October Workshop: Villains in YA with Literary Agent Hannah VanVels!

Each month Voyage is bringing you a new YA workshop/class with some of the best agents, editors, and authors in YA. 

We’ve designed these workshops to help you level up your craft in short 75-minute sessions! We focus on a specific area of craft related to YA, in addition to everything to do with publishing YA. 

We’re writers ourselves! We know just how difficult and inscrutable this journey can be whether you’ve been on it for two weeks or two decades. This project is an important piece of Voyage’s overall mission to be a platform and resource for great YA writers—we can’t wait for you to join us in one of these workshops!

Our workshops will happen once a month via Zoom, and participants have the option of registering for the live workshop or registering for a recording of the workshop/class. Writers will have access to the recorded workshop for 90 days. 

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for workshop/class announcements.


The Voyage YA Team

This Month’s Workshop

Villains in YA | Literary Agent Hannah VanVels | October 19, 2021

Darth Vader, Hannibal Lector, Moriarty, the Wicked Witch of the West. These are some of the most memorable villains in our pop culture and literary canon. Everyone hero needs a great villain. Villains help define your story’s main character, shape the conflict, and give readers someone to root against.

In this class, we’ll learn what makes a compelling villain and how to write a memorable villain in YA. We’ll learn about villainous character motivations, how to incorporate a villain’s backstory, and how to make your villain stand out.

This class will be taught via Zoom. Participants may register for the live or recorded version and will also have access to the recorded class for at least 90 days.  

When: Tuesday, October 19, 2021, 6 PM EST

Investment: $39 USD

Sign up for the current workshop here!

About the Instructor:

Hannah VanVels is an agent with Belcastro Agency. Hannah has worked various bookish jobs including a short stint as a bookseller at Barnes & Noble, a freelance editor for scholarly and academic essays and journals, and most recently as the acquiring editor for a young adult imprint with HarperCollins Publishing. She lives on Lake Michigan with her partner, two German Shepherds, and two cats.


Q: Will I have access to the recording if I sign up for the live session?

A: Yes. Everyone who signs up receives access to the recorded workshop. 

Q: What’s the difference between signing up for the recorded version or the live version? 

A: If you sign up for the live workshop, you’ll be able to ask the instructor questions in real time. If you sign up for the recorded version, you can send us your questions on Submittable, but we can’t guarantee that it will be asked. 

Q: If I sign up for the live class, when will I receive Zoom info?

A: Once you register for the workshop via Submittable, you will immediately be sent a response within Submittable with the Zoom access info. Submittable sends notifications via email, but in the event you don’t receive an email, log into your Submittable account and check under the “messages” tab. 

Q: When will the recording access info be sent out and where can I find it?

A: Voyage will send the access info within 48 hours of the live workshop date. The access info will contain a Zoom link and password. Participants will be notified via Submittable. Submittable sends notifications via email, but you can find communication from Voyage under the “messages” tab when you log into your Submittable account. 

Questions? Email contact (at) thevoyagejournal.com 

Sign up for the current workshop here!

Previous Workshops

How to Write a Query Letter | Agent Kaitlyn Johnson | May 2021

Creating Authentic YA Characters | Author Pamela N. Harris | June 2021

Overview of the Query Process | Agent Kaitlyn Johnson | July 2021

Internet Resources for Finding the Right Agent | VYA Editor Racquel Henry | August 2021

Polishing Your First Chapter and Landing Your Hook | Soho Teen Editor Alexa Wejko | September 2021

Voyage accepts submissions year-round and published pieces can be found on our website, accessible to everyone for free.​​