Finding Your Voice as a Children’s Author

Develop your own authentic voice as a children’s author, with in-class writing exercises and inspiration from outstanding children’s and young adult literature.

Finding the right “voice” is one of the most crucial aspects of creating a great story for children or young adults. Surrounded by adult voices, young people are adept at sensing who tells the truth. How do you find a voice that is true to your story and that resonates with a young audience? In this course, study children’s and young adult stories that exhibit an outstanding voice. Much of class time is dedicated to generating and exploring ideas through writing exercises. You are invited to revisit your own childhood—the places you lived, the characters who peopled your world, the events that shaped your life and the moments of sadness and joy. With the guidance of writer Elizabeth White-Olsen, learn to draw upon your experiences to craft stories that young readers will love.


Section Instructor Format Schedule start date
GWRI1052.F18.1 Elizabeth White-Olsen On-campus 7-9 p.m. Thursday, September 20, 2018

INSTRUCTOR: Elizabeth White-Olsen
FORMAT: On-campus
SCHEDULE: 7-9 p.m.
START DATE: Sept. 20, 2018

Instructor: Elizabeth White-Olsen

Elizabeth White-Olsen, M.F.A., is the founding director of Writespace. She holds two master’s degrees in fine arts: one in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and one in poetry from Texas State University. She has taught writing at Texas State and at Inprint. Ms. White-Olsen has published poems and articles in print journals and online. Her first poetry collection, “Given Words,” was published in 2015.

Term: Fall 2018

Start Date: Sept. 20, 2018

End Date: Oct. 25, 2018

Schedule: 7-9 p.m.

Length: Six Thursdays

Location: Rice campus

Fee: $275

Rice Alumni: $248

CEUs: 1.2

Note: Limited enrollment

+ Creating characters with authentic thoughts, feelings and desires

+ Writing stories that convey childhood emotions

+ Using alternate points of view

+ Exploring stories inspired by cherished objects in our lives

+ Respectfully capturing voices that do not use textbook English

+ Expressing character personality and mood

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