Writing YA & Middle Grade Fiction

6 weeks
Start Date
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Writing YA & Middle Grade Fiction

Create characters young readers really care about and take them on a life-changing journey – with award-winning children’s fiction and YA author Patrice Lawrence.

Novels written for children and young adults are some of the most emotionally resonant stories of our time, with the power to convert a young person into a lifelong reader. If you want to write YA or middle grade fiction, this course will help you see through the eyes of your young character.

Across six weeks, you’ll learn how to shape a story that’s age appropriate, craft a compelling and unique voice and discover how to pour your passions into your characters. Whether your narrative is set in a world like ours or you’re taking readers on an adventure far, far away – Patrice will show you how to craft a story that resonates with young people.


Patrice Lawrence

Patrice Lawrence was born in Brighton, England and was brought up in an Italian and Trinidadian family. She is an award-winning writer for adults and children whose books for young adults have won many prizes including the YA Prize, the Waterstones Prize for Older Children's Fiction, the Crimefest YA Prize twice and the inaugural Jhalak Prize for Children and Young People. She has judged numerous book prizes, mentors emerging writers and was awarded an MBE for literature in June 2021.

What does this course give you?

  • Video modules: Work through six modules comprising teaching videos and substantial notes by Patrice Lawrence, on topics including the differences between YA and middle grade, plotting and planning, and finding the ‘voice’ of your story.
  • Writing tasks: Weekly writing tasks set by Patrice on a range of topics including character backstory, motivations and story endings.
  • Resources & notes: You’ll access comprehensive teaching notes, multiple planning and writing resources, including examples from Patrice’s work, and a ‘Book Bingo Card’ to track your reading.
  • Professional feedback: An expert CBC editor will give brief written feedback to each student on one writing task during the course. Several students will receive feedback each week. Students are also given the option to purchase additional end-of-course feedback from our expert editors.
  • Student forum: Find your writing community in our private student forum. Upload your completed writing tasks, give and receive peer-to-peer feedback, and discuss the week’s topics with your group (max. 30 students) and the CBC team.

Course schedule & delivery

Our online courses are designed for flexible learning. Allocate your own study time and take part from wherever you are in the world. Each week, we recommend spending at least four hours on the course. It’s also important to be planning and working on your novel throughout the six weeks.

  • Week 1
    Middle grade or young adult?
  • Week 2
    Creating your characters
  • Week 3
    Developing ideas
  • Week 4
    Plotting & planning
  • Week 5
    Voice & point of view
  • Week 6
    The road ahead

Additional feedback

All students will be given the option to purchase feedback on their final task from a CBC editor.

  • CBC report: For an additional fee of £145, you can obtain a detailed 500-word report on your work (of up to 3,000 words) from one of our CBC editors.
  • CBC report + tutorial: For an additional fee of £240, you can obtain a 500-word report from one of our CBC editors and have a 30-minute video or telephone tutorial with them to discuss your work.