When asked for advice about writing for children, Maurice Sendak responded, “I don’t write for children; I write as a child.” The same is true for those who write books that teenagers love. This course will bring out your inner-adolescent to help you identify and explore universal issues and events of adolescence that still resonate for you, find the fictional voice to speak about them, and develop strategies for shaping your ideas into novels and stories.
Whether you already have a project underway or are brand new to the genre, you’ll find the work of this course beneficial in your understanding of how YA works. The workshop format will be supplemented by discussions of character, voice, plot, structure, setting, revision, and point of view in the context of the work presented. The instructor will also address issues concerning publishing that will help you find the right home for your book when it’s ready for the world to see it.
Barbara Shoup is the author of eight novels, including five for young adults, and the co-author of Novel Ideas: Contemporary Authors Share the Creative Process. Her young adult novels have received numerous awards including ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Children’s Literature Choice List, International Reading Association Young Adults Choice List, Bulletin for the Center of the Book Blue Ribbon Book, ALA Best YA Books for Adults, and VOYA Perfect Tens. She received the 2006 PEN Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Working Writer Fellowship. Her most recent YA novel, Looking for Jack Kerouac, was published in 2014. In a recent interview, John Green said, “Barb Shoup has been an important YA writer for decades.” Shoup has forty years of experience teaching aspiring writers of all ages, including twenty years of teaching high school writers. Currently, she is the Executive Director of the Indiana Writers Center