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Young Adult Fiction Writing with Maya Mahony (in person Session 1 22) is a Course

Young Adult Fiction Writing with Maya Mahony (in person Session 1 22)


$2,500 Enroll

Full course description

There is a separate application process for this course. If you have not been accepted into the Iowa Young Writers' Studio Summer Residential Program you are not eligible to enroll.


Fiction Writing with Maya Mahony: Young Adult Fiction Writing

Are you interested in writing teenage characters with voice and agency? Did The Hate U Give galvanize you? Did Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe make you swoon? Do you want to write stories that energize, excite, reimagine—that provide escapism, community, adventure, romance, or representation of diverse identities? In Young Adult Fiction Writing, we will study short excerpts from excellent YA novels from a wide range of genres, including contemporary, fantasy, romance, historical, and novel-in-verse. These may include Not My Problem by Ciara Smyth; The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas; Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz; Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo; The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale; and The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. We will learn about topics at which young adult fiction excels, like voice, humor, worldbuilding, character, point of view, relationships, dialogue, tone, plot, politics, adaptation, and coming-of-age. These topics (it may go without saying), can also apply to whatever genre of fiction-writing you explore in the future, whether you continue in YA or try something new. Some of the stories we read together will reflect reality as it is, with all its grit and nuance. Others will imagine a kinder or more magical world, to provide solace or escape. What is the goal of your own story-writing? What is your unique writer’s voice? We will discuss the challenges and pleasures of writing teenage characters and for teenage audiences, and apply what we learn to our writing. You will have the chance to receive feedback on a short story you have written, and create fresh material. You are welcome to join Young Adult Fiction Writing if you want to write and make friends in a warm and supportive atmosphere, regardless of whether you have tried writing YA before. I love to both read and write young adult fiction and can’t wait to explore this wonderful genre with you! Maya Mahony grew up in the Bay Area of California and is currently an MFA student in fiction at the Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Her stories have appeared in literary journals such as The Antigonish Review, Scrivener Creative Review, and, among others.

Maya Mahony has taught creative writing to elementary, middle, and high schoolers, and values creating warm and generative classroom spaces. She writes young adult and middle grade novels, as well as adult short stories, and loves blurring the lines between literary fiction and other genres such as fantasy, romance, and historical fiction. When she's not writing, she can be found playing guitar, hiking, and dancing.




The fee for this course, which includes the fee for the 2-week session of the Summer Residential Program, is $2,500. Payment in full is required to enroll in the course.


Note: Your credit card payment will be processed by an external provider and will appear on your credit card statement as “UI Writing—Magid Center."


Cancellation Policy: If you cancel or withdraw before June 1, 2022 a $100 cancellation fee will be deducted from your refund. Thereafter no refunds are available. 




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