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WSP 86 — Capturing the Hearts of Young Readers: Writing with Humor and Emotion

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Saturdays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 2 days
Date(s): Mar 2—Mar 9
Time: 9:45 am—3:30 pm
Drop Deadline: Feb 23
Unit: 1
Tuition: $325
Instructor(s): Lynn Hazen, Elissa Haden Guest
Limit: 21
Status: Open
9:45 am—3:30 pm
Mar 2—Mar 9
2 days
Drop By
Feb 23
1 Unit
Lynn Hazen, Elissa Haden Guest
What makes children and young adults laugh in literature and in life? Why do children and teens read a beloved book again and again? How is it that mere words on a page, invented scenarios, and fictional characters pull at our heartstrings, validate the reader’s emotions, and offer strategies for resilience? In this writing workshop, we will explore humor and emotion in exemplary titles for children and young adults. We will examine the ways in which humor and tragedy can exist side by side and analyze how successful authors use a balance between the two to enhance and deepen a story. In-class exercises will focus on craft techniques for capturing and honing your own scenes and stories filled with humor and heart. Practical tips about children’s book publishing will also be addressed with plenty of time for Q&A.

This course is open to aspiring as well as experienced writers. Students may bring one-half to two pages of their own work-in-progress to workshop in the second class meeting.

Lynn Hazen, Author

Lynn Hazen is the author of the young adult novel Shifty, which was named to VOYA’s Top Shelf Fiction and was a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children. Her other books include Mermaid Mary Margaret, Cinder Rabbit, and Buzz Bumble to the Rescue. Hazen received an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College.

Elissa Haden Guest, Author

Elissa Haden Guest’s most recent picture book is Bella’s Rules. Books in her early reader series, Iris and Walter, have been named Junior Library Guild Selections and have received a PEN Center USA West Literary Award. Guest received an MFA in children’s literature from Hollins University.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Kekla Magoon, The Season of Styx Malone (ISBN 9781524715960)
(Recommended) Jim Averbeck, Trevor (ISBN 9781250148285)
(Recommended) Deborah Underwood, Here Comes Teacher Cat (ISBN 0399539050)