Children’s Publishing

Module Number: P65055

Module Leader(s)/Tutors: Dr Sally Hughes,

This module takes place during Semester 2

In a series of lectures, visiting speaker sessions and seminars, this module explores children’s publishing. As well as looking at the development of the market sector, its current shape and business practices, the module also examines contextual issues relating to publishing for children and young adults. Topics change from year to year but may include picture books, co-editions and translatability; the role of trade events including the Bologna Children’s Book Fair; the sector’s links to other leisure industries and the possibilities for merchandising and content reuse; editing and censorship; age ranging and gatekeeping; literacy and reading campaigns; and promotion.

When you have completed this module, you will have been given the opportunity to: attend lectures and visiting speaker sessions which provide an introduction to a wide range of issues relating to children’s and young adults’ publishing engage in class discussion and activities relating to children’s and young adults’ publishing present a research article relating to issues in the world of children’s and young adults’ books participate in the Children’s Publishing Forum evaluate publishing programmes in the children’s or young adults’ market sector, and identify opportunities for their growth and diversification

Assignments involve a group presentation of a researched radio programme and an individual researched article on a topic of your choice. 

Here's a comment from a recent MA graduate:

I just wanted to tell you that I've written a children's sticker collection for work. It's just about done now and I'm really happy with it - and I'm excited about being an author as well as an editorial assistant! So much of what I learned in your Children's Publishing module was really useful to me while I was writing. Issues regarding language, tone, age groups etc. all came up while I was working on this book (and others, for that matter), and I often thought back to the things that you and some of your guest speakers had told us during that module. So I just want to say thank you, your module definitely gave me some of the skills (and confidence!) that I've needed over the last few months.
Secretly prefer reading Jacqueline Wilson and Melvin Burgess to Martin Amis and Zadie Smith?  Got some great ideas for getting teenage boys to read?  Prefer Bologna to Frankfurt?  Then the Children's Publishing module is for you.

Oxford has long provided inspiration to children's writers including Lewis Carroll, C S Lewis, J R R Tolkein, Jan Mark, Philip Pullman and Korky Paul.  It is also the home to children's publishers including OUP, David Fickling Books and Barefoot Books.

Indicative Reading:

The reading is provided for you for each of the topics which varies between years. For the last three years, we have read ‘Stop What You Are Doing and Read This’, an edited volume of responses to reading published by Vintage Books, 2011. The writings by authors such as Michael Rosen, Tim Parks, Mark Haddon and Nicholas Carr provide a weekly thread that weaves the more varied topics together. 

Contributes to: Publishing