Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sympositastic! (of YALSA Does It Again)

Tip of the Day: If you are a YA author and have the chance to go to a YALSA Symposium, go! EVERYONE there will LOVE YOU! We'll be in Austin in 2014!

Wow. Thank you SO MUCH to YALSA for putting together the 3rd YALSA Symposium in St. Louis this past weekend. On Friday and Saturday, I attended sessions and activities from 8:30 til 7 PM, and on Sunday from 8:30 til my transport to the airport at 1:30. And it was all amazing!

First, proof that I was actually there:
Due to my issues with being CLOSED INTO TINY RICKETY ELEVATORS, I chose to glimpse it from the park below. More power to those who braved the climb and saw the Mississippi River from the top!

I have tons of notes of cool tips for authors (hence author2author) that I will dole out over the next couple of weeks, but today I want to highlight some cool moments.

1. Having dinner/drinks with authors Selene Castrovilla and Jo Knowles.

Selene and I have met a few times now at YALSA and TBF and she is a spunky woman with great edgy YAs, historical non-fiction for kids, and some adult novels in her too. It's always fun to catch up with her, and I wish her the best as her homestead recovers from Sandy!

Jo I've followed on LiveJournal for years and she is very sweet and very talented and writes the type of novels I loved as a teen and still do now.

I also attended the lunch where these two authors spoke:
Patricia McCormick

David Levithan

They both spoke about the human experience in some way, noting that any book can connect with any person -- even if they are a different color/sex/religion/etc. of the main character -- because we all share the human experience.

The final keynote speaker on Sunday was Scott Westerfeld. The topic of his fun, educational, hilarious, and thoughtful presentation was on the history of the integration of illustrations in books for teens and adults and how he used that in LEVIATHAN.
His speech would appeal to teens as well. If you ever have the chance to see him present, you must go! Seriously, I laughed and listened and was truly entertained.

On the flight home from STL to ORD, I had the pleasure of sharing my row with Helen Frost! I'd seen her session earlier on Sunday, and am a huge fan of HIDDEN, as are the teens in my town.
We chatted about books and authors and politics and writing and the 1-hour flight flew by (pun intended). If you haven't had a chance to read her work, you must; it is brilliant. Poems within poems, meanings within meanings, that all form a cohesive novel. Her Printz Honor novel KEESHA'S HOUSE will release next year in paperback, as well as her new YA SALT; definitely keep your eyes out for them.

Thanks again to all the librarians, authors, publishers, and YA lovers who made this conference possible.

Deena, Miss Subbing for Pubbing

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