Instructor: Jennifer Jacobson
Date & Time: Saturday, January 20 | 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM
Location: Rockland Public Library
Level: Open
Maximum Attendees: 12 FULL/WAIT LIST
Fee: MWPA Member $45 | Nonmember $100
Registration Closes: January 15

Imagine a reader pinned in place by your story, unable to move until they reach the end. Now imagine that reader racing to thrust the book into the hands of the nearest person, exclaiming: “You’ve got to read this!”

No doubt about it, the novels people love best arouse strong emotions. In this workshop for writers of middle grade and YA novels, participants will explore ways of crafting stories that provoke intense feelings (tension, empathy, awe)—in other words, fiction that resonates long after a reader has finished your book. Some of the questions that will be explored in depth are:

  • How to create an emotional connection to the reader through characterization, plot, language, and pacing
  • How to prevent oneself from backing away from conflict and how to bravely mine the truth instead
  • How to make sure one has accurately transcribed that truth to the page
  • How to write an ending that will cause the reader to close the book with a satisfied sigh (or better yet, tears) and then want to read it all over again

In addition, attendees will be given a number of writing exercises in class.

Jennifer Jacobson is the author of middle grade and young adult novels including Small as an Elephant about twelve-year old Jack who’s been abandoned in a National Park (International Reading Association Young Adults’ Choice, Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner); the young adult novel Stained in which seventeen-year-old Jocelyn searches for one boy while holding fast to her love for another (ALA Best Book for Young Adults, Publisher’s Weekly Best Children’s Book, New York Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age) Paper Things — a nuanced story about homeless siblings (Best of Summer Pick by Hudson Booksellers, Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of the Year, ILA Social Justice Award). Jennifer, a three-time winner of the Lupine Award for Young Readers, lives in Maine with her husband and dog, and when not writing, provides coaching services for writers.

All MWPA workshops require advanced registration. We accept registration by phone, mail, and online via PayPal. We cannot guarantee registration in the final 24-hours before a workshop, and can rarely accommodate day-of registration.

Call 207-228-8263 and register with your VISA or MasterCard.

If you prefer to pay by mail, please print this registration form (downloadable PDF) and mail it to the MWPA with a check or credit card information.



The MWPA is proud to offer one full scholarship to this workshop for members-only. Scholarships are awarded on a combination of need and merit. Application Due in the MWPA office on January 8 at 9:00 a.m.

Registration in any MWPA workshop, program, or event constitutes your agreement to our terms and conditions.