Issue 38 - Being Real, Being True: YA Authors Writing for Teens - Ellen Hopkins, Carla McClafferty, Pam Munoz Ryan


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Issue 38 - Being Real, Being True: YA Authors Writing for Teens - Ellen Hopkins, Carla McClafferty, Pam Munoz Ryan

 

EDITOR'S DESK

  1. WELCOME: BEING TRUE, BEING REAL: YA AUTHORS

I confess—I love young adult literature. Maybe I’ve never grown up, and that’s the reason why I read YA books and write for teens. Maybe I still remember what it’s like to be full of angst over the pimple on your chin before you see your crush in first period, or decide whether or not you should go to the party your parents forbid you to attend. Maybe I fell in love with this genre when I coached high school cheerleading and basketball and discovered that teens are refreshingly honest, full of love and enthusiasm, and surviving every day in a teen-eat-teen world… MORE >>

     

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FEATURES

  2. SPEAK YOUR TRUTH: YA NOVELS AND CENSORSHIP

Novels like Speak, Whale Talk, and Boy Toy have moved past the subject of blossoming into womanhood, which censored young adult novelist Judy Blume explored through her 13 plus YA and middle-grade novels, and into new territory such as homosexual relationships, rape, drug and alcohol addiction, racial ugliness, and graphic violence. The times they are a-changin’, but are young adult authors being forced to remain in the past? Allena Tapia explores this subject through interviews with authors, teachers, students, parents, and librarians…MORE >>

     
  3. WRITE NONFICTION FOR KIDS? BREAK OUT WITH A HIGH-CONCEPT IDEA

A high-concept book is one that takes a universal theme and puts a fresh, original, creative twist on it. It can be explained in two or three sentences and will leave you wanting to read the book; or in the case of writers, it may leave you wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?” When the idea of high concepts is applied to nonfiction for kids, it can create breakout titles for an author. Darcy Pattison interviews Carla McClafferty, author of three such high-concept books, who tells us how she does it… MORE >>

     
  4. CHANNELING THE VOICE OF YOUTH: AN INTERVIEW WITH ELLEN HOPKINS

Voice—the personality on the page. It’s what pulls readers in and keeps them along for the journey. Finding the perfect voice for a story is never easy, but writing for the young adult audience can be downright daunting. Teenagers want to see themselves reflected between the pages of a book. It isn’t enough to mimic the voice of a teenager; to hook the young adult crowd, you have to climb inside their skin and channel their unique energy. Kathy Higgs-Coulthard chats with Ellen Hopkins, New York Times bestselling author of Crank, Burned, Impulse, Glass, Identical, and Tricks, who shares her secrets on perfecting YA voice… MORE >>

     
  5. BLOGS, TWITTER, WEBSITES AND MORE: CONNECTING WITH YOUNG READERS THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA

Whether you are finishing your YA manuscript, searching for your dream agent, or surviving waves of revisions, you’re looking to grow your readership. Since 93 percent of teens are accessing the Internet, getting the word out online is key to obtaining bestselling readership numbers. There’s only one problem: unless you’re already a well-known YA author, teens aren’t going to come to you. Bridgid Gallagher interviews social-media-savvy experts and successful YA authors that help point you towards timesaving social media tools. Build your network now and who knows? It just may lead to your next book deal… MORE >>


COLUMNS

  6. RISING, RIDING: 20 QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY YA AUTHOR PAM MUÑOZ RYAN

Pam Muñoz Ryan’s credit list is prolific, to say the least. With twenty-five published books to her name, Ryan has touched on several fiction genres, including young adult, middle grade, and children’s picture books. However, it’s often her YA novels, Esperanza Rising and Riding Freedom, that garner the most attention—mainly due to several prestigious awards the books have won. Esperanza Rising checks in with the Pura Belpré Award among others, while Riding Freedom was awarded the National Willa Cather Award for Best Young Adult Novel in 1999. Allena Tapia interviews Ryan, who was so kind to share her insights into writing for young adults during a busy time—at the cusp of the release of her new YA book, The Dreamer, which follows the life of a young Neftali Reyes of Chile, otherwise known as the poet Pablo Neruda… MORE >>

     
  7. PACK RATS AND PROCREATION: USING YOUR PAST TO WRITE TEEN FICTION

When we give our story something unique and specific—quirky characters or memorable settings—we leave a lasting impression on our readers. In order to start writing your childhood, dig deep into your past. Look for clues, objects, and memories that inspire you to move forward with the story. In this article, Trina Sotira, a self-proclaimed pack rat, shows you how to take your obsessions from your teenage years and turn them into unique and memorable character traits… MORE >>

     
  8. HOW TO USE TECHNOLOGY REFERENCES IN YOUNG ADULT FICTION

If you’ve crossed paths with any teenagers lately, you’ve no doubt witnessed them texting, e-mailing, and social networking—or talking on their cell phones about how they just texted, e-mailed, or visited a social networking site. Technology and modern communication devices are not just an accessory to teens today, but a part of the fabric of how they relate to one another and to the rest of the world. But how do you integrate technology into a storyline without making the work seem dated? Or leave technology out without appearing out of touch? And how important is it to keep current with the latest gadgets and online tools? In this article, BJ Marshall talks with authors, agents, and editors who share their best tips on how to incorporate modern technology into believable plots that can withstand the test of time… MORE >>

     
  9. THE SEARCH FOR YA INSPIRATION—FROM POMEGRANATES TO E-MAILS: AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR LIZ ROSENBERG

Writing for a YA audience is akin to teaching teenagers in the classroom—a rewarding give-and-take relationship. It’s a challenge to connect with this age group and capture their attention. But on the flip side, once you do, they return the favor. The intense emotion, enthusiasm, and loyalty that cascade from young readers can encourage writers to return to the YA audience again and again. Jodi Webb caught up with author Liz Rosenberg right as she was in the middle of a move from the U.S. to London, but she graciously found time to share her thoughts about the inspiration she finds in writing YA books… MORE >>

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Issue 38 - Being Real, Being True: YA Authors Writing for Teens - Ellen Hopkins, Carla McClafferty, Pam Munoz Ryan
YA Novels and Censorship by Allena Tapia
Write Nonfiction for Kids - High Concept Ideas - Carla Killough McClafferty
YA Voice - Ellen Hopkins
Blogs, Twitter, Websites & More - Connecting with Young Readers through Social Media - Bridgid Gallagher
20 Questions Answered by YA Author Pam Munoz Ryan
How2 Use Technology References in Young Adult Fiction - BJ Marshall
The Search for YA Inspiration - Liz Rosenberg
Pack Rats and Procreation: Using Your Past to Write Teen Fiction - Trina Sotira
Fall 2009 Contest Winners! - Leigha Butler - Arlene Walker - James Tipton
Summer 2009 Contest Winners! - Beth Blake - Noah Pedrini - Rebecca Gomez Farrell
Blog Analytics 101 - Analyze Your Blog's Statistics
Gadgets for Bloggers - Making Your Online Life Easier
 
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