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Writing for children: A sprinkle of magic

Give your children’s stories a magical sparkle with advice from Amy Sparkes

When you were a child, did you ever go for a walk in the wood and decide a goblin lived there? Or wonder if there were ghosts hiding somewhere in a nearby, old house? Or feel convinced there was a magical doorway under your bed? If you enjoy writing for children, the chances are that you had a good imagination when you were a child yourself. Can you remember how everyday things would be sprinkled with magic? And how that sprinkling would result in something ordinary being transformed into something most marvellous?

Low fantasy or magic realism?

One of the most rewarding things about writing for children is their openness to imagination – that helps explain why fantasy remains one of the most popular genres for children’s books. There are many different subgenres within ‘fantasy’, including low fantasy (where stories are set in the real world – or a fictional but rational world – where magical or inexplicable things are out of the ordinary, as opposed to high fantasy, where the setting is entirely made up) and magic realism (where magic and the mundane happily coexist and are not in conflict with each other).

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