The stories told in young adult fiction are as unique and varied as its young audience. Developmental editing of a YA novel is a specific task requiring a different approach from editing adult novels. The secret to editing YA fiction is being able to place yourself into a teen’s head and experience, identifying with teen characters and how they express themselves. Can you remember the wild highs and lows of your teenage years? Be ready to time travel back to the teenage you!
This self-paced class will teach you:
- what YA is and how it is unique
- the popular genres in YA
- how to ensure a book is teen-centric, particularly through editing for authentic and realistic teen voice and dialogue
- how characters, plot, and setting are handled in YA, including the role of parents
- the importance of diverse representation
- the dos and don’ts of YA
There will be short assignments after every two to three modules, and one master developmental editing assignment at the end of the course to tie all the modules together.
There is no set reading list requirement for this course, but it’s important to read some YA novels before taking this class. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some popular novels to get you started. I will be referencing some of them in the course.
- All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
- Faceless by Alyssa Sheinmel
- The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
- The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
- Looking for Alaska by John Green
- Lovely Dark and Deep by Amy McNamara
- Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner
- Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
- The New Girl by Jesse Q. Sutanto
- One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus
- Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard
- TTYL by Lauren Myracle
- Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
Lou Piccolo is a freelance developmental editor of fiction and creative non-fiction for children and young adults. She also writes graded readers for Burlington Books in Spain and is the editor and contributor for Go English Kids magazine in Lyon, France.