Vermont College of Fine Arts (Writing for Children & Young Adults) Day in San Francisco

San Francisco–Acclaimed authors David Gifaldi and Julie Larios will lead a conference on the craft of writing for young readers on April 24 at Fort Mason Center.

David will speak on “Rejection is Subjective! Prime the Pump and Move On.” Peek: “Your ‘baby’ has been born. You did everything you could to make it a healthy delivery. You send it out. It comes back. And you’re thrown into the writer’s postpartum blues. It hurts…and it can keep you from doing what needs to be done. Let’s talk about how to move on, how to rekindle passion for that next project. We’ll do some stop-the-bleeding exercises and rediscover why we write in the first place.”

Julie will speak on “Maps and Meandering: On the Usefulness of Each.” Peek: “Lately, my fascination with maps has bumped up against my desire to lollygag and wander aimlessly. For a writer, are the two pleasures contradictory or complementary, and can they be applied in a practical way to that phenomena known dreamily as The Writer’s Life? Let’s have a conversation about two things: first, how the mindset of a flaneur helps us store up a treasure trove of converging images; second, how the practicality of mapmaking brings us back down to earth and insists we think about the true north, south, east and west of our stories.”

The event is sponsored by the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults, where both Julie and David serve on the faculty.

Highlights will include a special appearance by faculty chair Margaret Bechard.

The VCFA program intends for this retreat to serve as an opportunity for alumni and their colleagues to reconnect with one another as well as to reignite their passion for the craft of writing for children and teens.

You do not need to be a VCFA graduate to participate.

The fee for is $150.00, which includes lunch. See more information and registration.

Cynsational Notes

Margaret Bechard is the author of eight middle grade and young adult novels, including My Mom Married the Principal (Viking, 1998), If It Doesn’t Kill You (Viking, 1999), Hanging On to Max (Roaring Brook, 2002, 2004), and Spacer and Rat (Roaring Brook, 2005). Her books have been selected for such honors as School Library Journal’s Best Book of the Year, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, and the Junior Library Guild Selection; they have also been nominated for several state children’s choice awards. Read a Cynsations interview with Margaret.

David Gifaldi is a Portland author and teacher. His books have been honored by American Booksellers’ Pick of the Lists, ALA Books Recommended for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, the Mark Twain Award Master List, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award Master List, and the Junior Library Guild. His latest middle grade novel, Listening for Crickets (Henry Holt, 2008), has been named a 2009 Notable Book for a Global Society and is on the Kansas State children’s reading list for 2009. Read a Cynsations interview with David.

Julie Larios is the author of four books for children: On the Stairs (1995), Have You Ever Done That? illustrated by Anne Hunter (Front Street, 1997)(named one of Smithsonian Magazine’s Outstanding Children’s Books 2001); Yellow Elephant: A Bright Bestiary, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (Harcourt, 2006)(a Book Sense Pick and Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book, 2006); and Imaginary Menagerie: A Book of Curious Creatures, illustrated by Julie Paschkis (Harcourt, 2008)(shortlisted for the Cybil Award in Poetry, 2008). Recently, she was granted a fellowship by the Washington State Arts Commission/Artist Trust and had a poem sequence put to music and performed by the Five Words in a Line group in New York City. Read a Cynsations interview with Julie.