Young Adult Fiction Writing Workshop

Turn your idea into a published novel in today's hottest genre.

Video Error

We tried several times to play your video but there was an unforeseen error. We have notified our engineers.

Visit to check that Flash is enabled on your browser.

With Flash enabled, please try again in a few minutes or contact support.

  • Lectures 40
  • Video 8.5 Hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion

How taking a course works


Find online courses made by experts from around the world.


Take your courses with you and learn anywhere, anytime.


Learn and practice real-world skills and achieve your goals.

Course Description

Young Adult Fiction is today's top-selling category. This class shows you how to turn you ideas into a bestselling novel or screenplay that will rival Harry Potter, Hunger Games, or Twilight.

Do you have a Young Adult novel idea, but aren't sure where to begin? Have you started a novel, only to get stuck? Or perhaps you've completed a first draft, but want to add the luster of professional writing?

This course is for you! Featuring lively discussions between Young Adult Fiction authors Steve and Dani Alcorn, this engaging class gives you all the tools you need to create a bestseller.

We'll reveal what makes Young Adult novels today's most exciting genre, and show you how to use the techniques of top-selling authors to create your own finished novel. Step by step, you'll learn and practice:

  • What Makes Great Young Adult Fiction
  • Planning Your Project
  • Story Structure
  • Character Building
  • Viewpoints that work best for Young Adults
  • Experiment with Tense
  • Create a Vibrant Narrative Voice
  • Build Vivid Settings
  • Dialogue for Young Adults
  • Beginnings and Endings
  • Polishing Your Manuscript
  • Cover Art that Sells Young Adult Novels
  • Getting Published
  • Marketing Your Work

In addition to the video lectures and panel discussions, the course includes extensive supplemental materials, featuring reference lists, exercises, checklists, and handy reference sheets.

Whether this is your first Young Adult novel or you're an experienced author looking for new techniques, Young Adult Fiction Writing Workshop has what you need to get your young adult idea published. Enroll now!

What are the requirements?

  • Open to all aspiring writers, young or old, experienced or just getting started

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Over 40 lectures and 8.5 hours of content!
  • Turn Your Idea Into a Young Adult Novel
  • Explore What Makes Bestselling Young Adult Fiction
  • Create a Premise That Sells
  • Develop Real, Engaging Young Adult Characters
  • Construct Your Novel Using Easy-to-follow Checkpoints
  • Learn to Structure Powerful Scenes
  • Explore Viewpoint and Tenses Choice That Pack a Punch
  • Learn Techniques That Create Bestsellers
  • Polish Your Manuscript
  • Create Cover Art That Sells
  • Discover Marketing Techniques That Work
  • Get Published!

What is the target audience?

  • First Time Authors of Any Age
  • Published Authors Looking For Fresh Ideas
  • Authors With Unfinished or Unpolished Manuscripts

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Exploring Young Adult Fiction
Meet Steve and Dani Alcorn, and enjoy this preview of all the material covered in the course!
Where did Young Adult literature come from, and where is it going? This lecture shows you.
Explore the themes of modern Young Adult Fiction.
The range of genres for Young Adult fiction is as broad as fiction itself. In this lecture we take a look at some of the bestselling genres and what makes them so popular.
There are a lot of great reasons to write Young Adult fiction. Can you guess which one is most important?
Why is Young Adult writing better than most mainstream fiction? This lecture suggests a number of reasons.
These simple techniques will start you on the path to writing your own great Young Adult novel.
Section 2: Planning Your Young Adult Project
Plot and Story are two very different things. This lesson explains why. It's perhaps the most important topic of the entire course.
Meet the four dramatic elements on which all fiction is based.
Your Protagonist is your main character, and the most important person in your manuscript. Learn how to create a compelling protagonist in this lesson. The supplemental materials are also great for brainstorming vibrant characters.
Your antagonist has a special relationship to your protagonist. This lesson shows you how to create an antagonist who can act as the perfect dramatic foil for your protagonist.
Your manuscript is populated by many characters. Here's how to create them using a "character pyramid."
Section 3: Structuring Your Young Adult Project
Following a tried and true story pattern makes it easy to create fiction that works, yet won't make it formulaic. Here's how to make story patterns work for you.
Three Act Structure is the key to almost all successful fiction. We make it easy to create your novel or screenplay, by breaking the three acts up into nine checkpoints.
Let's look at the Act 1 checkpoints in detail: Hook, Backstory and Trigger.
Act 2 features the plot-oriented Struggle, bookended by two emotional moments, the Crisis and Epiphany.
In Act 3 your protagonist makes a Plan that gets you to the Climax, and then you wrap things up in the Ending. In this lecture's test drives you'll also begin work on your detailed scene list.
Scene and Sequel makes your writing flow logically and strike with maximum impact.
Section 4: Writing Your Manuscript
Experiment with Omniscient, Third Person Limited and First Person viewpoints, and decide which one works best for you.
This lecture helps you get a handle on the slippery topic of Voice.
This lecture shows you the difference between past and present tense, and explores the benefits and pitfalls of switching between them.
Setting is important for establishing the mood of your story. This step by step process makes it easy to create vivid settings.
Make your story's beginning and ending work together, and resonate with your readers using these powerful techniques.
Great dialogue makes your work more interesting and more readable. This lesson shows you how, and includes test drives to help you write better dialogue.
Conflict is what drives fiction. This lecture introduces three different forms of conflict, and shows you how to use them in your own fiction.
Suspense is a great way to keep readers turning pages. This lesson shows you how.
An element of mystery keeps readers interested in all genres of Young Adult fiction.
Section 5: Polishing Your Manuscript
Writing Big means giving your work maximum impact. We'll share a variety of techniques that enable you to amplify your fiction.
Polished prose is the difference between amateur and professional writing. This lesson shows you how to polish yours.
John Green is perhaps todays greatest young adult author. These five books show you why. 
Scott Westerfeld writes some of the best Young Adult science fiction and fantasy series. This lecture looks at seven of his greatest novels.
Romance is a very popular Young Adult sub genre. We look at some of our favorites, and why we like them.
We take a look at the broad range of dramas and writing styles in Young Adult fiction.
We look at two of the bestselling Young Adult series of all time.
This lecture takes a revealing look at two of Steve Alcorn's Young Adult novels, and how they were written.
Section 6: Getting Published
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but books are sold by their covers. The lesson looks at how different covers appeal to different markets, and will give you some ideas for your own work's cover.
2 pages
This handy checklist helps you make sure your manuscript is ready for publication.
Now that your manuscript is complete, this lecture gives you everything you need to get it published.
Now that your book is published, here's how to market it to maximize sales.
Here are some great resources for continuing your exploration of Young Adult Fiction!

