In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I have taken down the brown "butcher" paper that held ideas, photos, drawings, and my hand-drawn maps and plot outlines for the past five or six books. I've placed all those items into three-ring binders, and cleared the deck for paintings and photographs that involve courage, as I move forward in GHOSTKEEPER, the new novel set in Lyndonville, Vermont. My 1850 Vermont adventure THE LONG SHADOW is under contract with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you a publication date as soon as I know! Scribbling lots of poems, too. And there's a possible route to publication of the "Vermont Nancy Drew" novel I built on Wattpad (see right-hand column). Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Read for the Fun of It: Teen Read Week, Oct. 12-18, 2008


[photo by librarian Heidi Dolamore]
Now that Molly Ballou's story, The Darkness Under the Water, is headed for bookstores and libraries this fall, what can I learn about the readers waiting for the book? I went to the Vermont Library Conference this week, and signed up to hear Beth Gallaway -- the Junior Director for NELA (the New England Library Association) and a vital team member of YALSA: the American Library Association's Young Adult Library Services Association. Young (at least, for a person with a master's degree), savvy, and entirely into computer gaming (she brought up World of Warcraft a couple of times, and proved to the audience that gaming builds reading and writing skills!), she told the jam-packed room of librarians and book lovers about Teen Read Week.

This year's theme for Teen Read Week is BOOKS WITH BITE. The subtheme, as always, is "Read for the fun of it." Gallaway filled us with creative examples, excitement, vampires and other bloody notions, and a high-energy race through great ways to promote and enhance a reading event. Then we all brainstormed in smaller groups to come up with titles, activities, and promotion for our own Teen Read Week -- my group's title was "We Want Your Blood!" and tied the reading and reviewing to a blood drive. At least one high school in Vermont (in Manchester) already has student blood drives, which in my opinion makes a terrific way to support a community and help cope with disasters.

Worth knowing about: the YALSA blog, http://blogs.ala.org/yalsa.php -- and YALSA is on MySpace, too.

Even though Molly Ballou's story won't be published until November 12, Teen Read Week this year (Oct. 12-19) will be a great time to add The Darkness Under the Water to a reading plan. And if you live near Brattleboro, Vermont, or Madison, Wisconsin, plan to pick up a special early release copy of the book at the literary festival in Brattleboro (Oct. 3-5) or the Wisconsin Book Festival (Oct, 15-19). More on those later.

Oh, one more quick note: I found a lot of librarians with strong ties to Molly's story. It matters.

1 comment:

Beth Gallaway said...

Hi Beth! Thanks for the great post about the session! Links and slides are online at http://infogdss.wordpress.com/2008/05/17/vtla-take-a-bite-out-of-teen-read-week/ -- INCLUDING the link to the 10 programs designed in the session.

Good luck with the book!