How to write a Graded Reader and Graded Reader Activities

Teachers often ask us how they can write a graded Reader and get it published. Here one of our most experienced writers of Readers, Anne Collins, offers a comprehensive guide to the pleasures and pitfalls of writing original and adapted graded readers.

Getting started

Writing Graded Readers is a specialized skill, whether you are writing an original story or adapting an existing one. Adaptations can be of modern or classic novels, plays or movie stories. Graded Readers can be funny, serious, contemporary, historical, biographical, factual or fantastic. Each type of Reader presents its own challenges and, for the author, demands patience, careful planning, close attention to detail and, occasionally, ingenuity.

Being prepared

Never attempt to write a Graded Reader ‘cold’. If you are new to the game, you can help yourself
enormously by doing some research first. Find out which ELT publishers produce Graded Readers and the name of the editor of their Graded Readers series. First, you need to contact the editor and ask them to send you their company’s guidelines for writing a Graded Reader. These guidelines should come with a list of vocabulary and grammatical structures for each level. You must study this material carefully as it will give you vital information about what is required.

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