Events & News

  • YA Writing Classes

    As many of you know, in addition to being a writer, I am also a teacher. One is a solitary pursuit, the other a social one. I can’t imagine my life without both of them.

    The other day at work I was talking to two of the school’s administrators, and one of them mentioned that she and her friends have study dates every weekend. My other friend said that she misses studying, which allowed me to come to a realization that dawns on me pretty frequently: being a teacher is super fun. I, too, love to study, and in order to do well as a teacher, I need to be always learning new things and revisiting old ones.

    So, with this in mind, I want to tell you about my newest endeavor as a teacher: a series of classes on crafting and publishing young adult novels co-taught with my friend Kristen Tracy (author of LOST IT, CAMILLE MCPHEE FELL UNDER THE BUS, THE REINVENTION OF BESSICA LEFTER, CRIMES OF THE SARAHS, A FIELD GUIDE FOR HEARTBREAKERS . . . I know—Kristen is prolific! And she has a PhD.). Our classes range from investigations of craft to the practical, nuts-and-bolts information about approaching the publishing industry that we wish we’d had when we were trying to find our places in the publishing world. Soon, we will add workshops to our class offerings. Our hope is to build a community of emerging YA writers, to offer them tools and practice in crafting their own novels, and to tell them everything we know about how to get those novels published.

    We have also assembled an advisory board of amazing agents and editors to keep us up-to-date with developments in the industry, including Julie Strauss-Gabel (Vice President and Publisher, Dutton Children’s Books); Catherine Onder (Senior Editor, Disney-Hyperion); Sara Crowe (Agent, Harvey Klinger Agency); Jennifer Laughran (Agent, Andrea Brown Literary Agency); Julie Romeis (Editor, Chronicle Books); and Alan Rinzler (Consulting Editor, former Executive Editor at Jossey-Bass, Director of Trade Publishing at Bantam Books, and Vice President and Associate Publisher of Rolling Stone Magazine). We are so honored and excited to be working with all of them.

    If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, or feel like visiting us here, Kristen and I hope to see you! You can find all of the information at And in case you're feeling spontaneous, we're offering a really good one this Wednesday night at the San Francisco Writers' Grotto from 6-9 PM. The class is on beginnings, which is a perfect place to start.

    Hope everyone is well!