← View All Classes

PJ Seminar: Pulling from Power and Powerlessness in YA to Unravel Plot with Natalia Sylvester

$70.00 · August 26

In this generative class, we’ll explore YA stories through the lens of power and the seeming contradictions of adolescence: its fearlessness and vulnerability, fragility and strength, independence and powerlessness.

Start Date

August 26

Day(s) of the Week

Monday

Class Times

6:30pm – 8:30pm CT

Sessions

1

Location

Zoom (online)

Price

$70

Instructor

In stock

Description

Young adult stories are often described as coming-of-age, but how do we narrow this broadly used term into a specific experience that’s driven by both character and plot?
In this generative class, we’ll explore YA stories through the lens of power and the seeming contradictions of adolescence: its fearlessness and vulnerability, fragility and strength, independence and powerlessness. With a specific focus on the power dynamics in our characters’ lives, we’ll begin examining, on the page, how they reconcile their newfound agency with the uniquely uncontrollable factors in their lives—many of which are often shaped by personal background, systemic issues, and influential relationships and experiences.
This class is designed for those at any stage of the writing process, from those still conceptualizing to those revising. Through discussion and in-class writing we’ll unravel how the active, reactive, and passive can intertwine to form plot in YA novels, helping writers gain valuable, character-driven insight on how to plot their stories or approach revision going forward.

About Natalia Sylvester

Natalia Sylvester is the Pura Belpré- and Schneider Family-honor winning author of the young adult novel BREATHE AND COUNT BACK FROM TEN, and the award-winning author of the young adult novel RUNNING and the adult novels EVERYONE KNOWS YOU GO HOME and CHASING THE SUN. Her first picture book A MALETA FULL OF TREASURES, illustrated by Juana Medina, was called "A must-have for any picture book collection" by School Library Journal.

Natalia's non-fiction has appeared in the New York Times, Bustle, Catapult, Electric Literature, Latina magazine, and McSweeney's Publishing. Her essays have been anthologized in collections such as A MAP IS ONLY ONE STORY and A MEASURE OF BELONGING: WRITERS OF COLOR ON THE NEW AMERICAN SOUTH.

Born in Lima, Peru, Natalia came to the US at age four and grew up in Florida and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. She received a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Miami, was a 2021 Visiting Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and was formerly a faculty member at the Mile-High MFA program at Regis University. She now lives in South Florida.