I’m Teaching an Online YA Novel Writing Class

A little interlude for an announcement: 

I’ll be teaching a twelve-week *online* Young Adult Novel Writing class with MediaBistro.com! Here’s information about the class (though my syllabus will be different; what’s up there is a sample).

The course starts April 19, and the goal is to come away with the first draft of a YA novel (or middle-grade novel—writers of middle-grade are welcome) by the end of the class! We’ll be talking about ideas, characters, plotting a novel, outlining and how it can help to write the dreaded synopsis before you finish your book, voice, strategies for moving forward and making it to the end, and we’ll also be thinking ahead to revision strategies and agent querying and what publishers are looking for. But mostly, if you take the class, you’ll be writing, writing, writing, and I’ll be reading and commenting on your pages as you go, as will other writers in the class with you! I can’t wait to read the students’ novels.

The class is entirely online, so you don’t have to be here in New York City to take it… There is a one-hour chat session each week, and it’s late enough to accommodate writers on the West Coast (and a transcript will be saved every week if you happen to miss it). So the class will be a lot of work, but it’s flexible… and I think that’s the best part.

You can apply for the class on MediaBistro.com.

And here’s information from MediaBistro on what their online courses are generally like.

If you have any questions about the course, please feel free to email me. If you have questions about the application process, though, please ask MediaBistro directly.


  1. Hi Nova!

    Wow, this class sounds amazing! One question though, I know you said that what’s up on the website is a sample syllabus, but are you going to have the students in your class write 10-15 pages a week of thier manuscripts or something lower?


    1. Hi, Breeann,

      Thank you so much for asking about the class! I’m really excited to teach it. Yes, because the goal is to complete a first draft in three months, the weekly target would be 10–15 pages a week. I wouldn’t be able to read more than that. But as I’ll tell the students at the start of class, forward movement is what’s important… If you can’t reach that amount of pages every week, don’t despair! Just keep going and turn in the pages you do have. I don’t want the weekly page goal to scare anyone away, since I know I myself can be a slow writer and tend to panic when I can’t write as fast as everyone else. Still, I do think 10 (or even 15) pages is a great goal to strive for every week. With such solid momentum, you really could finish the first draft of a novel sooner than you’d guess.

      Hope that helps answer your question!

      1. Hi Nova!

        Yes, that definitely answered my question, thank you! When is payment for this class due? I’m seriously considering taking this class, it sounds like a lot of work, but so fun! Just the kind of kick in the pants I’ve been needing! 🙂

        1. Breeann, I’m so excited you’re thinking of taking it! I’m afraid I’m not sure when the payment for the class is due, since MediaBistro handles that and the application process. But if you go to the online courses section of their site and look on the left, there’s contact information in the sidebar for their online class coordinator. I bet she would be able to answer this question for you!

          Thank you so much again, Breean.

  2. I should also add, since I’ve had this question from a couple people: Applications are through MediaBistro, and they review the writing samples and decide who gets in the class. Admissions are rolling, and class size will be capped.

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