For Teens

Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP): Bland Story No More: Symbolism, Subplots, and Spice Galore!

Saturday, January 21st from 12:00pm - 3:00pm (ET)
Remote! (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: Teens
Teen (13-18)
25 seats max

***This class will be hosted remotely! You'll receive an email from your instructor about 15 minutes before your class is scheduled to begin with a Zoom link. There is no need to download or sign up for Zoom in advance!***


Class Description:

Got a story that’s lacking that “somethin’ special?” This class is all about the add-ins: the story elements that give your writing an extra kick. We’ll look at the first chapter of Gabriel García Márquez’s Nobel Prize-winning novel, “Chronicle of a Death Foretold.” Then, we’ll discuss a few of the elements that make this story beginning quirky and instantly compelling: narrative arc, symbolism, subplots, and a limited narrator. With the support and inspiration of each other, we’ll try our own hand at incorporating these elements into our stories.

There are two ways to participate in this class: bring a draft of your story that needs a little pizzazz, or come with a blank slate and start a new story, leading with the spice. Whichever way you choose, join us and imbue your writing with zest! For writers age 13 - 18 ONLY.


Students will leave with a second draft of their current project and/or the beginnings of a new story, and a better understanding of narrative tools that can make your writing distinctive.

Zoom Accessability:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session post-class. 

Our NEW Class Format--Sustainable Creativity:

Based on student suggestions and to offer writers a sustainable learning experience, YAWP Saturdays provide a balance of craft sessions and exercises with plenty of optional components so that teens can take screen breaks as needed. Each session will feature a craft talk or group exercise with your designated instructor and conclude with an optional opening mic event. Students are encouraged to self-advocate, opting out if they are fatigued or diving in if they want more creative activity. Either way, instructors will always be available to answer questions via email and/or Zoom chat!

Registration Instructions:

  • If the student is under 18, parents/guardians must complete this permission form online. You only need to fill this form out ONE TIME, NOT for every class. If you cannot remember whether you have already filled it out, please email [email protected] and we will check for you! If you do not complete this form, your registrations could be voided and the cancellation policy will apply.
  • If the student is 18, simply let us know by emailing [email protected]
  • If you are registering on behalf of a student, add their email in the “For a Friend or Child?” field on the right-hand side of the screen at check out. This will send them a direct link and reminder to create their own profile with GrubStreet.
  • Please register with your preferred name :)


***If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at [email protected] We’re looking forward to writing with you this winter!***

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Kayla Degala-Paraíso
See Bio


  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level