Writing Young Adult - including a sample copy-edit on your work from a Senior Editor

Jenna Guillame

with Jenna Guillaume

15 October - 12 November 2020 (5 weeks)

Thursday evenings, 6.30 - 8.30pm

Course fee: $ 550/$ 467.50 alumni


Young Adult Fiction, or 'YA', spans almost every genre, from fantasy to crime to romantic comedy, from covering dystopian worlds to LGBTQ lives. A relatively recent invention, YA is both controversial and hugely popular, with many books surging up bestseller lists and snapping up major film deals.

In this five-week course, we will ask what makes a book a YA book, and what makes a YA book stand out in the market. We'll discuss techniques for drawing on your own young adult self, at the same time as writing fiction that is fresh and immediate for contemporary readers. We'll workshop ideas for planning, plotting and polishing, and consider tips on publishing.

In YA, voice and character are pivotal; this course will suggests methods for writing teen protagonists who fly off the page. Your tutor will walk you through styles, genres and approaches, with a particular focus on making your writing work for you, so that you can stay the distance.

Featuring special guests throughout the course, this is a rare opportunity to develop your writing in real time, with writing and editing experts alike, while gaining new skills you can carry with you for the rest of your career.

This program will also include the rare opportunity have a sample of your work copy-edited by a Senior Editor who specialises in editing YA. You will work towards providing a 2000-3000 word piece, which will receive two rounds of revisions returned to you following the conclusion of the course.

About the tutor:

Jenna Guillaume was editor-at-large for BuzzFeed Australia, where she wrote about very important things like pop culture, identity, feminism, social media, and Chris Hemsworth's biceps. Previously, she spent more than half a decade in the features department of Girlfriend magazine, editing the sealed section (yes, all those questions are real), and writing about everything from bullying and body image to bad kisses and boy bands. She was also a contributor to Girlfriend Life Hacks, an essential guide to navigating a girl's completely-awkward-but-totally-awesome teen years.

Her debut novel What I Like About Me was shortlisted for the Readings Young Adult Book Prize 2019, and has been published in the US, and soon in France. Her second YA novel You Were Made For Me is out in August 2020, also with PanMacmillan.

Course program:

The course consists of 5 x evening sessions 6.30 - 8.30 pm Thursday evenings PLUS copy-edit at the conclusion of the course.

Week one:
Why YA? What is YA fiction? What are the rules, and what does it mean to write YA? This intro will explore YA in an Australian and global context, and how the category is defined across genres.

Week two:
Turn ideas into reality. How do you find inspiration and refine your ideas? Whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, we’ll explore how to develop your story and unlock the keys to your creative process.

Week three:
Find character and voice. Why does an authentic and distinct voice matter, and how do you create one for a YA audience? Plus unpack how dialogue and other tools can help build characters.

Week four:
Creating worlds. How do you make your story come alive? No matter what genre you’re writing, setting and world-building matter. Learn how little details can communicate big things.

Week five:
Getting published. When is your story ready? How do you edit your own work? How do you even get published in Australia? To agent or not to agent? We’ll explore these questions and work on nailing your pitch.

How to book:

N.B. you will be charged a booking fee of 50 cents ($0.50)

When you book you have the option of paying the full course fee or securing your place by paying a deposit of $ 150/$ 127.50 alumni. If you choose to pay the deposit, two subsequent payments of $ 200/$ 170 alumni will be required. The first by 22 October and the second by 5 November. We will send you payment instructions for the subsequent payments closer to the time.

For further information contact Faber Writing Academy:
faberwritingacademy@allenandunwin.com or (02) 8425 0171