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Boskone 53!

Thursday, February 4th, 2016

I will be at Boskone 53, Friday-Sunday February 19-21, 2016 at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. Boskone is New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention: a fun weekend filled with books, film, art, music, gaming, and more. I will be appearing at a bunch of events–my schedule is below.

Hope to see you there!

ACE’s Boskone schedule:


    What’s New In Comics?, Friday 17:00 – 17:50, copanelist with James Moore, Robert Howard, and Don Pizarro
    Writing: Dialog, Friday 19:00 – 19:50, copanelist with Vincent O’Neil, John Chu, Christie Meierz, and Bruce Coville
    Mars Needs Moms, Saturday 10:00 – 10:50, copanelist with Fran Wilde, Emma Caywood, Peadar Ó Guilín, and Django Wexler
    The Wonderful Women of YA, Saturday 16:00 – 16:50, copanelist with LJ Cohen, Jordan Hamessley, Hillary Monahan, and Julia Rios
    Take Me To Your Leader, Sunday 13:00 – 13:50, copanelist with Stephen P. Kelner Jr., Vincent Docherty, Sharon Lee, and Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Saturday 17:00 – 17:25, Independence (Westin)

Sunday 14:00 – 14:50, Galleria-Autographing …

2015 NESCBWI Conference

Friday, April 24th, 2015

I’ll be at the 2015 NESCBWI conference in Springfield, Massachusetts this weekend, April 24-26. Besides attending a whole bunch of workshops, I’ll be presenting one on Meta Books with Deborah Freedman, author/illustrator extraordinaire!

If you’re there, be sure to say hello!…

Boskone 52!

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

I am excited to announce that I will appearing be at this year’s Boskone, Friday, Feb. 13 through Sunday, Feb. 15, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. Boskone is New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention. This will be my first time there.

I will be doing a reading, signing books, and participating in five panels. I’ll get to meet fans — so many wonderful fans! — and some incredible talent in the world of children’s books, science fiction, and fantasy. I’m really looking forward to it.

I’m scheduled to appear as follows (although there is a chance of last minute changes):

Friday 6:00 pm – 6:25 pm
I’ll be doing a reading.

Friday 7:00 pm – 7:50 pm
It’s Complicated: Kids and the Culture They Consume
A panel with Veronica Koven-Matasy, Bruce Coville, Lauren Roy, and Stacey Friedberg

Saturday 10:00 am – 10:50 am
KidLit: Great Spec Fic for Young Readers
A panel with Bruce Coville, Jordan Hamessley, Veronica Koven-Matasy, and Hillary Monahan

Saturday 12:00 pm – 12:50 pm
The Wonderful Worlds within Middle Grade Fiction
A panel with Ken Altabef, Stacey Friedberg, Jane Yolen, and Matthew London

Saturday 3:00 pm – 3:50 pm
Writing Great Openings
A panel with Paul Di Filippo, ML Brennan, Alexander Jablokov, and Michael Swanwick

Sunday 10:00 am – 10:50 am
I’ll be signing books with Leigh Perry, Darlene Marshall, and Karl Schroeder

Sunday 1:00 pm – 1:50 pm
YA Then and Now
A panel with Ken Altabef, Bruce Coville, Stacey Friedberg, and Veronica Koven-Matasy

General programming for the convention begins at 2:00 pm on Friday, February 13th and is free to the public from 2:00-6:00 pm. Memberships are required after 6:00 pm on Friday and throughout the duration of the convention. For more information visit www.boskone.org. …

2014 NESCBWI Conference

Monday, April 28th, 2014

art by Denise Ortakales

I’ll be at the 2014 New England Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators regional conference in Springfield, MA this Friday May 2 through Sunday May 4.

In addition to a host of panels I plan on attending, I should be at Friday evening’s Meet and Greet, the Volunteer Pizza Party on Saturday, and the Self-Portrait Party for Illustrators Saturday evening (no, I’m not an illustrator, but this sounded too fun to miss).

If you happen to run into me, be sure to say hello!…

I will be at the ALA Midwinter Meeting

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

ALA logo

I will be attending this year's American Library Association Midwinter Meeting being held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia over the long weekend of January 24 through 28.

You will be able to catch me on Sunday January 27 at the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America booth (#409) in the Exhibit Hall, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

If you happen to be around, please drop by and say hello!…

I’ll be at the AASL Conference

Thursday, November 14th, 2013


I’ll be attending this year’s American Association of School Librarians conference in Hartford, Connecticut, which takes place this weekend, November 14-17.

You can catch me Friday evening at 9 p.m. at the Author & Librarian Tweet Up, an informal get-together at the Marriott Hotel Crush Bar/Starbucks. On Saturday at 10:15 a.m., I’ll be a panelist for Head in the Clouds, Feet on the Ground: The Role of Fantasy in the Real World with other fabulous middle grade and YA authors. After the panel, I’ll be signing books at AASL’s Authors Alley from 11:30 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.

