Learn the key elements of a young adult (YA) novel
Comprehend why writing for teenagers is different
Develop skills in character development and point of view
Understand structure, including structure for a series
Get up-to-date with the current state of YA publishing
The popularity of books for the young adult market has exploded in the last decade, becoming one of the most successful areas of the industry. But what is it exactly – and who is it aimed at? What special skills or knowledge do you need to write successfully for this sophisticated readership?
“This course exceeded my expectations. Pamela was really great with her presentation. I’m really glad I did this course. Now I can go back to writing with more confidence than I had before.”
– Stacy Baldwin, Graduate of Writing Young Adult Fiction
Our Writing Young Adult Fiction course will help you to turn your YA novel into a gripping, enthralling, emotional story that will grab its readers and never let them go. You’ll finish the course more confident and far better equipped to succeed in this exciting but challenging area of publishing.
Here is a small extract from the course where Pamela Freeman talks about the course itself and provides some valuable insights into what YA readers want.
You will finish the course able to:
“It's given me so much practical guidance for writing for young adults. I most enjoyed the specific information and discussions about young adult issues and audiences. I did this at the same time as Novel Writing Essentials and I found that they complemented each other beautifully”
Penny Andrews, Graduate of Writing Young Adult Fiction
What’s the difference between a book for older readers and a book for young adults? What IS a young adult, anyway? We answer this in two ways: by looking at how YA publishing works, and discussing the themes and defining features of current YA writing. We will also answer some FAQs: Can you swear? Can you write sex scenes? Can you write LGBTQIA+ stories? How much violence is okay? Who gets to decide all this?
How do you create a cast of authentic young adult characters – especially if it’s a long time since you were a teenager? This module helps students create believable characters whom readers will identify with and enjoy reading about. You’ll learn how to develop characters’ backstories so that readers will find them believable – and also how to present characters who are similar in age, gender and background so that each of them is vividly different.
Now you know your characters, we can look at point of view and getting the young adult ‘voice’ right. This is the most crucial part of writing for young adults – they have to believe that the person the story is told through is their age or not very much older. In this module we look at the elements of voice: not just point of view, but word choice, rhythm, syntax and attitude.
Once you have your characters and their relationships, you need to take them somewhere – to tell a story. YA stories have specific elements and story questions. We look at how these can be shaped to create great stories that readers will obsess over.
Most YA novels also contain adult characters, and often have younger children as well. This module looks at the depiction of adult characters/authority figures, and how child characters can deepen and define the depiction of your main characters.
This is one of AWC’s 35+ “self-paced” online courses. But what does that mean? Allow us to explain:
Want to know where all the cool kids hang out? The Graduates’ Club of course! Now, calm down – there are no cigars, leather armchairs or loud ticking grandfather clocks here. But it IS exclusive invitation only (on completion of a course) and it’s free! Meet other writers online and share successes, seek help or just get something off your chest. Many students believe this ‘legacy learning’ is one of the most valuable things about our AWC community, and who are we to argue? So if you want to receive feedback, support and a heads-up on opportunities … join the Club!