Happy Friday, everyone! It’s already the last Friday in April, and apparently it’s going to be in the 70s this weekend. Perfect time to grab a book and snag a spot in the sunshine, right? Until then, here’s a look at what I’ve been reading and writing in fifteen words or under:
Reading: Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly
About grief, love, strength, fear, courage, and oh yeah there’s a dragon. So good!
Last weekend, I got up at 5:30am, bought a giant coffee, and drove to Springfield, MA for the annual NESCBWI conference. Since my first time a few years ago, when I knew absolutely no one and spent breakfast thinking, Maybe if I tweet enough I’ll look popular, I’ve gotten to know so many wonderful writers and illustrators from the New England area, including my very own critique group. This year was a great combination of seeing friends, having thoughtful conversations, getting new ideas, learning about new resources, and generally feeling inspired.
Some favorite moments from the conference:
Being back together with the full critique group, including twomembers who have moved to other time zones over the last year. (Guys, anytime you want to move back to New England, you’ve got a spot in group.)
Wearing t-shirts to promote crit group member AC Gaughen’s upcoming book, Lion Heart, and getting major props from other conference members. (We even got a shoutout during Jen Malone’s marketing workshop as an example of cool, alternative marketing.)
Great conversations about writing diversity, including an excellent workshop with Mitali Perkins about writing diverse lives and asking the important questions, another with Ellen Wittlinger about LGBTQ YA books, and a dynamic panel including 2015 author Cindy L. Rodriguez. Favorite panel quote by Justina Ireland: “How good are the characters on your page already if you can’t write a diverse character?”
Learning about picture book structure and how to use line breaks and page turns to build tension/build a joke.
Listening to Newbery winner Kwame Alexander talk about the power of poetry.
A powerful keynote from Jo Knowles about a quote from “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” books that can shed light on darkness, and her journey to writing YA novels about tough topics.
Seeing old friends, making new ones, and reminding myself of the awesomeness of the children’s literature community.
Major thanks to the NESCBWI conference organizers, volunteers, and faculty for their hard work in making this such a successful and inspiring weekend. See you all in Springfield in 2016!
Happy Friday, everybody! This weekend I’ll be at the NESCBWI conference, one of my favorite writing events of the year–inspiring keynotes, fun workshops, and lots of writerly bonding. Let’s get the weekend off to a literary start with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing in fifteen words or under.
Reading: Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler
The romance is swoony, but all the relationships (family and friends included) felt so real.
Writing: “The first thing you feel when you turn is hungry.”
A new story is in the works for the Hanging Garden on Monday! One hint: vampires.
Happy Friday, everyone! I’m especially psyched that it’s Friday because Monday is Patriot’s Day, aka Marathon Monday, and the Boston Marathon is my very favorite sports-related event. (Okay, pretty much the only sports event I care about.) Let’s get the weekend started with a little look at what I’ve been reading and writing in fifteen words or fewer.
Reading: Boxers & Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Beautifully constructed look at a dark moment in Chinese history. Honest but hopeful.
Writing: “Do you think you could fight a coyote?” “What do I look like, a roadrunner?”
Things happen on a road trip.