Writing Fiction for Children and Young Adults

The English Writing, Literature, and Publishing Program is excited to announce the addition of a new course in Writing geared to developing fiction for children and young adults. Many years ago J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series had reinforced and expanded tremendously this market, demonstrating that children and young adults were quite willing to follow engaging narratives even as book length soared, with each installment, well into the hundreds of pages. Many more franchises of different flavors have followed (Twilight, The Maze, The Hunger Games), not to forget precursors like Jill Murphy's The Worst Witch and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.

These wonderful books, new and not-so-new, have shown and confirmed that a reader's imagination can still hold its own against the fully formed semblance of film and television.

While books for children and young adults may be easier to read, they are certainly not easier to write. One wants to strike the proper tone, which implies excellent instincts for identifying one's audience with great precision; one wants to push the readership, if slightly, beyond their thematic, linguistic, and narrative comfort zones to stimulate interest and growth; one never wants to write down to their audience as any hint of condescension will inevitably doom the book to failure; one wants to be able to find, preserve, and create, in the wr