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How to Write Short Stories for Children


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  • 12
    Lessons
  • 26
    Exams &
    Assignments
  • 11
    Hours
    average time
  • 1.1
    CEUs
  • 2,282
    Students
    have taken this course
 
 
 

Course Description

Do you long to write but feel like you're too busy? Writing for children can be the answer. Children's stories are generally far shorter and simpler than stories for adults. You can draft an 800 word children's story during a couple of lunch hours or during your child's nap times. Many noted children's authors started writing in short bursts when their own young children were sleeping or playing nearby.

Writing for children is by no means easy, however. Children's book and magazine editors expect well developed characters, engaging plots, and vivid description, all in a very small package. Good children's writers learn to make every word count. Communicating effectively with kids means using language they can understand but not talking down to them, and this is easier said than done. In this course, we will look at the elements that go into an effective children's story, from initial idea to finished manuscript. If you've always wanted to write but don't know where to start, we'll cover that too. And once you have a few good stories under your belt, you'll want to find publishing outlets for them. We'll go over the basics of submitting to publishers and even of publishing books yourself.
 

Writing stories for children can be a fascinating hobby or a challenging career. You can write for your own kids, or publish stories and books that will reach thousands of eager readers. Either way, you will gain the satisfaction of knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of children who hear or read your words.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider
 
 

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating) 4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating) 4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating) 4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating) 4.7 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(1,899 votes)

Lesson 1: Let's Go!

One of the biggest obstacles writers face is finding the time to write. This lesson provides some strategies for finding the time to work on your writing projects. 136 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review Article: Story Ideas
  • Take Poll: Writing Experience
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment: Creating Your Writing Schedule
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam: Let's Go!

Lesson 2: Just Do It

The way to become a writer is to simply sit down and begin to write. This lesson will provide some strategies for doing this. 150 Total Points
  • Review 2 Articles: Getting Started as a Children's Writer; Ten Steps Toward Better Writing
  • Take Poll: Do You Write Regularly?
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment: A Writing Exercise
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam: Just Do It

Lesson 3: Creating Characters Kids Will Love

This lesson will show us how to create characters that our readers can relate to and thus become interested in. 140 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Creating Characters; How to Create Believable Characters
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment: Create Your Own Characters
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam: Creating Characters Kids Will Love

Lesson 4: And Then What Happened? Plot and the Children's Story

In this lesson, tools for creating an engaging plot are described. 150 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Crafting an Effective Plot for Children's Books; Story Writing Tips
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment: Creating Conflict
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam: And Then What Happened? Plot and the Children's Story

Lesson 5: Setting and the Art of Description

In this lesson, you will learn the importance of creating vivid descriptions and how these descriptions will help to engage and captivate your reader. 140 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review Article: Six Steps to Make Your Children's Story Sparkle
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment: Creating Descriptions
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam: Setting and the Art of Description

Lesson 6: He Said, She said. Dialog in the Children's Story

Dialog is an essential part of any story. This lesson provides dialog-writing tips. 145 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: How to Write Dialog; Writing Dialogue for Children
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment: Writing Dialog
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam: He Said, She said. Dialog in the Children's Story

Lesson 7: Modeling

This lesson describes how modeling can help aspiring writers to practice and perfect their craft. 145 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Take Poll: Your Influences
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment: Modeling Applications
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam: Modeling

Lesson 8: The First Draft

In this lesson we will discuss strategies that will help you hang in there and get your first draft written. 150 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Review Article: How to Write a First Draft
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment: Taking the First Step
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam: The First Draft

Lesson 9: Writing is Rewriting

In this lesson, we will discuss some techniques that will help you revise and improve your own work. 140 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Review Article: Revising the Short Story
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment: Revising Your Work
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam: Writing is Rewriting

Lesson 10: Don't Despair, Share!

In this lesson, we will learn how seeking other people's viewpoints can prove to be valuable to your finished story. 150 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Take Poll: Your First Reader
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment: Find a Support Group
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam: Don't Despair, Share!

Lesson 11: Target Practice: Studying the markets

In this lesson, you will learn how getting to know the markets you are aiming for can increase your chances for publishing success. 140 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Markets for Children's Writers; The Picture Book Query
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment: Finding the Right Market
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Exam: Target Practice: Studying the Markets

Lesson 12: Don't Give Up

In this lesson, you will learn how patience and perseverance are two important keys to becoming a successful, published writer 440 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Review Article: Why Editors Reject Manuscripts
  • Take Poll: Ready to Start?
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment: Submission Log
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Exam: Don’t Give Up
  • Complete: The Final Exam
2026
Total Course Points
 

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe creating characters kids will love.
  • Define plot in the children's story.
  • Describe setting and the art of description.
  • Describe dialog in the children's story.
  • Define modeling.
  • Create a first draft.
  • Describe the revision process and what to look for.
  • Describe ways to handle rejection and learn from criticism, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
 

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
 
Course Title: How to Write Short Stories for Children
Course Number: 9770549
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Category:
Course Type: How To (Self-Paced, Online Class)
CEU Value: 1.1 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Dana Kristan
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $65.00 (no CEU Certification) || with Online CEU Certification: $90.00

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Student Testimonials

  • "What was most helpful was generally the course content. I'm a beginner at writing childrens stories and found it fascinating....Very enjoyable." -- Julie F.

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