I’ve talked before about the annual NESCBWI conference. It’s where I connected with my crit group; where I see lots of writer friends; where I’ve heard inspiring keynotes; where I’ve taken awesome workshops; and where I go every year in April.
This year, I’m especially excited, because I’m teaching two workshops! They are:
J1 – Stories Without Stigma: Writing About Mental Health
Sunday, 10:50 am – 11:45 am
This workshop will focus on crafting nuanced, realistic characters who are struggling with mental health. Topics covered will include the importance of talking about mental health in fiction for young readers; questions to ask when researching a particular mental health issue; creating dynamic characters and avoiding stereotypes; mental health issues vs. neurodiversity and intersectionality in mental health; avoiding romanticizing mental health struggles and providing hope for readers. We will look at examples from work such as Laurie Halse Anderson’s The Impossible Knife of Memory (PTSD), Other Broken Things by Christa Desir (addiction), OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu (OCD), Pointe by Brandy Colbert (eating disorder), and Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta (depression).
M8 – Write Like a Runner: Training Your Writing for the Long Haul
Sunday 3:05 pm – 4:00 pm
Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as whole.”—Haruki Murakami. Writing a novel and running a marathon require a lot of time, focus, dedication, and can also feel like pretty intimidating. But with a little planning and a lot of motivation, you can approach the novel writing process with the focus and heart of a marathoner. Learn how to craft a schedule, deal with setbacks, and focus on short-term goals to get yourself to the finish line.
Registration opens this Saturday (February 4) at 2pm. NESCBWI fills up fast, so make sure to be at your computer this weekend. And hey, maybe sign up for my workshops while you’re at it! (I promise I won’t make you run.)