Writing the Young Adult Novel

WRIT S4323D - Session 1: May 26–July 2 - 3 points
5:30pm - 8:40pm
tue thu
Summer 2020
Rachel Carter

This class tends to fill early, but spots can open up as students' plans change. Interested students who cannot register because the course is at capacity should visit Student Services Online (SSOL) regularly to check for new availabilities.

This course is only offered during the summer.


Young Adult literature is one of the fastest growing and most marketable genres. The success of books like The Fault in Our StarsTwilight, and The Hunger Games have brought YA into the spotlight in recent years, creating a boom in publishing and changing the way we view coming-of-age stories. This course will introduce students to the elements and techniques that go into crafting a successful young adult novel. We’ll study work from a wide range of YA authors, including Angi Thomas, Leigh Bardugo, John Green, Becky Albertalli, Jenny Han, John Corey Whaley, and more. Students will begin crafting their own unique YA novels, developing a comprehensive outline, the first two-three chapters of a novel, and a stronger understanding of what makes a narrative YA. We’ll also explore larger elements of crafting a novel, including narrative arcs, character construction, worldbuilding, and scene work.


Because writing doesn’t exist in a vacuum, students will share their work, develop strong workshopping skills, and participate in active discussions about the industry and the current state of YA publishing. Most of all we will write, read, and discuss in an open forum as we begin the process of writing an original YA novel.


All courses subject to change.


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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.



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