Young Adult is bigger than dystopian landscapes and overly-complicated sorting rituals. In this four-week class, learn to accurately render real teens in contemporary settings.
Your Instructor: Suzy Vitello, author of "The Moment Before"
Where: Online — Available everywhere!
When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here
Enrollment: 16 students
Young Adult, as a genre, is bigger than blown-out landscapes and conspiracy-laden dystopian societies.
Realistic fiction—stories about teens who aren't battling fascist governments—is a hot commodity in the Young Adult genre. With John Green, Rainbow Rowell and Gayle Forman leading the pack, authors are experiencing best-seller fandom, movie deals, and an increasingly crossover-saturated audience.
Clearly, young adult isn’t just for young adults.
And you'll explore that in Writing Contemporary Teen with Suzy Vitello.
Suzy is the author of the critically-acclaimed contemporary Young Adult novel The Moment Before, as well as the upcoming The Empress Chronicles (available from Diversion Books on Sept. 2).
She's also the den mother of Chuck Palahniuk's Portland-based writing workshop. Having sat around a workshop table with some of today's hottest writers—like Chuck, Lidia Yuknavitch, Chelsea Cain, and Monica Drake—she's seasoned in the mechanics and craft of writing.
In this four week intensive, you'll go from concept to outline to the start of something you can build upon. The lectures are structured to inspire, motivate, and offer specifics that come from the inside of Suzy's experience.
What This Class Covers
Each week, there will be two lectures, a suggested reading list, and one peer- and instructor-evaluated homework assignment.
While questions will be welcomed along the way, the class will close with a few days of a dedicated Q&A thread to further explore what you learn.
Lecture One: We’ll look at the following questions: What are the parameters of Contemporary Young Adult? Can you create mash-ups that work with CYA? Which ones work best?
Lecture Two: Are grown-ups really embarrassed to read young adult novels? What are the prejudices and assumptions of the literary fiction world regarding books written primarily for a teen audience?
Lecture Three: The secrets of voice, and why first person/present tense is so popular in YA.
Lecture Four: What about the f-word? What about sex? Drugs? Difficult subject matter? This lecture delves into some strategies authors use to write about “adult” subject matter.
Lecture Five: We’ll get into the pantser/plotter discussion, and why a combination approach might be your best friend.
Lecture Six: The arcs. How to build them, tension strategies, romantic pacing, and the importance of continuing to make life hell for your main character.
Lecture Seven: Where to begin your story. We’ll look at several approaches, and offer pros and cons. We’ll also delve into optimal length for a complete manuscript.
Lecture Eight: Your opening chapter. Learn how to guarantee that your audience will beg you for the next one.
Goals Of This Class
- Define Contemporary Young Adult and various YA terms such as high-concept, issue...
- Develop a sustainable, clear concept for your YA.
- Craft main and supporting characters that are appropriate to that concept.
- Develop a plot board as an initial structure for your novel.
- Create POV and tense strategies that work best for your concept.
- Draft and receive feedback on your opening chapter.
LitReactor offers a unique approach to a writing education: You study what you want, when you want, at your own pace. We bring in veteran authors and industry professionals to host classes covering a wide range of topics in an online environment that’s interactive and flexible. You get detailed feedback on your work and take part in discussions in a judgement-free zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, our workshops are about working together to achieve your writing goals.
Where do classes take place?
Entirely online. So, anywhere you have Internet access.
Are there certain times when the whole class needs to "meet" online?
Nope. Our students come from all over the globe. Everything is posted online and accessible 24/7. (We do occasionally schedule phone chats, but try to reach a consensus on timing.)
What does a typical class consist of?
It varies, but nearly all our classes include weekly lectures, homework assignments, peer reviews, critiques from instructors, and discussion forums.
How much experience do you need to take a class?
Beginner or pro, everyone is welcome. We encourage all skill levels.
Got more questions? Click here for an extended FAQ.
And click here to explore a sample class that shows our layout and features.