fullscreen background
Skip to main content

Summer Quarter

Summer Quarter Underway
Late-Start Classes
Still Available
shopping cart icon0

Courses

« Back to Creative Writing

FICT 49 W — Writing the Groundbreaking Young Adult Novel

Quarter: Summer
Course Format: Online (System Requirements)
Duration: 10 weeks
Date(s): Jun 24—Aug 30
Drop Deadline: Jun 27
Units: 3
Tuition: $895
Instructor(s): Malena Watrous
Limit: 17
Status: Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is June 27 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is July 2 at 5:00 pm (PT).
Summer
Date(s)
Jun 24—Aug 30
10 weeks
Drop By
Jun 27
3 Units
Fees
$895
Instructor(s):
Malena Watrous
Limit
17
Closed
Please Note: Online courses have a new refund policy. The full tuition refund deadline for this course is June 27 at 5:00 pm (PT); 50% tuition refund deadline is July 2 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 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 will work in small groups. (This is not a workshop course.) Students will concentrate on developing a solid premise, a plot, a cast of characters, and an 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 978-1599635767)
(Required) by Louis Sachar, Holes (ISBN 978-0440414803)
(Required) Judy Blundell , What I Saw and How I Lied (ISBN 978-0439903486)
(Required) Suzanne Collins , The Hunger Games - (Dystopian, first of trilogy) (ISBN 978-0439023481)
(Required) Angie Thomas , The Hate U Give (ISBN 978-0062498533)
(Required) Helena Echlin and Malena Watrous , Sparked (ISBN 1942645643)
DOWNLOAD THE PRELIMINARY SYLLABUS » (subject to change)