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Line Editing Children’s Fiction and Nonfiction, June 1-July 12 (6 weeks online) SU20


Where: Asynchronous, Online (Sakai)

June 1, 2020

29 seats available

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Product Description


Do you love perfect sentences? Are you obsessed with word choice, tone, and rhythm? If yes, line editing might be your calling!

Line editing children’s books offers unique challenges and substantial rewards. Within the genre, you shape picture books, early readers, chapter books, and nonfiction. Each category requires its own suite of editorial skills.

When line editing a picture book, every syllable counts. Each word does an immense amount of work. Chapter books require a line editor to see the big picture, maintaining a consistent tone from first word to last. Early readers are highly focused on reading level. Line editors keep the reader’s literacy in mind with every edit. Finally, in children’s nonfiction, clarity is extremely important. Technical or complex ideas must be described precisely, using language that young readers can easily understand.

In this six-week seminar, you’ll develop powerful editing strategies for the children’s book market. By the end of the course, you will have a solid understanding of how to line edit picture books, early readers, chapter books, and children’s nonfiction.

Class Syllabus:

Week 1: Introduction to Line Editing Children’s Books

  • Overview of the line editor’s job
  • First Read: Identifying the author’s voice and purpose
  • Assignment: Review a line edit

Week 2: Line Editing Picture Books

  • Word choice
  • Rhythm
  • Assignment: Line edit a PB

Week 3: Line Editing Early Readers

  • Reading Level
  • Sentence structure and dialogue
  • Assignment: Line edit ER sample text

Week 4: Line Editing Chapter Books

  • Trimming the fat
  • Tackling tone
  • Assignment: Line edit two chapters

Week 5: Line Editing Children’s Nonfiction

  • Clarifying complex ideas
  • Word choice and tone
  • Assignment: Line edit two spreads of NF text

Week 6: Giving Feedback

  • Building relationships with authors
  • Providing clear and encouraging feedback
  • Assignment: Line edit a PB and provide feedback for revisions

Saskia Peterson (pen name: Saskia Lacey) is the author and editor of over 45 titles, including picture books, chapter books, and nonfiction. Her work has been published by the Smithsonian, TIME for Kids, Barnes & Noble, Walter Foster Jr., Teacher Created Materials and Duopress.

Over the last decade, Lacey has worked as an editor, book reviewer, and arts and culture writer. She has a degree in literature from the University of California, Berkeley and a teaching credential from the University of California, Irvine. Lacey is based in Southern California with her husband Patrick and their sweet spaniels, Lily and Wallace. You can learn more about her work at

A Note About the EFA's Online Courses

Our online courses are conducted through Sakai, a learning management system (LMS). You never need to be at your computer at any specific hour. More information about how these asynchronous classes are conducted is available here. Information on our refund policy is available here. All participants in EFA courses must abide by our anti-harassment policy, which you can find here.