Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest, the MOOC I helped to develop along with the visionary people at the Commonwealth Educational Trust is now up and live on the Coursera platform. It’s an introductory course, taught by New Zealand writers David Hill and Maria Gill.
Please spread the word to new and aspiring writers you know, especially in communities around the world whose stories are missing in the conversation of children’s and YA books.
In connection with the Commonwealth Education Trust’s MOOC project, I got to chat on Skype yesterday with David Hill, YA author from New Zealand. The connection wasn’t great but we managed, and had a pleasant conversation about writing, writing for young readers, and the writing life. Many thanks to the tech team on the other side of the world! Are we lucky to live in the 21st century or what? I didn’t know any of David’s books before this. It’s always nice to find out about the work of others in our field, especially those who are writing from geographical perspectives other than mine. Alas, you can’t get most of his titles in North America but I did find My Brother’s War in iBook format. I’m looking forward to reading this historical novel set during World War I. It’s told from the points of view of William, who enlists eagerly, and his brother Edmund, who is a conscientious objector. I remember being struck by Wilfred Owen’s poetry when I was young. The questions he raised about war resonated for me, and I don’t think I know another book that tackles this theme for young readers against this particular historical context.