Friday Fifteen

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!

Writing: “The first thing you feel when you turn is hungry.”
My latest short story is about vampires and up now at the Hanging Garden!

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor: BTAF Trivia Night!

Boston-Teen-Author-Fest-PreviewThings I like: young adult literature and trivia competitions. Needless to say, I am super psyched about the upcoming Boston Teen Author Festival Trivia Night at the Cambridge Public Library!

Teams of 5 will compete in a YA/kidlit trivia challenge, win prizes, eat snacks, and get to hang out with YA and MG authors like Lori Goldstein, Jen Malone, MarcyKate Connelly, and me! The details:

BTAF Trivia Night
Cambridge Public Library Teen Room
449 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02138
Thursday, May 7
7pm, followed by book signing

Come on out for an awesome time and celebrate Children’s Book Week by proving you and your friends know the most about Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and more. Hope to see you there!

Guerrilla Marketing, Authenticity, and Daring to Disturb the Universe: the 2015 NESCBWI Conference

IMG_2117Last 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.

IMG_2097Some favorite moments from the conference:

  • Being back together with the full critique group, including two members 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 Heartand 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.)
  • IMG_2098Great 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.
  • IMG_2096Seeing 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!

Links Galore

Lots of good links to start your week:

 

Friday Fifteen

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.

ReadingBehind 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.

 

Friday Fifteen

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.

ReadingBoxers & 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.

Links Galore

Sorry for the blog silence over the last couple weeks! Here are lots of good links I’ve been hoarding: