the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults Author Blog

Roundup - VCFA WCYA Auction, ALA Authors, Book Sales & More!

Posted by Tami Brown on Fri, Jun 20, 2014 @ 07:06 AM

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VCFA WCYA hits the jackpot!

The annual conference of the American Library Association will convene next week in Las Vegas and tons of VCFA WCYA authors will be there meeting, greeting and signing. If you're in the Sin City neighborhood be sure to drop in on these folks:

Kekla Magoon

Debbie Wiles

Catherine Linka

Rita Williams-Garcia

Trent Reedy

Sherry Shahan

Rene Colato Lainez

Gretchen Woelfle

Jandy Nelson

Lauren Myracle

Clete Barrett Smith

Carol Lynch Williams

Any others?

Authors please leave your appearance times here in the comments.

Adi and I do our best to keep up but please remember there are only two of us volunteering -- and zillions of your stellar achievements to track down (not to mention we have our own writing to do!) Drop us a line with your good news here. And don't fret if we miss something -- catch up with us on the VCFA WCYA community Facebook page and we'll be sure you're recognized here, too.

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The Launch Pad is delighted to announce we're a co-sponsor of the 2014 WCYA Auction and Alumni Signing. We've joined the Alumni Association to bring you two special evenings of fun. There's still plenty of time to donate items or join the alumni signing. www.VCFAauction.com 

Sooooo another week, more AMAZING book sales . . . because that's how we roll at VCFA!

Anne Bustard sold her debut middle-grade historical novel Anywhere But Paradise to Andrea Cascardi at Egmont USA. Anne's novel tells the story of Peggy Sue Bennett, a fish out of water in post-statehood Hawaii, baffled by local customs and bullied by an eighth grader for being white. Ho'omaika'i 'ana, Anne! 

Lyn Miller-Lachmann sold Surviving Santiago, the story of a 16-year old girl's summer in Chile visiting her estranged father, and the dangerous love affair that develops between her and a local boy to Running Press Kids. ¡Qué bueno, Lyn!

And we have even more good news:

Horn Book selected Erin Moulton's new novel, Chasing the Milky Way as its "Review Of The Week" saying, "Moulton effectively balances the big-picture issues with the smaller stuff, the day-to-day challenges each character faces and the triumphs he or she achieves." Great stuff, Erin! 

David Elzey's piece "The Self-Improvement Plan" was published this week in Antioch University Los Angeles' online literary journal Lunch Ticket. Good job, David!

Bethany Hegedus and Arun Gandhi's Grandfather Gandhi has received more recognition -- Betsy Bird aka Fuse #8 is touting this gorgeous and important picture book as a possible Caldecott winner! Go Bethany and Grandfather!

Meanwhile the German edition of Caroline Carlson's Hilary und der fast ganz ehrbare Club der Piraten (don't even ask us to try to pronounce that!) is set to launch at a Munich or Strassbourg bookstore near you.

What a week!!!!

Topics: round-up, Erin E. Moulton, Anne Bustard, Trent Reedy, Deborah Wiles, Kekla Magoon, Jandy Nelson, congratulations, Catherine Linka, Sherry Shahan, Gretchen Woelfle, Carol Lynch Williams, Bethany Hegedus, Rita Williams-Garcia, foreign rights, signing, David Elzey, Clete Barrett Smith, Arun Gandhi, Rene Colato Lainez, American Library Association, VCFA auction, Caroline Carlson, Lauren Myracle, Lyn Miller-Lachmann

Launch Day for SIGNED, SKYE HARPER!

Posted by Adi Rule on Tue, May 13, 2014 @ 08:05 AM

Congratulations to Carol Lynch Williams, whose YA novel Signed, Skye Harper launches today from Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books.

signedskyeharper

From the publisher: 

Life is just fine for fourteen-year-old Winston. She loves her dog, Thelma, and although she never knew her dad, and her mom left ten years ago in search of Hollywood fame, Winston has family with Nanny, who is in her forties, and that doesn’t even make her old.

