This year the event included something new. A C Arthur and her street team arranged a special “Teen Scene” luncheon. Several Louisiana schools and libraries sent teens to an author meet-and-greet on Saturday May 10. As the author of three YA novels, Pull, Being God, and Minority of One, I was one of four African American YA authors invited to talk to the kids. Other YA authors included were
- AC Arthur who writes the Mystix YA series (Manifest, Mystify, Mayhem and Mesmerize) under the pseudonym Artist Arthur.
- Sheila Goss who writes street fiction for teens under the pseudonym Sparkle.
- Celeste O. Norfleet who writes YA for Kimani Tru
When it was time for general questions, several attendees had lists. One was impatient for a prize raffle to end so she could keep going on her list. We were together for several hours, talking all through lunch (I loved the bread pudding). The adult sponsors finally had to pull the kids away to get them back on their bus to go home.
Kids of Color are absolutely hungry for books about them, and for authors who look like them. I have been writing for years and have been to several writers conferences, conferences for educators and librarians, and many schools. This is the first time I looked into a room full of young faces and felt like a true role model. I applaud the conference for organizing the event, and hope to see it repeated next year.
P. S. For a little contrast, take a look at my companion post about my adventures at a different conference. It gives more information on why the twitter-verse is exploding at #weneeddiversebooks - http://barbarabinns.com/2014/05/look-at-kids-and-see-why.html