Writing for Children

Subject CWRI90010 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours: a 2 hour workshop per week throughout semester.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


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:
Semester 2
Semester 1
Not offered in 2016
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 Grant Caldwell



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.

Learning Outcomes:

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% attendance in order to pass the subject.

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.

Related Course(s): Master of Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Creative Writing
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - Creative Writing
PD-ARTS Creative Writing

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