But a “just fine” life gets a lot more exciting when a letter arrives from Skye Harper, aka Judith Fletcher, aka Winston’s mother. She needs help, and Nanny says the best way to give it is to take a cross-country road trip—in a “borrowed” motor home—to go find Mama once and for all. Winston’s not so sure about this plan, but with a cute stowaway named Steve along for company and an adventure on the horizon, this is sure to be a summer to remember.

Get more info here, and check out Kirkus's review!

Topics: young adult, Paula Wiseman Books, 2014 release, Carol Lynch Williams, Simon & Schuster

Carol Lynch Williams and THE HAVEN

Posted by Adi Rule on Sat, Apr 12, 2014 @ 10:04 AM

We're thrilled about the release of Carol Lynch Williams's newest YA novel, The Haven, out now from St. Martin's press! 

15737583For the teens at Haven Hospital and Halls, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surrounds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It always has been this way, ever since the hospital was established in the year 2020. But the Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food, and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs—and memories.

But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they've been told is a lie? What if the Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shiloh starts asking dangerous questions?

Powerful and emotional, The Haven takes us inside a treacherous world in which nothing is as it seems.

Congratulations on your launch, Carol! Can you tell us what the spark was that ignited this book?

One evening I was sitting with my family wondering about books and what would make a good story. I thought of a body shop. . . literally. And what that might mean to anyone who was in that circumstance. And that's how The Haven was born.

Creepy! We love it! Tell us about how you sold this book. What was it like when you found out? Do you have an agent? Were there a lot of revisions along the way?

Yes, I do have an agent. He's amazing! His name is Steve Fraser at The Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency. I am hoping my daughter, Kyra, will be agent buddies with me soon.

I wrote the first thirty to forty pages of The Haven pretty quickly. Then, I started wrestling with the novel. And the novel was winning. It pinned me over and over. We fought long and hard.

Then I put the story away for almost five years. (Yes, the book had won the fight.)

One day I told my agent I had the beginning of a novel. He asked to see it. I sort of had a feeling if I sent the novel, Steve would be interested. Still, I did. Why? I am a glutton for writing punishment. Look at some of my other novels. Some caused physical pain to research and write.

Anyway, Steve read the first bit of The Haven and said he thought he could sell it, but I told him no. The book scared me. Those first 40 pages had beat the crap outta me! Still, Steve insisted. He believed in the novel. It took some time before I said yes, go ahead and try to sell the book.

Of course, we sold it right away to St. Martin's Press (who published two previous novels, The Chosen One, Miles From Ordinary). It took me a loooooong time to get The Haven written. I had to do several deep revisions. Something that doesn't usually happen with my novels. I remember when the galleys showed up, I was still doing major changes. (Major as far as I'm concerned.)

What nugget of craft advice has been especially helpful to you?

I've decided—after many years writing—that I am a writer. This is the best job in the world. And it is my job. I've not ever done this before—treated writing as my profession. Now I do. That's my advice. Treat writing like a job. It's not behind the dishes or taking out the garbage. It's your profession. You write first.

That's excellent advice. Do you write in silence? If not, what’s your soundtrack?

The only thing I hear are the voices of my children in the background, and sometimes I have to scream at them to be quiet. (In a nice way, of course! ;) )

VCFA spring Novel Retreat 0Who were your advisors at VCFA?

Julie Larios, Margaret Bechard, Rita Williams-Garcia, and I ended with Uma Krishnaswami.

What is your favorite VCFA memory? 

Oh, the dances. I looked forward them. So much fun. So much laughing. Spending time with people who ended up being true friends all these years later. I love to dance and twice a year, at Vermont College, I got to! Yippee!

We couldn't agree more! What advice would you give to a prospective VCFA student?

My advice is go with the intention of learning everything you can from everyone there.

What do you wish you had known before you first set foot on the VCFA campus?

How humid it was going to be. I wanted to kill people it was so hot. And I'm from Florida! 

Thanks so much for visiting! 

Carol Lynch Williams is the author of more than 30 books for middle grade and young adult readers. She is the co-founder of Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers, a week long writing conference in Utah. Her best creative effort, however, are her five daughters-Elise, Laura, Kyra, Caitlynne and Carolina.

Visit Carol online at the blog Throwing Up Words and her website!

Topics: young adult, 2014 release, St Martin's Press, Carol Lynch Williams

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