The event began with a private meet and greet between the authors and my Writing For Children students. Everyone got to sit at a table inside the castle, (in an old haunted dining room) and have conversations with each of the authors. I made them move from table to table in a kind of musical authors game.
|K.M. Walton meeting with my students|
|Maria V. Snyder and Amy Garvey and Jeri Smith Ready speaking to students|
|E.C. Myers speaking to students|
Actually, before the panel began we had to bring in extra chairs.
A LOT of extra chairs. We kind of packed the room! Which was awesome!
I then spent an hour grilling all of them about their writing process and how they got published and whether or not their teenage selves appear in their stories. They had some really fun answers about which characters had their teen personalities and whether or not they used any actual people they knew.
The panel was followed by an audience Q&A session where we got to learn about the authors' critique partners, their favorite snacks to eat while writing and what happens when a publisher says your book is too close to another one.
Audience members got to chat with the panelists afterward.
And thanks to the wonderful staff of Children's Book World, audience members were able to purchase the books written by our panelists and have them signed and personalized.
After hanging out a bit and talking to everyone...
I scared everyone with the many ghost stories associated with the castle and Arcadia campus.
And then finally, we were able to relax and go to a much deserved dinner.
I had a blast, and am so thankful for the wonderful turn out, audience participation and support and the incredible authors who came and gave such interesting and informative answers to everyone's questions.
Perhaps the best part of the night came right after the panel when I heard from some attendees that the discussion inspired them to start writing. Is there anything better than that?
Well...maybe another panel....