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WSP 213 — What's My Genre? Finding Your Voice in Children's Literature

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Saturdays
Time: 10:00 am—3:30 pm
Date(s): Apr 23—Apr 30
Duration: 2 days
Drop By
Drop Deadline: Apr 16
Unit(s): 1 Units
Tuition: $255
Format: On-campus course
Limit: Limit 21
Status: Open
Children’s publishing presents a vast array of writing opportunities, with many genres to consider: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, poetry, graphic novels, fantasy, and young adult fiction. Many important questions face an aspiring writer. When discovering their own genre and voice, writers must consider: What age is the main character? How old is the intended audience? What’s currently being published?

This workshop will highlight exemplary classic and contemporary children’s titles that showcase the unique qualities of various genres. We’ll examine how successful authors create their own unique and refreshing voices through dialogue, characterization, and inner monologue. Through fun and absorbing in-class writing exercises, students will begin to discover their own voices while exploring various genres in children’s literature. Tips about the world of children’s book publishing will also be addressed with plenty of time for questions and discussion.

Students may bring one to two pages of their work-in- progress (optional) for discussion on the second day of workshop.

Lynn E. Hazen, Author

Lynn Hazen is the author of the young adult novel Shifty, which was named to VOYA’s Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers list and was a Smithsonian Notable Book for Children. Her other books include Mermaid Mary Margaret, Cinder Rabbit, and Buzz Bumble to the Rescue. She received an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College.

Elissa Haden Guest, Author

Elissa Haden Guest’s most recent picture book is Bella Rules. Books in her early reader series, Iris and Walter, have received a PEN Center USA West Literary Award. Guest received an MFA in children’s literature from Hollins University.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Ann Whitford Paul, Writing Picture Books: A Hands-on Guide from Story Creation to Publication (ISBN 1582975566)
(Recommended) Nancy Lamb, The Writer's Guide to Crafting Stories For Children (ISBN 1582970521)
(Recommended) Esphyr Slobodkina, Caps for Sale (ISBN 0064431436)
(Recommended) Gianna Marino, Night Animals (ISBN 0451469542)
(Recommended) Jack Gantos, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (ISBN 1250061687)
(Recommended) Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, The War that Saved My Life (ISBN 0803740816)