How to Write a Young Adult Novel

Explore the history, evolution, and future of young adult literature while you learn to ply your craft in this wildly popular, exploding literary marketplace.

If you love Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, or S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders, why not try your hand at writing for one of the hottest genres around? In this self-paced course, anyone of any age (Hinton was 15!) is invited to write for this market, and to make it an adventure!

At a glance

What: How to Write a Young Adult Novel

When: Start anytime, complete within 1 year

Where: Online

Cost: $150

Continuing education credit: 10 hours (1.0 CEU)

Instructor: Rebecca Williams Spindler

Register Online
or register by phone at
Register anytime

For additional information, contact Christine DeSmet: 608-262-3447

We all know the story behind Harry Potter—the book that rocked the world. Every writer can thank J. K. Rowling for the fact that Harry Potter put kids' lit back on the literary map! Big thick books no one thought kids would ever read. Moreover, the arrival of Harry Potter birthed another phenomenon in the publishing industry, a new market that marketing pros call the crossover market—books that appeal to readers of all ages.

What this course offers

  • Unit 1: Strong starts
    Engaging your readers and that critical first page
  • Unit 2: The journey
    From Holden Caulfield to Katniss Everdeen, plot arcs and possibilities
  • Unit 3: Keep it real
    Dialogue that rocks and staying in the action
  • Unit 4: Onward
    Finding your readers and realizing your story’s potential

These self-paced units will cover everything you need to know to get started as a YA author. From characters, setting, plot, and point of view (POV) to the unique attributes of YA literature, including coming-of-age stories, heroes and heroines, Big Bang endings, series, sequels, and more. After Unit 4 you will have the opportunity to submit up to 10 pages of your work-in-progress along with a query letter, elevator speech (logline) and synopsis.

How the course works

It is all done with one-to-one correspondence with the instructor using e-mail. We have writers from around the world enrolled in our email correspondence courses, and a lot of great writing gets accomplished via e-mail. Because of the one-to-one nature of our workshops you'll find them an excellent "coaching" or mentoring situation that will keep you on track to reach your goals. Please contact your instructor if you have any questions about how this online class can be tailored to meet your specific needs and how it can help you become a better writer!