Austin Youth Lit Social — Spooky Style

Last night Greg and I had the spooky fun of hosting an Austin Youth Lit Social for advanced writers of children’s and YA fiction and creative non-fiction.

First the stage was set…

And then the 65-70 guests arrived…

We served pizzas from Rounders Pizzeria on 6th Street (17 of them–sausage and mushroom, pepperoni and mushroom, chicken and green peppers, and mushroom, green peppers, and onion), a large fruit platter and small veggie platter from Central Market, and sugar cookies–“scaredy cats and broken bats,” brought by author Anne Bustard, along with candy apples, brought by 2008 debut author Shana Burg!

Highlights included a group toast to National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt, from nearby College Station. Many of the attendees had taken classes and workshops from Kathi over the years. Read a Cynsations interview with Kathi on The Underneath (Atheneum, 2008).

Seasonal attire was optional, though I’m seriously considering requiring it in the future. Ha!

I’ll give y’all a peek at the festivities with the caveat that I’m only naming non-industry guests of guests if having been given permission to do so.

Illustrator Eric Kuntz of 2 Bad Mice Design with author Sean Petrie, who also teaches law at The University of Texas.

Author-illustrator Mark G. Mitchell with YA author Margo Rabb and debut author Shana Burg. Read Cynsations interviews with Mark and Shana (Margo’s is coming soon!).

Author Jo Whittemore with special out-of-town guest and author Jody Feldman. Read Jo’s report (with more pics) on the party! Read Cynsations interviews with Jo and Jody.

YA author and Vermont College grad (OP) Brian Yansky with picture book author and poet Jane Ann Peddicord. Read Cynsations interviews with Brian and Jane.

Mark again, this time with author Alison Dellenbaugh, dressed as Bunnicula! Note: if we’d been giving prizes for costumes…!

My husband and sometimes co-author Greg, who made a minimalist effort as Clark Kent, with author-poet Jane Ann Peddicord.

Author Lila Guzmán with her latest release, George Lopez: Latino King of Comedy (Enslow, 2008). Read a Cynsations interview with Lila.

Brian, 2008 debut picture book author-illustrator Emma Virjan; author-illustrator Frances Hill; and YA author Varian Johnson, who’s also a Vermont College MFA student. Read a Cynsations interview with Varian. The lady in white behind Brian was the lovely daughter of author Betty X. Davis.

Emma and Frances again.

Author Chris Barton of Bartography fame with his charming wife.

Author Betty X. Davis as Cinderella (before the transformation) with her magical daughter (and fairy godmother). Awaiting glass slippers perhaps?

The crowd in the sunroom includes about 2/3 of writer-illustrator Debbie Dunn (a recent graduate of the Vermont College MFA program) along with author Erin Edwards, Blooming Tree intern Rebecca Leach, Blooming Tree/CBAY editor Madeline Smoot, and Shana.

Here’s a better picture of Debbie with Austin SCBWI founder Meredith Davis, cloaked in a spiderweb.

Author Carmen Oliver, recent Vermont College graduate Debbie Gonzales, and author Donna Bowman Bratton. Don’t miss: “A Study of Voice as Demonstrated in The Genre of the Sports Novel” with Debbie Gonzales from Austin SCBWI at 11 a.m. Oct. 18 at Barnes & Noble Westlake (Texas).

Madeline, Shana, Zack Proton series author Brian Anderson, and Meghan Dietsche Goel, the children’s book buyer at BookPeople. Read a Cynsations interview with Brian.

Donna and Erin with YA author Thomas Pendleton (AKA Lee Thomas), Blooming Tree publisher Miriam Hees, and her son Bradford Hees, who’s the Editorial Director of Blooming Tree Adult and Ready Blade Graphic Novels. Read Cynsations interviews with Thomas and Miriam.

Picture-book author and Vermont College MFA student Lindsey Lane with Austin SCBWI RA Tim Crow. Read a Cynsations interview with Lindsey.

Author and Vermont College graduate Helen Hemphill. Note: her shirt says: I READ DEAD PEOPLE. Read a Cynsations interview with Helen.

YA author Jennifer Ziegler with Meghan. Read a Cynsations interview with Jennifer.

Jody with 2008 debut author P.J. “Tricia” Hoover. Jody and Tricia are both members of the Class of 2k8. Note: Celebrate the release of The Forgotten Worlds Book 1: The Emerald Tablet by P.J. Hoover (Blooming Tree/CBAY, 2008) at 4 p.m. Oct. 26 at BookPeople!

Debbie, Rebecca, and Thomas (AKA Lee) with picture book author and Vermont College MFA student Anne Bustard. Note: Anne’s blog, Anneographies, celebrates picture book biographies.

YA author Ruth Pennebaker. Check out her award-winning blog, The Fabulous Geezersisters’ Weblog.

And here’s one last look at Jody and Tricia with author Julie Lake and her wonderful husband. Read a Cynsations interview with Julie.

Other guests in attendance included illustrator Christy Stallop, illustrator Mary Sullivan, soon-to-debut author Jackie Kelly, and Vermont College student Jenn Taylor, who’s with us from Galveston.

Thanks so much to all who attended, and thanks to all of you in the kidlitosphere who took a few moments to share in our spooky cheer!