S155. Writing Real in Young Adult Fiction

C125-126, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
10:30 am to 11:45 am


This panel explores ways to write vivid, authentic teen characters, while avoiding tropes and stereotypes, and examines why it is important for YA writers to take on complex issues, such as gender identity, sexual violence, and structural racism, in culturally appropriate ways. How can young readers trust writers to help them transcend their world—or even escape it for a few hours—if writers don't acknowledge the uncomfortable places teens must often inhabit in their daily lives?


Meagan Macvie writes about life in small and vast places. Her first book, The Ocean in My Ears, is set in her hometown of Soldotna, Alaska. The novel was named a 2017 Best Teen Historical Fiction by Kirkus Reviews. Meagan has an MFA from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.

Nina Packebush is the author of Girls Like Me. Girls Like Me is a Lambda Literary Finalist, an In the Margins Award 2018 recommended book, a Golden Crown Literary Award winner, and is currently a Washington Book Award Finalist. Nina is a contributing editor to Hip Mama Magazine.

Candice Montgomery is the author of young adult novels, including Home and Away and By Any Means Necessary. It is the goal of her stories to interrogate the spaces of race, love, the body, gender, and sexuality, all while being a witness of life.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center