Writing for Children

Subject CWRI90010 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment:



Admission to the Masters of Creative Writing, Publishing & Editing; BA Honours (Creative Writing); Postgraduate Certificate in Arts and Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Creative Writing)



Recommended Background Knowledge:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Semester 2
Semester 1
Not offered in 2012
Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Amanda Johnson


Amanda Johnson


Subject Overview:

This subject introduces the creative writing student to contemporary literary and cultural theories pertinent to reading and analysing texts produced for children, as well as stimulating a creative engagement with children’s literature. Through the study and production of picture books, novels, storytelling and poetry, the student will creatively investigate the tensions between children’s literature, society’s notion of childhood, and children themselves, as well as exploring the major themes, techniques, trends and issues of the children’s literature canon.

Note: this subject is offered every second year, alternating with CWRI90009 Young Adult Fiction.


Students who complete this subject will:

  • be able to apply advanced theoretical, aesthetic and analytic skills to interpreting critical and creative texts;
  • be able to tackle new problems in the production of children’s literature with confidence and openness to contemporary artistic directions;
  • have a sound working knowledge of themes and conventions of contemporary children’s literature; and
  • be able to participate effectively in group discussions and collaborative learning; and demonstrate an understanding of the wider public significance of their knowledge and skills.

An essay on an aspect of children’s literature which incorporates literary criticism or cultural theory, 2000 words (40%) due mid-semester; creative work, 3000 words or equivalent (60%) due at end of semester. Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Assessment submitted late without an approved extension or special consideration will be penalised at the rate of 2% per day.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader, with selected readings and week by week topics will be available from the University Bookshop. Some texts will also be made available through the LMS electronic site for the subject.

  • Rose, Jacqueline (1992) The Case of Peter Pan or: The Impossiblity of Children’s Literature, Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia
  • Hunt, Peter (2000) Understanding Children’s Literature, Routledge, London
Recommended Texts:
  • Zipes, Jack (2002) Sticks and stones: the troublesome success of children's literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter, Routledge, London
  • Nodelman, Perry (2008) The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature, The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore
  • Harding, J & Pinsent, P eds (2008) What do you see? International Perspectives on Children’s Book Illustration, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Cambridge
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject will acquire the following skills:

  • critical thinking and analysis;
  • the ability to think creatively;
  • an openness to new ideas;
  • written communication;
  • the ability to communicate thoughts and knowledge;
  • time management and planning; and
  • practices and ethics in the field of creative writing.

This subject will be taught in alternate years commencing in 2012.

Related Course(s): Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Creative Writing
Creative Writing
Creative Writing

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