JULIA GOLDING Masterclass - Voice & Characterisation in YA Fiction

By Linda Lawlor
What makes for successful characters in YA fiction, and why exactly do they work? What do Artemis Fowl, Skulduggery Pleasant and the Wimpy Kid have in common? Why are they different from Frodo and Bella?
These questions, and many more, were explored during a packed and lively afternoon spent in the company of Julia Golding, author of the 'Cat Royal' series and the new 'Young Knights of the Round Table'.

Add to this, the fact that Julia is extremely well-read and has written numerous books under her two pen names, it is not surprising that she was able to speak with great authority and a good deal of humour, using examples ranging from Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III to the pompous Mr Collins.


Julia didn't do all the work, though!

Time passed quickly as we interviewed our chosen characters, challenging them to describe their favourite animals, mental landscapes and sound tracks, and even (teachers and the parents of sixth-formers, look away now!) forcing them to write a personal statement explaining their suitability for their own role.
It wasn't easy, but listening to the comments of other participants, it was very fruitful!

The masterclasses have always had a special place in my affections. Running from midday to four o'clock on a Saturday, situated less than a minute's walk from Charing Cross Station, and with a generously-sized pub lunch thrown in, they are readily accessible to people from a wide geographical area.
They are just the right length to provide a good dollop of input without overloading the weekend brain, and the range of speakers over the last few years has ensured a richness of experience and plenty of food for thought on the journey home.

To me, they are definitely one of the shiniest of the many jewels in SCBWI's crown!

Linda is currently busy with a book for the 9-12 age group, and is also playing about with ideas for a book for younger readers. She does quite a bit of reviewing, mostly for The Bookbag. Her two favourite questions are "What if?" and "Would you like some more chocolate?"


  1. Thanks very much Linda for your review. It must have been a very interesting and useful class. I hope it will help you in your work.

  2. Thank you Linda for a great write up! Sad I missed this one.

  3. Sounds like a great masterclass.

  4. Here we're discussing a great site personal statement check Hope so you'll enjoy your visit here.


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