Advanced Middle Grade and Young Adult Workshop, Spring 2020

March 2nd, 2020 - May 18th, 2020

with Poppy

Group started

Have you received extensive feedback on your opening chapter, but not enough on what follows? Has your novel-in-progress been through big picture self-edits, and is ready for deeper feedback to reach its full potential? In this workshop, Sarah LaPolla will provide editorial feedback on your novel involving character development, plot details and pacing, and sentence-level tips to take your writing to the next level. Participants will also receive a full query critique for the project they submit.

You will submit one query letter and the first 20,000 words of your novel at the workshop start. You will also be invited to an introductory group call to meet the other members and discuss workshop expectations. Sarah will post a guide on what to look for in a query and critique tips. You will have approximately 4 weeks to read and post critiques for each query letter. For the first 20,000 words of your novels, you will have a total of 8 weeks to read and provide your written critiques to the others in the group. After exchanging critiques, you will be invited to a group discussion call where you will have the opportunity to discuss your manuscript with Sarah. We’ll also address self-editing best practices and how to apply critique notes you receive to future revisions. After the workshop’s end, you will have the option for a one-on-one “office hours” call with Sarah to discuss final feedback and any lingering questions. 

Optional: participants in the group may revise and resubmit a section of their work to Sarah after the workshop ends. This would be an extra charge. You would make this decision after the spring workshop ends and you've taken time to revise. 

This group will be limited to 4 writers, plus Sarah to keep the peer workload manageable. If there is an overflow of interest, we will consider a 5th writer at the discretion of Sarah and the group.


Who this workshop is for: The workshop is for upper MG and YA writers with at least 20,000 words of completed work. Different genres are welcome and encouraged, but this is not a workshop for non-fiction projects or books meant for younger (under age 10) children’s books. In addition, this workshop is designed for writers who have started querying or will be soon. This is not the right workshop for someone finishing a first draft. At minimum, participants should have 20,000 words of completed work that have been self-edited for grammar and style errors.

Focus: Children's - Middle Grade - Contemporary fiction - Children's…

Group size: 6 writers

Submissions: You will submit your query letter and the first 20,000 words of your novel at the workshop start.


Members: $410; Non-members: $455

About Poppy

Sarah LaPolla is a freelance editor with over a decade of experience in the publishing industry. After starting in the foreign rights department at Curtis Brown, Ltd., she became an associate agent there in 2010. In 2013, she continued to grow her list as an agent at Bradford Literary Agency, where she primarily represented Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction in various genres, for over six years. Sarah has an MFA in Creative Writing (Nonfiction) from The New School and a BA in Creative Writing from Ithaca College. In 2020, she started Next Chapter Editorial & Consulting. She regularly teaches workshops and offers critiques for writers through Inked Voices, Manuscript Academy, and other writing programs and conferences.


March 2: Workshop begins
March 4: Post first 20,000 words of novel
March 9: Introductory Group Call (30 minutes)
April 1: Written critiques of Query Letters due
April 29: Written critiques of 20K words due
May 13: Debrief conference call (2 hours)
May 15: Workshop closes
June 15: Optional follow up calls. Book a 15-minute one-on-one phone call