Writing the Young Adult Novel

Course Fee: $20
WRIT S4323 - 3 points
Summer 2017
Rachel Carter

Young adult fiction is a popular and still-growing category in book publishing that encompasses all genres—fantasy, paranormal, romance, historical, science fiction, dystopian, coming-of-age realism, literary fiction, and more. YA books are written for a core audience of teenagers, but their reach often crosses over to adult readers, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and The Fault in Our Stars by John Green being well-known recent examples. What most YA novels have in common are a teenage protagonist and a sense of immediacy—beyond that, anything goes.
In this workshop we will read critically acclaimed and best-selling young adult novelists including Nnedi Okorafor, Nancy Osa, Laura Ruby, Neal Shusterman, Noelle Stevenson, and Akira Yoshimura.  We will also embark on writing our own young adult novels, with an eye towards generating scenes and chapters, character development, dialogue, point of view, voice, setting, and radical revision.  Weekly writing workshops will guide each writer towards the best way to tell his or her story.
By the end of the course, each student will have up to three chapters of an original young adult novel and a partial outline on their novel-in-progress.  In addition, we’ll touch on practical matters such as finding an agent and what to expect when working with an editor and a publisher. We’ll attend a least one reading together outside of class and invite published authors to our class to share their experiences on craft, audience, and getting published.


For course schedule and location, please visit the School of Professional Studies summer site here.



Current Columbia students can review tuition and fees here.
Visiting students can review tuition and fees here.




For questions about School of the Arts summer courses, including those concerning admissions, registration, and billing, please contact the School of Professional Studies summer team at summersessions@columbia.edu or 212-854-9666. With questions about specific course content, please contact Writing Departmental Representative Dorothea Lasky at dsl2121@columbia.edu.