Thursday, January 31, 2019

Spring To Success With SpringMingle'19 and ELLEN HOPKINS (Part II)

In anticipation of our SpringMingle novel intensive (which looks AWESOME), Conference Coordinator Randall Bonser interviewed multiple-award-winning author Ellen Hopkins about her most famous YA book series, and about her practice of writing in verse. She also included the homework she wants attendees to do before the workshop. If you haven't signed up for the novel intensive yet, there are still a few more spots (but they are going quickly, so... ):

Do you find that teens are still reading books? Or has anything changed in teen reading habits in the years you’ve been writing for teens?

Teens are absolutely still reading books, and they prefer print to screen. I think the difference between then and now is the sheer number of choices they have. There are books for every teen. 

What kind of habits would you advise for writers who want to succeed in YA fiction?

To spend as much time around teens as you can, in a number of different settings, if possible. And to read, read, read, YA, in its many forms. 

What are some of the things you’re going to focus on when you teach at Springmingle Atlanta 2019?

On the writing side, the value of imagery, sensory detail, and white space on the page. These things are critical to writing prose as well as verse, and all levels of kidlit. Also, balancing personal and professional time, marketing tips (including a discussion about online platforms), and the importance of inclusion, social justice and activism as writers. 

What are some homework assignments you want to assign to writers coming to your workshop at Springmingle?

I’d like everyone to bring a couple of pages of a WIP (Work In Progress) to my intensive sessions so we can see how playing with those sensory details and white space can create mood, and draw readers closer to the characters. And it would be good for those who already have websites or online platforms to bring laptops so we can look at what they’ve already got and how to spice it up.

Thanks, Ellen, for a sneak peek into what we can expect from your intensives at Springmingle'19. Plus, Ellen Hopkins will be delivering our Keynote at Saturday's conference. So you heard Randall Bonser--spots are going quickly! Register today!


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