How to Write and Sell the Young Adult Novel with Mandy Hubbard & Dawn Ius

In this four-week writing intensive, you'll learn how to write Young Adult fiction that sells—straight from Mandy Hubbard and Dawn Ius, both accomplished in the field of Young Adult fiction.

Your Instructor: Mandy Hubbard & Dawn Ius

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: January 30, 2017 - February 27, 2017

Enrollment: 20 Students

Price: $425

Class Description

Young adult is the most vibrant, diverse segment of the publishing industry.

Whether it's through the genre-mashing Red Queen, the raw truth of Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda, or the time-bending possibilities in Passenger, it’s clear that YA remains ripe with opportunity.

And the possibilities are endless. The YA category has multiple subgenres, hot or fizzling trends, and ever-increasing competition. That's where Writing and Selling the YA Novel comes in!

As a literary agent and author of eleven novels for teens, Mandy Hubbard knows what's selling—and what's not. And young adult author Dawn Ius knows how to write a compelling page turner—her first two novels were published by Simon & Schuster’s Pulse imprint, with a third on the way in 2018. In this special edition of Writing and Selling the YA Novel, Mandy and Dawn will team up to give you feedback from two different perspectives!

Class will begin by discussing YA as a genre and reading your synopsis to get you started on sure footing. You'll know where your book fits within the YA category, and whether it’s marketable (and if not, how you can fix that.)

From there, you’ll work with Dawn on your first ten pages as she helps you uncover your teen-friendly voice, develop authentic teen characters, and hone your craft. YA is more competitive than ever, and this will help you polish those pages to hook an agent!

Speaking of an agent… in the second half of the class, you’ll take those newly-polished-pages, and Mandy will help you create your query and first 5 pages—the same “package” that arrives in her query box for consideration. Usually, writers get a request or a form rejection. Instead, Mandy will give you an in-depth critique (including a line edit) of your submission, and tell you whether your submission would result in a request or a rejection—and why.

This is a perfect opportunity to work with a published author to polish your work BEFORE an agent reads and critiques your submission package.

Finally, this class includes an open question and answer thread. You'll have every burning question answered, giving you the ammunition you’ll need to conquer the competitive YA market!

What This Class Covers

Lecture One, Defining YA

Just what is YA anyway? During this lecture, we’ll tackle important defining factors such as: how old can our characters can be and what kind of content is okay—or totally off limits? Drugs, sex, and rock and roll—how much is too much? Why are some books with teen characters published as adult novels, and others published as young adult?  

Lecture Two, First Chapters

Ten Page Critique: Here you’ll work with Dawn to polish those first ten pages. She’ll work with you to hone your YA voice and hook your reader from the first line.

Lecture Three, Voice and POV

Maybe you can’t carry a tune in a bucket, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a fantastic writing voice. Learn tricks and tips for honing your craft and figure out what from which POV you should be writing your novel.

Lecture Four, Characterization

Katniss Everdeen, Jenna Fox. Mia Thermopolis. YA novels have characters that stick with you for days, weeks, and months. But nothing’s worse than a sixteen-year-old character that acts like she’s sixty—or six. We’ll show you how to create an authentic teen character with dimension!

Lecture Five, Revision

Some say “editors don’t edit anymore.” That’s never less true than it is in YA, where a dozen-page revision letter is the norm! In this lecture, you’ll learn how to deconstruct the notes you receive from Dawn, turn it into a to-do list, and polish it in preparation for Mandy’s read.

Learn how to deconstruct criticism and turn it into a to-do list, polishing your novel until it shines.

Lecture Six, Concept vs. Plot

“High Concept” is all the rage in YA… but what does that even mean anyway? How can you use concept to hook an agent? How does concept differ from plot? And what if you want to write a plain old coming of age or boy meets girl sort of story? We’ve got the answers.

Lecture Seven: Query Letter 101

Learn the basics of a query letter—as well as the most common mistakes, and load up on tips and tricks for finding and researching lit agents. Mandy will highlight a few query letters from clients she’s actually signed, and discuss why they worked.

  • Submission Critique: Mandy will critique your query and your first five pages, the most common “submission package” for a writer to send to an agent.
  • BONUS: Is your package working? Would this result in a full manuscript critique? Why or why not? How marketable is your submission package, and what can you do to improve it before querying? 

Goals Of This Class

  • Understand the fastest growing genre in publishing, and where your book fits.
  • Create a dynamic character and voice which reads authentically teen.
  • Create a polished, submission-ready package (query, and sample pages) so you can take the YA world by storm.
  • Draft and perfect your query letter—and know where to send it.
  • Immunize yourself from the most common mistakes hopeful YA authors make.
  • Explore key highlights from effective query letters that got new authors signed... and learn why.
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