Verse Novels (MG and YA), with Joy McCullough

January 7th, 2019 - May 7th, 2019

with Joy McCullough

Group started
Workshop your middle grade or young adult verse novel with guided facilitation from author Joy McCullough. Each month you’ll share a submission of up to 5,000 words for critique (line item, overall craft, and plotting/story elements) from Joy and your peers, and you will provide similar feedback to your fellow participants. As you work through your manuscript drafts and/or revisions you'll receive support, guidance, and resources via our private group discussion board and two conference calls (following critiques in months one and four) to expand on questions and suggestions in real time.

The group will be limited to 5 writers, plus Joy, to keep an intimate atmosphere and manageable workload.


Who this workshop is for: This workshop is best suited to an individual who has completed or made significant progress on a first draft. Workshopping large sections enables our instructors to give story-level feedback and highlight bigger picture craft issues. Both middle grade and young adult novels are welcome, but they must be written in verse format. (Some examples of verse format include The Crossover by Kwame Alexander, May B. by Caroline Starr Rose, or Audacity by Melanie Crowder.) It is okay if this is your first time writing in verse!


Group size: 8 writers

Submissions: There will be 4 submissions, each up to 5,000 words.


Members: $350; Non-members: $405

About Joy McCullough

Joy McCullough writes books and plays from her home in the Seattle area. She has taught storytelling and playwriting throughout Latin America, in San Diego, and in Seattle. She has mentored novelists through Pitch Wars for five years. Her debut novel-in-verse, Blood Water Paint, made the long list for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature, was a Publisher's Weekly Flying Start, a Junior Library Guild selection, and received four starred reviews. She has a contemporary middle grade novel coming from Simon & Schuster in 2020, and a second YA novel coming from Penguin in 2020. You can find more about her at or on Twitter at @jmcwrites.


January 7th: First submission
January 23rd: Critiques due
January 24th (8-9 pm EST): Group conference call
February 5th: Second submission
February 21st: Critiques due
March 7th: Third submission
March 23rd: Critiques due
April 8: Fourth submission
April 24th: Critiques due
April 29th (8-9 pm EST): Group conference call