Writing the YA Novel :: April 2019
:: Online w/ Writespace (Details TBA)
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.).
In addition to reading and analyzing the first chapter of several different YA’s, we’ll be using Jandy Nelson’s The Sky Is Everywhere 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. We will also be workshopping the first chapter of your YA novel (any genre within YA is fine), so have something ready to go before the class. 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!
I’ll post the link for the sign-ups as soon as it’s live. If you’re on my newsletter list, you’ll get that in your inbox.
LEVEL: Beginner to Advanced