Writing for Children and Young Adults

Write Into Childhood with Sita Brahmachari

Most of the basic material a writer works with is gathered before the age of fifteen.
Willa Cather

Write into Childhood is a course for anyone who has ever been a child and is longing to re-wild their imaginations; who values childhood and young adult experience as central to who we are and what we become; who is inspired to write into childhood realities or fantasy/dream worlds; who has read a children’s or YA story that has helped them navigate through life and would like a go at writing one. Over this six week course Sita will share many techniques to access writing stories for readers aged from five through to middle grade to Young Adults and adults!

Week 1) Sita presents her patchwork storytelling quilt in a brainstorm of creativity starting with a naming ceremony and finding your ‘voice.’

Week 2) Exploring Rites of Passage stories. Sharing inspirations. The role and depiction of adults in children’s and YA fiction and the need for Intergenerational diverse stories.

Week 3) Experimenting! Trying out a range of fun and random techniques to build character and connection to landscape, place and plot.

Week 4) Writing dialogue that sings – a myriad of methods and the vital place of reading aloud!

Week 5) Into the wilds. Entering the magical, surreal symbolism of the storytelling woods of childhood. Settling on the form and genre that fits your storytelling – novel, memoir, poetry, free verse, play, novella or illustrated novel.

Week 6) Testing your story. The value of workshopping with readers. Daring to change and grow new patchwork pieces for your story. Reflecting on the patchwork pieces collected so far.


The structure Sita offered meant that each week we focused on a different aspect of story telling, and I was able to use her starting points and techniques to really dive into my “old” story and find new angles and deeper richness within it. In essence, the course has given me tools, techniques, prompts, ideas and motivation to look at this story with fresh eyes and work on it again – and what I’ve learned can also be transferred to other ideas and kinds of writing. Sita was generous in sharing stories from her experience and journey as a writer, and she offered kind and constructive feedback on all participants’ work, from as diverse a range as first reader picture-books, poetry, fantasy, historic young adult fiction and everything in between. She also created an atmosphere that meant everyone in the group was kind to one another. I really enjoyed being part of this group of writers with such diverse ideas, starting points and themes. It was a fun, inspiring experience.


Write Into Childhood


Cost £140

Autumn Two: Evenings

  • Tuesdays 6.30-9pm
  • Nov 8, 15, 22, 29, Dec 6, 13

Our tutor Sita says...

On the writing way I have met so many people passionate about writing for children and young adults. I am delighted to be sharing my writing inspirations and journey with Writing Room workshop attendees. Writing into Childhood has been the most extraordinary experience. I have seen the transformational impacts on young readers and aspiring writers. In this course I want to pass the baton on. I can't wait to see the stories that emerge from the creative writing seeds planted here.

Sita Brahmachari

Sita Brahmachari has an MA in Arts Education (Central School of Speech and Drama, 2019)  and a background in Theatre and Education. In 2011 Sita won the Waterstones Children's Book Prize with her debut novel Artichoke Hearts named among the top fifty novels with diverse representation since the 1950s by the Guardian. In the interim years Sita has written many highly acclaimed, Carnegie and United Kingdom Literary Award nominated novels and short stories. In 2018 she was awarded an Honour for the writing of Tender Earth by the International Board of Books for Young People, and her novels Where The River Runs Gold (2019) and When Secrets Set Sail (2020) have received great acclaim. She was the 2015 Booktrust Writer in Residence and is the current Writer in Residence at Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants. In March 2021 Sita's novella The River Whale was a World Book Day Story. Swallow’s Kiss launched at the British Library in June 2021. Sita’s latest novel is When Shadows Fall (2021). She is a Royal Literary Fellow and an Amnesty International ambassador.

Writing Room is a registered Community Interest Company: a non-profit arts organisation committed to serving the interests of our diverse community of creative writers.

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