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2018 AWP Conference

  • Tampa Convention Center 333 South Franklin Street Tampa, FL, 33602 United States (map)

I look forward to attending the Association of Writers & Writing Programs's annual conference from March 8-10 in Tampa, Florida. On Thursday, March 8, I will be speaking about Always Forever Maybe and more on two panels:

(A)Dressing the Wound: Writing the Traumatic Event with Truth and Sensitivity (10:30am in Grand Salon B on the second floor of the Marriott Waterside, March 8), with authors Bree Barton, Emily X.R. Pan, Sonia Belasco, and Terry J. BentonFranz Kafka famously said we ought to “read only the kind of books that wound or stab us.” But Kafka was coming from a place of privilege—and he wasn’t writing for young adults. How do you write the reality of rape, suicide, police brutality, and violence without re-traumatizing young readers? And how do you plumb the depths of your personal traumas while also taking care of yourself emotionally? In this panel, five YA authors talk about how and why they write traumatic events into their novels.

From Best Friends Forever to Toxic Bonds: Digging Deep into Complex Female Friendships in Young Adult Literature (3pm in Meeting Room 1 on the second floor of the Marriott Waterside, March 8), with authors Amy Reed, Marcy Beller Paul, Sarah Nicole Smetana, and Kit FrickFive YA authors from debut to established discuss the complex, three-dimensional friendships that populate their work: Blurred boundaries between friendship and obsession; shattered friend groups; lasting friendships tested by difficult new relationships; girls from diverse backgrounds uniting to fight misogynist culture. Panelists discuss one another's work and the choices that have inspired theirs when writing fiercely good and withstanding to fiercely fraught and destructive teen friendships.

For more information about the 2018 AWP Conference, or to register, click here.