Twelve months to put the foundations of your story in place.

Workshop location choice of London or Manchester.

One2ones in London, the South West, the Midlands and the North.

golden egg foundation year #amwriting

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.

Chosen applicants will learn new skills and hone their existing ones, applying the technique they learn to their own manuscripts over the year to draw out the promise in their stories.

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 Foundations will suit applicants wishing to edit a completed draft of their novel as well as applicants wanting the structure, teaching and impetus to complete a first draft or a rewrite. Applicants should have at least 5,000 words of their novel started 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 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 Foundations runs over three terms. Each term starts with a full-day workshop at Scholastic, London, held on either a Saturday or a Sunday. There will then follow eight, weekly, online group sessions per term with your tutor. Towards the end of each term you will book a one2one with your assigned Golden Egg Editor. One2ones will take place either face to face (on one of the scheduled one2one days) or via Skype. At your one2one you will discuss 10,000 words of your manuscript and/or your Golden Egg Story Foundation Sheets in relation to the term’s topic. All workshops will be a mix of teaching, working on your own or in groups, and workshopping a section of your manuscript. Online group sessions will take place in the evening. One2one days will run in a number of locations, taking into consideration the geographical spread of students on the intake.

Term 1: Writing for Children

  • Examine and discuss the current children’s market and consider where your book might fit.
  • 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 Story Foundation Sheets to examine your novel (and a recently published children’s novel) in overview.
  • Look at different strategies for structuring a story and consider the story beats within your own work in progress.
  • Refine your story beats and story idea and receive feedback.

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 recently published children’s novel) to identify techniques that create strong emotions in the reader.
  • Rework and receive feedback on a section of your manuscript.

Course Completion

The Big Honk

To celebrate the completion of the course, Golden Egg 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. The student with the most promising Foundations manuscript will be presented with an award by Imogen Cooper.

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 us on for more details.

September 2018 intake NOW BOOOKING

Golden Egg Foundations (London) application deadline: 30th June 2018.

GEA North Foundations course (Manchester): n/a

12 month programme @ £65.85 per month plus a deposit of £205