R119. Plot IS Character, Character IS Plot

Room M100 B&C, Mezzanine Level
Thursday, April 9, 2015
9:00 am to 10:15 am


Plot tests characters and forces them to make choices that define them. Plot provides characters with the things they are hard-wired to repeat and avoid, driven by physical, social, and emotional motivation. Successful authors of young adult and middle grade fiction explore how plot can deepen your characters as they tackle issues pertaining to social justice, diversity, environmental issues, cultural trends, and upheavals.



Jewell Parker Rhodes is the director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing. Her books for youth include: Ninth Ward, which received the Coretta Scott King Honor Author Award; Sugar, a Kirkus Best Children’s Book and Junior Library Guild Selection; and Fireflies, forthcoming in 2015.

Bill Konigsberg is the award-winning author of Openly Straight and Out of the Pocket. Openly Straight won the Sid Fleischman Humor Award in 2014, and Out of the Pocket won the Lambda Literary Award in 2009.

Varian Johnson is the author of four novels for young people, including My Life As A Rhombus and The Great Greene Heist. He has taught at the Highlights Foundation Workshop and St. Edwards University.

Nova Ren Suma is the author of the YA novels Imaginary Girls and 17 & Gone. She has an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and she has been awarded fellowships from NYFA, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Djerassi, the Millay Colony, and the Hambidge Center. She teaches YA writing workshops.


March 8–11, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Seattle Convention Center