2016 Workshop Description

Middle Grade/Young Adult. — Instructor: Laura Atkins

Catch Them Young:

Kids make a great audience, but they're not a patient readership. You have to hook them to the page from the beginning, and keep them along for the whole ride. Some of the most innovative and exciting work published today is aimed at young readers — from infants to teens. It's an exciting place to be.

In this interactive workshop, we will discuss broad issues related to crafting stories for young readers. With a different thematic focus each day, we will explore issues such as the creation of compelling characters, how to keep young readers engaged, and various approaches to plot and theme. Discussion will be tied to participants' workshop submissions, so there will be a flow between larger discussion and specific critiques. We will talk about classic children's books, as well as newer trends and developments in the field. A lot of industry discussion is rightly focused on the need for more diverse books, so we can explore some of these issues and opportunities.

While this workshop is open to those crafting picture books, most discussion will center on issues of interest to those working on longer narratives. (Don't worry - there will be an afternoon session focused on picture books.) This workshop will be appropriate for new as well as experienced writers