Monday, April 23, 2012

In Which I Conference

This weekend, myself and the awesometastic Hannah will be attending the Children's and Young Adult Literature Conference 2012 at The Loft Literary Center.

I'm super excited. First because spending time with Hannah is the shiz. (Hannah blogged about The Loft Here)
Second, because check out this lineup!!:

11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions
  • Picture Book Track–Picture Books 101: What To Do, What Not To Do with Stephen Shaskan
  • Middle Grade Track–What We Write About When We Write About Magic with Kelly Barnhill
  • Young Adult Track–Quirk can work! How to create curious and intriguing manuscript elements with Kirstin Cronn-Mills (Quirky” is an industry buzzword. It can mean unusual,
    curious, weird, or funky. Interested in adding more quirk to your work? Unusual characters, scenes, and story elements can help you amuse and connect with your readers. Quirky writing can also reveal deeper levels of story, character, and theme. Please come prepared to write
    and discuss your work.)
2–3:15 p.m. Breakout Sessions
  • Picture Book Track–Humpty Dumpty with Janet Graber
  • Young Adult/Middle Grade Track–Writing Suspense for Middle Grade Readers with Susan Runholt
  • Young Adult/Middle Grade Track–Steps for Revising: How to Make Your Novel Shine with Megan Atwood (You’ve written a draft of a novel, and the hard work is done, right? Not so much. Now comes the real work of writing a novel—revising. Where do you start? How
    do you get the perspective you need to see your work professionally? What elements are
    missing? What darlings should you kill? This session will give step-by-step revision
    suggestions to help you polish your manuscript until it shines)
3:30–4:45 p.m. Breakout Sessions
  • Picture Book Track–The Language of Picture Books with Molly Beth Griffin
  • Middle Grade Track–Planning a Chapter Book: Are You Sure Barbara Park Did It This Way? with Kurtis Scaletta and Eric Wight
  • Young Adult Track–Panel: Then Suddenly, Without Warning with M. Molly Backes, Julie Halpern, James Klise, and Claire Zulkey (Flannery O’Connor said that the ending of a
    story must be “both surprising and inevitable.” But what makes the difference between a wellplotted surprise and a predictable twist? Four young adult novelists discuss the deliberate
    process of foreshadowing and forgetting, setting up expectations and knocking them down, that
    leads to surprising yet inevitable endings for any novel.)
Sunday: 10–11 a.m. Featured Panel: Write Up, Write Down with Kelly Barnhill, Heather Bouwman, Pete Hautman, and Sheila O’Connor (she was one of my teachers at the U of M)(E.B. White once famously advised writers of children’s books to “write up, not down.” The authors on this panel have done just that, throwing big words, imaginary worlds, and tough situations at young readers—assuming, as White suggested, that children are “game for anything.” In this panel, they will discuss why, when, and how they “write up” to challenge their readers: what that means in terms of language, character, setting and plots; whether or not it is possible to lift a child up or put a child down with a novel; and the differences between writing for young people and writing for adults)

11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions

  • Picture Book Track–Hack, Tweak, & Polish: DIY Revision Workshop with Tracy Nelson Maurer
  • Middle Grade/Young Adult Track–Authentic Historical Settings with Jennie Goloboy
  • Young Adult Track–Seizing the YA moment with Andrew Karre (In the last few years, YA fiction has occupied a place in public discourse unlike any other time in the genre’s
    history. (You know you’ve arrived when you’re on The Simpsons and in the New Yorker in the same month.) I’ll discuss what this means for writers and their work,and why they should be excited and inspired by all the controversy and even the negativity. This is a unique moment for YA novelists, and authors should seize it rather than shrink from it.

So, needless to say, I'm super excited. I'll be hitting up all the YA tracks, though a few of the MG ones sounded pretty sweet (especially What We Write About When We Write About Magic)



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You and Hannah will have a great time! Tell her we miss her here online.

Slamdunk said...

Sounds educational Sarah.

I like that idea of "writing up." I think authors who write books for adults could use it as well--don't be afraid to challenge readers.

Luanne G. Smith said...

Wow, have a great time. I just missed our spring conference...too broke after my trip. D'oh. Be sure to report back!

Maria Zannini said...

Have a wonderful time!

I hope you'll post about some of what you learned.

Talli Roland said...

Wow - that sounds fantastic! Say hi to Hannah!

Matthew MacNish said...

Whoa. For a second I thought that said Margaret Atwood. But still, you get to meet Andrew Karre! That's awesome. He's kind of an idol of mine.

Austin Gorton said...

I hit up a couple readings and one-night classes at the Loft in college. Tons of fun.

Next time you guys are thinking of doing another one of these, let me know.

Adrianne Russell said...

Have fun! I'm heading to Minneapolis this weekend and tried desperately to find room in my budget for that event but it wasn't meant to be. :)

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Oh I'm jealous. Have fun.

Gina Gao said...

This sounds great. I hope you have fun!

Empty Nest Insider said...

I just came over from Alex's and I'm glad I did! Have a wonderful time at the conference and I hope to hear more about it when you come back. Julie

Unknown said...

Enjoy the conference, dropped in from Alex's site, it is nice to meet you.

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