Monday, March 23, 2015

And so they met....and how!

At Seattle Pacific University, in Demaray Hall. They shuffled and skipped and loped and meandered until they found their seats.

And then, dear readers, they learned.

So, so much!

Read on, and let this be an inspiration to you to attend future meetings in which the transmission of wisdom and experience and creativity and ambition end up happily scrambled in your brains. As always, we look forward to seeing everyone there.

But I digress.

Jennifer Bradbury, right, with Stephanie Guerra.
Last Thursday, March 19, our chapter had itself a humdinger of a meeting. First up, YA authors Jennifer Bradbury and Stephanie Guerra talked COLLABORATION.

These two former critique-group-mates decided to work on a project, which has turned into an upcoming early chapter book series. Besides being individually talented and prolific, they discussed how two writers with very distinct personalities and ideas pushed through the creative process. Through mutual respect, patience, negotiation, and pure enjoyment, they figured out how to elevate the work by staying true to their best ideas.

The result will the Zach and Lucy series (Simon Spotlight), which hits shelves soon. While publication was a bonus in their initial decision to tackle a collaborative effort, both writers agreed that, above all, they made it work because they placed their friendship above everything else.

Who could possibly follow such inspirational writers? LIBRARIANS, that's who!

Librarians let loose! Our esteemed panel shares the importance of reaching kids.

Brenda Winter-Hansen moderated a panel of five (count 'em!) librarians from Seattle Public Library branches and Seattle Public Schools. They represented everything from board books and storytimes to middle-school and elementary school.

What's on their minds? We wanted to know, and they told us:

1) Diversity. They crave books that reflect their children, from ethnic backgrounds to various life experiences.

2) Hand-sells. You kinda had to be there, but each librarian had a few titles that they encouraged kids to wrap their minds around. If, for nothing else, than to get them to look beyond the predictable series-to-series pattern.

3) How to get your book into the library. Go to the library. Tell them you're a local author. Even stealthier, get your friends to request your books and they will order more copies. Meet the librarians. They won't bite. Come talk to them, establish a relationship, and offer to do a Teen book group or a storytime, or a talk.

4) Reach out to the most under-served kids. This is a priority. A book in the hands of a kid who attends a tougher school might not own their own books. Come to these schools, out of the goodness of your heart, because they just don't have the money to pay you for your appearance. But it makes a difference.

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