For Teens

Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP): Exploring Your Sinister Side: Writing Villains

Saturday, January 11th 12pm to 4pm
Remote (Live Zoom Meetings)
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Level: Teens
Teen (13-18)
This class is full

*Note: Parents/guardians must complete this permission form online if your teen is under 18.* Unlike previous forms, you only need to fill this 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 the form, registrations could be voided and the cancellation policy will apply. If the student is 18, simply let us know at [email protected]

Class Description: Have you always felt like the villain of the story gets the short end of the stick? Are you tired of hero-centric storylines? Do you long to flesh out the more sinister side of the plot?

In this YAWP class we are going to steal the spotlight away from the protagonists and explore the craft of creating not only believable, three dimensional antagonists, but sympathetic ones. We will take the Moriartys, the Nosferatus, the Wicked Witches, and Big Bads, and through prompts, analytical readings, and exercises, deconstruct and reconstruct the archetype of the villain. We'll learn how to build better and more in-depth characters, conflicts, and relationships, as well as how to utilize the archetypical characters as a means to explore and represent deeper themes in our writing. Writers who dig Gregory Maguire, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Kelly Link, and Joe Hill will find themselves right at home here.

Students will leave with the beginnings of several new stories as well as a newfound appreciation for the versatile role a villain can play in their work.

Stick around after YAWP for a Teen Writing Fellowship info session and submit-a-thon! You can learn more about GrubStreet's summer writing fellowship for teens and spend some time working on your application! If you're interested, be sure to sign up here so we can get a sense of numbers. 

Who Should Register?
For writers ages 13 - 18 ONLY. Writing notebooks are available, but feel free to bring your own.

Remember, parents/guardians must also complete this permission form online before the start of the class. Otherwise, registrations could be voided and the cancellation policy will apply. If the student is 18, simply let us know at [email protected]

*If you are registering on behalf of your teen, add their email information in the “For a Friend or Child?” field on the right-hand side of the screen before you check out. This will send them a direct link and reminder to create their own profile with GrubStreet. 
(After adding the class to your cart, click "Checkout" and click “Add” next to “For a Friend or Child?” on the right-hand side to fill in their email. This is an easy way of linking the class to your child and encourages them to create their own account.)

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Jess Mann
See Bio


  • The Novel
  • Short Fiction
  • Young Adult & Children's Literature

Commitment Level