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How to Write YA: 
Connecting with Teen Readers
August 24-25
8 p.m. - 10 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific)

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YA (Young Adult) stories tap into the rawest, most terrifying and exhilarating point in many of our lives—those formidable teen years when we struggle to become the person we want to be. YA stories are geared to an audience that craves to be meaningfully engaged quickly, deeply and authentically.

Join award-winning author, Gae Polisner (#1 bestseller The Memory of Things and more), for a two-night workshop that will dive into writing for a teen, or young-at-heart, audience.

From brainstorming ideas and story development, through writing deeply authentic characters and plot lines, Gae will engage you in hands-on writing sprints and prompts—plus sharing—to help you find and trust your own unique writer’s voice and story.

On the 25th, Gae will be joined by YA author and creative writing teacher Geoff Herbach as her special guest. Combined, Gae and Geoff have written close to twenty books, including many award-winning young adult novels.

YA is one of the hottest genres for writers, with crossover books that appeal to adult audiences, too.

Typically, YA books are written for readers age 12 to 18, although that’s only a general guideline. More and more, books in that category appeal to adult readers as well.


When you register for How to Write YA, you’ll receive an email from Gae with idea-starters to consider before the first night of the class. That email alone is filled with helpful suggestions and resources to conceptualize your YA book or make progress on one you’ve already started.

In addition, here are some of the topics Gae and Geoff will cover in the class, along with writing prompts and practice to bring your story to life.


  • How do you know if your story should be written as a YA or adult novel?

  • How old should your characters be?

  • How do you get inside the mind of teenage characters and make their voices authentic?

  • How do you make sure your characters are fully developed?

  • How do you handle heavy themes and subject matter?

  • What’s acceptable—and not—in a book for teens?

  • How do you write something current but not trendy?

  • How do you get across your message without talking down to teens?

  • Is the structure of a YA book different from an adult novel?

  • How do you get to know your audience?

  • How can you make your book appeal to adults as well as teens?



Registration fee: $95 for four hours of instruction.


August 24 & 25

8 to 10 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific)

Please note: Our classes are designed specifically for live participation, so your attendance is important. If you need to miss a class for any reason, you’ll receive a passcode-protected link to watch the recordings after the course is over.



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