The one thing I love more than writing for teens is writing with teens. A former high school teacher, I’ve taught writing in school and community settings. One of the best jobs I ever had was as editor of a girl-generated magazine. Currently, I’m on the faculty of GrubStreet, and I direct an exciting new initiative for diverse young writers, the VCFA Young Writers Network.
If you’re a teen who loves dreaming up stories (or who would like to give it a try), check out my upcoming classes!
I’m available for book clubs and school visits.
I love talking about books and writing with people of all ages. If your class or book club has read A Psalm for Lost Girls–or you’re planning to–I’d love to speak with you! I make in-person visits to schools, libraries, nonprofits, and book groups in the Boston area and am available by Skype for others. My book makes a great jumping off point for discussions about:
- Forgiveness, healing, and self-acceptance
- What it means to be a good girl/bad girl/real woman
- The ups and downs of being gifted
- Navigating family and community conflict
- Embracing your own truth
I’m available to lead workshops too.
I’m an experienced educator and have taught most genres to youth of all skill levels and abilities. My approach is highly interactive—lots of sharing, experimenting, and exploring craft ideas through different modes. My favorite workshop topics include:
- Finding the spark of your story
- Creating characters with beating hearts
- Crafting rich settings & layered plots
- Staying motivated & inspired as a writer
I’d love to design a workshop or series for your school or community.
What my students say…
This class was by far the best class I have taken at GrubStreet. The class was loaded with excellent reading examples, in class exercises, take home exercises, resources for present and future, in addition to being a very well-held space — meaning, the instructor created an atmosphere that brought out the best in everyone. Katie is an excellent teacher. Her skillful attention to detail, sensitivity to individual needs and time management cannot be overstated.
–Maura Cunningham, student, Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel in Progress
Katie Bayerl’s craft lessons were GOLD. I liked the authority with which she spoke and the range of resources she suggested. From the very beginning I could tell this course was working for me because she introduced the terminology of the Third Rail (the main character’s “misbelief”); this was shorthand that resonated with me—so the lessons allowed me to access areas in my story that needed work… I was very impressed with this course, and I’d take another one with Katie in a heartbeat.
–Katherine Wolff, student, Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel Builder (online)
The constructive, encouraging tone that Katie set, the resources she chose, and the writing exercises she gave were powerfully inspiring. She was encouraging but pointed and clear in her feedback.
–Anne Cadigan, student, Young Adult/Middle Grade Novel Builder (online)
Katie’s one of the most amazing teachers I’ve ever had. She understands when life gets in the way but always pushes you to do your best.
–Jessica, 12th grade
Katie offered new ways to think about stories and some cool ways to improve. I learned a lot.
–Will, 10th grade
There is a lot of sharing amongst each other, which is good because you learn what works for your writing and what can be improved.
–Johnny, 10th grade