Story Foundations

• Twelve months of support as you craft your children's novel
• Workshops, one2ones and online support
• A community of like-minded writers and dedicated editors

Course Overview

Great writing often fails to reach an audience because the core storyline is not fully developed or easily communicable. Sometimes, though, it is the writing style that lets the story down, e.g. too much exposition or it is not child-centric. Often it’s a bit of both. As the marketplace becomes increasingly more competitive, aspiring children’s authors need to ensure they put their best work forward to agents and publishers. Therefore the aim of Golden Egg Foundations is to help writers craft a strong foundation upon which to build their story.

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Course Objectives

By the end of the course, writers will have:

  • investigated the child reader of today, the books they read and the books publishers are buying for the children’s market
  • explored the fundamentals of storytelling from a child’s point of view and examined their manuscript with this in mind, reworking their text where necessary
  • strengthened their concept and mapped out their story in overview
  • discussed and applied strategies for tightening the structure to improve pace and drive
  • considered how to make their story come alive for the child reader using emotional connection, dramatic tension and a well-judged balance between narration and dramatisation

Course Requirements

Golden Egg Story Foundations will suit talented applicants at all levels, from those completing their first draft to those who have gained an MA in Creative Writing. Applicants should have at least 15,000 words of their novel started, plus a plan for the direction of the story, before the course commences.

At Golden Egg, we take you seriously as a writer, so we expect all our students to dedicate time each week to work on their manuscripts. The Golden Egg Story Foundations course requires students to spend at least four hours per week on their manuscripts and/or course exercises in addition to attending the workshops, one2ones and online group discussions. Additionally, there will be some background reading. Extended writing breaks are scheduled between terms, allowing students to knuckle down and apply the learning of the term to their manuscripts.

Course Topics

Golden Egg Story Foundations runs over three terms. Each term includes a full-day workshop held at a weekend, eight, weekly, online evening sessions and a one2one with a Golden Egg Editor.

Term 1: Writing for Children

  • Consider your own story (and a recently published children’s novel) from a child’s point of view, in terms of concept, narratorial focus, world view and emotional drive.
  • Reflect upon the strength and communicability of your story idea.
  • Rework and receive feedback on a section of your manuscript.

Term 2: The Spine and the Heart

  • Use the Golden Egg BookMap Lite© to examine your novel (and a published children’s novel) in overview.
  • Look at different strategies for structuring a story and consider the story points within your own work-in-progress.
  • Refine your story points and story idea.

Term 3: Bringing your Story to Life

  • Learn how to give the child reader an immersive story experience that captures them emotionally and enables them to experience your story world vividly.
  • Examine your text (and that of a published children’s novel) to identify techniques that create strong emotions in the reader.
  • Take a look the children’s market and how the publishing industry works.

Course Completion

The Big Honk

To celebrate the completion of the course, Golden Egg Story Foundations students are invited to attend the highlight of the Golden Egg social calendar, The Big Honk. The Big Honk is an opportunity to rub shoulders with agents, authors and industry professionals as a guest of Imogen Cooper and Barry Cunningham at the Savile Club, Mayfair.

Students may request a read through and editorial report on their full manuscript at the end of the course (at an additional cost).

Read our application guidelines, visit our FAQS page, or contact our Programme Leaders for more information on the emails provided below.

Story Foundations South East (London)

Held at Scholastic Publishing offices, London, this course is run by Director, Imogen Cooper, and GEA Programme Leader, Charlotte Maslen.

Next course start date: January 2019

Application deadline: 31st October 2018

You will be informed of the outcome of your application by Monday 3rd December 2018.

Queries to charlotte@goldeneggacademy.co.uk.

Story Foundations North (Manchester)

Held at Central Library, Manchester, this course is run by GEA Programme Leader, Matilda Johnson.

Next course start date: January 2019

Application deadline: 31st October 2018

You will be informed of the outcome of your application by Monday 3rd December 2018.

Queries to matilda@goldeneggacademy.co.uk.

Story Foundations Wales and South West (Cardiff)

Held at TBC, Cardiff, this course is run by Industry Specialist, Penny Thomas, and GEA Programme Leader, Abigail Kohlhoff.

Next course start date: January 2019

Application deadline: 31st October 2018

You will be informed of the outcome of your application by Monday 3rd December 2018.

Queries to abigail@goldeneggacademy.co.uk.

12 month programme @ £68 per month plus a deposit of £250