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Children’s Book Writing

Specialized Certificate

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About the Children’s Book Writing Program

UC San Diego Extension remains committed to helping you achieve your educational goals. We have transitioned many of our courses to an ONLINE or LIVE ONLINE format, in an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will resume in-person classes when it is deemed safe to do so.
ONLINE classes have pre-recorded lectures each week and guided assignments from the instructor.
LIVE ONLINE classes are fully online with live virtual class meetings each week using our Zoom conferencing system.

Learn the Craft of Children’s Book Writing to Improve your Chances of Being Published as a Writer

The Children’s Book Writing Certificate is designed to provide you with a solid foundation in the skills and tools to improve your chances of being published as a writer. It also introduces aspiring professionals, like you, to a wide variety of media and advanced topics required for a thriving book writing career. Children's books impart a wide range of knowledge by capturing the imagination, delighting the senses, and engaging the mind—and writers have the challenging task of creating stories that both entertain and inform children.

The key to being a successful children’s book writer is to learn the techniques and skills that engage a child's imagination, sustain attention, and push a child toward a greater understanding of the world. Successful writers must also understand how to flesh out ideas, revise and critique, write query letters to get published, and know the history of the medium. Throughout this program, you will have the opportunity to hone your technique by tackling courses on the art of children’s book writing, as well as how to get published and choose genre, or age-specific, electives to enhance your specific goals.

  • The nuances of picture books, easy readers, early chapter books, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, children's magazines, fiction and nonfiction.
  • The best way to choose an idea for a thriving book writing career.
  • The history of children’s literature, to provide a deeper understanding of the evolution of this genre.
  • How to benefit from fellow student and instructor critique to improve your revisions.
  • How to write a catchy query letter or intriguing cover letter to capture an editor's attention for publishing your work.
  • Tips for marketing your work will also be offered.
  • Those seeking to enter the world of children’s book writing and publishing.
  • Writers interested in honing their children’s book writing skills.
  • Writers seeking a workshop-focused program where they can specialize in specific children’s genre they’re most interested in.
  • New children’s book writers seeking to learn how to edit and publish their work.
Format: In-Person, Online

Varies by course and quarter.

Estimated Cost: $2,370

Early enrollment discount available. Cost does not include textbooks, materials or parking.

Duration: 12 -18 months

Dependent on number of courses taken per quarter.

Contact
Department
Arts, Humanities, Languages & Digital Arts
Phone
858-534-5760
Email
ahl@ucsd.edu

Courses

Delivery Method
Show Legend
  • Live Online
  • In-Person
  • Online
  • Hybrid

(Learn more about the program in a free, online Information Session)

Children's Book Illustration & Writing Programs - Information SessionINFO-70117

Units: 0.00

TBD

Interested in learning more about breaking into the field of Children's Book illustration or Writing? In this free, on-demand information session, find out about our Children's Book Illustration and W...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

12 units

Writing for Children I: IntroductionWCWP-40186

Units: 3.00

$395

Have you ever told yourself that someday you will write a children s book? Now s your chance! Join us as we demystify the writing process and examine the wide variety of books offered to children: pi...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

Writing for Children II: IntermediateWCWP-40315

Units: 3.00

$395

Revision is the key to improving your work to reach the next level: publication. But often the hardest part is to figure out which words to cut, which to leave in, and how to tighten up the rest. Thi...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

History of Children's LiteratureLIT-40093

Units: 3.00

$395

Gain a deep understanding of the history of children s literature by studying classics of post-enlightenment writing for children. This course provides children s book writers, illustrators and enthus...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring

(All other Required Courses and Electives must be completed first)

Getting Published: Navigating the Children's Book MarketART-40636

Units: 3.00

TBD

#blankSection {display:none !important;} Getting Published: Navigating the Children s Book MarketCourse Overview This final, required course in the Children s Book Illustration Certificate and Childr...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter

Min 6 units required (Offerings subject to change. Certificate students must follow Matrix as listed in their MyExtension account.)

