Writing Young Adult Fiction Today

Learn what it takes to break into the YA market


Mary Kole


Live on Thursday, April 13, or watch the recording


Writers who have never published a YA novel


Closed captions by Otter; transcript provided with recording

Do you have a brilliant young adult story in you, but don’t know how to make it stand out?

With so many aspiring YA writers competing for attention, it can be tough to get your manuscript read, much less published. And if you do manage to attract attention in the slush pile, you might not know what you don’t know about the craft. Or whether your manuscript clears the high bar of today’s fiction for teen readers.

In this live class with professional editor and former agent Mary Kole, you’ll learn everything you need to know about writing a marketable and relatable young adult manuscript that will have coveted literary agents and publishers—and, eventually, readers—salivating! Get the inside scoop from an industry expert on what it takes to break into the young adult fiction market and craft an engaging manuscript for this specific audience. It includes invaluable information that will help you break into the market, craft engaging stories, and stand out from other submissions.

During this hour-long webinar, you’ll gain insight into:

  • How to avoid common pitfalls so your work can shine, even in a crowded space like today’s YA fiction market
  • How to find your own writing voice rather than trying to conform to a magic “formula” for writing successful young adult fiction
  • How to address controversial topics such as diversity and identity in a thoughtful and meaningful way
  • How to tap into your own experiences to create characters and situations that feel authentic and emotionally resonant to readers

This information-packed class has been developed over the years by a former literary agent who knows how the system works from the inside out.

Who should take this class

  • New writers who want to know whether their YA novel idea is competitive in today’s market
  • Writers working to complete a strong and engaging draft of their YA fiction manuscript
  • YA writers on the submission trail who want to make sure their query letter and first pages of their novel captivate agents, publishers, and readers

Who should NOT take this class

  • Writers who are not open to revising their work at this stage, and/or are not interested in market-based guidance or industry perspectives
  • Picture book writers, YA memoirists, or writers in non-YA categories. While some of the advice in this webinar can be applied universally, the presentation is heavily geared towards aspiring YA novelists.

What’s included in all of Jane’s classes

How do I attend the live class?

This class uses Zoom webinar technology (see system requirements). You will join through your Internet-connected computer or mobile device. When you register, you will receive information via email on how to join the class. If you don’t receive it within 1 hour of registering, please contact us.

  • When: Thursday, April 13, 2023
  • Time: 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Eastern / 10:00 a.m. Pacific
  • Registration fee: $25

The webinar is broadcast via the internet with live audio delivered through your computer or mobile device speakers. The visual presentation is displayed directly from the presenter’s computer to your computer screen. The Q&A is managed through a chat-style submission system with questions read and answered by the presenter for the entire class to hear.

Closed captions are provided during the live class. We use Zoom’s automated closed caption service (powered by Otter), which is about 80%+ accurate. We also use Otter AI to generate an unedited transcript, provided with the recording.

About the instructor

With over a decade of experience as a literary agent, freelance book editor, and published author, Mary Kole is well-equipped to help writers succeed in the competitive world of young adult fiction.

Mary received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco and has spoken at dozens of writer’s conferences and workshops across the world. She has been deeply involved with organizations including the SCBWI, Writer’s Digest, and NaNoWriMo. Her book, Writing Irresistible Kidlit, a writing reference guide for middle grade and young adult writers, is available from Writer’s Digest Books.

She has worked with thousands of writers through her editing business, Mary Kole Editorial, and founded Good Story Company in 2019 as an educational, editorial, and community resource for writers providing free and paid craft-focused content. She also teaches the craft and industry focused small group writing intensive workshop Story Mastermind for novelists and picture book writers. She develops intellectual property with the book packager, Upswell Media.


Mary really has her finger on the pulse of young adult literature and gave me some critical pointers to give my work the punch it needed to be market ready. I can definitely recommend her work to my fellow authors.

Amy Jarecki, Bestselling, Multi-Award Winning Author

I’m a huge fan of Mary’s and find her careful, thoughtful critique to be an invaluable part of my process. As a newcomer to the YA format, I found her advice and insights hugely helpful in getting me up to speed with a new type of reader, style, and story expectations. I unconditionally recommend her for all writers from beginners to old pros.

Jason Mercer

Mary’s unique perspective and experience is a gold mine! The material she presents is accessible, helpful, practical and effective. We are very lucky students!

Missy P

All students receive the following

  • Access to the 60-minute live class. After roughly 45 minutes, Mary will take questions using in-class chat/text. The class will end after roughly 60 minutes. If we can’t get to all of the questions live, Mary will answer them in writing and you’ll receive the answers with the recording.
  • A recording of the class—audio and video. This is especially helpful if you have a conflict with the class time or something comes up and you can’t make the session. Each registration comes with access to the archived version of the program and the materials for 30 days. You do not have to attend the live event to access the recordings.
  • Presentation slides. All participants receive the slide presentation in PDF form.
  • Rough transcript. We use Otter to create an automated transcript of the entire webinar, which we’ll share with you in addition to the audio and video recording.

Event Attendance & Anti-Harassment Policy

We strive to provide an environment where all present—whether attendee, presenter, or staff—can feel supported. In order to ensure a welcoming event, here is what we expect from all who participate.

  • That the presenter and the presenter’s work be treated with respect by attendees and that all attendees treat each other with respect and a generosity of spirit.
  • That attendees will refrain from harassment of any sort including (but not limited to) comments or questions of a racist, homophobic, sexist/sexual, or threatening nature. This includes actions that disrupt or interfere with anyone’s ability to participate. Offenders will be disconnected from the live event.