Writing the Young Adult Novel

3 points
Session II: July 6 - Aug 14
M, W 11:00 am - 1:10 pm
Instructor: TBA
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Young adult fiction is a relatively new category in book publishing, but it is growing fast. YA books are written for readers ages 12 to 18, but their popularity often extends well beyond the intended age range; Harry Potter and The Hunger Games being the best-known examples. YA spans a number of subgenres, including paranormal romance, dystopian sci-fi, and coming-of-age realism. The best YA novels feature fully realized characters and a level of emotional complexity that appeal to teens. But YA books often include frightful displays of violence and are unabashed about sex. They also feature swiftly moving plots combined with a young person's unique world view—pairings that are unlike anything found in traditional literary fiction.

In this workshop, we will embark on writing our own YA novels. With our work always at the center of discussion, we will explore the essence of what makes it YA in terms of narrative point of view and subject matter, while also challenging the conventions of genre fiction. By way of example, we will look at books including The Fault in Our Stars (John Green), A Wrinkle In Time (Madeline L'Engle), Go Ask Alice (Beatrice Sparks), Uglies (Scott Westerfeld), and excerpts from blockbuster series like Harry Potter, Twilight, and The Hunger Games. 

For examples of "new adult" or "crossover" fiction we will read excerpts from books like The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger), and Prep (Curtis Sittenfeld). Course work will include selected readings, but the emphasis of the workshop will be on writing and critiquing our own work. Students will write up to three chapters of an original YA or crossover novel along with a partial chapter outline for their book in progress. The class will also include visits from published YA authors who will speak about craft, audience, and getting published.

Tuition & Fees
Most summer courses are offered at the standard Continuing Education tuition rate of
$1,570 per point ($4,710 for a 3-point course).
For more information on tuition and course fees, please refer to our Tuition & Fees page.

Materials Fee: $20
For questions about School of the Arts course content, please write to our summer team at soasummer@columbia.edu. For all other Summer Program questions, including admissions, registration, and billing, please contact the School of Continuing Education summer team at ce-info@columbia.edu, or 212-854-9666.

About the Instructor
© 2015 Columbia University School of the Arts | 305 Dodge Hall, Mail Code 1808 | 2960 Broadway | New York, NY 10027 | (212) 854-2875 | EMAIL
Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing, an MA degree in Film Studies, a joint JD/MFA degree in Theatre Management & Producing, a PhD degree in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory, and an interdisciplinary program in Sound Arts.