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Writing a Young Adult Novel

The Writer's Digest Guide to Writing a Young Adult Novel

Welcome to the Writer's Digest guide to writing for young adults. Whether your goal is writing your first draft, improving your craft, or learning how to publish a book you have come to the right place. Writer's Digest has been helping aspiring writers for over 90 years and has some of the best books on writing fiction including how to start writing a book. Whether you are staring at a blank page or have multiple manuscripts in the works, the resources below will help you achieve your goal of writing a novel.

Writer's Digest Guide to Writing a Young Adult Novel

The first step to writing a novel is figuring out an idea for your story and choosing a genre. Are you writing fantasy, science fiction, romance, etc...? A lot of seasoned authors recommend starting with an outline and building out character sheets before you start writing. This will give you a very clear picture of the world you are about to create in your novel. If you are a first time novelist and are wondering how to start writing, look to Writer's Digest's amazing writing workshops and writing tutorials to help better your skills at writing young adult fiction.

Professional Critiques

Once your manuscript is finished, it is always a good idea to get a manuscript critique. While a lot of aspiring authors opt to use their relatives and writing groups as their editors, you should also submit your work to a professional writing critique service. The services at Writer's Digest offer everything from proofreading a manuscript to helping with how to write a query letter.

Writing Competitions

Want to see how your writing stands up against others vying for the same coveted spot on a bookend at Barnes and Noble? Enter one of the Writer's Digest writing contests. Between our Writer's Digest Annual Young Adult Fiction Competition and our Popular Fiction Awards which includes a science fiction writing contest, you will be sure to find one to let your work shine.

Getting an Agent

The traditional way to get published is to find a literary agent. Often times, once aspiring authors finish their novel, they are unsure what the next step is. Luckily, Writer's Market is the go-to resource for learning how to get published. You will be able to access over 8,000 listings of book publishers and literary agents, track all of your submissions online, and gain invaluable insight on the business side of getting published and becoming a writer.

Going From Me to We: Collaborating on the Writing of a Novel

Going From Me to We: Collaborating on the Writing of a Novel

Past experiences taught bestselling author Alan Russell to tread lightly when it came to collaborating on projects. Here, he discusses how the right person and the right story helped him go from a “me” to a “we.”

From Script

Short Film Goals, Writing the Cinematic Experience on the Page and Sundance Film Festival 2022 (From Script)

In this week’s round up brought to us by Script magazine, set your creative goals with a monthly guide to write and produce your short film, provided by Script contributor Rebecca Norris Resnick. Plus, an exclusive interview with Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Monahan, a Sundance Film Festival 2022 day one recap, and more!

Your Story Writing Prompts

94 Your Story Writing Prompts

Due to popular demand, we've assembled all the Your Story writing prompts on WritersDigest.com in one post. Click the link to find each prompt, the winners, and more.

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

How Inspiration and Research Shape a Novel

Historical fiction relies on research to help a story’s authenticity—but it can also lead to developments in the story itself. Here, author Lora Davies discusses how inspiration and research helped shape her new novel, The Widow’s Last Secret.

Poetic Forms

Saraband: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the saraband, a septet (or seven-line) form based on a forbidden dance.

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

Karen Hamilton: On Cause and Effect

International bestselling author Karen Hamilton discusses the “then and now” format of her new domestic thriller, The Ex-Husband.

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Plot Twist Story Prompts: The Ultimatum

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, have a character give or face an ultimatum.

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

6 Things Every Writer Should Know About Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company

Sylvia Beach was friend to many writers who wrote what we consider classics today. Here, author Kerri Maher shares six things everyone should know about her and Shakespeare and Company.

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

How Writers Can Apply Business Tools to Their Writing

Author Katherine Quevedo takes an analytical look at the creative process in hopes to help other writers find writing success.