by November 04, 2014 1 comments

     Fantasy vs. Reality: Writing for Young Adults
As part of the 16th Lagos Book & Arts Festival the British Council is organising a workshop for adult writers looking to write fiction for Young Adults: ‘Fantasy Vs. Reality: Writing for Young Adults’
The workshop will be facilitated by Ms Sarah Mussi, Winner of the Glen Dimplex & Irish Writers' Award for Best Children's Book, Shortlisted for Branford Boase Award, and nominated for the Carnegie Medal. Read more about her professional history here. 
The workshop is aimed at:
  • Renewing interest, inspiration and confidence in writing abilities.
  • Providing a greater understanding of the relevance of Young Adult fiction and particularly on the Young Adult reader, along with some context of this as a genre in the UK
  • Providing an introduction to writing for this age group through the work of Sarah Mussi and her work.

ELIGIBILITY: We are looking for:

  1. Fiction writers with at least two years of writing experience (written manuscripts/ work published online)
  2. Writers who are interested in writing for the Young Adult age group (10-18 years old), with previous work written for this audience.
  3. Writers who are interested in getting inside the mind of a young reader
To apply selected writers must:
  • Show samples of their writing (max 500 word extract, ideally for a reader between 10-18 years old)
  • Provide a 200-400 supporting statement of their interest in writing to get published, with mention of their interest in writing for a young adult audience.  This may detail previous applications to publishers, professional feedback sought or other relevant opportunities pursued.
  • Be available on 13th of November 2013 from 10.00am till 5.00pm.
  • Let us know of any access requirements we might need to cater for
Click here to download application form, fill and send to on or before 06 November 2014
Unfortunately, we are only able to contact selected candidates and will do this by November 11, 2014. The workshop can only accommodate maximum 20 writers.
About the Workshop:
Fantasy is not a made up world.  It is a world in which all the concerns and themes of a young adult’s life can be explored in a safe and constructed social context.  In the fantasy genre the best books have rules and regulations that the writer respects and doesn't twist and bend just to have certain plot events occur.  The fantasy genre also allows for the writer to set up quickly the perimeters of the world in which themes and issues are explored.  It can be more controlled than 'the real world'. It gets us away from phones, parents, schools and other social restrictions of the teen.  
NB- ‘Young Adult’ is defined as 14-19 in publishing terms in the UK, a market of eager readers who are exploring moral ground and their relationship in the world.
Writing with the Young Adult Audience in mind:
Bearing in mind the above, how does one write a novel that a young adult can relate to, and will find believable and plausible?  How do you get the voice right?  How do you explore complex and uncertain issues without preaching?  How do you create a real teen character for the audience? This is a creative conversation and we want to hear your thoughts and ideas, and what it is about writing for this particular age group that captures you. Award-winning writer Sarah Mussi will talk you through what it is about the Young Adult reader that is particularly energising to write for, and why writing for a Young Adult audience is like writing for no other.
The workshop will explore the West African context for this writing too, in which writers work and think about their audience. Sarah Mussi has spent extensive time teaching in Ghana. Are young readers in Nigeria getting the books they want or books that the older community think they should have? 
Entry Closes on 6th November 2014.

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