S110. Writing Complex Female Characters for Young Audiences

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


Five YA and MG authors discuss how their main characters stand up for themselves and equality in this wide-ranging discussion covering various genres, voices, choices, character arcs, family structures, and backgrounds. The authors will examine the responsibilities inherent in writing for young audiences and how they approach creating complex, compelling, and inspiring female characters worth rooting for.


Betsy Aldredge is the co-author of Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things, a YA contemporary romance which has been called "the most hilarious, charming, feminist Sasquatch hunting book ever to grace a bookshelf."

Natalka Burian received an MA from Columbia University where she studied Eastern European literature. She is the co-owner of two bars in Brooklyn, Elsa and Ramona, and the cofounder of the Freya Project, a feminist fundraising reading series. Welcome to the Slipstream is her first novel.

Margaret Dilloway is the author of the upcoming MG novel Summer of a Thousand Pies; Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters, winner of the ALA Asian/Pacific Islander Honor Award; and its sequel. She is also an award-winning women's fiction author.

Laura Shovan’s middle grade novel, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, is a NCTE 2017 Notable Verse Novel, a 2017 Bank Street Best Children’s Book, and won Cybils and Nerdy Book Club awards. A longtime poet-in-the-schools, Laura is the author and editor of three books of poetry for adults.

Pintip Dunn is a New York Times–bestselling author of young adult fiction. She graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an AB in English literature and language. She received her JD at Yale Law School. Pintip’s novel, Forget Tomorrow, won the RWA RITA® for Best First Book.


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside