Our third annual YA Symposium,The Young and The Reckless: Writing for Teens,starts August 14th, with prerecorded content, live seminars, a keynote, and a wealth of resources and community building opportunities. Our events team answers a few FAQs about what makes this event, virtual now for the second year in a row, so special.

What’s most exciting about this event?
The most exciting thing about our YA Symposium is the opportunity to hear from a collective of seasoned, published authors. This event serves as a unique opportunity to hear from writers pursuing their own writer’s journey, while also willfully sharing the nuggets of wisdom they have picked up along the way. The end goal of finishing a book can often seem like a faraway fever dream or a forbidden fairytale for those who have never had the opportunity to hear from working writers. Therefore, this symposium is ideal for both those who just have an idea and want to unravel it into novel – or avidly aspire to be full time writers.

How is the YA Symposium different from other Writers’ Program offerings?
Our Symposium is a stand-out event because participants will have access to lectures and conversations amongst authors that assist step-by-step with everything from learning from your messy first drafts – to finding a writing community. The lessons and knowledge acquired from these recordings are valuable to both beginning and experienced writers alike.

What are the benefits of the virtual format?
While we would love to see and meet all our attendees in person, a huge perk of hosting our symposium virtually is that you can watch it from anywhere! All our attendees need is a zoom link (no waiting in traffic or flying in town to attend an educational seminar)!

How does it work with the live versus prerecorded content?
All of the prerecorded conversations and lectures can be accessed via our Canvas platform through September 3rd. Attendees have an opportunity to watch the sessions at their convenience and as many times as they like. Each session is filled with nuggets of inspiration and practical writing advice – so writers come away both inspired and with tangible ways to make their craft stronger.
The live content includes three panels, speed networking, and a reception to allow the opportunity for attendees to connect face to face with each other and have an opportunity to interact with and ask questions of several of the authors during their presentations.

What else can students access during the Symposium?
All sessions will have transcriptions provided in addition to the visual recording so students don’t have to worry about missing key information. Some sessions also include extra handouts included as a resource. Our goal is to be as accommodating as possible and aid our audience with the tools necessary to grow and succeed as writers.

Featured Speakers

Keynote Speaker:
Aiden Thomas
New York Times Bestselling Author & National Book Award 2020 Longlist Recipient

Featured Speakers:
Elise Allen
Francesca Lia Block
Pseudonymous Bosch
Mayra Cuevas
Camryn Garrett
Deborah Halverson
Lydia Kang
Sarah Kuhn
Axie Oh
Adam Sass
Eric Smith

Breakout Sessions


  • Discovering Your Story’s Theme
  • Finding a Writing Community
  • Mining Your Life for Stories Staying Motivated


  • Asking the Right Questions
  • Creating a writing practice
  • Fundamentals of Story
  • Learning from your messy first draft

Registration Information

The $60 registration fee includes:

  • Keynote presentation
  • Eight prerecorded lectures and conversations on craft
  • Three live panel presentations
  • Handouts and access to daily discussion boards
  • Workshop group opportunity
  • Access to Online Book Sale

For more information:
(310) 825-9415 | writers@uclaextension.edu

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