The internet is full of online writing workshops and sifting through them to find high-quality classes for writing children’s literature can be quite time-consuming. I’ve tried to bring focus to this search by organizing a sortable table of online writing workshops for picture books through young adult, including nonfiction and self-publishing. Some classes are also for writers of adult literature.

Please note that a listing here does not mean that class, teacher, or organization has my personal endorsement. Always be sure to research the organization and instructors before signing up for any online writing workshops. I welcome updates and corrections! Please send me a note through my Contact page.

For a list of things to consider when choosing an online class, please see my guest post on Dear Editor.

If you find this page helpful, please spread the word!

Class DescriptionYoung AdultMiddle GradePicture BookNon FictionIllustrationSelf Publishing
Anastasia Suen @AnastasiaSuen
Anastasia Suen is the author of 245 books for children and adults, a literacy advocate, and a freelance developmental editor. Anastasia Suen conducts online writing workshops for Picture Book Stories, Rhyming Picture Books, and Chapter book and middle grade novels.
Middle GradePicture Book
Art of Arc: How to Analyze Your Picture Book Manuscript @alayne_kay
Award-Winning children’s author Alayne Kay Christian presents a course which will deepen your understanding of picture books written with a classic arc and introduce you to many other picture books structures. It includes 217 pages with ten lessons, seventeen supplements, and eighteen worksheets. Plus bonus materials and resources.
Picture Book
Australian Writers Center Australia
Various online courses, including Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult, as well as many courses which are not specific to children’s literature.
Young AdultMiddle GradePicture Book
Before You Hit Send @angelajames
Join Angela James, an eleven-year veteran of the editing profession and current editorial director of Harlequin’s Carina Press for a three-week self-editing workshop. This is a work-at-your-own-pace workshop, so participants don’t need to be available at a certain time of day.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
Blue Elephant Storyshaping (UK)
Natascha Biebow, picture book author and Regional Advisor for the British Isles chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators offers a six-week structured coaching experience, with individualized and group feedback on your picture books.
Picture Book
The Children’s Book Academy @ChildrensBookAc
Headed by literary agent Mira Reisberg, these are uniquely innovative courses that include videos, interviews, lessons, demonstrations, and activities that will help you write and/or illustrate extraordinary literature for children and young adults.
Young AdultMiddle GradePicture Book
Commonwealth Education Trust
Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest, with authors/instructors David Hill and Maria Hill. This five-week program features a combination of video lectures, online readings, peer reviews, and guest appearances from world-renowned children’s authors.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
Creative Writing Ink (Ireland)
CWI offers a series of online creative writing courses, where you can improve your writing skills through one-to-one exercises, lectures and critique. All courses are carried out through one to one email correspondence and all you need is internet access.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
Curtis Brown Creative (UK)
The Curtis Brown Creative Online Writing for Children Course offers a three-month course for those writing Middle Grade or Young Adult novels. The course is led by bestselling children’s authors and will feature input from Curtis Brown’s teams of literary agents. We ask applicants to submit a sample of their work-in-progress with their application, and we offer places to those whose work we think is the best. Each group is limited to 15 participants, selected on the basis of ability as demonstrated in applications. Please note: the extract submitted must come from the novel you’re planning to work on during the course.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
Darcy Pattison @FictionNotes
Writing teacher Darcy Pattison, known for her Novel Revision Retreat, will explain writing concepts, tips, strategies. The on-demand format allows you to fit the courses into your busy schedule. You access the videos any time day or night.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
Dean Wesley Smith
A variety of workshops, such as: Genre Structure, Plot, Cliffhangers, Pacing, World Building, and Promotion. Each 6 week workshop is limited to around twelve people. (Workshops require about four hours per week to complete.) Not specific to children’s and YA.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
Essentials of Fiction Writing: Joyce Sweeney
Step by step instructions—everything from book planning to marketing in this comprehensive, easy-to-understand 10-week course. Not specific to children’s and YA.
