Thank you to Linda Sue Park & Leah Henderson for writing this post to introduce their 2019 workshop: From the Outside in: Writing Outside Your Own Experiences for Books for Children and Teens.
From the Outside In is a new Highlights workshop. How did it come together?
Linda Sue Park and Laurie Halse Anderson have been friends for a long time. They worked together once many years ago, at a teen book festival in New York. It was really fun, but the chance to work together again never seemed to come up.
Just last year, Linda Sue met Leah Henderson at a We Need Diverse Books event in Washington, DC. Leah graciously offered to give Linda Sue a tour of the new Smithsonian African-American Museum, and it took a single afternoon for them to become friends for life.
All three of us have written books that can be described as ‘outside our own experience.’ It’s something we’ve each wrestled with, and it’s a subject of vital importance to our young readers. We’ve all been doing a lot of work in this area, and we wondered if the Highlights Foundation would be interested in a workshop on the subject.
To our delight, Highlights said YES! The cherry on the cake: Senior Editor Lynne Polvino, from Clarion Books/HMH, will be joining us to offer her perspective from 20+ years of experience in children’s publishing, including many titles written ‘from the outside in.’
The good news: All of us believe that it is indeed possible to write outside your own experience with sensitivity and respect. The corollary: It takes a great deal of thought and hard work to avoid the pitfalls of misappropriation. In this workshop, we’ll explore writing outside your own experience as an issue of CRAFT: Misappropriating stories is almost always a question of poor research and/or poor writing. Viewing these stories through the lens of craft can help us manage the difficult emotions surrounding the topic.
As of this writing, Laurie is in the midst of an epic tour for her amazing new book Shout (EIGHT starred reviews!!), so Leah and I have written a few questions for each other, and for Laurie. We’re hoping that this workshop will be a chance for all of us, faculty and attendees, to learn from one another.
Linda Sue’s questions for Leah:
Leah’s questions for Linda Sue:
And we both have questions for Laurie:
From Linda Sue:
Posted on: April 29, 2019
Tags: 2019 workshops