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Where I’ll be at AWP

Fellow writers! By any chance will you be at the AWP conference in Seattle later this week? If so, here is where you can find me (if, in fact, you’d like to find me):

I fly in to Seattle Wednesday night and will likely be starving after the long flight, hoping against hope that I make it to the hotel before the lobby restaurant and room service closes for the night, but that’s not your problem.

My panel is the first day, Thursday morning, and if you’re interested writing YA or children’s books, I hope you’ll join us:

Thursday, Feb. 27: 10:30 am to 11:45 am

Room 618/619/620, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6 R151. Commercial Literary Fiction (Not an Oxymoron): The Place of Craft in Writing and Teaching Children’s and Young Adult Literature. (Micol Ostow,  Stephanie Kuehnert,  Laurel Snyder,  Sara Zarr,  Nova Ren Suma) Young Adult and Children’s literature are exciting, increasingly popular markets that many writers want to break into. How do you make your manuscript—or help make your students’ manuscripts—stand out… and sell? How does being commercial mean respecting the reader, not something crass? Five published YA and Children’s authors will present exercises they employ in their own writing, and in workshops they teach, to develop authentic voice, characters, and story worlds that editors will snap up.

If you can’t make that, I have a whole list of panels I’m trying to hit during the conference, most of which I’ll keep to myself, but here are a few panels I am trying not to miss. If you happen to be there, and see me, say hi! I can be shy in crowds.

Thursday, Feb. 27: 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Room 604, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6 R263. How to Write About a Murderer. (Madge McKeithen,  Jessica Handler,  Arlene Kim,  Kate Sweeney,  Nick Twemlow) Can a writer adopt an alternate persona or innovative style to explore disturbing subjects? How does altered identity or medium affect a writer’s process and a reader’s experience? Five writers who work in prose, poetry, film, audio, and visual art discuss examples of their adopted personae and structural choices and give examples of ways these applications break boundaries and add perspective in articulating story. Participants discuss one another’s work and choices that have inspired theirs.

Friday, Feb. 28: 10:30 am to 11:45 am

Room 3B, Washington State Convention Center, Level 3 F140. Magic and the Intellect(Lucy Corin,  Rikki Ducornet,  Kate Bernheimer,  Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum,  Anna Joy Springer) In her essay “The Deep Zoo” Rikki Ducornet writes: “the work of the writer is to move beyond the simple definitions or descriptions of things… and to bring a dream to life through the alchemy of language; to move from the street—the place of received ideas—into the forest—the place of the unknown.” On this panel five fiction writers intend to describe, depict, illustrate, and otherwise expose this movement from known to unknown in order to ask: what do we mean when we say “magic”?

Friday, Feb. 28: 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

Room 101, Western New England MFA Annex, Level 1 F261. The (She) Devil Inside: Unlikable Women in Fiction. (Rebecca Johns,  Julia Fierro,  Samantha Chang,  Marie Myung-ok Lee) “Bad men get to be king. Bad women get to swallow poison and die,” wrote Lisa Santoro in the Huffington Post. But why should we settle for such a fate for our female characters, as readers and especially as writers? Do fictional women always have to be sympathetic to be worth reading? Using examples from multiple genres, this panel will examine how bad women can make for good storytelling.

Saturday, March 1: 3:00 pm to 4:15 pm

Room 612, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6 S245. Small Town Girls. (Caroline Patterson,  Leslee Becker,  Beverly Lowry,  Tami Haaland) Small towns are places where life is lived up close. Four writers of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction from across the United States will explore their lives as girls in small towns—the restrictiveness versus the freedom, censure versus the subterrannean social life, and the freedom of the natural world versus the restrictiveness of the social world.

Saturday, March 1: 4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Aspen Room, Sheraton Seattle, 2nd Floor S257. How Far Do You Go: Sex in YA Fiction. (Sarah Mlynowski,  Robin Wasserman,  Adele Griffin,  E. Lockhart) The only thing more awkward than adolescent sex is writing about it. These writers have published an extensive, wide-ranging variety of books for teenagers that touch on themes of early sexual experience and all its attendant issues. From the question of age-appropriate content to technical points of writing a thrilling kiss to the challenges of exploring the implications of a sexual awakening, the panel is sure to engender lively, candid conversation.

And on Friday night, I very well may be stopping through here to meet up with my fellow YA people in town for the conference:

AWP with a dash of YA
Friday, February 28 at 6:30 pm
POLAR BAR  (it’s in the Arctic Club, Seattle)
700 3rd Avenue
*This YA drinks night isn’t an AWP event—and is open to the public!

Otherwise, I’ll be around—hope to see some friendly faces!

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