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Calling all teen writers, ages 12 to 17, who want to share their writing to a responsive, engaging community of fellow writers, without the commitment of a full length course! Our Teen Writer's Salon is a creative space in which students can write alongside other teens and participate in workshop writing while making friends with other budding novelists.

We have built this space to allow students to stay connected to our Teen Writer's Institute programs and to experience the writing community offered by our Novel Writing Program, but there will be no set lectures or assignments. Instead, students will sign up ahead of each session to workshop a piece of their writing and receive peer feedback in a process facilitated by our author in residence, Hannah Jayne.

Students who post their pages to our online discussion boards will receive instructor feedback on all submissions. Come join us, and you'll walk away with a polished piece of writing, a peer group connected by the common pursuit of a creative writing life, and a clearer idea of how to make writing fit into your busy lifestyle!

2024 Dates

Febuary 10 - 11am-12:30pm

March 9 - 11am-12:30pm

April 13 - 11am-12:30pm

Teen Writers Salon


Writer's Salon

Program Overview


Grades 8-12


Writing Certificate Program Year 1

  • Course 1 (Fall) – Novel I: Novel Beginnings

  • Course 2 (Spring) – Novel II: Into The Middle

Writing Certificate Program Year 2

  • Course 3 (Fall) – Novel III: The Powerful Lead Up & Explosive Climax

  • Course 4 (Spring) – Novel IV: The Aftermath

Writing Certificate Program Year 3

  • Course 5 (Fall) – Novel V: After the End


September 6, 2021 - November 28, 2021 (Fall Semester)


In-person meetings are currently suspended due to COVID-19. All classes are offered online until further notice.


Novel I: Novel Beginnings

In this course students will study dynamic novel launches from a variety of texts in order to analyze the skills that writers employ to craft captivating first pages.  This course is all about exploration and explosive creativity in order to support students in writing stories that incite passion and spark interest. Topics of study will include crafting the ordinary world of the protagonist, what makes a scene, and effective narrative launch devices.  A particular focus will be taken on the life and schedule of a writer in order to support students in creating sustainable writing habits.  As such the program will host guest authors of published fiction to gain insight into their writing lives and career trajectories.  By the end of the course students should have a working draft of the first 30 pages of their novel, though it should be noted that students can expect to write at least twice these pages to fulfill course requirements.


Novel II: Novel Writing

Into The Middle

This course will take up where Novel Beginnings left off: by exploring what happens to characters when they leave their ordinary worlds behind and launch into journeys that forever change the trajectory of their lives.  Whereas the first novel writing course focused on crafting the ordinary world of the protagonist, this course will additionally focus on exploring secondary characters and subplots in order to create complex and dynamic worlds.  A particular focus will be on writing fast and writing strong in order to hit the ground running in the early middle of the novel and to continue structured practice of the habits that allow writers to blast through the initial drafts of their novels.


Novel III: The Powerful Lead Up and Explosive Climax

In Novel II, young authors created strong, believable characters with defined storylines. In Novel III we turn up the heat on those characters, pushing through the final obstacles and adventures to craft an emotional, dramatic dark moment and moving to an explosive and satisfying climax. Novelists will learn how to turn up the tension by focusing on character’s goals and motivations and raise the stakes of their worlds with complications and obstacles. Novel 3 will also focus on the writing life, teaching and exploring best practices to integrate writing, school, extra-curricular activities and life.


Novel IV: The Aftermath

In Novel IV, young authors will learn how to steer their explosive climaxes into emotionally satisfying endings. A particular focus will be on whole-novel and character arcs, making sure young authors are creating dynamic characters with complete emotional arcs and storylines are thorough and lack plot holes. After novel completion, we’ll have a strong focus on self and peer editing, guiding novelists to look at their finished products with a critical eye while not losing their personal voices in the editing process.


Novel V: After the End

Now that you’ve finished your novel, it’s time to polish it up! Novel V picks up right after Novel IV, with young authors putting the finishing touches on their books, including editing and reworking scenes and storylines with an eye toward publishing. In this course, novelists will use techniques that authors and editors use to polish up their finished works, including workshopping and self-editing. Young authors will learn how to balance their storylines, tighten up technique, and read and critique with an editor’s eye.

Registration is open!

About the


Jane Gilmore

Year 1 instructor Jane Gilmore is an Associate Director of the San Jose Area Writing Project. She is a teacher with over a dozen years of experience in both the classroom and leading professional development for teachers. She has a Masters in education and two teaching credentials (in English and Social Studies) from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Certificate in Novel Writing from Stanford University Continuing Studies. Aside from working on her own manuscripts, Jane’s favorite endeavor is supporting students in developing their own novels and creative talents. More likely than not, your students have played her original creative writing games at a Saturday Seminar, and she looks forward to helping nourish and flourish the careers of some of our brightest young writers.

Hannah Jayne

Year 2 instructor Hannah Jayne is the author of the UNDERWORLD DETECTION AGENCY CHRONICLES from Kensington books and the young adult thrillers TRULY, MADLY, DEADLY, SEE JANE RUN, THE DARE, and THE ESCAPE, available from Sourcebooks, Inc. When she’s not battling the demons of the Underworld or tackling a murderer at Hawthorne High, Jayne kicks her feet up in her San Francisco bay area home with her rock star husband, daughter, and their three enormous cats.

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