6-week WriteMaster Middle Grade/Young Adult course

Author Alexandra Sheppard‘s 6-week WriteMaster course take you through the main elements to make your Middle Grade or Young Adult novel stand out. Learn craft aspects that will help not only this novel, but every one you write.

Receive feedback on your Middle Grade and Young Adult novels

In the final week, your tutor will be joined by a top literary agent, who will give you individual and comprehensive feedback on the most important part of your Middle Grade or Young Adult novel: Page 1.

Fine tune your work with an author’s support

The course outline is below, and each week will focus on a different aspect of writing craft. The tutor will provide notes on these areas at the start of each week to give you an opportunity to fine tune your own work, with a task to complete for tutor and peer review.

Course summary

Time: 8pm to 9pm (GMT)

Date: See courses page

Frequency: Once a week

Platform: Slack

About the course tutor

Alexandra Sheppard is an author based in North London. Her debut Young Adult novel OH MY GODS was published by Scholastic in Spring 2019.

The book has since received coverage from The Guardian, Buzzfeed and Refinery 29. She’s currently working on her next Teen novel.

When she isn’t writing teen fiction, Alexandra runs creative writing workshops for teens at schools around the UK and as a freelance social media strategist works on dozens of award-winning social media campaigns.

She is represented by Lauren Gardner at Bell Lomax Moreton.

Alexandra is also a mentor for WriteMentor’s Spark programme where she offers editorial support to writers.

Course outline

WEEK 1: The premise

Often overlooked until later in the process, but we’ll make sure your premise is hooky, engaging, emotionally laced and jam-packed with conflicts.

WEEK 2: Character agency

Character drives plot. We’ll look at how to make sure your MC is driving your story.

WEEK 3: Creating conflict

Personalising and escalating the obstacles faced by your character in achieving their goal.

WEEK 4: Stakes and emotion

Personal stakes and emotional craft – why does what happens MATTER to the main character?

WEEK 5: Who are you writing for?

Understanding who you’re writing for in terms of age group, content, word counts and themes.

WEEK 6: Hooks and first pages

The most important part of your novel: Page one. Look at how you can hook an agent, but even more importantly, your potential readers.

Hear from past students

This course offers a safe space with a small group of like-minded people. It’s brilliant for asking all your questions and getting all the answers you need. I think it’s improved my writing and given me more confidence to go forward.

Ruth Cassidy

This course has given me so much motivation! I began the six week course with roughly 3,000 words of a brand new story. Upon completing the course, I had a solid plan, a clear character arc and 27,000 words! Alex is extremely knowledgeable and gives just the right blend of positivity and critique in her feedback, meaning I had plenty to work on to improve my work but never felt overwhelmed or de-motivated by it. I would highly recommend this course to anyone either starting a new WIP or looking to improve the one they’re redrafting.


WriteMentor’s online courses go above and beyond other courses I have taken and is half the cost. The community of writers that I’ve met through WM have all been so lovely, talented and supportive and Stuart is an absolute star!

Stephanie Cotela Tanner 

The YA WriteMaster course is well organised and gives you a good overview of how to structure your novel and build good characters, along with content that is relevant for anyone starting off writing a YA Novel.

Katy Harrison

“The course really gave me useful tasks that helped me to reflect on my writing in different ways, and tools that helped me tighten up the plot of my novel.”

Dorothy Dyer

I really enjoyed the course. Alex was a fab tutor – the course content was challenging and inspiring and I looked forward each week to my Tuesday team bonding hour! And great value for money, especially with constructive criticism thrown in. Thank you!

Sue Cunningham

“I have done many of these online writing courses over the years and this has to be the best value one I’ve ever done. With one hour interactive tutorials, reading lists, preparation packs, and even homework with feedback from a fabulous published author, I feel spoiled by this course and will really miss it now it’s all over. I really enjoyed the one hour workshops on Tuesday evenings.

“Alex managed to unlock parts of my brain I didn’t know were there with her brilliant exercises that got to the heart of my novel idea and characters. And hearing about everyone else’s ideas really helped me develop my own. It was also great to chat with course mates on days in-between sessions in our own private chat room, and to bounce ideas off each other about our WIPs. I have left the course with a cohort of new writing pals and the first two chapters of a brand new story idea, with a plot in place to boot. Would recommend this course to anyone, especially if you are in a writing rut.”

Melissa Welliver

“The course was fantastic for a newbie writer like me. It covered everything I’d need to know from start to finish and the chance to hear from an agent was a brilliant opportunity.”

Laura Claire Ellis-Woodley

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