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One person is attending Catching Them Young
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.
1- Wednesday, May 10 | 7:00pm-9:30pm
2- Wednesday, May 17 | 7:00pm-9:30pm
3- Wednesday, May 24 | 7:00pm-9:30pm
4- Wednesday, May 31 | 7:00pm-9:30pm
5- Wednesday, June 7 | 7:00pm-9:30pm
If we trust our own creative process, there will be no limit to the joy we get out of our writing.
I just want to say what a terrific teacher Kathleen McClung is. I am still writing — not quickly, not in vast quantities, but very happily — and I continually realize anew how much I learned from Kathleen. Her clarity and her explicit instruction about the elements of memoir have all been so helpful to me. I really feel like I have come away with a grasp of what good memoir writing needs to include. Not that I can do it all the time, and not that I don’t need a constant voice in my head reminding me of what I’ve been taught! But Kathleen provided the structure and the scaffolding for me to be able to build from there.
I enjoyed the class today and found Andrew to be a very pleasant and informative teacher. I would definitely take another class from him again if the opportunity arises. I sense that he has a depth of knowledge of the craft that we only began to see today in our limited time. Thank you.
WOW, is he a great teacher!! He is so knowledgeable, articulate, thoughtful, and generous! I learned a ton and really enjoyed exploring the short fiction form with him. PLEASE PLEASE get him to teach more classes at the Writing Salon.
Andy was a fantastic teacher in so many ways that I cannot enumerate them all. This would be a ten page essay. First of all, his broad knowledge of all things written in literature was fulfilling. I am a Berkeley graduate with a degree in English and I felt that his teaching was much better than the writing classes I took at UC Berkeley in the late 1980’s (I am getting old!) He made sure that we got our money’s worth in the small amount of time that we did have. Because of his helpful comments on my re-write in my story, I think this was the reason I got published, first time, in the forthcoming Queer issue of Pank Magazine.
David was a great facilitator with a very positive, generous spirit that cultivated the same in the students. His suggestions for development, of the specific pieces under consideration, and for us generally as writers, were thoughtful, insightful, eloquent, and inspiring. David was very good at seamlessly introducing topics of craft and style into the workshop process. I gained a great deal of self-knowledge about my writing style and how it reads to others and significantly increased confidence to share my work.
David’s gentle manner in leading the class was spot-on. He is approachable, encouraging, challenging, honest and authentic.I’ve gained a lot more motivation to continue writing!
In class, Cary is a calm, kind, intelligent – I’ll go ahead and say wise – presence. He gives excellent feedback, and his praise is meaningful because he is unafraid to tell student writers when a piece of work isn’t there yet (better, he can explain why). He’s drily funny. It’s telling that a couple students in our group were taking the class for a second time.
Cary’s class was an amazing opportunity for me – and would be for anyone who’s serious about learning the craft of writing. He creates thoughtful lessons that dig deep into concepts like characterization, dialogue and point of view. He also assigns published stories that demonstrate different approaches to craft issues. I learned a lot from the broad range of writers we read, from Chekhov to contemporary Pakistani fiction. And most importantly, Cary’s a great critic! He gives insightful feedback that gets to the heart of students’ writing. He doesn’t hijack stories or tell you what to write – he helps you figure out how to realize your own goals for each piece. He also guides class discussions carefully to encourage students to give each other respectful and useful critiques.
Cary Groner brought an infectious spirit of professionalism and hard work to this class which helped bring out an impressive set of short stories from the students. His sophisticated leadership in discussions of the essays on writing and of the published stories which he selected for his class, and of the stories written by the students in this class, developed awareness of fine points of diction, point of view, dialog, tone and conflict.