Writing The YA Novel

Where: Online through Writespace

When: April 1-22, 2019*

*Specific workshop times to be determined solely by participants’ specific schedules and availability. Please note: I will contact participants with an online classroom invitation and entry instructions the day the workshop begins.

Exchange: Early-Bird until Wednesday, March 27th: $160 for members, $190 for non-members.

After Saturday, March 27th: $190 for members, $220 for non-Writespace members. Learn more about their membership here.Scholarships available here.

LEVEL: All Levels
CAP: Limited to 12 Writers

You are so ready to write a young adult novel. Or maybe you’ve already written one, but you’re not quite sure you’ve figured out how to rock this genre. What makes a YA novel YA? How mature can a YA be? (i.e. How much cursing can you get away with? Can characters get hot and heavy on the page, or do you always need to fade to black? What about violence or intense subject matter like rape or drug use?) You might not be sure if you’ve written a YA or a middle grade—perhaps your book feels way less dark than a lot of the stuff you see on the shelves. Have no fear: by the end of this class, you’ll know your way around the YA writers’ world. Together, we’ll be doing a deep dive into the genre, talking about the “rules” and how and when you can break them, what agents and editors (and readers) are looking for when they pick up a YA novel, and what craft elements stand out the most. We’ll touch a bit on trends and we’ll be looking at all the sub-genres within the genre (contemporary, fantasy, sci-fi/speculative, horror, etc.). We’ll be reading and analyzing the first chapter of several different YA’s, as well as using Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races to get a good look into how to write, think, and feel teen. In addition to lectures and writing exercises, there will be craft reading selections so that you can put all that you’re learning into practice. You’ll walk away with loads of resources to continue your study of all aspects of the genre long after our class is over.

This course is designed for writers of any level who are eager to learn about the YA genre. Please be prepared to spend at least three hours a week on short reading assignments, your own writing, and online discussion. If you have a first chapter of a YA novel completed, be ready to have the chance to share pages and receive constructive feedback from the instructor and your fellow writers. If you haven’t written a first chapter yet, don’t worry, you will have the opportunity to do so during workshop and also receive constructive feedback. You’ll be part of a supportive, fun, and inspiring community, so don’t be shy to share your work. This is how we figure out how to do this writing thing!

Note about Writespace’s online workshops: Participants should plan to commit three hours per week to reading, posting, and responding to assignments in the online classroom and one to two hours per week to writing outside the classroom. Online workshops offer built-in flexibility and are ideal for writers with busy schedules, as the times participants visit the classroom are determined solely by their own availability, whether they are available at 3 PM or at 3 AM or at any other times on any other days of the week. Participants will be invited to enter the online classroom and will receive instructions the day the workshop begins.