LitWorks makes Rock Stars of YA Writers

Posted April 5th, 2012

Front left to right: graphic novelist Raina Telegemeier, poet Ron Koertge, short story writer and biographer Ann Angel. Middle: humor novelist Julie Halpern, poet Ellen Hopkins. Back: Rigewood High School librarian and event organizer Jenette Gonzalez, Eisenhower librarian fantasy novelist and event organizer Penny Blubough, and sports novelist Carl Deuker.

Imagine walking into a library on a rainy Chicago Saturday to hear your name shouted out and the cheers and clapping as 285 teenagers welcoming you to LitWorks 2012. It’s a heady feeling. And it really happened on Saturday, March 29 when I and five other YA authors entered the Eisenhower Library to celebrate LitWorks 2012.

Tensions were high as we all took our seats to Speed Date An Author Event. Each author (pictured above) and ten minutes to sell our guests on the breakout author sessions we presented in the afternoon. I told my sad story of the $5 kiss which you can read in Such A Pretty Face, Short Stories About Beauty, and then I explained I was an outsider who related to Janis Joplin, herself an outsider. Each author told their own tale of becoming a writer.

After a lunch of pizza, music and all things teen in the Ridgewood High School cafeteria, we each went into our breakout sessions. I gave a powerpoint that included music a images to show everyone how I connected to Janis Joplin and how I hope to connect Janis Joplin’s amazing strength and talent to them. What a great day!