Getting Your Middle Grade or Young Adult Novel Unstuck: An On Demand Online Workshop 2021

On Demand

This is an on-demand course. You can begin it at any time. You will have access to the course for six months after your registration date.

Online Course Info:

Whether you’ve jotted down ideas for a novel but can’t get your story off the ground, you’re stuck in the middle of a draft with no idea of where to go next, or you’ve written most of the book but can’t figure out the ending, this course is designed to help you move forward.

This is an “on demand” online workshop that you can complete at your own pace. The faculty has prepared an engaging experience for you with a variety of pre-recorded lectures and hands-on workshops as well as a collection of additional resources. You will have access to the course for six months after your registration date.

Unstuck with Chris and Erin

What You’ll Learn:

Two seasoned authors of middle grade and young adult fiction, Erin Dionne and New York Times best-selling author Chris Tebbetts, will share their writers’ toolbox for getting unstuck, with a focus on character development, plotting and outlining, revision, journaling, and improvisation/play.

The course consists of these sessions:

  • Overview
  • Workshop: Improv and Play, Parts 1 & 2
  • Workshop: Character Development, Parts 1 & 2
  • Workshop: Duality, Plot & Outline, Parts 1 & 2
  • Workshop: Chapters & Scenes That Propel the Reader, Parts 1 & 2
  • Lecture: Romeo at the Balcony: Persistence and Optimism in Pursuit of the Ideal, Parts 1 & 2
  • Wrap Up: Setting Goals and Looking Ahead

Your registration also includes the following:

  • A free 20-minute Zoom call with Erin or Chris, to discuss your work in progress and/or any other questions you may have about writing, publishing, and getting unstuck. Before the call, you may submit up to 5 double-spaced, 12pt font, pages of your work.
  • Additional course resources: handouts, videos and more.
  • Access to our monthly “office hours,” where Chris and Erin will be gathering by Zoom to discuss, brainstorm, problem-solve around works-in-progress or other writing issues you’d like to consult about.The office hours will be held on the first Tuesday of the month, from 7-8 pm EDT.
  • Community discussion: the course has a Community Page where you can post questions and comments. We’ll be monitoring the Community Page twice a week to respond.

In addition, private critique and coaching services with Erin or Chris will be available and can be arranged separately for an additional fee.

Take This Workshop If:

  • You are stuck in the middle of a middle grade or young adult novel draft with no idea of where to go next. Our faculty will share their writers’ toolbox for getting unstuck, and give you hands-on exercises to help you move forward.
  • You’ve jotted down ideas for a novel but can’t get your story off the ground. We’ll get you started! Lectures and hands-on activities will help you with plotting and outlining, journaling and improvisation.
  • You can’t figure out how to end or revise your story. We’ll give you tools and tips you need to help you put the “vision” in revision.”
  • You want an online experience that you can complete at your own pace. This course was designed to fit into your schedule.


Visual Outlining Webinar with Chris Tebbetts
Blog Post on Visual Outlining with Chris Tebbetts
Chris Tebbetts: As Simple As Possible: Three Ways To Tighten Your Prose
5 Ways to Reclaim Your Creative Joy
Step Away From Your Manuscript & Shake Things Up With Writers’ Bingo
Breaking Through Those Creative Blocks
Chris Tebbetts: Mining Our Personal Fascinations for Story Material

Craft Books Referenced During the Course:
Write Your Novel From The Middle by James Scott Bell
Story Genius by Lisa Cron
The Anatomy of Story by John Truby
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg
On Writing by Stephen King
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
Freeplay by Stephen Nachmanovitch
Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
Art Matters by Neil Gaiman, illus. by Chris Riddell
Wonderbook by Jeff VanderMeer
The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler


“Chris provided good feedback on my submission that helped put me back “on the beam.” Erin offered great ideas for character development and planning.”

“I did get the kick in the pants I needed. I am energized again about my manuscript and have the confidence that I can finish it and send it out.”

“The material from all faculty was well prepared and rich!”

“A lot of time and thought went into all of the lectures. Faculty chose topics that could appeal to both beginners and advanced writers, and presented the info in a collegial manner, assuming we were an intelligent audience, never talking down to us. The overall experience was designed, not haphazard, and thus each segment delivered valuable insights in different ways.”

“I’m excited to get back to my draft; I have all sorts of good ideas for what to do next.”

“Chris Tebbetts is an extraordinary teacher–his direct critique went straight to the heart of my novel and the techniques he provided gave me revision tools which are relevant to my manuscript and to my overall writing goals. Erin Dionne’s lectures illuminated many paths for every day writing practices. Her teaching provided many, many strategies for strengthening my manuscript.”


Chris Tebbetts

Chris Tebbetts is the author and co-author of many books for young readers. Titles include the #1 New York Times…
Learn more

Erin Dionne

Erin Dionne’s latest book for tweens is Secrets of a Fangirl (2019). She’s the author of 6 other books for…
Learn more