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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest by Commonwealth Education Trust

1,150 ratings
477 reviews

About the Course

This course is for curious students and aspiring authors with a passion for writing for young readers. Participate in a dynamic online community of writers as you experiment with your own writing and develop your voice. This course will guide you with a combination of video lectures, online readings, peer reviews, and guest appearances from world-renowned children’s authors. As you work through the writing exercises, you will give and receive feedback from your peers and gain tools and techniques for improving your writing. During this course you will identify stories that matter to you, explore cultural significance and boundaries, and shape your identity as a writer; become familiar with standard elements of narrative (character, setting, plot, theme, language, dialogue, point of view); reflect on your own work and practice essential self-editing skills; see the different ways in which words and art interact, and the possibilities of longer narrative forms; come away with practical insights into publishing options; and create a plan for pursuing your enthusiasm for writing. By the end of the course, you will have ten to twelve extracts of writing that you can develop into a portfolio. Join a dynamic community of many voices from around the world. Find inspiration in your own voice, heart, and place so that you can tell the stories for young readers you’ve always wanted to tell....

Top reviews

Feb 6, 2016

I am a beginner wantabee author and publisher, first steps are elementary, as I need. Self paced, life can get in the way. Instructors are wonderful, as are the guest speakers and interviewees Thanks.

Jul 16, 2017

This course introduces writing in an easy to understand way. The interviews with published authors are very insightful as well. The exercises are a great avenue to practice what the Mooc instruct

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351 - 375 of 470 Reviews for Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest

By Ellen C

Feb 6, 2020


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Aug 3, 2016


By Adrienne F

May 8, 2020


By Sana U

Feb 3, 2018


By sandra

Sep 27, 2015


By Diego C

Oct 6, 2017


By Hilda O

Sep 6, 2015


By Cecilia A

May 9, 2016

This course has some very distinct and informative material which was terrific for learning about writing for young readers. I particularly found Maria Gill's modules very informative, encouraging and well presented.

What I found REALLY disheartening, was that we as students (who aren't qualified and at times, have questionable English literacy skills), were the ones who were given the task of assessing all of the assessments in this course. I was really hoping for feedback from the industry experienced course creators :( . The other thing that was frustrating is that 'word count' was a criteria. Some students were brutal in their grading because one was over the word count by a few words, so be aware of that, if you are going to undertake this 'course'.

This is not so much a course which leads to some sort of exam or qualification ( but an independent information acquirement experience.

I learnt quite a lot about writing and publishing and would encourage you to do this course, as it does contain some great information and tips, just be aware that grading is based on newbies like us and sometimes the feedback can be a bit disheartening but just persevere and you will learn lots. These people really know what they are talking about.

By Oreoluwa L

Dec 27, 2020

This course was wonderful. It provided what I needed at this moment, which was useful guidance on developing characters, plot and dialogue. It also provided an overview of the editing, proofreading and publishing process.

I particularly enjoyed the author interviews, which really inspired me as I look to develop my writing skills. I thought the instructors David Hill and Maria Gill were excellent, explaining concepts easily and speaking clearly.

I also enjoyed the assignments which gave me the opportunity to practice the concepts taught. The peer reviews were my least favourite aspect of the course. While I had some very useful feedback, much of it was basic and did not provide any guidance in writing better. I was also penalised for technical difficulties that the reviewer had (this was rectified by the course organisers once I flagged it). It would have been helpful to give guidelines on how to critique other people's work. This was lacking in the course.

There was not much that was specific to writing for children. Instead I felt that it was a good course for anyone looking to write for any audience. It was a very course generally-speaking and probably more useful to beginners.

By Rekha C

Oct 8, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed the Course and was glad that it was so flexible! I learnt a lot of Organizational skills and I think my Creative skills were sharpened!

I was able to do most of the reading on my phone, which was most comfortable and time-saving.

Mr. David Hill has an excellent way of presenting the course material and he also extracted relevant and helpful ideas from the guest speakers. He gave us good examples of Writing, before giving us the Assignment. Thank you, Sir! Good luck to you in your future ventures!

Ms Maria Gill has also done her best. I wish relevant examples are given before the Assignment, and leave it to the creativity of the Student to come up with something original. Thank you, Ma'am! May we see many more of your Publications!

The course material should include live examples of important aspects like Writing an Inquiry email, a Proposal and a Resume, otherwise, like Ms. Gill warned us, our manuscripts can end up in the slash pile!

Thank you Alex for promptly attending to the tech glitch and resetting my grades!

I wish you could come up with more courses on Editing and Proofreading, so that we can work from home and give Professional help to Researchers, etc.

By Evi P

Jul 23, 2020

This was a short course packed with useful tips. The process inspired me to write. The videos were pleasant to listen to. I might go through all the materials again, just to keep my writing going. The course is just an introduction really, and for those expecting a highly advanced or detailed course, this is not it. What I did not enjoy so much is that I mostly had non-English reviewers or works to review, and while this is not an issue per se, most of them did not bother to follow instructions, use a basic spell checker, or bother to comment at all. This made the review process less useful. I would encourage new students to really be serious about reviewing other people's work. For me, that is the main reason why I don't like to pay for this course: the lack of feedback or just poor feedback through peer review. That aside, I would love to see another course like this one or maybe more detailed or advanced, and would definitely be willing to pay if there is at least some feedback to the assignments from the organizers. In the meantime, I've taken 2 other writing courses, and this one has by far been my favorite. Thanks so much! I really hope there will be another one.