Instructor Biography

Steve Alcorn, Published Author and Educator

Steve Alcorn is a theme park designer, author and teacher. His novels include mysteries, young adult stories, historic fiction and romance. Steve has helped more than 20,000 aspiring writers structure their novels, through the online learning programs of 1500 colleges and universities worldwide. Many of his students are now published authors, and you can be, too! Find all his classes at

Instructor Biography

Dani Alcorn, Author and Screenwriter

Dani is the author of the Young Adult novel The Last Telepath, and three screenplays: 

  • A Quintessence of Dust, a science fiction riff on what would happen if Hamlet met Bladerunner
  • How to Catch an Englishman, a romantic comedy about moving overseas in search of an eligible bachelor
  • Do No Harm, a drama that explores the ethical choices facing a heart surgeon when her personal and professional lives collide
Dani graduated Summa Cum Laude from Northwestern University, where she majored in Psychology and Radio, Television, & Film.

Join the biggest student community


Hours of video content


Course Enrollments




Average Rating
  1. 5 Stars
  2. 4 Stars
  3. 3 Stars
  4. 2 Stars
  5. 1 Star
    • Anthony J. DeCurtis

    A Great Presentation Format

    The father and daughter presentation is wonderful. It is excellent in that it exposes the student to insight from both generations.

    • Donna Hernandez

    A great help for new writers

    I have been taking this course for a while. Steve is very informative and knows his stuff. He made me feel like I could write the type of story I wanted and gave me the skills to make my goal, THanks Steve for this wonderful course.

    • Larry Sweet

    Really enjoyed the class

    I just completed the course - way back in my younger days I wanted to be a writer - but the dream drifted away. I am now looking to reclaim my long-lost dream.

    I had a read a few books on the topic of fiction writing in general and YA fiction in particular, but didn't get much out of them. Taking this course really put it all together. I came to this course with some ideas for books, but after taking this course, I can see where my ideas were a bit problematic and probably would not make good novels. I am now in the process of rethinking and reworking my ideas to structure them to make a stronger story.

    Overall the lectures were interesting and informative - they not only explain WHAT to do, but more importantly WHY to do it. Now you don't have to agree with everything they say, but at least you will understand the thought process behind their recommendations.

    If you are considering taking a crack at YA fiction - this is the course for you.

    • Julia Dye

    For brand-new writers only

    The lecturers are pleasant enough, and if you've never been a writer, this course might be right for you. My low rating isn't due to their teaching ability, but to the misleading class description. Had I known how basic this class was, I would not have signed up or paid for it.

    Here's part of the description:

    Whether this is your first Young Adult novel or you're an experienced author looking for new techniques, Young Adult Fiction Writing Workshop has what you need to get your young adult idea published.

    WHO SHOULD ATTEND?....Published Authors Looking For Fresh Ideas

    I'm clearly not the audience for this course. I'm a published author whose day job is editing for a publishing company, so I spend most of my time correcting other people's writing. My expectation was that I would learn how to apply what I know to the Young Adult market. This isn't that course.

    The writing lessons are very basic. Show don't tell, what is a protagonist, don't use too many adverbs. I'm a big fan of Young Adult fiction, which is why I'm interested in writing such a I've read the books they discuss in the course. I don't need to listen to them read parts of those books out loud to me.

    Why a whole section on cover art? Will a brand-new author even have influence over this? Or are you marketing only to self-published authors?

    Why mention the movie The Wizard of Oz without discussing the amazing series of books? Why so many mentions of screenwriting, anyway? This isn't a screenwriting course.

    Extent of how to publish is 'send a query to an agent or a publisher,' no specifics, and some notes about self publishing. That's it.

    Marketing is also very generic with nothing specific to Young Adult fiction. Just general "write a press release" and "start a blog" which every author should already know. Again, no specifics about how to write a release, what should be included, what not to include, and so on. No mention of social media...not sure how anyone sells books these days without Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Netgalley, Scribd, Book Shout!, etc. etc.

    Interesting that the authors don't mention starting a class on Udemy and then recommending all the students buy their book!

    Anyway, if you're a brand new writer, you might enjoy this course. If you're already a published author, you'll be frustrated.

    • Cathy Chapman

    Gave me a structure

    I enjoyed the step-by-step process of this course. I went through it once without stopping. Now I'm going back to the sections I need to work on my YA novel.
    I really enjoyed the affection and pride Steve obviously had for his daughter... and well-deserved, also. They make a great team.

Show more reviews
Ready to start learning?
Preview This Course