Laura Atkins: Catching Them Young – Writing Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction

5 Wednesdays, May 10 – June 7, 7-9:30pm  Berkeley
$275 members/$295 non-members

Class is closed.

You can’t find a better audience than young readers, and many publishers realize that books for this audience support much of their entire publishing program. Now more than ever, it’s an excellent time to be writing books for children.

In this class we will focus on Middle Grade (MG, 8-12) and Young Adult (YA, 12 and up) fiction, with some discussion of New Adult (protagonists over 18) and non-fiction for MG and YA. Each week will have its own focus (such as building a great character, how to craft your plot, language that sparkles), alongside opportunities to do writing exercises and share your work with others. There will be a few assigned readings as well, allowing participants to explore and learn from stellar authors. Open to experienced writers, and those who are fresh to the field, you will come away with greater confidence in your writing and a better understanding of MG and YA writing.

Instructor Laura Atkins says, “Children’s books today provide some of the most exciting and varied examples of storytelling of our time. I love teaching and helping people to find their unique voices and passions – drawing from my two decades of editorial experience, but also from my own more recent shift to writing. You can write about any topic for kids – it’s just a matter of finding the right voice, approach and structure.”

Laura Atkins is a children’s book author, editor, and teacher. She has edited books for over twenty years, taught undergraduate and MA-level children’s writing at the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature in London, and received top evaluations when running the MG/YA workshop at the Mendocino Writer’s Conference. She has an MA in Children’s Literature from Roehampton University in London, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. The author of a picture book, Sled Dog Dachshund, and co-author of a MG biography, Fred Korematsu Speaks Up, Laura lives in Berkeley with her daughter and their dog.

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