LIVE! Spring 2024 class catalog now online! 🌷

Yearlong in Young Adult & Middle Grade Fiction

with Karen Finneyfrock

Genres: Fiction, Young Adult/Children's Lit


Open to all levels

30 Sessions

Start Date: October 4, 2023
End Date: June 12, 2024
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.

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:

Most classes are offered at a general and member tuition rates based on instruction hours, with Hugo House members receiving a 10% discount on classes fewer than six sessions.

Early bird discounts are available during the first two weeks of registration and apply to both general and member tuition rates.

To help provide financial accessibility to our class offerings, some classes each quarter are offered with a sliding-scale tuition model, allowing students to pay what they can for the class. For these classes, tuition increments starting at $5 and going up to 125% of the standard pricing will be listed on the page.

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.

Class sessions may be recorded if a session falls on a holiday, or if a student has access needs. Class recordings are not guaranteed.

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.

Classes may be cancelled if less than the minimum number of students are enrolled within ten days before the class start date. If Hugo House needs to cancel a class for any reason, students can choose between receiving a full credit toward future classes or full refund.

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