Links Galore

All the links I’ve been saving:

Friday Fifteen

My lack of posting this week probably suggested I’ve been super busy, so I’m thrilled it’s finally Friday. Onto the long weekend with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing, in fifteen words or fewer.

ReadingLion Heart by A.C. Gaughen
Knives, ransoms, weddings, and Eleanor of Aquitaine–a thrilling end to the fantastic Scarlet series.

Writing: “Harrison called room service to ask for enough macaroni and cheese to fill a bathtub.”
And of course the new manuscript needs a game of hotel room truth-or-dare.

Friday Fifteen

Happy Friday, everyone! This week has been more than enough for me, so I’m all too happy to head into the weekend. Let’s get things started with a look at what I’ve been reading and writing, in fifteen words or fewer.

ReadingThis One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki
Beautifully illustrated look at that summer between being a child and being a teen.

Writing: “I am so not a badger,” I said. “Take that back.”
This character has to learn to embrace his inner Hufflepuff.

Links Galore

All the links I’ve been hoarding:

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!