YAing News: Week of Nov. 8

There’s a chill in the air, the clocks have turned back, and I no longer wake up to the sunshine streaming through my window. The students wandering the UBC campus have a grey, harried look about them. Yes, it must be early November, when the leaves are almost gone and the cold begins to settle into your bones — which means it’s time to settle into your most comfortable chair with a blanket and watch the 5 PM sunset from behind your new favorite book.

Speaking of your new favorite book, here’s what’s been happening at Young Adulting this month:

YAing Updates

In our November author spotlight, we interview Natasha Deen, an award-winning and prolific author of books for children and teens. Natasha discusses teaching writing, writing about a plague during the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of keeping a regular writing schedule — and the importance of allowing oneself room to not write sometimes:

Natasha Deen author photo.

“For me, I’m all about win-win, creating specific practices, and being kind to myself. So, it’s little things, like setting a timer for fifteen minutes of writing, and saying that in those fifteen minutes I will give it my best effort. Bear in mind, I’m not saying, “I will write x-amount of words,” or “I’m going to write my best scene, ever.” I’m just going to try my best.

Then, I give myself a break (five minutes). After that it’s another round of writing and then another break. This time, the break is ten minutes. As the day progresses, I keep at the fifteen minutes of writing, but I give myself longer breaks because I’m getting tired, and so is the creative side of my brain.

I also try to be flexible—some days, as writers, we need to step away from the page. IT IS OKAY not to write every day. IT IS OKAY to take breaks and recharge.” – 5 Questions for Natasha Deen

October was another great month for book reviews at Young Adulting — and our readers thought so, too, with more people visiting the site than any other month in YAing history! We are so grateful for the time you choose to spend with us, the books we read, and the authors who write them. And I have a feeling November is going to be even better. Just look at the books we’ve already reviewed this month:

  • “Bowen’s novel touches on dark topics in history like slavery but also highlights the power and beauty of African culture, tradition, and lore.” Hira Peracha reviews Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen, a highly-anticipated YA debut.
  • “There’s no better way to spend a rainy day than with a good detective story.” Jocelyne Gregory reviews Cale Atkinson’s Simon and Chester: Super Detectives.

Stay on the lookout for more great reviews over the coming weeks — we have inspirational stories of living through and overcoming oppression, a continuation of one of the most well-loved picture books of all time, and even a special throwback review of a comic-book classic I’m sure you’ll recognize. Don’t miss them every Tuesday and Thursday!

Industry News

There’s now less than two months left in 2021. It’s been a weird, hard year for many of us, but there’s still been a lot to celebrate. That much is certainly true of children’s and picture book authors in Canada, many of whose amazing works we’ve read and reviewed on these digital pages.

This Saturday, November 13, the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable is hosting a celebration for the winners of the 2021 Sheila Barry Best Canadian Picture Book Award. Writer Kyo Maclear and illustrator Rashim Kheiriyeh took home the honor for their book Story Boat, and they’ll be speaking at VCLR’s Fall Breakfast. The event is online, and registration closes on Wednesday, November 10 — so make sure you sign up here soon! There will also be presentations for the Ron Jobe Scholarship and the Annual Information Book of the Year Award.

In more award news, we’d like to congratulate all the nominees for the Forest of Reading Awards. Many of the names on these pages you’ll recognize from reading about their work at Young Adulting!

And on Wednesday, November 10, Library Journal and School Library Journal will be hosting Library Con Live, a free virtual event. The theme for this event is fandom lit — and we know that many of you out there will love the keynotes and panels on horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and graphic novels. You can also e-network with other fans, guests, and authors. Speakers include Natasha Bowen, mentioned above in this newsletter; Laurie Halse Andersen, author of one of the most significant YA works in Speak; and a host of New York Times bestsellers. You won’t want to miss out on this day-long event — register here!

As always, please do send us your news related to children’s and young adult literature at young.adulting@ubc.ca so we can feature them in future newsletters. Our newsletter is published on the 2nd Monday each month. And remember to keep up with us on Twitter and Instagram!

Take care, and happy reading, 

The Young Adulting Editors 

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