YA Symposium

The Young And The Reckless: Writing For Teens ● August 27, 2022 - Online access through Sept. 30.

A Virtual Conference

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Offered by the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, The Young and the Reckless: Writing for Teens brings together the writing community and some of Southern California’s most accomplished writers and teachers.

Enjoy a unique opportunity to learn from today’s most exciting YA writers in a convenient virtual conference. Live zoom panels and networking events will run on Saturday, August 27, 2022. Pre-recorded lectures and conversations will be accessible through Friday, September 30, 2022.

Sponsored in part by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (www.scbwi.org)

Your $79 registration fee includes:

  • Special keynote presentation
  • Pre-recorded lectures on craft
  • Two live panel presentations
  • Handouts and access to daily discussion boards
  • Workshop group opportunity
  • Access to The Writer's Voice live competition

Saturday, August 27, 2022

10:00am - 10:45am (PDT)  -  Welcome Orientation and Keynote Speaker

10:45am - 11:00am (PDT)  -  15 min break

11:00am - 12:00pm (PDT)  -  Speakers Panel 1

12:00 - 1:00pm (PDT)  -  Lunch

1:00pm - 2:00pm (PDT)  -  Speakers Panel 2

2:00pm - 3:30pm (PDT)  -  The Writer's Voice Competition

3:30pm - 4:00pm (PDT)  -  Networking Event + Raffle

Inspired by the competition show “The Voice,” we invite four agents to serve as our Judge Panel. Judges will begin the competition with cameras off. Anonymous participants (no name or image visible) will go through three rounds of competition:

  • Reading a logline of their work
  • Reading the first paragraph of their work
  • Reading the full query letter of their work

At each stage, judges will turn on their cameras if they like what they hear, and that participant will move into the next round. For participants who do not progress, quick feedback may be provided for improvement.

After the third round, judges will select 1 participant from the finalists to conduct a 30-minute consultation about their work, to be arranged for a date after the event at the agent’s convenience. Judges will have about 5 minutes to conference privately together to make these decisions and ensure they do not select the same participants.

For more instructions and how to participate, please download the PDF below:

The Writer's Voice Competition - Instructions and Application Form (pdf)

Lecture Topics:

  • Hiding the Infodump and Fluffing the Scenecraft
  • Is It Really Possible to Write a Novel in Thirty Days?
  • How to Become an Idea Generator
  • The Seven Veils:  Revise Your Story in Seven Sexy Steps
  • YA Fiction: Writing Across Genres
  • Writing from Personal Experience (Without Making it All About You)
  • What The...? How to Deepen Character through Reaction

Panel Topics:

  • You Never Forget Your First Time: Novelists on Writing their Debut Books 
  • Writing Within, Through, and In Spite of Genre: Placing Your Unique Book in the Bookstore 
Accessing Content:
You will have access to the pre-recorded lectures, conversations, and Q&A discussion boards from Saturday, August 27 through Friday, September 30. After that, you will have an additional two weeks to access and download materials, such as handouts or additional resources that the speakers may offer.

Meet the Speakers

Abdi Nazemian

This year's featured writers include: Abdi Nazemian (keynote speaker), Henry Lien, Jarrod Shusterman, Kelly Barson, Naz Kutub, Sherri L. Smith, Sofia Lapuente, Sonora Reyes, and Tucker Shaw. 

Henry Lien
Jarrod Shusterman
Kelly Barson
Naz Kutub
Sherri L. Smith
Sofia Lapuente
Sonora Reyes
Tucker Shaw

The Writers Voice Competition Judges

Literary Agents: Ameerah Holliday, Jonathan Rose, Karly Dizon, and Linda Camacho

Ameerah Holliday
Jonathan Rosen
Karly Dizon
Linda Camacho

Enroll Now!

To register, please visit the The Young and The Reckless: Writing for Teens course page. 

Go to Course Page

Contact Us

Speak to a program representative. Hours: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm.
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