Writer’s Digest University is pleased to present an exclusive virtual experience: A middle grade and YA writers conference! This weekend on September 15 and 16, our Middle Grade and Young Adult Virtual Conference will provide expert insights from SEVEN award-winning and best-selling authors on the finer points of how to write within the middle grade and young adult genres. Spend the weekend learning techniques for honing your craft from seven different published authors*, then (if you choose) pitch your novel via query letter to a literary agent specifically looking for material in the middle grade and young adult genres. The agent will provide you with a personalized critique of your query—and maybe ask to see more.
Experience the education, camaraderie, and opportunities provided by a live writing conference without ever having to leave your home!
All participants will benefit from:
- Seven all-new, one-hour webinar presentations provided by award-winning and bestselling middle grade & young adult authors*, all examining different aspects of writing novels in these genres. Each session will include an opportunity for live Q&A with the authors.
- A critique (with written feedback) of your query letter from an agent with experience in the middle grade and young adult genres.
- A bonus 90-minute On Demand webinar covering how to write a query letter so you’re prepared when pitching your novel to agents. (A $79.99 value!)
- The ability to network with other middle grade and young adult writers via discussion boards that will be open throughout the weekend. Share ideas, and even your work if you choose.
- Unlimited OnDemand viewing. All conference sessions will be made available for download in the week following the live presentations. Even if you can’t attend every session live, you will be able to view each lecture on your own whenever you choose.
A Practical MG & YA Writers Conference: Learn Valuable Writing Techniques to Hone Your Craft
*Our craft-focused conference schedule is designed to provide the kind of education that all middle grade and young adult writers can use to take their work to the next level. The following sessions are confirmed for the event. Click on the “Conference Schedule” tab for the complete details on our lineup.
- Making It Real: Breathing Life Into Fiction by Maria Lamba
Agent and author Marie Lamba shares her favorite tips and techniques for transforming fiction from flat words on the page into a truly engrossing and realistic read.
- Choose Your Superpower: How to Find and Harness Your Story’s Strengths by Ammi-Joan Paquette
So you have drafted a novel… now what? What takes a novel from draft to bestseller? Learn to seek out the hidden powers within your manuscript, how to find these strengths and develop them into a bonafide superpower that will blast your novel right into publication.
- Perfecting POV in Middle Grade and Teen Novels by Gabrielle Prendergast
This hour-long session with award-winning author G.S. (Gabrielle) Prendergast will help you choose and execute the perfect point of view for your middle grade or teen novel.
- A Hook and a Character: How to Make Readers Hungry for Your Fiction by Debbie Dadey
Explore two of the most important elements in a children’s book: the hook and the characters. These are what will make your story stand out from others in the slush pile and make readers hungry for another one of your books.
- Crafting Dynamic Voice and Relatable Character for Young Readers by Mary Kole
If you struggle with fleshing out your protagonist or secondary cast, or if you simply want to make sure the character in your head is coming across on the page, join Mary Kole as she dives into this fascinating topic. Not only will this idea be immediately applicable to your WIP, but Mary hopes it will also stay with you, grow, and evolve throughout your writing life.
- The Building Blocks of Worldbuilding for All Genres by Stacy Whitman
Writers generally think of worldbuilding in connection with science fiction, fantasy, and horror, but do writers of contemporary realism and other genres need worldbuilding too? In this session, Tu Books publisher Stacy Whitman discusses the descriptive building blocks every middle grade and young adult writer needs in their tool kit to build an engaging and realistic world that hooks young readers and keeps them reading.
- Courageous Plotting: Why Writers Need Not Fear Their Plots by Marcus Sedgwick
Are you struggling to make your plot work? Do you find the idea of plotting overwhelming? Do you have a specific problem or structure that you can’t seem to resolve? If so, then this is the workshop for you, as I work through plotting from the basics to more complicated steps and try to show you why you don’t need to be scared about this vital aspect of storytelling.
Pitch Your Middle Grade or Young Adult Novel to a Literary Agent
Join us for the live event and have a chance to get written feedback on your query letter from a literary agent who works with middle grade or young adult authors (or both). Participating agents to date are Amelia Appel (Triada US), Cari Lamba (Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency), Ashley Lopez (Waxman Literary Agency), and Rebecca Podos(Rees Literary Agency). Click on the “Participating Literary Agents” tab for more information!