Book Blog - SPEAK by Laurie Halse Anderson

Donna Cooner 3 Monday, May 02, 2011

Summer is a great time for writer's conferences and the YA Muses have just made plans to ALL be in attendance at the SCBWI conference in LA in August. We're giddy with the excitement of being together and thrilled with the lineup of speakers and events. This month, in preparation for any and all writing conferences, our topics will be all designed around helping polish up that manuscript for that one-time shot.

One of the reasons I was so excited to see the line up of speakers for SCBWI is the fact author Laurie Halse Anderson will be presenting a keynote on Sunday, August 7th. Laurie's National Award Book finalist, SPEAK, is one of the reasons I now write YA books. As a former elementary teacher, I'd read lots of children's books, mostly picture books. I'm also an avid adult reader, but had never read much YA. When I read SPEAK, I fell in love with the voice and instantly connected with main character, Melinda. Although Laurie has continued to write many amazing, award-winning books after SPEAK, it is still one of my favorites and one I will re-read one more time this summer before eagerly listening to her speak in August.

From the author's website:
Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.

And, if you are planning on preparing for that summer conference, don't forget our PREP YOUR PAGES CONTEST! Enter to win a special YA Muses critique of your manuscript to polish it up for that special conference presentation.


Very exciting that LHA is a speaker. I was hoping Mary E. Pearson would be there as well, but there certainly are many wonderful authors.

Like you, Speak inspired me to write YA, too. A brilliant novel by a brilliant writer.

You cannot go wrong with LHA as a speaker. That woman is amazing. Speak didn't inspire me to write YA; I wasn't writing fiction at that point. But it inspired me to READ YA. I'm jealous of everyone going to that conference! Next year....

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