S291. Writing Sex in YA: Choices and Consequences

Room 513, LA Convention Center, Meeting Room Level
Saturday, April 2, 2016
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


Young adult authors will discuss the craft of writing sex in YA literature, as well as the meaning behind adult responses to presumed high-risk behavior portrayed in books. In a culture bombarded with overt and unrealistic sexual imagery, do authors have a responsibility to be honest with teens about sex? Do they have a responsibility to demonstrate the possible consequences implicit in sex or drug and alcohol use? Where is the line between staying true to our craft and concerned censorship?



Elana K. Arnold writes books for and about young people. Her two latest novels have received starred reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, and Shelf Awareness. Elana earned her MA in Fiction from UC Davis and has taught adolescent literature and creative writing at her alma mater.

Brandy Colbert is the author of Pointe, which was named a best book of the year by Publishers Weekly and the Chicago and Los Angeles Public Libraries. A young adult novel is forthcoming in 2017. She has worked as an editor for several national magazines, and she is a copy editor for magazines and books.

Carrie Mesrobian is the author of three novels: Sex & Violence (winner of 2014 MN Book Award & finalist for YALSA's Morris Award for Debut YA Fiction); Perfectly Good White Boy and Cut Both Ways. She has an MFA from Rainier Writing Workshop of PLU and teaches at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis.

Terra Elan McVoy has authored six young adult novels, including Pure, Being Friends with Boys, and Criminal, which received an Edgar Award nomination in 2014. Her middle grade novel is Drive Me Crazy. Terra is an independent bookseller in Atlanta, GA.

Corey Ann Haydu is the author of OCD Love Story (a Junior Library Guild Selection), Life by Committee (an Indies Next Selection), Making Pretty (a Junior Library Guild selection) and Rules for Stealing Stars. In 2013, she was chosen as a Publisher's Weekly Flying Start.


March 4–7, 2020
San Antonio, TX

Henry B. González Convention Center