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Yearlong in Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction

with Victoria Doherty-Munro, Karen Finneyfrock, Kevin Emerson and Stephanie Kuehnert

Genres: Fiction, Young Adult/Children's Lit


Open to all levels

30 Sessions

Start Date: October 4, 2023
End Date: June 12, 2024
No Class: (skip days) 11/29/2023, 12/6/2023, 12/20/2023, 12/27/2023, 1/3/2023, 2/21/2023, 4/10/2023
Day of Week: Wednesday
Time: 5:00pm - 7:00pm PT
Capacity: 16 seats
Member Price: $1359.00
General Price: $1510.00

This class is open to those writing in any genre of fiction intended primarily for a younger audience. Through reading assignments, craft exercises, and workshopping your manuscript, you will polish the teen voice, pace your storylines, and write the engaging characters that readers of young adult and middle grade fiction have come to expect. Through both large and small group workshopping, you will join a cohort of writers helping one another develop their visions into manuscripts. Industry professionals specializing in YA fiction will visit the class.

Payment plans are available for this class. Please email to get a payment plan started.

Guest speakers: Three guest speakers will be featured, including 1) a middle grade author, 2) a YA author, and 3) a literary agent

Syllabus: Available by request. Please email

No class dates: 11/29/2023, 12/6/2023, 12/20/2023, 12/27/2023, 1/3/2023, 2/21/2023, 4/10/2023

Registration dates: 

August 7: Scholarship Donation Day

August 8: Member registration opens at 10:30 am

August 15: General registration opens at 10:30 am

August 21: Last day of Early Bird pricing



Who is this class best suited for? How much writing experience do I need to take this class?

This class is open to all writers working on manuscripts intended for middle grade or young adult readers. I have had students in the class with completed drats and students starting with chapter one. It is useful to have an idea for your story before starting the class but not required. You will get the most benefit from the class if you generate at least 80 pages as we begin workshop in January.

What will I learn over the course of this yearlong?

You will learn or review the novel writing skills you need to complete your book: Concept, Genre, Story Structure, Voice, prose style & POV, Character, Conflict, Setting and Tone, Scene, Dialogue, Subtext & Tension, and Plot. You will learn what Kidlit readers, agents and editors are looking for. You will practice gripping your reader and increasing your tension as we work to make our books un-putdownable.

What's the balance of in-class generative writing, lecture, and workshop?

Lecture=30%, In-class generative writing=10%, Workshop=60%

How much time outside of class will I need for this class each week?

From October-December, all outside of class time will be for students to write their stories at their pace. Beginning with workshop in January, you will spend approximately three hours a week reading and commenting on work by other students.

How much feedback will I receive on my work, peer, or instructor?

You will get feedback in three forms: Big Group Workshop (two times, ten pages each time), Instructor Feedback (two editorial letters on big group submissions), and Small Group Workshop (more information feedback approximately 6-8 times.) In general, students get feedback on about 80 pages of work.

Who will we be reading?

Writers may include: Tracy Deonn, Tomi Adeyemi, Holly Black, Ruta Sepetys and Justina Ireland.

Victoria Doherty-Munro

Karen Finneyfrock

Karen Finneyfrock


Karen Finneyfrock is a poet and novelist. She is the author of two young adult novels: The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, both published by Viking Children’s Books. She is one of the editors of the anthology Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls, and the author of Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, both released on Write Bloody press. She is a former Writer-in Residence at Hugo House. Learn more on her website:

Kevin Emerson

Stephanie Kuehnert

Each class description includes a breakdown of what you can expect in terms of in-class activity, feedback, and homework (if any). 

Generative means you’ll be generating new writing, either in class or at home between classes.

Workshop means you’ll be sharing work to be read and critiqued by your instructor and classmates and that you will also be critiquing the work of your peers. 

Reading means you’ll be doing close reading of a work with an eye toward craft. 

Craft discussion means you’ll be looking at the tools writers use to do that thing they do so well and then trying it out yourself.

Class levels are designed for various stages of the writing journey. Simply self-select the level that sounds best for where you’re at. 

Introductory: This is your first creative writing workshop, first writing class since high school, or first foray into a new genre or form. You’re looking to try something new, kickstart your writing, and/or establish yourself in the fundamentals.

Intermediate: You have a strong understanding of writing fundamentals and are eager to deep dive into craft. You’re honing your writerly identity and voice through independent projects. In workshop, you look for constructive feedback and are ready to do writing and reading outside of class.

Advanced: You’ve written a significant body of work and have taken it through several stages of revision. You’re getting ready to publish or are in the early stage of publishing, and you’re interested in refining the skills that will take you to the next level in the literary industry.

All Levels: You are any of the above and are looking to play with new possibilities.

You’ll get your class information, including Zoom link if applicable, three days before the first day of class.

Write With Hugo House is our free monthly write-in program, operated in partnership with the Seattle Public Library. Two take place onsite at SPL locations, one takes place online. 

Sliding-scale classes are offered every quarter. Find them in our Class Catalog.

We announce flash sales, early bird periods, and special deals through our e-newsletter; sign up at the bottom of this page.

At this time, we offer payment plans on classes 8 sessions and up. Email with the name of the class you’re interested in to set up a payment plan.

Asynchronous classes are perfect for students that need flexibility!

During an asynchronous class, instructors release new lessons once per week. Students then have one week to complete that lesson and any accompanying coursework. You’ll learn as much as you would in a traditional class but with the flexibility to work at the best times for your schedule!

While there are no live sessions, asynchronous classes are still a lively and rigorous experience. Async classes are not static lessons but an adaptable and energetic community space. Be ready to work in a collaborative environment, giving and receiving feedback on your writing, participating in discussions, and growing your writing practice in a way that works best for you.

Asynchronous classes take place through the website Wet Ink. Students receive an invitation to the class and to set up a Wet Ink account on the start date of the class. Each week of the class, a new lesson will be available through the Wet Ink portal. Classes close two weeks after the end date, and students receive an email containing their content from the class when it closes.

Hugo House will only process refund requests that are submitted 5 business days or more before the class start date. To request a refund, log in to your account, go to “My Account,” select the “Orders” tab on the left-hand side, click the appropriate order, and request a refund for your specific class. Administrative fees apply. Please see our full refund policy here.

In general, we do not record classes. However, an exception if a student has specific access needs.

We encourage students to only sign up for classes that fit with their schedule.   

We do not tolerate racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist, transphobic or any other oppressive behaviors, regardless of who commits them. Please check out our full community guidelines by clicking here. If an instance of community guidelines are violated and not resolved within the classroom, students may let us know by filling out the student incident report.

If Hugo House needs to cancel a class for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.

Hugo House members get to register early for classes – a full week before they open to the general public!, receive a 10% discount on events and classes, and more. See the full list of membership benefits here!

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If you’re interested in contributing your skills, Hugo House accepts volunteer applications for a variety of roles, including event support, administrative tasks, and more. Learn more on our Volunteer page.

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