If you’re around, stop by and say hello!…

I’ll be at the Carle

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

This Saturday October 19 I’ll be attending the New Media Day conference at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, hosted by New England SCBWI. If you happen to be around, come say hello. …

Catching up

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

I have been very quiet here these last few months, not because I haven’t been busy, but precisely because I have been super-busy. Here are some of the things that have been going on:

* Gil Marsh was nominated for the 2013 Teen Choice Book Awards. (Voting is still open until February 13 here)

* In November, I had the great pleasure of participating in the Bring Your Own Book and Blanket evening at the Davis Street Elementary School in New Haven, Connecticut. I met with a great group of inquisitive and engaged students who joined me to think about how you go about writing books that include many different cultures.

* In December, I finished the novel that I had been working on for NaNoWriMo, only to realize that I have to entirely restructure the beginning. I have since been working double-time to complete a serviceable first draft. At some point I’ll share some of the fascinating research I have been doing to help it along.

* In January, I presented at the first Shoreline Arts Alliance Winter Workshops for Writers & Illustrators in Chester Connecticut, and discussed the art of revising novels. The workshops were well attended, and as a bonus, the proceeds went to benefit the Tassy Walden Awards: Fresh Voices in Children’s Literature.

And coming up:

* Gil Marsh will be released in paperback on February 26th. Woot!…

The 13th Annual Shorelawn

Monday, June 6th, 2011

A Tale Dark & Grimm cover Because of Mr. Terupt cover Also Known as Harper cover Prisoners in the Palace cover Birthmarked cover

This last Saturday, June 4th, I spent a glorious day at the Shoreline SCBWI 13th Annual Conference in Doe Boyle’s yard. The weather was perfect, the garden spectacular, the company wonderful, and the presenters inspiring.

The Shorelawn (as the conference is affectionately called) is Boyle’s brainchild. After attending an event where she was a speaker and unable to attend sessions of other speakers whom she wanted to hear (because their sessions conflicted with hers), she decided to take matters into her own hands. She invited folks whom she knew would have interesting things to say about children’s literature to come to her home and talk about topics she chose, and invited other folks to attend (provided they brought a lunch dish to share, and a lawn chair).

The results have been awe-inspiring. The conference quickly outgrew the confines of her house—which meant that for 5 years we met at libraries and schools because of the weather—but when, as on Saturday, weather permits, we still fit on her lawn. We continue to share lunch. And the speakers have never disappointed.

This year’s topic for the day: What Have I Written? An Exploration of Choices in Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels.

Boyle started with a challenge for the speakers: how can you tell if what you have written is middle grade fiction, or young adult, or perhaps even adult fiction? Here are a few nuggets from their responses:

  • Adam Gidwitz suggested that we should know our readers, literally. Also, kids get what they’re ready for. An innuendo that will make 6th graders gasp may go over the head of a 3rd grader.
  • Rob Buyea challenged us to take risks. If our work is distinct it’ll stand out. He also told us to take Richard Peck’s wisdom to heart: you’re only as good as your first sentence.
  • Ann Haywood Leal reminded us that some 12-years old are YA, and some are still solidly middle grade. If you can’t read your book aloud with your parents sitting next to you, then there’s a good chance that it’s YA. A middle grader still has a certain innocence in their longing.
  • Michaela MacColl talked about writing books that she wanted to read as a kid. Whether her historical fictions about famous people become YA or middle grade depend in large part upon the age she chooses for the individual she is writing about.

The WOW! factor

Monday, June 7th, 2010

On Saturday June 5th, I attended the Twelfth Annual Shoreline SCBWI Conference. The topic this year was the cross pollination of fact and fiction in writing for young people—both in fiction and in nonfiction. The speakers were fabulous.

After a thoughtful introduction by Doe Boyle, laying the groundwork for the questions of the day, Dana Meachen Rau told us how she looks for the WOW! moment in facts to find things to write about in her hundreds of nonfiction titles. She advised us to discover what intrigues us and children, to ask questions about what our readers know and what we want the readers to know, and to find the truth in the story of our facts. Page McBrier walked us through her process of building stories from facts she researched in far flung places of the world, using her discoveries to tell truth in tales.

Stacy DeKeyser described how a fabulous summer vacation in the Dolomites gave her the groundwork that turned into a fantasy novel. While Jennifer Thermes showed us how the seeds of her work as an illustrator of maps brought her to new and interesting illustrating opportunities in picture books and middle grade novels. Finally Tony Abbott talked about writing novels in a way that makes them sound like fact, while writing compelling nonfiction using the tools of a novelist. (Listening to him read the first page and a half of Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood has forever changed my understanding of the power of settings in a book.)

The mantra for the day was to look for the WOW! factor in whatever you are writing about—what facts make you sit up and take notice. Then share them in the most compelling and truthful way possible, using the tools at your disposal.

Thank you Doe for organizing this wonderful annual event! …


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