|Lois Lowry at the podium|
|The 1,100+ rapt attendees listening to Lois giving the opening keynote|
Lois Lowry has won two Newbery Medals (well deserved!) and her work blows me away. (You can check out my pre-conference interview with her here.) I've read some of Lois' speeches and they're heartfelt, insightful, and inspiring... and I'm so delighted to be here to hear her in person.
She decided what she wanted to do is to answer the unanswerable question (mostly asked by her kid readers),
where do you get your ideas? Why did you write that book?
She looked through 37 of her books, to try to divine the answer.
Her first book for children, "A Summer To Die" (published in 1973 and still in print!) grew from Lois working through her own grief at the death of her sister.
So her advice to people when they ask her what they should write is:
retell your own stories from your life
give sorrow words
give happiness words, give jealousy words, give anxiety words, give fear words - take those intense emotions you've experienced in your life, and give them words.
That's some amazing advice!