Saturday, February 7, 2015


With conference faculty guest agent Tina Wexler, agent Jennifer Laughran, Art Director and Author Laurent Linn, Best-Selling and Award-Winning Author Jane Yolen, editor Emma Dryden and editor and publisher Arthur A. Levine, our group of more than forty attendees gathered to share and talk about  writing and illustrating LGBTQ characters and themes in works for children and teens.

In moments ranging from hilarious to somber,  topics covered included picture book art notes (dos and don'ts), gender non-conformity, gender challenges in the English language, and the urgent need for more books with LGBTQ diversity.

At one point, an ally voiced a concern about writing from a queer perspective, and the consensus was to not hold back about writing from other points of view (outside your own.) To do your homework, to run it by people who are members of that community...

Arthur: "I urge you to not be self-conscious"

Jane: "In terms of getting it right. In terms of getting the feelings right."

It was a great conversation and the room was filled with a sense of warmth and community. We sat in a circle, each person sharing their name and what they're working on, with our conference faculty (and myself) chiming in with thoughts, advice and insights.

Once the session ended, many participants stayed to exchange contact information and mingle. The pictures are from that part of the evening:

I was honored to host - my thanks and appreciation to the panel and all the attendees!


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