Introduction to writing for young adults

Course Dates: 24/03/18 - 25/03/18
Time: 10:30 - 17:30
Location: KS - Keeley Street
Tutor: Neil Arksey

Young adult fiction is booming. Find out more about this exciting genre and how it differs from other forms of writing for adults and children. Learn the essential techniques and, with support from your tutor, develop your own ideas for YA stories.

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Introduction to writing for young adults


What is the course about?

We will be examining this thriving genre: what it is; who it’s aimed at; who it’s read by; how it works and how it’s written. The course is particularly aimed at those interested in exploring young adult fiction from a writer’s point of view.

The Tutor
Author and screenwriter Neil Arksey has had a number of novels for children and young adults published by Penguin Random House. His writing has been shortlisted for and won a number of prizes. He has also worked for two decades in film and TV drama as a screenwriter, script and story editor, head writer and producer. He teaches at the London Film School.

City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.

What will we cover?

Amongst other things, we will be looking at themes, writing techniques and boundaries of YA. Similarities and differences between YA fiction, teen fiction, writing for adults and writing for children. What kind of stories are and are not suitable for YA fiction and why. Ways to approach writing YA fiction. And the place of YA fiction in the publishing world.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

- Identify works of contemporary YA fiction
- Differentiate YA fiction from other writing forms
- Respond to, and assess, pieces of YA and other writing with sensitivity
- Use a number of strategies and techniques to develop your own YA idea.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

- Talks with reference to contemporary YA works.
- Class writing exercises.
- Group discussion and group work.
- Independent reading and writing projects outside class.

All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.

For classes longer than one day, regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?


When I've finished, what course can I do next?

All students are invited to join us at City Lit Talks Back, our monthly performance night for City Lit writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Visit for more details or if you're interested in reading your work. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology. Learn more at For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.

General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details


Customer Reviews 2 item(s)

Write a review
My favourite thing about this course was the opportunity to get feedback on my writing, to give feedback to others, and to exchange ideas and information with the tutor and other students. A great range of texts were covered and we discussed everything you need to know when setting out to write a YA story.
Course Rating
Review by Jane / (Posted on 08/03/2018)
I took this course over the summer. It was a brilliant way to get started and learn more about the world of YA fiction from a craft perspective. The lessons learnt from studying the genre really fed into my writing and I think it made my work sharper and more focused. I left with a better understanding of how to make my story work, and full of ideas for the next step.
Course Rating
Review by G / (Posted on 08/03/2018)

Book your place

Course Code: HW468

Sat-Sun, day, 24 Mar - 25 Mar '18

Duration: 2 sessions

Full fee: £109.00
Senior fee: £109.00
Concession: £44.00
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Please note: Different fees may apply for international students. Read full guidance.