R260. This Is Not a Love Story: Writing Young Adult Novels That Don’t Center Romance

Room 209, Henry B. González Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Thursday, March 5, 2020
3:20 pm to 4:35 pm


The discovery of love and sex is only one aspect of teens’ lived experiences. Five young adult novelists discuss the issues at the heart of their characters’ stories—from dealing with loss and illness to navigating worlds full of racism, systemic poverty, and how they harness their own power for change. We’ll examine both the opportunities and challenges of crafting narratives that are not driven by romantic tension and explore the many forms of love that are equally deserving of celebration.

Outline & Supplemental Documents

Event Outline: 2020_Event_Outline_-_This_is_Not_a_Love_Story.pdf



Natalia Sylvester is the author of the novels Chasing the Sun and Everyone Knows You Go Home. Her debut YA novel, Running, is forthcoming. Sylvester's work has appeared in The New York Times, Bustle, Catapult, Latina, Electric Literature, and McSweeney's Publishing. @NataliaSylv

Lance Rubin is the author of Crying Laughing, Denton Little’s Deathdate (winner of the ILA Award for Best YA Novel), and Denton Little’s Still Not Dead. He’s also the co-writer, along with Joe Iconis and Jason SweetTooth Williams, of the musical Broadway Bounty Hunter.

Mark Oshiro is the Hugo-nominated writer of the online Mark Does Stuff universe (Mark Reads and Mark Watches), where they analyze book and TV series. Anger Is a Gift is their debut YA novel. It was honored with the 2019 Schneider Family Book Award for Best Teen Book and is a 31st Annual Lammy Awards

Guadalupe García McCall is the author of four award-winning YA novels. She is the recipient of the prestigious Pura Belpré Author Award, a Westchester Young Adult Fiction Award, the Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award. She teaches English at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.

Liara Tamani


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center