KNOWHOW Educational Publishing (Part 1)

In this new KnowHow series, Lynn Huggins-Cooper is sharing her expertise on all things educational publishing and opening up a new world of possibilities.

What is 'Educational Publishing'?


Educational publishing is a wide umbrella term that covers many different types of books, apps, worksheet content, video and educational game creation and more. There are many publishers, packagers and resource creation companies involved in this type of publishing around the world. Globally, this multi-million-pound sector is a major source of employment for writers – and teachers who would like to become writers. Could you see yourself as becoming part of this world, with its ceaseless production and the wealth of opportunities it offers?


In a series of six articles, starting today, I am going to outline a range of opportunities available to educational writers, so you feel confident about the market and can work on ideas and proposals.


I have been writing educational books for more than 25 years and have written hundreds of titles for publishers such as Harper Collins, Hachette, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, A and C Black and more. I have written many series of non-fiction books used by schools and libraries worldwide, and I have been a features writer for TES and have written for educational comics and magazines such as National Geographic Kids. Educational writing gave me my way into publishing, as a young teacher – and it has been a wonderful part of my journey as a writer. Could it be a way in, or an additional source of work, for you?


Types of educational writing


  • Learning Schemes for Schools – science, history, maths, DT etc.
  • Books for teachers – resource books for teaching ideas etc.
  • Textbooks for KS3-5
  • Reading scheme books – fiction and non-fiction designed to feed into an integrated learning scheme to teach reading skills
  • Trade Editions – books stocked in chain retail bookstores such as Waterstones, indie bookshops and online booksellers such as Amazon; bought by public lending libraries and eligible for PLR (more on that later in the series)
  • Activity books, to fill in – used by parents, tutors (and teachers); often core subjects such as English, maths and science but some other areas, plus topic-themed and character-driven cross-curricular books
  • Apps – learning apps and reading apps
  • Content Creation for teaching websites – such as Nagwa, Twinkl etc.
  • Comics – educational CNF such as National Geographic Kids


Things to consider...


As you can see, there are many ways to dip a toe into the educational publishing world! Until next time, if you are considering educational writing, think about these questions, and jot down some notes:


  • Where do I fit - what are my areas of strength or expertise in terms of the curriculum?
  • What are my passions?
  • Why should publishers commission me to write educational books - what relevant experience, skills, expertise and subject knowledge do I have?
  • Which age range could I write for?


Keep your notes handy, ready for next month's article - they could help you to write up a proposal of your own!


Coming soon in this series:


Part 2: Educational Publishers and Book Packagers


Part 3: Writing for the Home Learning/Activity Book Market


Part 4: Writing Children's Non-Fiction


Part 5: Writing for Educational Comics and Apps


Part 6: The Business of Educational Writing


*Header image: In-house collaboration between Ell Rose and Tita Berredo




Often described as a prolific writer with a diverse portfolio, Lynn Huggins-Cooper has written everything from picture books and MG series to YA novels. She has written for children’s TV series, comics, websites,  and as a features writer for the Times Educational Supplement.


Lynn lectures on the BA (Hons) Creative Writing at Falmouth University. She has many ‘past lives’ that have seeped into her writing, including working as a wildlife warden at a lighthouse, and as an outward-bound instructor with young offenders.


She co-organises SCBWI North-East with Lucy Farfort and lives with her husband in a tiny house next to 900 acres of forest in the far north of England.


Find Lynn:




X (Twitter): @HugginsCooper





1 comment:

  1. Very interesting as I have a historic graphic novel planned....


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