Boys & Girls, Men & Women, Authors & Heroes

Last night, I led a chat exploring gender writing issues with author panelists Nancy Werlin, D.L. Garfinkle, and Brian Yansky at The YA Authors Cafe. I’ll let y’all know when the transcript is posted online, but in the meantime, here’s a sampling of the questions I asked them:

What are your experiences, challenges, and/or lack thereof when it comes to writing a cross-gender protagonist? I.e., from a female point of view if you’re a male.

Is there such a thing as “gender authenticity” in voice? Is it sexist to ask? Is it sexist not to?

It’s often said that girls will read “boy” books, but boys won’t read “girl” books. What do you think is a “boy” book? What is a “girl” book?

Assuming boys won’t read “girl” books, but “girls” will read either, should we be more worried about this? Is it part of the reason there are, say, so few women in Congress?

Do male authors have an advantage in a business so dominated by women? And if so, why and how does it manifest itself?

Are there downsides to being a male author? And if so, why and how do they manifest themselves?

Overall, do you think men and women approach the craft and/or business differently, and if so, how?

Any thoughts appreciated!

Cynsational Links

Check out the latest from editor Harold Underdown’s May blog on: resubmitting to an agent or publisher; source citation in children’s nonfiction; non-profit and grant-supported publishers; responding to a personal rejection; picture book length; and more.

The Secret to Becoming a Published Writer by Margot Finke from The Purple Crayon. Notice that my secret is included! I was so flattered. Visit the author mentor/teachers I mentioned, Jane Kurtz and Kathi Appelt, to learn more about them and their work.