Inspire your students with the Young Editors Scheme

Inspire your students with the Young Editors Scheme


HLTA and School Librarian Nicki Cleveland joins us on the blog to share her experiences using the Young Editors Scheme in her school.

Nicki Cleveland

“Barrington Stoke Young Editors is one of the best free resources I use to encourage reading and writing for pleasure. The scheme gives children the chance to be real-life editors, scrutinising manuscripts for books that they will be able to see in bookshops and libraries. 

Each term, we explore the primary manuscript, starting with whether the children know the author. Our local book awards featured Jenny Pearson recently, so the children were all very excited to see the summer-term manuscript was Marvin And The Book Of Magic.  We look at a couple of chapters a week – picking out any words that are difficult to read or where the meaning doesn’t make sense after a reread, and discuss key plot points, character development and what we have enjoyed (and rarely, what we haven’t). One thing children always do is moan when the session is finished as we are always left on a cliffhanger!

The questions in the editing pack give the children a brilliant guide as to the kind of feedback that is useful for the editing team at Barrington Stoke and focus their thinking, while the tips and tricks help the children understand the nuances of what makes a great story, enabling them to give constructive feedback. “I feel more confident talking about books in more detail as I know how to word what I’m saying to match the feature we’re looking at.” Writing blurbs is always a favourite, and designing book covers gives our children who love drawing a chance to unleash their creative talents.

My Year 5 and 6 lunchtime book club that edit the manuscripts is my busiest every week  with about 30 children choosing this over playground sports and games – including some of the football team. They come for a number of reasons. One said, “It’s great to get a feel for how real books are edited and it makes me more critical of my own writing – it can always be improved.” Lots of the children believe that Young Editors has exposed them to new authors and genres that they might not have tried otherwise, and all commented that they love getting to read books before they are published, “It feels like a special treat.”

 Children who find reading difficult think the books make reading more accessible for them, “I can finally understand why you love reading when it isn’t hard work.” And lastly, as a group they feel good knowing that they are doing something with a real purpose that will help bring others the pleasure of reading.”


Thank you to Nicki Cleveland for sharing her expert insights. Nicki is a HLTA and School Librarian at Cannon Park Primary School. Follow her on X at @MissNCleveland, and Instagram and Threads at @MissClevelandsReading.

Barrington Stoke’s Young Editors Scheme is completely free and allows young readers to access pre-publication manuscripts each term, using the provided questionnaire to form their own editorial feedback and shape in-class discussion. The submitted feedback is then used by our team to contribute to our publishing process. To find out more and register an account, visit the Young Editors website.