Novels in Verse: Analyze and Generate 2020

October 2 - 5, 2020

Join Us To:

Discover what makes a novel in verse successful. Generate pieces to add to or begin your novel. Finish or revise your novel in verse with mentor help. Have a one-to-one critique of 25 pages of your work-in-progress.

What You’ll Learn:

A verse novel must play at the intersection of blank space and language. At the heart of this novel is finding movement within and throughout the verse. The conventions we employ must account for the narrative, as well as poetic form. These are skills that can be taught. At this workshop, you will:

  • Attend daily sessions to explore pacing, poetry, structure, and more.
  • Analyze the novel in verse form by looking at examples.
  • Work one-to-one with faculty.
  • Learn the nuances of the production of poetry.
  • Discover how to create within this very tight format.
  • Have free writing time to work on your manuscript.

Attend If:

  • You have a novel in verse in its early stages and need help completing the process. Daily sessions with faculty will explore important elements of novels in verse, and one-to-one feedback will point you in the right direction.
  • You are a middle grade or young adult writer who has an idea that might work as a verse novel. We’ll be analyzing what makes the creation of a novel in verse different from a prose novel and you’ll have free writing time to make a start.
  • You have a finished a novel in verse and need strategies for revision. We will be examining outstanding examples of the form and giving you strong revision strategies.
  • You are a poet wanting to look at long form narrative. We will share tools for poetry collections with a focus on narration.

Still not sure if this is the right course for you? Watch a video where Program Director Alison Green Myers shares details about the differences between our genre and format-focused workshops for 2020.


Our workshops typically include faculty presentations, hands-on exercises, specialty topic sessions, some level of feedback, and retreat time for working on your own projects. Although we don’t have a finished agenda for this course yet, see a sample agenda here to get an idea of what to expect.


The Verse Novel: If I Can Do It, So Can You, by Kathryn Erskine
YA Wednesday: Better and Verse, by Padma Venkatraman
Read a verse novel a day for National Poetry Month
Best 9 Tips On Plotting a Novel in Verse from the Fiction Notes blog.
Five Steps to Writing a Verse Novel, by Jennifer Gennari
Joy McCullough’s website


“The faculty was friendly, helpful, patient, accessible. I felt as if they were glad to answer any and all questions and to share their knowledge and expertise.”

“It was, hands down, the best writing experience I’ve ever had. Too often educational encounters are competitive in nature. In this workshop I felt totally relaxed.”

Scholarships Available

Scholarships are available for this workshop from the Bernice Cullinan fund:
Application deadline is March 23, 2020. Scholarships will be announced April 22, 2020.
Click here to apply!
For more information about scholarships, click here.


Joy McCullough

Joy McCullough’s debut young adult novel Blood Water Paint earned honors such as the National Book Award longlist, winner of…
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Padma Venkatraman

Padma Venkatraman is the author of THE BRIDGE HOME which has garnered 8 stars, and has been honored as one…
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Andrew Karre

Andrew is executive editor at Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, focusing on YA and…
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Jasmine Warga

Special Guest Jasmine Warga is a writer from Cincinnati, Ohio who currently resides in the Chicago area. She is the…
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All-inclusive registration includes workshop tuition, lodging, meals, beverages, and snacks. Free shuttle service is available from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (AVP) International Airport. Airport pick-up at Newark Airport is also available for $75 round-trip.

We offer payment plans as low as $75/month. We'll be in touch with details after you register.

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workshop information

Begins with dinner on Friday, October 2 and ends with lunch on Monday, October 5.