F108. Knowing Your Place: Identity and Space in Young Adult Fiction

Grand Salon A, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Friday, March 9, 2018
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Whether it’s a landscape, a building, or a city, space is never just a physical thing in fiction nor is it an entirely blank canvas. In this panel, young adult authors of various publishing experiences will explore how physical spaces can impact identity and influence characterization. Discussions will include how places can become barriers or aspirations for characters and explore when setting fails to go beyond racist tropes. Authors will offer tips on how setting can become a rich character.



Andrew Boryga is a fiction writer and journalist who was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Fader, and other publications. He is currently a second-year MFA student in fiction at the University of Miami.

Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of The Education of Margot Sanchez, a contemporary young adult novel. Recently named a "2017 Face to Watch" by The Los Angeles Times, Lilliam's work has appeared in Tin House, Los Angeles Times, and Latina.

Samantha Mabry is the author of the novels A Fierce and Subtle Poison and All the Wind in the World, both of which were published by Algonquin Young Readers. She teaches English and Latinx Literature at El Centro Community College in Dallas, Texas.

Ibi Zoboi is the author of the YA novel American Street. Her writing has been published in the New York Times book review, the Horn Book, and the Rumpus, among others. She holds an MFA in writing for children and young adults and her second book, Pride, is forthcoming. 

Dhonielle J. Clayton is the cofounder of CAKE Literary, a boutique book development company with a decidedly diverse bent. She is the coauthor of Tiny Pretty Things and Shiny Broken Pieces with Sona Charaipotra, and the author of The Belles. She is COO of We Need Diverse Books.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center