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Young Adult Writing Workshops

The fee for each YA workshop is $10, and participants must register online in advance.  Questions? Call us at 989.964.6062.

All writing workshops are now closed; we are unable to accept any more registrations at this time. We encourage you to attend the authors' readings and book signings, which are free and open to the public, or any of the other great events we have scheduled for the Michigan Authors' Workshop Series.

Tuesday, July 23

Patrick Flores Scott, author of YA novels Jumped In and American Road Trip

“Using a Scene to Create Fiction” (for students grades 9-12)

“Two students pass each other in a high school hallway.” This happens thousands of times each day. However, this seemingly insignificant event may be fraught with tension and mystery. In this session, each writer will begin by writing one tiny “hallway” moment and then use that moment to generate new scene ideas while exploring conflict, power dynamics, and point of view. We will talk a little and write a lot.   

Tuesday, July 23, 9:30 am-12:30 pm, The Alden B. Dow Home and Studio


Gary Schmidt, author of several YA novels, including Orbiting Jupiter, The Wednesday Wars, and Okay for Now

“Developing Characters for Fiction” (for students grades 6-8)

Characters are created from the outside in: we watch them walk and sit and move and stop, and we think about how they dress and how they speak and how they make choices. And little by little, readers put together a sense of who these characters are. This workshop will build characters from the outside in. By the end, you will have a character you care about, and that you know a lot about, and that you will be able to project into a story—which is what all good novelists do.

Tuesday, July 23, 1-4 pm, The Alden B. Dow Home and Studio


Friday, July 26

Lynne Rae Perkins, author of several picture books, including Frank and Lucky Get Schooled, Pictures from Our Vacation, and Snow Music and many YA novels, including Criss Cross, All Alone in the University, and Nuts to You

 ”'Let’s Get This Story Started’: A Writing/Drawing Workshop” (for students grades 4-5)

Whether we tell stories with words, with pictures, or with both, the main tool in our toolbox is our imagination. In this workshop, we will do some imagination-stretching: we’ll draw, we’ll write, we’ll surprise ourselves. It’s all practice, and there’s no wrong answer (except not trying). Bring yourself and your imagination.

Friday, July 26, 10 am-12 pm, Grace A. Dow Library story room