Young AdultMiddle GradePicture Book
Gotham Writers Workshop: Children’s Literature Workshops @gothamwriters
The Gotham Writer’s Workshop offers courses for picture books, EZ readers, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult. These courses teach such craft elements as character, plot, point of view, description, dialogue, setting, voice, and theme. You will also learn how and where to market your work.
Young AdultMiddle GradePicture Book
Institute for Writers
Are you interested in fiction? Nonfiction? Picture books? Young adult? Or are you looking for an adult readership? The Institute for Writers can help.
Young AdultMiddle GradePicture Book
James Patterson Teaches Writing @masterclass
James Patterson, the author of 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times Best Sellers, reveals his tricks of the trade. In this course, he guides you through every part of the book writing process. Not specific to children’s and YA.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
Jane Friedman Online Classes @JaneFriedman
Benefit from 20 years of Jane’s experience in writing, publishing, and digital media. Formerly publisher and editorial director at Writer’s Digest and digital editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review, Jane currently teaches digital media and publishing at the University of Virginia and is a columnist for Publishers Weekly.
Young AdultMiddle GradePicture BookNonfiction
Jessica Brody: Writing Mastery
Productivity Hacks for Writers
How to Develop Blockbuster Ideas that Sell
Fiction for Young Writers
Young AdultMiddle Grade
Just Write For Kids: Emma Walton Hamilton @ewhamilton
An 8 week course in writing picture books from bestselling, award winning author Emma Walton Hamilton. Learn the fundamentals of writing picture books, including: finding ideas; developing characters, mapping a plot and identifying themes; engaging narrative, effective dialogue, successful beginnings, middles and endings; anthropomorphism; verse vs. prose and word play; editing and more.
Picture Book
Kristen Lamb @KristenLambTX
Classes to help you better your writing prowess.
Not specific to children’s and YA.
Young AdultMiddle GradeSelf Publishing
Lawson Writer’s Academy @MargieLawson
Margie Lawson’s Lawson Writer’s Academy offers online classes for writers of all genres. Not all courses are specific to children’s and YA.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
Lit Reactor @LitReactor
With LitReactor, you study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. Veteran authors and industry professionals host a wide range of classes in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. Not all workshops are specific to children’s and YA.
Young Adult
The Loft @loftliterary
Offerings include novel writing, fiction, poetry, nonfiction, sci-fi, mystery, publishing & career, multigenre, and many more. Not all courses are specific to children’s and YA.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
The Lyrical Language Lab: Punching up Prose with Poetry @ReneeMLaTulippe
The Lyrical Language Lab teaches children’s writers the poetic techniques that will make their writing more powerful and infuse their manuscripts with poetry, music and magic.
Young AdultMiddle GradePicture Book
Making Picture Book Magic: Susanna Leonard Hill @SusannaLHill
Making Picture Book Magic is a 4 week course that will teach you how to write a picture book around the edges of your busy life for a price you can afford, in a fun, friendly atmosphere. The course starts each month on the first of the month. Course is limited to 5-7 people each month.
Picture Book
Media Bistro @Mediabistro
Multi-session workshops and master classes with agents, editors and outstanding authors. Not all workshops are specific to children’s and YA.
Young Adult
Odyssey Writing Workshops Charitable Trust
Since 1996, the Odyssey Writing Workshop has become one of the most highly respected workshops for writers of fantasy, science fiction, and horror in the world. Odyssey offers only three online courses per year to ensure high quality. Working with students during class meetings and in between classes, instructors, the very best in the field, are able to foster illuminating discussions and provide personalized, in-depth advice.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
Oregon Coast Children’s Book Writers Workshop: Publish a Picture Book!
This intensive online writing course is one-on-one between you and your instructor. The starting time and pace are completely up to you. This course explores the craft of writing and deals with the issue of marketing.
Picture Book
Oxford University (UK) @OxfordConted
This online course is taught by author and SCBWI British Isles’ member Benjamin Scott. You will find your own voice and your own niche in writing for young adults, in sub-genres from realism to the supernatural. Become confident in writing convincing dialogue and gripping narrative, and in creating situations and characters with which young adults can identify.
