Programs

Exploring Limitations and Liberations of Writing Novels in Verse and Novels in Vignettes Online Course 2020

September 16 - October 21, 2020

Online Course Info:

This is a six-week online workshop that features weekly Wednesday afternoon “live” lectures, discussions, writing exercises, pre-recorded lectures and roundtable sessions.

Online Workshop Participant Cap:

16 students.

What You’ll Learn & Experience:

In this workshop, you will explore the challenges of writing novels in verse and novels in vignettes. You’ll discover how to use the form to its utmost advantage while taking into consideration all the foundations of storytelling. You will:

  • Watch videos, explore resources and complete structured assignments.
  • Have a phone consultations with your instructor about your project.
  • Review the advantages and disadvantages of working with these forms.
  • Explore issues of pacing, plotting, secondary character development and imagery.

The course is divided into 6 sessions:

  • Session 1: Course Overview and Introductions
  • Session 2: Finding the Story: Verse and Vignette
  • Session 3: Limitations
  • Session 4: Upending the Limitations
  • Session 5: Advantages of Vignettes and Verse
  • Session 6: Where Do We Go From Here?

You can find more session details under “Agenda” below.

Live sessions will be held at 1 pm EDT on Wednesdays (9/16, 9/23, 9/30, 9/7, 9/14 and 9/21), followed by time for Q&A.

Attend If:

  • You have an in-progress or completed draft of a middle grade or young adult novel in verse or novel in vignettes. In this course, you’ll explore working with these forms.
  • You need a workshop that fits into your schedule. This is an online course and you are free to work at your own pace.

Preliminary Agenda

Live sessions will be held at 1 pm EDT on Wednesdays (9/16, 9/23, 9/30, 9/7, 9/14 and 9/21), followed by time for Q&A.

The course is divided into 6 sessions:
Session 1: Course Overview and Introductions

Session 2: Finding the Story: Verse and Vignette
Live session with special guest An Na.
Voice: writing exercises that involve main character exploration using verse and vignette devices.

Session 3: Limitations
Secondary character development and dialogue in verse novels, reader confusion and time jumping in vignettes and overall issues with plotting, pacing and action in both forms.

Session 4: Upending the Limitations
Solutions for circumventing the limitations.

Session 5: Advantages of Vignettes and Verse
A close look at a mentor text that shows both forms to advantage. The emotional resonance that both forms have, and the fun that can be had!

Session 6: Where Do We Go From Here?
Wrap-up, Q&A, goal setting.

Resources

Course Assigned Reading:
A Step from Heaven by An Na
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry

Course Suggested Reading:
Skyscraping by Cordelia Jensen
The Way the Light Bends by Cordelia Jensen
Every Shiny Thing by Cordelia Jensen

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.

Faculty

Cordelia Jensen

Cordelia Jensen graduated with a MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts in…
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An Na

Special Guest An Na was born in South Korea and grew up in San Diego, California. She is the author…
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$499.00