For Teens

Young Adult Writers Program (YAWP): The Spoken and Unspoken: Writing Dialogue and Gestures

Saturday, May 13th 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:

Sometimes, the challenge in our writing isn’t fleshing out our characters, but rather how they express themselves. How do we create distinctive voices for each of our characters? How do we get our characters to move and behave in ways that both characterize them and show their interiorities? And, perhaps most importantly: how do we put multiple characters in the same room and have each of them remain unique? In this class, we’ll analyze the craft techniques employed in Teddy Engs’s short story, “Somebody’s Been Stealing My Mom’s Bike”, and Jessie Levandov’s short film, “Baby”. Then, we will try our own hand at writing dialogue and gestures. Whether you want to improve the voices of characters in your current project or create something new, join your fellow writers in exploring the spoken and the unspoken! For writers age 13 - 18 ONLY.


Students will leave with the beginnings of two new pieces, techniques for developing characters, and a deeper understanding of crafting relationships.

Zoom Accessibility:

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 spring!***

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Kayla Degala-Paraíso
See Bio


  • Short Fiction

Commitment Level