Masterclasses (90 minutes each day for 3 days)

You’ll choose 1 of the following topics

Your Story’s Fingerprint: Voice with Jeni Chappelle

One of the vaguest concepts in writing is voice. We know it when we see it, but if you struggle with voice in your writing, how do you fix it? While voice may seem like some mystical power that some writers naturally possess and others don’t, it’s a skill like any other—which means it can be practiced and taught. Through interactive exercises and group discussion, you’ll learn to define and identify voice and its elements, distinguish between the kinds of voice a writer needs (yes, there’s more than one!), and concrete techniques to apply these concepts to your own writing.

Connection, Depth, and Heart: Deep POV with Tiffany Grimes

Deep POV (point-of-view) is intrinsically linked to character development. Readers need an emotional connection to the protagonist— Why should we care? Why should we keep reading? In this three-day master class, we’ll discuss how to bridge the gap between the reader and the characters to create in-depth, realistic, characters that come alive on the page. We’ll learn about the levels of narrative distance, mine stories to see how authors achieve deep POV, and complete writing exercises to learn how to apply a deeper POV to our current manuscripts.

Character vs. Self: Internal Conflict with Carly Hayward

The basis of all your character’s actions throughout your story can come down to their internal conflict. It defines how they react, what they need to solve, and how they relate to others around them. Internal conflict is the best way to deepen your characters and to show their arc throughout a story. In this master class we’ll use discussions and exercises to carve out emotional wounds in your character—then we’ll salt those wounds. We’ll create a heart-wrenching impetus, learn about what causes conflict, find ways to poke at your characters and reveal their triggers, and delve into the consequences of those conflicts.


Sessions (1 hour each)

You’ll choose 4 from the following topics

  • Laugh It Off: Using Humor to Reveal Character in Young Adult and Middle Grade Fiction

  • The Big Bad Villain: Antagonists in Fiction, or How to Create More Nuanced Antagonists

  • Everybody Lies: Using Unreliable Narrators as a Plot Device

  • Sexuality, Drugs, and Abuse: Writing Hard Topics Through a Young Adult and Middle Grade Lens

  • Know Your Tropes: Understand (& Subvert!) Cliches to Delight Readers

  • They Grow So Fast: Create Masterful Character Arcs

  • Character Agency: What Is It, and How Do I Get It?

  • No Small Roles: Strong and Realistic Secondary Characters

  • Goal, Motivation, Conflict:The How, the Why, and the What of Character Actions

  • Disability Representation: The Dos and Don’ts of Authentic Disabled Characters

  • To Kiss or Not to Kiss: Romantic Tension

  • Community Matters: Creating Deep/Realistic Non-Romantic Relationships