Writing for Children and Young Adults with Wendy Townsend

Monday, September 24, 2018 at 11:00 AM until Monday, December 10, 2018 at 02:00 PM

Sarah Lawrence College
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, NY 10708
United States

Instructor: Wendy Townsend
11 sessions, $880

There will be no class November 19th

Class is limited to eight students. Please note extended 3 hour class length.

Voice has been called “the secret power of great writing.” It’s what editors look for in a manuscript and it can make a story “unputdownable.” A precise definition of “voice” is illusive, but in fiction, it could be described as the synergy between the writer and the character. It’s the scene, the moment, the setting, seen through the character’s eyes and told with words that character would use. To know how your character sees the world, you have to get to know your character. You form an emotional bond with him or her. Author Jandy Nelson says, “I believe the only way to unlock the hearts and minds of your characters is by unlocking your own.”
In this workshop we’re going to explore finding your voice and writing with it. We’ll start each class with a bit of writing to get you out of your head and into your heart.  We’ll search for the emotional core of your story, because it’s the energy that’s driving your desire to tell it, and it’s where to find your voice. Whether you’re writing a middle-grade or YA novel, a picture book, or a memoir --whether you have a work-in-progress or a complete draft you want to revise—or just the beginnings of a story—we’ll support you through the process of writing and revising. During group feedback time, writers may choose to read the day’s writing, or from a work-in-progress. Rather than criticize, we will ask questions with the intent of helping each other see our stories better. As part of this workshop, each writer will receive written critiques from the instructor and is entitled to one hour-long private session (TBA before or after class).

Wendy Townsend (BS, Empire State College; MFA, Vermont College) taught workshops for children’s writing at Empire State College from 2002 to 2009. In 2008, she published her first young adult novel, Lizard Love, which received a Booklist Starred Review. She also co-authored and illustrated Iguanas: A Guide to Their Biology and Captive Care in 1993 and has written articles for Reptiles magazine. Her second novel, The Sundown Rule, has received a Bulletin starred review, is among the Kirkus Reviews best children’s books of 2011, and is a Bank Street College book of outstanding merit for 2012. Her third novel, Blue Iguana, was on the short list for The Green Earth Book Award.

Writing Institute Registration Process:

Step 1 - Registration Information: Complete this registration form in full.

Step 2 - Payment: Once you click submit on this form, a new page will appear in your browser with a payment link. Click on the payment link, complete the required information, and submit your payment. 

Payment is required for your registration to be confirmed. If we don’t receive your payment within 48 hours of submission of this form, your registration will automatically be cancelled. You will have to complete the form again if you wish to register for the class.
Step 3 - Confirmation: Once we receive your payment, your registration will be finalized and confirmed with an email. Please keep this email for your records.  Details about room assignment, parking, and any other information relevant to the course will be emailed to registered students the week before classes begin.

If you have questions about the registration process, please call us at 914-395-2205 or email writinginstitute@sarahlawrence.edu.

Registration is no longer available because the registration deadline has passed.