Writing YA Fiction 2017

Who: Jaclyn Moriarty
6 x Tuesday evenings: 28 February; 7, 14, 21, 28 March; 4 April 2017, 6:30-9:30pm
Full Price: $600; Member: $420; Conc Member: $360
Level: Early/emerging YA writers

Young Adult Fiction, or ‘YA’, spans almost every genre, from fantasy to crime to romantic comedy, from dystopian to LGBTQ to steampunk. A relatively recent invention, YA is both controversial and hugely popular, with books like The Fault in our Stars and Divergent surging up bestseller lists and snapping up major film deals.

In this six-week course, we’ll ask what makes a book a YA book, and what makes a YA book shine. We’ll discuss techniques for drawing on your own young adult self, at the same time as writing fiction that is fresh and immediate for contemporary readers. We’ll workshop ideas for planning, plotting and polishing, and consider tips on publishing.

In YA, voice and character are pivotal. By discussing popular and prize-winning YA fiction, we’ll discuss methods for using voice and character to craft teen protagonists who fly off the page and, if you’re lucky, write your novel for you.

Week 1
Introduction, exercises for stretching your imagination, discussion about the YA genre: issues of classification, censorship, responsibility, popular themes and distribution of YA reading list

Week 2
Getting in touch with your young adult self while keeping your writing fresh for a contemporary audience

Weeks 34
Character in young-adult fiction: creating characters in YA fiction

Week 5
Structure, plot and pace in YA fiction

Week 6
Polishing and editing YA

Learning Outcomes

  1. An appreciation of what makes a book YA fiction and, in particular, good YA fiction
  2. An understanding of how to create, develop and convey characters for a YA audience
  3. An appreciation of plot and pace in YA

Participant Requirements
Pen and paper; occasional optional writing assignments between classes

About the tutor
Jaclyn Moriarty
is the author of several novels for young adults (and one for adults), including the internationally best-selling Feeling Sorry for Celia and Finding Cassie Crazy, and, most recently, the Colours of Madeleine trilogy. The first book in that trilogy, A Corner of White, won the NSW Premier’s Literary Award for Young Adult fiction, the Queensland Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Awards. In the US, it was a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor book, was shortlisted for the Nebula (Andre Norton prize), and was a Kirkus Best Book of the Year. The second in the trilogy also won both the NSW and Queensland Literary Awards, was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Awards, and won the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Fantasy. A former media and entertainment lawyer, Jaclyn has a Masters in Law from Yale and a PhD from Cambridge.

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