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Showing posts from February, 2017

Searching for Meaning in YA Literature

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In the last few weeks, I have read two novels about cults: EDEN WEST by Pete Hautman and THIS SIDE OF SALVATION by Jeri Smith-Ready. I then revisited Jennifer Matthieu's DEVOTED. After reading this thematic group of YA novels, here are a few observations that might be useful to writers: 1. A Fundamental Sense of Agency . YA literature is noted for the centrality of its teen protagonists--a reason the "orphan" trope is common in the genre. While, in real-life, adults may offer help or guidance, in YA literature, teenagers solve problems largely on their own. In the cult setting, families are often separated by cult rules which, in many ways, strip parents of as much agency as their children. Thus, in the cult narrative, the young adult does not merely seek the independence adults are observed enjoying, but must discover the very existence of his or her own individuality and examine their rights to free thought and agency. 2. A Separate World . Cult settings disconnect

What does it mean to have a "writing career"?

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Six years into my journey as a "published YA author," I have accomplished the following: BOOK-WISE Published a "quiet" debut novel, AUDITION, 2011. Worked myself to the bone blog-touring, live-touring and otherwise promoting AUDITION. Paid my own way to several book events in support of AUDITION. Wrote another novel that was passed on by my editor so it is currently filed away. Contributed a short story to the DEAR TEEN ME anthology edited by Miranda Kenneally and E. Kristin Anderson, and a short entry to THE GIRL GUIDE by Christine Fonseca. Published a more successful (Junior Library Guild selection; made a few award short-lists; PW star, strong reviews) sophomore title, THE SOUND OF LETTING GO, in 2014. Did next to nothing (not even a launch party) to promote THE SOUND OF LETTING GO but the reviews have driven slightly better sales. Found out my first novel was being remaindered. Wrote a fourth novel that was passed on by my editor but I didn't wan

FREE CLASS THIS SATURDAY at KCLS WOODINVILLE: PLOT, PLOT, PLOT with Jennifer Bardsley

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S ATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2017 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM   Second Saturdays Writing Program at Woodinville Library  17105 Avondale Road NE, Woodinville   The elephant in the room. The element that unites character, setting and voice to move a story forward. The thing Stephen King “distrusts.” What is plot? How do we create it? Use it? Learn to trust it? Everett Daily Herald columnist, and young adult author of GENESIS GIRL and DAMAGED GOODS, Jennifer Bardsley will show you the way. This workshop is open to writers in grades 7 to adult. Registration is not required. For more details, click here . 
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