2010 Summer Retreat Classes: Writing the YA Novel with Jennifer Ziegler will be July 26 to July 30 at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas.
Writing for teens and tweens requires more than a young protagonist. It also involves differences in tone, setting, structure, conflict, and - most of all - author mindset.
In this class, students will discuss what makes a novel "young adult" or "middle grade" or "tween." They will also look at some well-known (and some not-so-well-known) books to see how they tell a story about young people for young people.
The course will cover topics like:
* The life and markets of a children's novel.
* Structuring a novel for young readers.
* The language, tone, and voice of a young adult book.
* Conflicts, relationships, and dialogue of underage characters.
* Getting out of your adult mind and into the head of your protagonist.
The class will be part overview and part workshop. Those attending should come armed with plenty of story ideas - both clear and nebulous - an open mind, and a willingness to share.
Throughout the week, the group will ferret out the good ideas, firm them up, and turn them into early drafts.
Jennifer Ziegler is an Austin-based writer of young adult fiction and a former teacher. Her novel How Not to Be Popular (Delacorte/Random House, 2008) was a pick for the 2009-2010 Lone Star Reading List and a 2009 Writers' League of Texas Teddy Award finalist. Alpha Dog (Delacorte/Random House, 2006) was a 2006 Teddy Award finalist.
In addition, she is a New York Times best-selling author of mass market fiction, writing under the name Lynn Mason. Her new novel, Sass and Serendipity (Delacorte/Random House), will be released next summer.
Note: Jennifer is one of my favorite writers and one of my favorite people. She has a wonderful understanding of the craft and market in writing for young readers. She's also warm, funny, and upbeat. I envy the students who join her for this workshop. Highly recommended.