Master Mondays, Week Eleven: The YA Novel Class Recap

Master Mondays, Week Eleven: The YA Novel Class Recap


Figure 1. “Do you like The Walking Dead?” Piyali asked. “I know two of the women on the show…”


TL;DR Version

Writing exercise, snacks, manuscript review, snacks.

Unabridged Version

Opening Course

I posted a list of the 2015 Morris Award Finalists because this year’s crop looks fabulous and it’s always an interesting award to look at, given the librarians on the committees are extremely well-read.

We did a 10 minute freewrite, with this as the opener/chorus line: “This time of year, I remember…” The subject was to be the students’ own memories from adolescence. Gotta mine that new material, yall.

We discussed Beth’s flap copy which looks quite juicy (an island, reality TV, mystery!) I really like the flap copy exercise, you guys. It’s very clarifying, for the writer. It’s also very exciting to read the cool story concepts that students have. Plus it gives you a draft of your eventual gross-ass query letter, which we all must suffer through, despite its awfulness…

Manuscript Reviews

Our manuscript reviews this time around were particularly full of laughter. This is a function of our time together almost being over. Every Loft class gets really delicious and fun right around the time it’s about to end. It’s bittersweet. This group of people, though: they are so much fun and they are all writing very different books, with unique voices and concepts. I’m very happy to have had a chance to read some of these stories and hope that all of these writers push push push to finish and continue on, because they’ve got great material.


We always eat in my classes because that is who I am: a lady who is a big fan of FOOD. In the summer week-long classes, Fridays are the day kids bring in stuff to eat. It’s very enjoyable.


Figure 2. Because life is short.

Figure 2. Because life is short.


Anyway, this being an adult class, students often get a drink and dinner from the cafe on the main floor of the Loft and eat/drink their way through class. Last night, I invited people to bring snacks and whoooooa, did they deliver!


Chocolate fondue, courtesy of Keith…


Figure 3. An "A" for effort here

Figure 3. An “A” for effort here


plus two kinds of hummos, a variety of brownies, chocolate pretzels, nuts, carrots, kettlecorn, refried bean dip…


Figure 4. My students don't play, see

Figure 4. My students don’t play, see


Next week I’m bringing butterbeer and Andrew Karre. What pairs well with that combination, I wonder…

Books Referenced: 

Saving June by Hannah Harrington
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Rooms by Lauren Oliver
Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma
To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
September Girls by Bennett Madison
Carrie by Stephen King





Leave Reply