol has loved books and stories his whole life. As a child he spent hours absorbed in novels, watching epic 1980s cartoons or adventuring in the wood at the bottom of the garden. He lives in Yorkshire with his partner and a black cockapoo called Bonnie. His internationally acclaimed fantasy middle-grade trilogy, The Apprentice Witch series, has been optioned for TV adaptation by Lime.

To book tickets, click on 'book online' in the information box. Please note, you will need to be logged in to see the booking button.

The course will be accessed via a unique link to a webinar. 

If you have any questions about this course, or any others, please email:


1. Tickets may be subject to availability. If so, places are available on first come first served basis. Booking paid in advance and non-refundable.

2. Tickets cannot be resold at a price higher than the face value printed upon them and must not be resold for commercial gain whether to ticket retailers, agents, web companies, ticket touts or otherwise.

3. Full payment on booking.

4. Tickets will be assigned on a first come first served basis only.

5. TNL reserves the right at any time to cancel, modify, reschedule or supersede the event or any aspect of the event, including guest speakers, if, in their sold discretion, the event is not capable of being conducted as specified.

6. Wherever possible changes will be publicised prior to the event and alternative tickets or refunds provided.

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9. By purchasing a ticket under these Terms and Conditions, you agree to respect the ideas of others shared on the course, and not share details of these ideas outside of the class unless you have written permission from the relevant individual.