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  • Workshop
  • Online: Zoom
  • Teen (13–18)
  • YAWP/Teen
  • 1 Week

Teen Summer: Say It Like You Mean It

Only teens can participate in this Class.

Apply for Scholarship
  • $475.00 Non-Member
  • $450.00 Member

Class Description

Does writing dialogue make you want to scream? Whether characters are arguing, bantering, betraying secrets, or confessing their guilt, dialogue can be one of the most challenging parts of writing a scene. In this workshop, we’ll learn about the various ways you can use dialogue in your writing, such as to advance the plot or develop characters. We’ll also practice combining external and internal dialogue to give your scenes depth. In addition, we’ll discuss some tips and tricks for using (or not using) those pesky dialogue tags. And why stop with words? Let’s throw some action in there to give your dialogue a kick in the pants. We’ll read and discuss excerpts from novels and short stories throughout the week to see how authors use dialogue so you can apply those techniques yourself. Feel free to bring a current project you want to work on, but we’ll also do exercises to create brand-new scenes. Students will leave class with a greater understanding of the functions of dialogue; how external and internal dialogue work together; when to use and not use dialogue tags; and how action can strengthen dialogue. For writers of all experience levels, age 13 - 18 ONLY.


Sustainability and Community:

Based on student suggestions and to offer writers a sustainable learning experience, this YAWP weeklong provides a balance of craft sessions and exercises with plenty of optional components so that teens can take screen breaks as needed.

Each morning session will feature a craft talk or group exercise with your designated instructor, and in the afternoon you’ll have optional and lowkey meetings that could consist of:

  • Q&A chat with your writing instructor
  • Group writing with music
  • Reading party
  • Movie viewing followed by a chat about craft
  • Writing games
  • Open mic/sharing

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:

  • Register for the class by clicking the red "ADD TO CART" button and following the checkout instructions through our website. If you do not have an account, you will be able to make one easily. When making the account, please use your preferred name.
  • 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 the student is under 18, parents/guardians must complete this Teen Participation Permission Form. You only need to fill this form out one time, not for every class. Please complete it with the student's preferred name. 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].

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If you have any questions or concerns, please email us at [email protected]. We’re excited to write with you this summer!

Scholarships Format/Location

Thanks to the excellent literary citizenship of our donors, scholarships are available for all GrubStreet classes. To apply, click the gray "APPLY FOR SCHOLARSHIP" button. In order to be considered for a scholarship, you must complete your application at least one week before the start date of a class. Please await our scholarship committee's decision before registering for the class. We cannot hold spots in classes, so the sooner you apply, the better. Scholarships cannot be applied retroactively.

For more detailed information about GrubStreet scholarships, including how to contribute to scholarship funds for other students, click here.

This class will take place using Zoom videoconferencing. Please visit the Resources tab to access the video-conference link.

Zoom Participation:

Students are not required to turn their camera on, but are encouraged to participate any way they feel comfortable through functions such as the live chat, emoji reactions, and unmuting the microphone. Learn more about using Zoom here.

Zoom Accessibility:

We ask that instructors enable closed captioning and send a transcript of the session after class. You can also enable closed captioning at any time during the meeting. If your instructor forgets to send the transcript, just send ’em an email!