Co-Editors Bethany Hegedus & Kekla Magoon on VCFA’s Hunger Mountain

From Bethany Hegedus & Kekla Magoon
(please click names for articles, excerpts, or more information)

Quietly, and then not so quietly, the call went out to those in the children’s literature field for contributions to this, the launch issue of the Young Adult and Children’s Literature portion of Hunger Mountain, a journal of Vermont College of Fine Arts. Esteemed authors from near and far answered our call. We are thrilled and excited to be presenting this line-up of dynamic, wise, funny, and thought-provoking material.

We begin with thoughts from one of our industry’s most inspirational and well-respected members: Katherine Paterson. In an address first given upon the inauguration of Vermont College of Fine Arts as an independent institution, Ms. Paterson spoke about the unifying journey we find ourselves on as fellow travelers. She shares letters from a reader moved by her work—a soldier in Afghanistan, who read Bridge to Terebithia (HarperCollins, 1997) for the first time while in combat—and connects their powerful correspondence to the larger journey upon which we as writers all embark.

Our theme for this issue is A Writer’s Journey: Craft & Process. Authors Janet S. Wong, G. Neri, and K.A. Nuzum share their personal tales of trial and triumph on the road to publication.

The columns we will feature in each issue delve into a variety of creative areas. The Flipside offers opposing points of view on a hot topic. This time around, it’s Carrie Jones vs. Rita Williams-Garcia, each with a compelling case for why one might write fantasy or realistic fiction.

What My Last Book Taught Me is a glimpse into one author’s aha! moment. We are lucky enough to have Susan Patron talking with us this issue.

The Writing Life is a window into the day-to-day challenges of keeping the creative juices flowing. Andrew Auseon takes us from the author’s desk to the screenwriter’s studio…both of which are his dining room table. The Toolbox is our regular craft-focused offering.

Sara Zarr grips us by sharing the lessons learned in her years-long quest to perfectly nail the voice of her third novel. In the Industry Insider, we converse with the movers and shakers of children’s publishing.

We spoke with a few folks who have changed hats mid-career: Kara LaReau, Mark McVeigh, and Jill Corcoran.

Last but not least, Jest a Minute tickles our funny bone. Alicia Potter gives a little nip and tuck to some popular and classic titles.

Be sure not to miss the main event! Our fiction, poetry and creative non-fiction selections come from seasoned authors and up-and-comers alike. We have something for everyone, ranging from gritty YA, to middle-grade fantasy, to poetry meant for the youngest ears.

Highlights include a sneak-peak excerpt from Sundee T. Frazier’s The Other Half of My Heart, which releases in June 2010, and the newly published The Uninvited by Tim-Wynne Jones.

We strive to engage all corners of the industry in a dynamic discussion. We hope you will be moved to chime in.

Enjoy the journey!

From Hunger Mountain:

Bethany Hegedus cares deeply about kids, having once been a high school teacher and youth advocate. She serves as a mentor in the PEN Prison Writing Program and holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

“Bethany’s debut novel, Between Us Baxters (WestSide Books) has been well received by reviewers, educators, and students alike. Her second novel, The One…The Only…Maebelle T. (for no Talent) Earl, a contemporary middle grade, is forthcoming with Delacorte Press in fall 2010.

“She lives and works in the New York/New Jersey metro area.”

Kekla Magoon is a New York City-based author/writer, editor, speaker and educator.

“Her debut novel, The Rock and the River (Aladdin, 2009), has earned praise from teen and adult readers alike, including mention in The New York Times and a Booklist starred review.

“Kekla holds a B.A. in History from Northwestern University and an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She writes constantly, at work on her second novel, under contract with Aladdin/Simon & Schuster.

“Her background in non-profit youth development lends itself well to making school visits, including a dynamic civil rights movement-themed presentation developed in collaboration with author Bethany Hegedus. She also leads writing workshops for youth and adults, and writes non-fiction titles for the educational market.”

About Hunger Mountain

Hunger Mountain is both a print and online journal of the arts. We publish fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, visual art, young adult and children’s writing, writing for stage and screen, interviews, reviews, and craft essays. Our print issue comes out annually in the fall, and our online content changes on a regular basis.” See more information.

Learn more about the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults.