Coming of Age on the Page: Writing for YA with Laura Goode (2/1 – 3/21)

Laura Goode

Instructor: Laura Goode
Number of sessions: 8
Meeting time: Wednesday nights, 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm
Dates: Feb. 1 – March 21

Course fee: $425, with $100 to secure a spot in the class

Description: The 2000s may well be regarded as young adult literature’s golden age, with YA sales surpassing all other literary genres and YA subject matter veering increasingly into the risky and new. This eight-week course will serve as a primer on how to write your first (or next) novel for young adults. We’ll examine many of the questions faced by all fictioneers, such as how to plot, pace, structure, and populate an engrossing novel, and interrogate others more particular to YA: What makes a story starring a teenager different from a book composed for teenagers? How does an author make a YA novel accessible to young readers without dumbing it down? What is the responsibility of the YA author in distinguishing between the issues young readers need to see reflected on the page, and issues they’re not ready to handle? What role does gender play in the YA market? Why and in what ways can young adult literature appeal to both teens and adults?

Week by week, we’ll first work to build a tight synopsis of your story, and then move into workshopping individual chapters and discussing how to sell your novel. Writers need not be published, nor is there any prerequisite for the class apart from a passion for providing young people with great literature. Bring a story idea and the title of your favorite YA novel to the first class.

Instructor Bio: Laura Goode’s debut novel for young adults, Sister Mischief, was released by Candlewick Press in 2011. Her poems and essays have appeared in Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, The Rumpus, The Faster Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, The New Inquiry, Dossier, Slope, and other publications. Visit her website at