Teen Buzz: Writing Great Young Adult Fiction

Teen Buzz: Writing Great Young Adult Fiction

Who: Sophie Masson
Saturday 4 March 2017, 10am-4pm
Cost: Full price:
$180; Member: $125; Conc Member: $110
This workshop is mainly pitched at early and emerging writers interested in or currently writing YA, but also may interest established writers considering moving into YA from other areas.

In this exciting and practical one day workshop, presented by well-known YA author Sophie Masson, you’ll discover what makes good Young Adult fiction—both novels and short stories—and how it differs from children’s books as well as writing for adults.

Firstly, we’ll cover how to identify your market. We’ll explore currently popular genres within YA, especially contemporary realism and speculative fiction (fantasy, paranormal, dystopian, alternative history etc) and cover some key questions: what’s hot right now? What might be coming next? What about the influence of ‘gatekeepers’—i.e. adult buyers, reviewers, librarians, parents? And finally, we’ll learn what publishers are looking for in the current market—and how to meet market expectations without sacrificing your individual voice.

Then, through a series of fun and useful exercises, you’ll find out how to sharpen and pitch your individual writing for YA readers.

Key criteria to be covered:

  • Coming up with inventive concepts
  • Exploring point of view and its impact on story
  • Developing characters that feel true to teenage realities whilst not being typecast
  • Using language creatively to evoke an authentic feel
  • Creating good dialogue
  • Genre-specific issues, such as creating alternative or historical worlds that will engage YA readers, and tackling edgy/difficult subjects sensitively.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Getting a practical grasp of the core elements of writing good YA fiction     
  2. Gaining an understanding of the current YA fiction scene, in creative terms      
  3. Getting an insight into the market: how YA fiction publishing works today     

Participant Requirements
Pen and paper

About the tutor
Sophie Masson
is the award-winning and internationally published author of over 60 books, most of which are for young adults. She is also the chair of the New England Writers’ Centre and a former chair of the Australian Society of Authors. She is an experienced presenter who has given creative writing workshops all over Australia. Her latest YA novel is Jack of Spades and her earlier YA novel, The Crystal Heart, was named as a Notable Book for Older Readers in the 2015 CBCA Awards. She is currently working on a YA speculative fiction novel which will form the major part of her ongoing PHD in Creative Practice. Her recent non-fiction book, The Adaptable Author: Coping with Change in the Digital Age, featured interviews with many notable YA authors, both Australian and international, on what sustains a long-term publishing career.


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