For Teens

Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP): Love to Hate You, Hate to Love You: Creating Character Foils

Saturday, October 15th from 12:00pm - 3:00pm
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:

The dark, brooding character who has a soft spot for their bubbly friend. The moralistic superhero whose nemesis is morally gray. The enemies-to-lovers who can’t stand anything about each other but fall for each other anyway. What is it about these types of characters? Why do people who are total opposites make for such compelling stories?

In this class, we’ll explore the idea of the character foil, and how characterization can come to life when we create counterparts for our protagonists who are the exact opposite of everything they are. We’ll read segments from a range of authors who use opposing traits to create amazing relationships, from Shakespeare to Benjamin Alire Sáenz, and talk about great character foils in some of our favorite movies and tv shows. We’ll use these discussions as a jumping off point for writing exercises in which we’ll invent our own original characters and character pairings. For students aged 13-18 ONLY!


Students will leave class with a series of character sketches and some new story brainstorms, where they'll start to imagine how these relationships can lay the groundwork for conflict.

Our NEW Class Format--Sustainable Creativity:

Based on student suggestions and to offer writers a sustainable learning experience, this Fall's 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.


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

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Sara Daniele Rivera
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  • Poetry

Commitment Level