Writing for Children

Subject CWRI90010 (2013)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2013.

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

This subject is not offered in 2013.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment:



Admission to the Masters of Creative Writing, Publishing & Editing; postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or fourth year honours in creative writing.



Recommended Background Knowledge:
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
Not offered in 2013
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/


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); 3000 words or equivalent creative work 60% (due in the examination period). Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% (or 10 out of 12) classes in order to qualify to have their written work assessed. Any student who fails to meet this hurdle without valid reason will not be eligible to pass the subject. All required written work must be submitted in order to pass the subject. Essays submitted after the due date without an extension will be penalised 2% per day. Essays submitted after two weeks of the assessment due date without a formally approved application for special consideration or an extension will only be marked on a pass/fail basis if accepted.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available. Some texts will also be made available through the LMS electronic site for the subject.

  • J Rose, The Case of Peter Pan or: The Impossiblity of Children’s Literature, Pennsylvania Press, 1992.
  • P Hunt, Understanding Children’s Literature, Routledge, 2000.
Recommended Texts:
  • J Zipes, Sticks and stones: the troublesome success of children's literature from Slovenly Peter to Harry Potter, Routledge, 2002.
  • P Nodelman, The Hidden Adult: Defining Children’s Literature, The John Hopkins University Press, 2008.
  • J Harding et al (eds), What do you see? International Perspectives on Children’s Book Illustration, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008.
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 is taught in alternate years. To be offered again in 2014.

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

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