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WSP 244 — Creating Memorable Characters in Stories for Children and Young Adults

Quarter: Winter
Day(s): Saturdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 3 days
Date(s): Feb 27—Mar 13
Time: 9:30 am—12:45 pm (PT)
Drop Deadline: Feb 27
Unit: 1
Tuition: $315
Instructor(s): Lynn Hazen, Elissa Haden Guest
Limit: 25
Status: Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Winter
Live Online(About Formats)
Saturdays
9:30 am—12:45 pm (PT)
Date(s)
Feb 27—Mar 13
3 days
Drop By
Feb 27
1 Unit
Fees
$315
Instructor(s):
Lynn Hazen, Elissa Haden Guest
Limit
25
Registration opens Nov 30, 8:30 am (PT)
Please Note: Some of our refund deadlines have changed. See this course's drop deadline above and click here for the full policy.
Why are readers drawn to flawed, funny, unconventional, and misbehaving protagonists? How do writers create such unforgettable characters? Children and young adult readers live vicariously through the mistakes and triumphs of these fictional heroes and heroines from classic stories such as Curious George and Pippi Longstocking, to 2020 Newbery winner New Kid by Jerry Craft. In this three-day workshop, students will analyze how successful writers create indelible characters who delight, distress, and grip their audience. We will explore techniques used to develop distinctive characters, both worthy protagonists and their antagonists. We will examine the inherent drama and conflict that propel these characters and their stories forward. Students will participate in engaging in-class writing exercises, drawing on both memory and imagination with an emphasis on character motivation, voice, action, story, and tension.

This course is open to aspiring as well as experienced writers. Please note that the course will not be recorded.

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, The Amazing Trail of Seymour Snail, and Buzz Bumble to the Rescue.

Elissa Haden Guest, Author

Elissa Haden Guest’s most recent picture book is Baby Builders. Her ten-book early reader series, Iris and Walter, includes five Junior Library Guild Selections, an ALA Notable Children's Book, and a PEN Center USA West Literary Award.
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)