Young Adult Literature Events

Unhappy in Their Own Way

Wednesday October 10th, 10:30am-11:45am
@ Sandy Spring Bank Tent, Johnson Center North Plaza

Two writers tackle dark, intense family problems within the young adult novel. No Sad Songs by Frank Morelli tells the story of a high school senior who just suffered a family trauma and was left with the huge responsibility of caring for his grandfather who suffers from Alzheimer’s, all while trying to meet girls and make the varsity baseball team. VOYA describes the book as “a timeless story of coming-of-age while watching loved ones fade into age.” In More Than We Can Tell, Brigid Kemmerer shares a dark narrative about the love of two troubled teens, one of whom is living with loving adoptive parents while abusive biological parents linger in the background; and, another teen dealing with constantly fighting parents and cyberbullying. Booklist calls it “an absorbing, emotional roller coaster of a read.”

The Heroine’s Journey

Wednesday October 10th, 1:30pm-2:45pm
@ Merten Hall, Room 1204

Female heroes find their power, courage, and humility in Deborah Schaumberg and Kathy Macmillan’s gripping new novels. In The Tombs, Deborah Schaumberg melds history and fantasy, taking readers on sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl’s breathless trip across a teeming turn-of-the-century New York, and asks the question: Where can you hide in a city that wants you buried? In Dagger and Coin, Kathy Macmillan’s heroine, Soraya Gamo, was meant to be queen of Qilara, until an Arnath slave rebellion destroys the monarchy and the capital city. Now, she sits on the new Ruling Council beside her former enemies, holding the political power she always wanted – but over a nation in ruins. As she works to rebuild Qilara, she can, at last, use what everyone once told her to hide: her brain.

The Good, the Bad, and the

YA Sisterhood

Saturday October 13th, 10:30am-11:30am
@ Merten Hall, Room 1204

Kirkus Reviews says Jessica Spotswood’s YA novel, The Last Summer of the Garrett Girls, has “notes of Little Women and a dash of Gilmore Girls.” The book follows the lives of the four Garret sisters over the course of one life-changing summer, as they find themselves and each other. Lisa Rosinsky’s YA novel Inevitable and Only asks the question: “What if you suddenly found out you had a sister… and she took over your life?” When Cadie’s father reveals this shocking fact, it tips her whole world upside down and makes her wonder what other secrets there might be.

Finding Love in a Hopeless Place

Saturday October 13th, 12:30pm-1:30am
@ Merten Hall, Room 1204

Two authors come together to discuss finding love in LGBTQ young adult novels. Pulp by New York Times bestselling author Robin Talley is told in dual narratives, weaving together the lives of two young women connected across generations through the power of pulp fiction. Dahlia Adler describes the novel as a, “incredibly creative exploration of queer literary history.” Burro Hills by Julia Lynn Rubin details a romance between two teen boys struggling to harness their identities in a world of poverty, drugs, and suffocating masculinity. YA Interrobang writes, “Are you a fan of The Outsiders and Perks of Being a Wallflower? Now imagine them mashed together. That’s what awaits you in Burro Hills.”

Magic in Ancient Lands

Saturday October 13th, 2:30pm-3:30pm
@ Merten Hall, Room 1204

Magic rules the ancient realms of alternate versions of Rome and Russia. In From Unseen Fire by Cass Morris, elemental magic shapes rules as strongly as law and war. On the verge of the republic collapsing, Latona of the Vitelliae, a mage of Spirit and Fire, must fight to become a protector of the people, and her own heart. Lindsay Smith’s Web of Frost is set in the vast and frozen empire of Russalka, a proud empire ruled by royals who work miracles from the saints. As rebellion stirs, a too-young queen must learn to control her powers in order to save her empire. But she wonders if she can trust the only person who’s taught her to use her magical gifts.

Writing for Teens: A Ticketed Master Class with Author of Hamilton & Peggy!

Saturday, October 13, 2:30pm – 4:00pm
This is a ticketed event. Tickets are $40

Thanks to Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and The Fault in Our Stars, Young Adult literature has grown into one of the best loved genres in the literary market. More than half of its books are purchased by 18-44 year olds, making its appeal wide and allowing for a wide variety of topics and tone. How to break in as a writer? First, you have to sincerely like and empathize with teenagers! They can smell a faker. You need to be attuned to the coming of age issues they embody and struggle to understand and overcome. But there’s no better journey as a writer. And your audience is hungry for stories that speak to them and maybe even guide them. This seminar with L.M Elliott will give you a brief history of the genre, its classics, its sub-genres that have come and gone, the market’s current focus, its tried-and-true character and plot elements, the differences between YA and middle grade, and general pitfalls to avoid. Q & A to address your specific concerns and hopes.

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