Saturday, December 24, 2016

JOIN: Anderson's Young Adult Literature Conference 2016


Every Saturday, join me as I CELEBRATE This Week 
with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.


In October, I attended the Anderson's Bookshop Young Adult Literature Conference for the second time but I totally forgot to share my pictures! 

Anderson's also hosts a Children's Literature Breakfast that I have attended a few times but the YA version is still new-ish to me. As a writer, I look for opportunities to connect with other writers. This conference is definitely one of those opportunities. The whole day is all about meeting and hearing from amazing authors. There are four keynotes and then three sessions to attend panels and listen to the authors and ask questions. And then at the end, you can get books signed. They also have a fan frenzy day on Sunday but I haven't been able to join in on that fun...yet.

As a writer, I can't stress enough how important it is to be surrounded by other writers. Thank goodness for technology because it makes it much easier to connect with other writers...but finding experiences like the Anderson's Bookshop Young Adult Literature Conference is great because you get to connect in person. I definitely recommend seeking out opportunities like this if you can!

So that weekend, I chatted with a bunch of authors but a few stood out, and each for different reasons. 

Jordan Sonnenblick sat at our table with us for the breakfast and lunch...and that's all I really need to say. Jordan Sonnenblick. I've read all of his books and it was awesome to tell him in person how amazing it is that he manages to make me cry on one page and then laugh on the next. He's so good at capturing life in his books. The more I write, the more I think about life and it's interesting how even when life is crappy, there's room for love and laughter and joy. That's what Jordan does, his characters deal with real-life crap but they still get to experience love and laughter and joy. I bought two copies of Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie for him to sign for my boys when they get to sixth grade. So cool.

Me and Jordan Sonnenblick
Over the past five years, I've participated in Teachers Write, a virtual summer writing camp for educators. It's been such a wonderful experience in that it connected me to so many people who are also writing. Being part of a community of writers has really helped me write more and become a better writer. One of the authors I've met through Teachers Write is Geoff Herbach. Gae Polisner hosted him on her blog as a guest for Friday Feedback and I've enjoyed his books every since. Geoff is a remarkable writer of boy characters. I had recently read his book Anything You Want which came out in May and I got to tell him how I loved watching the character grow from the beginning to the end. 
Me and Geoff Herbach
Getting to meet Traci Chee was the biggest treat for me. Her book The Reader is fantastic but she's also a writing friend from a contest I did in 2014. I met her for the first time in real life and she's great.  I'm so thankful to be connected with Traci and other writers thanks to the contest. Many of us are in a Facebook group together where we get to talk about the publishing journey and the ups and downs along the way. 
Traci Chee and me
Next week, will be my last post of 2016. I'll talk about my one little word: revel and think back on all the great things that happened this year...and maybe a little about the uncertainty of what 2017 will be. This event was definitely a highlight of my year so I'm glad I'm celebrating it!

Have you attended events to connect with other writers? 
Even meeting up to write with a friend is a great experience.
I'd love to hear how you connect with other writers!

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