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EGL 109 — Writing with Humor and Emotion: Capturing the Hearts of Young Readers

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Saturdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 3 weeks
Date(s): Apr 10—Apr 24
Time: 9:30 am—12:45 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Apr 12
Unit: 1
Tuition: $315
Instructor(s): Lynn Hazen, Elissa Haden Guest
Limit: 25
Status: Open
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
9:30 am—12:45 pm (PT)
Apr 10—Apr 24
3 weeks
Refund Date
Apr 12
1 Unit
Lynn Hazen, Elissa Haden Guest
DOWNLOAD THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
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 course, 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. Students will have the opportunity to share their first pages in breakout groups.

This course is open to aspiring as well as experienced writers. Please note that class sessions 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.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Jordan Scott, I Talk Like a River (ISBN 978-0823445592)
(Recommended) Kelly DiPucchio, Gaston (ISBN 978-1442451025)
(Recommended) Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (ISBN 978-1250061683)
(Recommended) Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak (ISBN 978-1250302359)