Anderson’s YA Lit Conference & Ally Carter’s Advice to Baby Writers

Last weekend, I went to Chicago (Naperville/Lisle actually) to take part in Anderson Bookshop’s YA Lit Conference.

It. was. awesome.

I got to promote Truest, meet amazing bloggers, librarians, educations, and teens, and hang out with writers like David Arnold (Mosquitoland), Nicola Yoon (Everything Everything), Emma Mills (First & Then), and Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door, What I Thought Was True, The Boy Most Likely To).

contemp panel

Don’t even get me started on Huntley.

Oh, okay, do. 🙂

She’s incredible– so sweet and smart and quiet and incredible. So articulate and genuine and lovely. I was so encouraged by our conversations. She was the highlight of my entire weekend. How amazing is it that I’m now friends with the woman who invented Tim Mason, Cass Somers, and Jase Garrett? Love them. Love her.

I’m so glad that I was able to listen to Ally Carter (Gallagher Girls, Heist Society, Embassy Row) give a speech directed at herself as a baby author … because that’s where I’m at. I was so tremendously encouraged by it, and I’m hoping you guys will be too.

Here were the main points of her talk:

  • The best thing you can do to promote your last book is to write your next book.
  • The book people you meet will be good not only for your career but for your life.
  • If an idea is truly great, it will still be great in six months (i.e. don’t go chasing after the “new shinies”).
  • Don’t obsess over the trends; write what you write.
  • Don’t judge your career based on the careers of other people (“Keep your eyes on your own paper”).
  • There is no one way to write a book. Learn how to write the book you’re writing NOW.
  • There is no one way to have a successful career.
  • Writers gotta write.
  • Track your goals. (Ally talked about writing down five goals, five CRAZY goals, and five WILDEST DREAM goals … I did this on my flight home. They’re pretty wild. Too embarrassing to share!)
  • It’s going to be okay.
  • This is your dream … it’s also someone ELSE’S dream (so enjoy it).
  • What you do matters. (Can you make others feel strong and powerful and happy?)

So, there’s my (very minimal) re-cap.

TL;DR: Huntley Fitzpatrick is lovely; Ally Carter is wise.

4 thoughts on “Anderson’s YA Lit Conference & Ally Carter’s Advice to Baby Writers

  1. It was so great to meet you Jackie! Sorry I missed you on Sunday, apparently when a gallbladder wants out you listen! I’ll touch base with you soon to talk about a feature on Truest! and Huntley – she’s all kinds of amazing right?!

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