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Middle-Grade and YA Novels: Diversity is Key

Friday, August 4, 2017
8:00 am - 9:30 am
Garden C

It’s our responsibility as writers of books for young readers, to make sure we’re representing a wide variety of kids. This lively and thought-provoking workshop will examine some of the most recently-published MG and YA novels with an eye for how the authors have incorporated diversity as it relates to race and ethnicity, gender, economic status, and people with physical and mental disabilities. We’ll talk how to write ethically outside our own experiences, and how to use research and fact-checking to make sure you’ve represented all characters to the best of our ability.


Melissa Hart

Melissa Hart is contributing editor at The Writer Magazine. She’s the author of two memoirs–Wild Within: How Rescuing Owls Inspired a Family (Lyons, 2015) and Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood (Seal, 2009), plus the young adult novel Avenging the Owl (Sky Pony, 2016). Her essays and articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, The Advocate, The Los Angeles Times, Hemispheres, Orion, High Country News, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Normal School, Writer’s Digest, and numerous other publications. She’s a co-founder and consultant at Creator & Collector Services. When she’s not reading and writing, she loves to run and hike and kayak and travel to strange places with her husband, daughter, and rescued terrier.

Melissa Hart