Foundation Year

A twelve-month course in the fundamentals of writing for children.

One2ones in London, Bristol, the Midlands and Leeds.

Praise from our current Foundation Year students:

‘splendid workshop’   ‘amazing as always’   ‘thanks for a great day of learning’ 

‘going home on a high after an insightful and productive day’

‘delighted to be part of this creative coop’

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.

Therefore the aim of the Foundation Year is to help writers improve their grasp of the three foundational elements necessary for writing for children:

  • The child’s point of view
  • Story concept and drive
  • Story dramatisation

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 some strategies for tightening the structure to improve pace and drive
  • considered how to make their story come alive for a child reader by dramatising scenes (showing rather than telling) and by taking an active, forward path through their narrative

Course Requirements

The Golden Egg Academy Foundation Year 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 Foundation Year 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

The Foundation Year runs over three terms. Each term starts with a full-day workshop at Scholastic, London, which will be 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 GEA Editor. One2ones may take place either face to face (on one of the scheduled one2one days) or via Skype. At your one2one you will discuss a section of your manuscript and/or your Golden Egg BookMap© Lite 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 BookMap© Lite 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 (e.g. tension, fear, sadness, joy, apprehension, etc).
  • Rework and receive feedback on a section of your manuscript.

Course Completion

The Big Honk

To celebrate the completion of the course, Foundation Year 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 Foundation Year 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).

 

For more details or to apply, contact Emma, Director of Golden Egg Foundation Year, on emma@goldeneggacademy.co.uk. (Do not apply through our Submit Your Story webpage).

October 2017 intake NOW BOOKING

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

Coming Up

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: Beverley Birch and Bella Pearson

Jul 16 th 2017

Suspense and Conflict

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: Sarah Mussi

Jul 22 nd 2017

Mapping Your Novel

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: Imogen Cooper

Sep 16 th 2017

Show, Don’t Tell

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: Imogen Cooper and Dr Vanessa Harbour

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: Tessa Strickland and Jo Collins

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: Beverley Birch and Bella Pearson

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: Andrew Weale and Kate Montague

Nov 12 th 2017

Making Your Dialogue Work

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: Sophia Bennett

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: with workshop leader and Mentor, Tessa Strickland

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: Alex Campbell

Jan 13 th 2018

Suspense and Conflict

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: Sarah Mussi

Mar 10 th 2018

Show, Don’t Tell

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: Imogen Cooper and Dr Vanessa Harbour

Apr 14 th 2018

Enchant Your Audience

Venue: Scholastic Children's Books, London
With: with workshop leader and Mentor, Tessa Strickland

Feb 23 rd 2020

Pre-arranged Payments

With: Abi