R189. Bad Daughters: A Celebration of Unpleasant and Unlikeable Girls

Room 209, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
12:10 pm to 1:25 pm


Oftentimes, writers of books for young people are asked to create female characters who are “strong” and “fearless,” but who also are “relatable” and “likeable.” Is there a place in children’s fiction for girls who are truly unpleasant and make bad choices? Five writers of young adult fiction discuss the ways in which they craft female characters that defy, displease, and disappoint, as well as how they respond (or don’t) to the expectations of their readers.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: Bad_Daughters.pdf



Samantha Mabry is the author of the novels All the Wind in the World, which was longlisted for the National Book Award in 2017, and Tigers, Not Daughters, forthcoming in spring 2020. She teaches English and Latinx literature at El Centro Community College in Dallas, Texas.

Nova Ren Suma is The New York Times bestselling author of The Walls Around Us, and more. She has an MFA from Columbia University and is a MacDowell and Yaddo fellow. She is coeditor of Foreshadow: A Serial YA Anthology and teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania.

Tehlor Kay Mejia is an author of young adult fantasy and contemporary novels. Her short fiction has appeared in the All Out and Toil & Trouble anthologies. Her debut novel, We Set the Dark on Fire, and its sequel are forthcoming, as is Meteor, a novel cowritten with Anna-Marie McLemore.

Lilliam Rivera is an award-winning writer and author of the young adult novels Dealing in Dreams, The Education of Margot Sanchez, and the forthcoming Pheus & Eury. A Pushcart Prize winner, Lilliam teaches creative writing and is a freelance writer.

Jennifer Mathieu is a writer and high school English teacher. She is the author of five young adult novels including The Liars of Mariposa Island, The Truth about Alice, and Moxie, soon to be a film for Netflix directed by Amy Poehler.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center