Writing the Coming of Age Novel with Francesca Lia Block

Find your authentic young voice and use it to craft arc-driven protagonists and character-based settings to create your unique coming-of-age novel.

Your Instructor: Francesca Lia Block, author of the Weetzie Bat Books and The Thorn Necklace

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: March 23, 2021 - April 20, 2021

Enrollment: 16

Price: $350

Class Description

Get in touch with your younger self.

In this four-week course and workshop, acclaimed author Francesca Lia Block will teach you the basics of how to write a coming of age novel, examining voice, character arc, antagonists, setting, and structure.


Francesca is the author of over twenty-five acclaimed and award-winning works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, including the memoir/writing guide The Thorn Necklace: Healing Through Writing and the Creative Process and the cult classic Dangerous Angels: Weetzie Bat Books.


In this course, you will study how to develop sympathetic young characters that traverse an arc to adulthood through interactions with antagonists. You will also look at how to create a setting conducive to character growth and how to find a natural young voice.

Each week includes a lecture, a writing assignment, to be critiqued by Francesca and your peers, as well as ample opportunity for discussion.

What This Class Covers

Week 1 – Voice

One of the most important aspects of Coming of Age novels is a strong and plausible young voice. By writing a letter from our younger self to our adult self, we will find that voice and what story it wants to tell.

Week 2 – Character Arc and Antagonists

In Coming of Age novels, the protagonist must grow on an arc through interactions with antagonists. We will create a sympathetic protagonist with an arc and a formidable antagonist who pushes them along that arc.

Week 3 – Setting

What settings best express your young protagonist’s growth cycle? We will analyze these to come up with the strongest choice.

Week 4 – Outline

In the final week we will work on an outline for your entire novel!

Goals Of This Class

In this class, students will learn:

  • How to find their inner authentic youthful voice.
  • How to create a sympathetic protagonist who is poised to grow on an arc through interactions with an antagonist.
  • How to create a setting most conducive to reflecting the protagonist’s coming of age journey.
  • How to outline a Coming of Age novel.
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