Writing contemporary YA fiction characters
Time: 10:00 - 17:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HW621
Duration: 1 session
What is the course about?
We’ll analyse the writing of contemporary YA writers as well as examine some of the techniques that have been used. We will put these techniques into practice with fast-paced writing exercises, designed to get you thinking about character on a deeper level.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
- the common elements that make a YA character
- how to craft an authentic YA voice
- character motivations, goals and drive
- how character informs plot
- how to create three-dimensional characters
- the importance of setting and how this can be used to reveal character
- how writing for a YA audience differs from writing for adults and children.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Identify the common elements that make a piece a YA character for contemporary fiction
- Deconstruct and respond to writing samples with sensitivity
- Demonstrate knowledge of how character informs plot
- Plot stories considering the goals and motivations of your character
- Hone your writing craft through exercises.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is a course for beginners. No prior knowledge or experience is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- Group discussion and feedback
- Lots of independent writing
- Tutor input illustrated by examples from published works.
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.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Bring a notebook, paper and writing materials, enthusiasm and loads of persistence.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Students who wish to continue actively to write for children may like to join the Writing for Children Workshop, most of whose members began as students on the City Lit’s Writing for Children course, and of whom a significant number are now published authors.
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
Danielle Jawando is an author, screenwriter and Associate Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. In 2015, Danielle worked on Coronation Street as a storyline writer and has had several short plays performed at the King’s Arms in Manchester and Stratford Circus in London. Her short story Kyle’s City (for children aged 5 to 7) was commissioned by the BBC and broadcast on iplayer in 2017. Her first nonfiction book for children, a biography about the life of Maya Angelou, was published by Laurence King in 2019. Her debut YA novel And The Stars Were Burning Brightly, was published by Simon & Schuster last year. And the Stars Were Burning Brightly has since gone on to win best senior novel for the Great Reads Award, be shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and has been long-listed for the 2021 CILIP Carnegie Medal, UKLA Book Awards, Branford Boase Award and the Jhalak Prize. Her second novel for Young Adults will be published in 2022.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.