First Page Workshop: Writing for Young People, Writing for Justice
This workshop is aimed at intermediate or advanced writers of chapter books and novels for young people. In this workshop, we will collectively examine middle grade and YA novels that have historically done injustice to marginalized communities – as well as texts that have sought to represent our diverse worlds with greater sensitivity, solidarity, and accuracy. Simultaneously, this workshop will take the perspective that writing for young people is less about “teaching a good lesson” and more “telling a good story” – and that in fact, telling good stories involves representing our communities in all their rich diversity.
Writers will be asked to bring a “first page” of writing for young people, without their names on it. We will workshop these first pages aloud – gathering collective input on their openings, voice, world building and representation. We will also discuss practical matters such as querying agents, understanding market trends and seeking publication.
For intermediate and advanced writers.