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The Path of the Storyteller: Writing Children's Fiction

Semester and Year SP 2014
Course Number WRTNG-UG1360
Section 001
Instructor Maryrose Wood
Days Fri
Time 12:30 PM - 3:15 PM
Units 4.0
Level U
Foundation Requirement


From Charlotte’s Web to the Harry Potter  series, the enduring works of children’s fiction epitomize the twin virtues that all classic novels share: a great story, beautifully told. Through reading and discussion of assigned texts, and in-class workshopping of the students’ own novels in progress, this class offers writers of fiction for the middle-grade reader (ages 8 through early adolescence) a solid foundation in the principles of storytelling and the tools of the writer’s craft. Through writing exercises and close reading of assigned books, we’ll examine character development, point of view, and other elements of fiction. We’ll improve the quality of our prose by learning to recognize common errors and revise our drafts into polished, finished works. Assigned readings are drawn from the best of children’s literature and trace the development of the form, from early 20th century classics (Tolkien’s The Hobbit ) to later novels by E. B. White, Madeleine L’Engle, and others. We’ll end by looking at work by contemporary writers such as Neil Gaiman, Louis Sachar and Thanha Lai.

Course Type

Advanced Writing Courses (WRTNG-UG)

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