Nov 21, 2014
I spent last weekend in Austin, Texas, at YALSA’s Young Adult Literature Symposium, and it was amazing. Before I tell you more about that and overload you with my selfies, let me share a few other things:
- My short story “Ghost Town” (first published in Defy the Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell, HarperTeen), is going to be included in The Year’s Best Speculative YA Fiction 2013 edited by Julia Rios and Alisa Krasnsotein (Twelfth Planet Press). I am so honored to have my ghost story in the same volume alongside incredible authors such as Neil Gaiman, Sarah Rees Brennan, Steve Berman, and more! The book comes out at the end of this year and I’ll let you know when it’s available.
- I recently put together a list for Diversity in YA that you might be interested in: Gay Without the Gay Angst: 10 Books About Lesbian/Bi/Queer Girls. It’s a follow-up to my list of books about gay/bi/queer boys without gay angst.
- I also want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who answered my recent reader survey questions. Almost 1,000 of you responded, most within only a few days! I’m still figuring out how to best understand the data, but I’m really excited by what you’ve told me about yourselves and I’m making lots of plans to get more stories out there that you will enjoy. Stay tuned!
So, back to the YALSA Lit Symposium, which really should have been subtitled the #WeNeedDiverseBooks Symposium, because it felt to me as if the subtext (and often the primary text) of every panel was diversity: Why it’s important to support diverse books, how librarians can get those books into the hands of readers, how to think/speak/act in relation to the diversity discussion. I was really appreciative of everyone who took part in the symposium, and I went home very hopeful that this diversity discourse has made some serious headway in the face of institutional racism.
In case you didn’t know, We Need Diverse Books has already reached their $100,000 IndieGogo campaign goal — well ahead of schedule! — which means they have now introduced some stretch goals that would enable them to fund internships in publishing and increase their work in local communities. Again, I’m not officially involved with WNDB, but if you care about diversity in books or just want to see more books about queer girls in which they don’t have to be hit over the head with the gay angst stick, please consider giving to the WNDB IndieGogo campaign.
And now I will leave you with a long stream of photos from the YALSA symposium. I have fallen on the job in recent years when it comes to taking photos at events, so this time I went all out! Here’s a pictorial of who and what I saw last weekend in Texas: CONTINUE READING →