Online | Fiction | Seminar

4-Week Online Generative Fiction Seminar: How to Bloom as a Young Adult Writer

How do we bloom as writers? What can our artistry and surroundings teach us about identity, discovery, activism, love, place, nature and family? How can we infuse that into our novels and discover our own ideas and visions?

Through generative writing sessions that cover plot, story synopsis, and timelines for our drafts, we will build on our ideas and visions for our work. Through interactive craft workshops with a focus on voice, imagery and dialogue, we will create characters, settings, and storylines that come alive on the page. As a group, we will talk about goal setting, publishing, finding an agent, and working with an editor. We will create and build community while working on our craft.

This workshop is open to emerging or established writers to join us as we craft new work and build our body of writing.

Class meetings will be held over video chat, using Zoom accessed from your private class page. While you can use Zoom from your browser, we recommend downloading the desktop client so you have access to all platform features.


- Building community with other YA writers

- Generate new work

- Craft an outline

- 10% discount on all future Catapult classes


Students will be asked to fully participate in class each week and engage in the writing activities. They will be asked to submit 2-3 pages each week for workshop purposes, which will receive written and verbal feedback from fellow participants and the instructor, and an outline of their YA idea to be shared with the class.


Week #1: Community building, generative writing & sharing, generating story ideas & how to create an outline

Week #2: Generative writing & outlining the novel

Week #3: Sharing outlines & pitch letters for agents

Week #4: Agents & Editors: finding a home for your novel

Ellen Hagan

Ellen Hagan is a writer, performer, and educator. She is the co-author with Renée Watson of Watch Us Rise. Her books include Blooming Fiascoes, Hemisphere, Crowned & Reckless, Glorious, Girl. Her work can be found in ESPN Magazine, She Walks in Beauty, and Southern Sin. She received a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in poetry in 2020 and has received grants from the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Raised in Kentucky, she splits her time between Kentucky and New York City with her family.


Author photo: David Flores


"This stunning book is the story I've been waiting for my whole life; where girls rise up to claim their space with joy and power.”

Laurie Halse Anderson NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and award-winning author of SPEAK

"An extraordinary story of two indomitable spirits."

Brendan Kiely NEW YORK TIMES bestselling co-author of ALL AMERICAN BOYS and TRADITION

"Timely, thought-provoking, and powerful."

Julie Murphy NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of DUMPLIN'

"Ellen creates workshop settings that allow the students an open space to talk about themselves and communicate/reflect in the group. The students’ writing is both narrative and emotionally driven and deals with issues relevant to their lives. Ellen’s energy and dynamic teaching style creates an atmosphere that nurtures ensemble building. She maintains high expectations of her students and helps them to meet their goals. "

Tanya Gallo colleague, The DreamYard Project

"Ellen’s background as a teacher and organizer make it clear that she is invested in her communities—tenaciously so—and it often amazes me that she is able to work so fully in all of her roles as organizer, teacher, mother, partner, friend. As her own life and roles continue to deepen and widen, the courage, honesty, curiosity, and commitment to craft continues to deepen and widen. "

Aracelis Girmay poet & colleague