Young Adult
Pennwriters is a multi-genre writing organization offering a variety of online writing classes. Courses are not specific to children’s and YA.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
Red Dirt Jessie Creative Writing Academy (for young writers)
Named for instructor Anna Myer’s first published novel, “Red Dirt Jessie Writing Academy” is an online creative writing course designed for students ages twelve to eighteen. Anna is a published author of nineteen novels for young people. Students enrolled in her program will complete weekly writing exercises as well as four major writing assignments each semester, approximately one per month.
Young Adult
Middle Grade
The School of Visual Storytelling @SVSLearn
The School of Visual Storytelling teaches, empowers, and inspires artists who love to tell stories through their art. Each course is taught by WORKING professionals, giving contemporary advice and direction as to what’s relevant in the field right now.
Skipjack Publishing @SkipjackPublish
SkipJack Publishing is an award-winning, best-selling independent publishing company, sharing their secrets and guiding you step-by-step to propel yourself—and your books—to publishing success.
Self Publishing
Southern Tier Authors of Romance (STAR)
Online writing workshops from highly-respected, successful authors. Workshops last four weeks, consist of a mix of lectures, exercises and discussions, and are conducted via a private listserv. All writers are welcome. Not specific to children’s and YA.
Young Adult
UCSanDiego Extension Writer’s Program: Writing for the Middle Grade/YA Reader
In this course, we will consider how a plot works, what makes a compelling character, and what drives a reader forward. Students will participate in an online critique group and have an opportunity to get their first five pages reviewed.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
WANA International
Social Media, Writing Craft and Writing Business classes. Not specific to children’s and YA.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
WOW: Women On Writing @womenonwriting
WOW offers a four-week program with Margo L. Dill for anyone interested in writing a children’s chapter book or novel for middle-grade, tween, or young adult. At the end of four weeks, students have the option to renew their registration and continue in the class.
Young AdultMiddle GradeSelf Publishing @writerscom
Offering online writing classes since 1995. Classes take place either on an educational web site or via e-mail lists. Courses offer extensive communication and interaction between students and instructors. Not all classes are specific to children’s and YA.
Young AdultMiddle GradeNonfiction
Writer’s Digest Shop
Webinars and Tutorials on writing and the business of writing. Not all workshops are specific to children’s and YA.
Young AdultMiddle GradePicture BookNonfiction
Writer’s Digest University
Writer’s Digest University is the only program of web-based writing instruction developed by Writer’s Digest—the organization that literally “wrote the book” on writing and getting published. Not all courses are specific to children’s and YA.
Young AdultMiddle GradeNonfiction
Writers Helping Writers
Webinars and online writing workshops from the duo who brought you The Bookshelf Muse and The Emotional Thesaurus, Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
The Writers’ Workshop: From Here To Publication (UK)
This six-week course is designed for beginners who would like to see whether they can write successfully for children.
Young AdultMiddle GradePicture Book
Writing Classes for Kids
As the name implies, this site offers online writing workshops for children, but also offers six-week writing courses and mentoring for adult writers.
Young AdultMiddle GradePicture Book
Writing 4Success
Writing 4Success offers two e-courses which run continuously from February through to November each year—Spotlight on Characters, and Spotlight on Plotting. You can sign up whenever you like, and enroll in two courses simultaneously or one at a time. Courses are not specific to children’s and YA.
Young AdultMiddle Grade
Writing Rhyme to WOW!
Angie Karcher, founder of RhyPiBoMo (Rhyming Picture Book Month), offers a four week course, M-F with daily 45 minute lessons, writing prompts, rhyme journaling, creating tools you will use, webinars and critique groups. Each class begins on the first Monday of the month and the weekly webinars are on Thursdays at 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time.
Picture Book
YARWA—Young Adult Romance Writers of America @YA_RWA
The Young Adult chapter of the Romance Writers of America celebrates all things YA, including online writing workshops and classes.
Young Adult