Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Children's Lit Breakfast

Tip of the Day: women's figure skating starts tonight!

Tina, Deena, and I were lucky enough to meet up this past weekend to attend the Anderson's Bookshops 8th Annual Children's Literature Breakfast.

Every once in awhile it's nice to attend an event focused at teachers, librarians, and booklovers instead of authors. You not only get to chat with people who get books into childrens' and teens' hands and see what they think about the book world, but you also get to listen to some inspiring publishing stories.

The event contained five key-note speakers and more than 65 Illinois authors and illustrators (yes that was a 6 followed by a 5. Holy Author awesomeness!).

It was great to meet people in person that I've known online for awhile and meet lots of amazing authors and "pre-published" authors for the first time.

Sitting through the speakers, I realized I needed to come up with much better stories for why I write my books, because some of these publishing stories are amazing. Like that Jordan Sonnenblick wrote Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie for a girl in his classroom who's brother had cancer and there were no funny books out there that he could find to give her. Or that Richard Peck's books have helped many teens open up about their feelings of suicide before it happens. Talk about a tear jerker.

But then I also met people who write books just for the love of it or write for themselves and are amazed that people actually want to read them. I remembered that no matter why you write that there is room in the market for all types of books that focus on everything from entertaining the reader, to issues teens face on a daily basis, or just allow the person to escape into another world.

It seems to be a common trend among children's authors that people they meet often ask them "why they write for children" or "why they don't write real books." That just baffles my mind that people think that at all, because there's so much value in children's and teen books.

And in my opinion all books matter, no matter what their focus or who they are targeted at.

--Emily, Miss Querylicious


Alissa said...

From my experience the people who ask an author why she doesn't write adult books, have no experience reading children's or YA books, and consider them inferior. If they only knew.

Kate Fall said...

It sounds like y'all had a great time! I agree with you in all types of books having value. We can't judge what a person will need from a story at a particular time in his or her life.

As for why I write for kids and teens: it's more interesting than writing for adults. I've never found an "adult" idea that's interesting enough to live with for a year of rewrites!