Writing Children's Picture BooksWCWP-40261

Units: 3.00

$350

Let the wild rumpus begin! Do you dream of imaginary lands and mythical creatures? Learn how to inspire a child s imagination by giving them the tools necessary to explore the world around them. The ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Spring, Summer

Writing for the Middle Grade/YA ReaderWCWP-40274

Units: 3.00

$395

Discover how successful middle grade and young adult books are crafted, and begin to plot out and write a tale of your own. In this course, we will consider how a plot works, what makes a compelling ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

Writing Non-Fiction and Informational Books for ChildrenWCWP-40327

Units: 3.00

$350

The market for children s nonfiction and informational books and articles has never been better. In this course, which can be taken by those familiar with writing for children and those just beginnin...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Summer

Children's Book Illustration I: Thinking in PicturesART-40634

Units: 3.00

$395

Children s Book Illustration I: Thinking in PicturesDo you have an idea for a children s book? Or have you always wondered how to make a story come alive through art? Learn to create stories through ...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Winter, Summer

(Not required/Does not count toward certificate)

Adobe PhotoshopART-40311

Units: 3.00

$595

Adobe Photoshop I: Introduction 9 Weeks | $595 | Online In-ClassAn introduction to Adobe Photoshop, the imaging software application used by professional graphic artists to create and modify images...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Adobe IllustratorART-40527

Units: 3.00

$595

Adobe Illustrator 9 Weeks | $595 | Online In-ClassLearn the industry-standard professional vector drawing program Adobe Illustrator. In this graphic design training course, students will gain pract...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

Adobe InDesignART-40533

Units: 3.00

$595

Adobe InDesign 9 Weeks | $595 | OnlineLearn to use Adobe InDesign, a comprehensive page layout software, in conjunction with Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to create various kinds of publications an...

Upcoming Start Dates:
Typically Offered:

Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer

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Additional Information

For further information about this program, please enroll in the online on-demand Children’s Book Writing & Illustration Program Information Session. Questions about our classes or certificates? Contact our department at 858-534-5760 or ahl@ucsd.edu.

Conditions for Admission

Students should have a basic knowledge of English grammar and be comfortable using computers (PC or Mac).

Please see the application for specific admission requirements for this program.

Although a college degree or professional experience in the field are not required, applicants with such experience may receive preference for admission when program capacity is limited.

Current UCSD students may be considered for admission depending on their academic and career focus and educational performance.

Certificate Guidelines

The Specialized Certificate in Children's Book Writing can be completed in 3-6 quarters (taking 1-2 courses per quarter). Tuition is $395-595 per course.

About online courses

  • Online courses in this certificate are led by live instructors, but students may view lectures according to their own schedules. There are no set lecture dates or times; however, students will be required to meet weekly assignment deadlines, participate in critiques, and contribute to discussion topics.
  • Online students should expect to spend four to six hours per week per course.
  • Online students must provide their own software.

Advisory Board

Joy Chu, B.F.A.

Principal, Joy Chu Designs; Instructor

UC San Diego Extension

Edith Fine, B.A.

Author

Deborah Halverson

Author, Editor

Seth Lerer, Ph.D

Dean, Arts and Humanities

UC San Diego

Annika Nelson, B.A.

Artist, Instructor; Program Manager

UC San Diego Extension

Annika Nelson, B.A.

Associate Director

UC San Diego Extension

Brian Selznick

Author

Kelly Sonnack, B.A.

Agent

Andrea Brown Literary Agency

Peter Thomas, M.A., Ed.M.

Assoc. Director, Arts, Humanities, Languages, Digital Arts

UC San Diego Extension

Blair Thornley, B.F.A.

Painter, Animator; Instructor

UC San Diego Extension

Sarah Tomp, M.F.A.

Author, Instructor

UC San Diego Extension

Andrea Zimmerman

Author, Instuctor

UC San Diego Extension

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This certificate requires an application before taking any courses. There will be a $0 fee to apply to this program. Students will also be required to pay a $95 certificate fee upon enrollment into the program after acceptance. View the complete Certificate Registration and Candidacy Guidelines.