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Course Description

Over the last decade, young adult literature has seen a remarkable rise in popularity. Venture beyond best-seller lists and the latest Hollywood blockbuster adaptations to explore the many possibilities of the young adult genre. Read several sub-genres of young adult writing—from historical fiction to science fiction—and examine a variety of writing styles and techniques, from different narrative voices to the numerous ways to build a world of your own. You will also investigate the expectations of the young adult genre, in terms of audience, style, and marketing imperatives, and explore what the young adult genre means to you.

The course format combines lecture, discussion, writing exercises, and workshop.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Identify writing styles and techniques used in young adult literature through the discussion of readings of various sub-genres of young adult literature
  • Generate ideas and apply writing techniques in a variety of genres by completing weekly writing assignments
  • Investigate the expectations and tropes of the young adult genre, examining the audience, style and marketing of the imperatives
  • Respectfully critique the creative work of others by participating in the workshop process, reading your own work and critiquing the work of others
  • Prepare a final portfolio of 20-30 pages that demonstrates engagement with at least two genres of young adult literature

Course Topics

  • Introduction: What is Young Adult?
  • Character and Intention: Making Genre Serve the Narrative
  • Voice and Beginnings: Establishing Tone
  • Pacing and Plot: Keeping the Story Moving
  • Worldbuilding: Setting a Believable Stage
  • Romance and Escapism: Awkward to Epic
  • Barriers in YA: Sex, Violence
  • Politics Wrapping Up: Editing, Markets, and Persistence

Additional Requirements

This course is intended for adult learners. There are no prerequisites for this course. You may take this as an individual course or choose to complete the Creative Writing Certificate.


Assessment Item Weight
Participation: Discussion and Workshops 25%
Reading Responses (3) 15%
Writing Assignment 20%
Writing Journal 15%
Final Portfolio 25%
Total 100%

Please note that the course assessment is subject to change. 

Sponsoring Partner

Applies Towards the Following Certificates

Technical Requirements

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*Course details are subject to change.


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