The NCTE conference was held at the Gaylord Resort and Conference Center. I snapped this picture in the Atrium.
I was on a panel called, "Linking Young Adult Literature and Non-Fiction," with authors Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Lisa Luedeke, and Jacqueline Woodson. After each author spoke, educators Barry Gilmore, ReLeah Cossett Lent, Jennifer Buehler, and Joan Kaywell presented ways to use our books in the classroom. Here's a description of our session:
Join popular YA authors and literacy experts for this session that links YA literature to nonfiction texts. Hook students through storytelling, and they will become motivated to discover more. Participants will learn how fiction can lead students into deeper reading and expanded study through inquiry, research, writing, and speaking.
Susan Campbell Bartoletti spoke about her non-fiction titles. Her newest book is TERRIBLE TYPHOID MARY.
My topic was how I research historical fiction. I talked about how my process for THE BALLAD OF JESSIE PEARL differed from the process for my forthcoming novel, CAROLINA GIRLS. It's all a matter of how much knowledge you have beforehand, as to whether research or writing comes first.
Lisa Luedeke shared how contemporary fiction can be used to broaden classroom discussions about hot topics like bullying, underage drinking, and parental neglect.
And coming off her National Book Award win from the night before, Jacqueline Woodson wowed the crowd by reading from her book, BROWN GIRL DREAMING.
Jacqueline's poetry and rich reading voice were the perfect way to end our session.
I spent the rest of my time at NCTE learning. I attended as many sessions as I could fit in watching authors like Kate Messner, Varian Johnson, Linda Mullally Hunt, Augusta Scattergood, Erin Dionne, Linda Urban, Christopher Paul Curtis, and many more. NCTE is truly a "writers' bucket list" experience.
Happy Holidays to all, and I hope you'll add lots of books to your shopping lists!