S276. The Book of Your Heart: Ignoring Market Trends and Writing the Novel Most Connected to You

Liberty Salon M, Marriott Marquis, Meeting Level Four
Saturday, February 11, 2017
4:30 pm to 5:45 pm


How would you define the book of your heart? Can there be only one? What happens when you put your heart on the page for an audience of young readers? Five YA authors at various stages in their careers read from and speak about the novels they feel most personally connected to—published or not yet published. The discussion explores ignoring market trends, facing publishing struggles, making use of real-life inspiration, and the aftermath, including reviews and writing something new.


Nova Ren Suma is the author of four novels, including the New York Times bestselling YA novel The Walls Around Us. She has an MFA from Columbia University and is a MacDowell and Yaddo fellow. She teaches in the MFA in writing for children & young adults program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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, and the forthcoming young adult novel Little & Lion. She has worked as an editor for several national magazines.

Bennett Madison is the author of several novels for young people, including The Blonde of the Joke and September Girls, which was nominated for the James Tiptree, Jr. Award and The Andre Norton Award. His reviews of young adult and children's books have appeared in the New York Times Book Review.

Emily X.R. Pan's debut YA novel is The Astonishing Color of After. She is the founding editor in chief of Bodega magazine and received her MFA in fiction from NYU. In the past she has worked for Penguin and taught creative writing to undergraduate students and hospital residents.

Amy Reed is the author of seven edgy, contemporary YA novels, including Beautiful and Clean. Her forthcoming book, The Nowhere Girls, is about a group of girls who start a movement to avenge the rape of a classmate and fight the misogynist culture at their school.


March 27–30, 2019
Portland, OR

Oregon Convention Center