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FICT 49 W — Writing the Groundbreaking Young Adult Novel

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jun 25—Aug 31
Drop Deadline: Jun 28
Units: 3
Tuition: $880
Instructor(s): Malena Watrous
Limit: 17
Status: Registration opens on 05/29/2018
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 6/28 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 7/3 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Summer
Date(s)
Jun 25—Aug 31
10 weeks
Drop By
Jun 28
3 Units
Fees
$880
Instructor(s):
Malena Watrous
Limit
17
Registration opens on 05/29/2018
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is 6/28 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is 7/3 at 5:00 pm (PT).
At a moment when “dead-tree publishing” seems imperiled, young adult fiction is experiencing a renaissance. It’s a robust and varied genre that runs the gamut from contemporary to historical, paranormal to science fiction, and contains all of the brilliance and complexity of adult fiction (some would argue more so). Young adult and middle-grade novels tend to be tightly plotted and quickly paced, with an idiosyncratic and believable voice, often raising the kind of challenging moral questions that teens in particular struggle over. The “kid lit” books that become beloved grow from original ideas, feature nuanced characters and sharp dialogue, and take unpredictable twists and turns. Kids don’t like being preached to, and resist moralizing, as much as they’re open to exploring difficult moral questions. In this course, we will study bestselling and critically acclaimed novels by such authors as Gabrielle Zevin, John Green, and Angie Thomas, using their work as springboards for weekly guided craft exercises from which to build your opening chapters.

Students will submit 750 words of new writing each week and work in small groups. (This is not a workshop course.) Each student will work on developing a solid premise, plot, cast of characters, and opening section of their novel. Expect to have fun and learn a lot about how to write a groundbreaking young adult or middle-grade novel.

Malena Watrous, Former Stegner Fellow, Stanford; Online Writing Lead Instructor, Stanford Continuing Studies

Malena Watrous is the author of the novel If You Follow Me and co-author of the novel Sparked . She has contributed to The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications. She received an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was a Truman Capote Fellow.

Textbooks for this course:

(Required) Mary Kole, Writing Irresistible Kidlit (ISBN 1599635763)
(Required) Louis Sachar, Holes (ISBN 0440414806)
(Required) Judy Blundell, What I Saw And How I Lied (ISBN 0439903483)
(Required) Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games (ISBN 0439023483)
(Required) Angie Thomas, The Hate U Give (ISBN 006249853)
(Required) Helena Echlin Malena Watrous, Sparked (ISBN 1942645643)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)