By Kim S

Jan 14, 2016

This is a great course to get you writing. The interviews with writers are particularly helpful. The assignments are well thought out though there was some confusion when it came to peer reviews and how to assess word count which the staff are trying to sort out. Peer reviews were very varied as some people just wrote one word down which was no help at all, while someone inexperienced wil struggle with this I think the course should include an early module on reading and critically as reviewing someone's work is a great aid to writing and editing your own work. Course paperwork could include a critical checklist to help with peer reviews. I would have found that helpful so that I could be confident Of doing a good job. I think you should also be able to edit your reviews as a mistake will mean your fellow writer could be marked down. All in all though well worth doing. Many Thanks to the tutors, staff and guest writers.

By Victoria N

Mar 15, 2021

Overall the course was done very well. I was able to apply my learning each week by demonstrating a new set of skills through my writing. I liked how the learning platform operated from the prompts, the closed captioning, the ability to take notes, highlight and go back to where I left off in the course. The deadlines allowed me to stay accountable however I feel I could have stayed even more accountable with a course facilitator in real-time. I also am okay with peer reviews however I would have liked an subject matter expert reviewing my work. Overall, the course was very good!

By Ariana L

Jun 29, 2018

I very much enjoyed this course! Lots of opportunites to write and learn about every area of writing and publishing. I wish there was more information on publishers/magazines. Most of the publishers that were listed do not accept unsolicited applications. Also, having more magazines listed would help people trying to publish shorter pieces than novels. It would have also been wonderful if we could have had at least one of our pieces reviewed by a professor. In general, I found peer reviews not very helpful. But overall, very satisfied with this course!

By Christine K

Sep 15, 2020

I enjoyed the course very much and learnt a lot. Unfortunately, there is no feedback from established authors or tutors about the writing assignments which would really have helped. The 1-500 word limit on assignments was misunderstood by some peers and I had to have an assignment re-marked because marks were taken off for being under 500 words.

The videos were not great. The content was good but the jumping camera angles and arm movements were distracting.

By Angélica V

Apr 22, 2016

One of my favorites parts of all the course, was the interview with the playwright. The course is about guiding the participants, or those who want to start to write, with the most important and necessary advices. In addition, the profesor wants to make us understand that writting is more than just a profession: it's passion, and the most effective way of see that point is by hearing a writter who feels that way about litterature active and also pasive.

By Lizmer M

May 20, 2020

I really enjoyed taking this course. I love to write but I was having a difficult time since the pandemic started. This course helped me forget a little about the situation that humankind is facing globally and gave me the opportunity to challenge myself to write in English, since I'm a native Spanish speaker/writer. Thanks Coursera for this gift! I would recommend this course to anyone that would like to be a writer.

Lizmer Montalvo Juliá

Puerto Rico

By Loretta F

Feb 15, 2021

I had an engaging 5 weeks learning new skill sets and honing current skill sets as well. The instructors were pleasant and easy to understand, yet their professionalism was top notch. The interviews with other dedicated authors was extremely helpful. I enjoyed reading the peer reviews in each section and was able to gage my own progress with their submissions. The course helped me to start writing and that was my goal. Thank you!

By Aisling F

Jan 30, 2017

This course is great so far - really helpful and specific - but I feel like there is an unnecessary amount of repetition of certain points. We were told "use your own experiences to fuel your stories" in 2 videos with David Hill, a reading assignment and then again in a video talking to another author. While I appreciate the "look, they say it too!" idea of backing up their ideas, I feel like this is overkill.

By Julia S

Nov 18, 2015

Wonderful to see and hear so many different authors giving advice and being able to learn from them. The instructors were well spoken and neatly organized or an online audience. Definitely a treat for the unpublished and aspiring authors. New tips for old dogs and pups. You can have others review your writing style and format. The only problems you may run into might be the students submitting for review.

By Christine J

Sep 20, 2015

This course is really meant for beginning writers for Young Readers. The information is good and at a pace that is easy to follow. If you are an advanced writer or have experience, it may not be as valuable for you. However, if you are just starting to look at becoming a professional, or have limited experience beyond writing for yourself, you will find this a very valuable learning experience.

By Joy

Jun 26, 2020

It was a very good class and the videos were very helpful in learning the craft of a beginning writer and their need to find the tools necessary to start a book. I liked the pieces that I was able to read. It gave me a broader sense of culture and diversity in the readings and the comments were enlightening in the forum where we could share our experiences of each assignment. Thank you!

By Amelia G

May 17, 2020

I really enjoyed the course. It gave great guidance on the art of crafting characters and plot, as well as the pacing and editing of a story. It was interesting to hear from published authors and their experiences. I found the publishing module of particular interest as I didn't know how the process worked prior to this. I found the writing exercises helpful in stimulating my creativity.

By Punam P

Aug 21, 2015

An excellent course. The inclusion of excerpts allows one to develop a greater understanding of the different topics dealt in the MOOC. Also, several excerpts are from stories written by authors based in different continents; this makes reading the excerpts all the more interesting. Also, the course allows one to adjust the deadlines for submitting assignments, which is a good thing.

By Lino C

Dec 11, 2015

The instructors are great and the interviews are very useful. I would have liked to learn about tone and pacing of the stories. Is there a common structure (at least a basic one that we can later break?). Hollywood uses the three-act structure. Is this also useful for stories for young readers?

I learned a lot but perhaps there should be a second course. I'd be interested.