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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Wordstock: YA Gets Real

Posted by Jacob Schraer on Sat, Oct 9, 2010 at 5:08 PM

[We'll be posting short reviews and updates from the Wordstock festival all weekend, so check back or follow the ongoing conversation on twitter at #wordstock]

Midway through a panel discussion called YA Gets Real, a discussion with young adult writers who focus on "real" issues, y'know, as opposed to which hot supernatural being you should bone, author Patrick Ness asked if anyone in the audience wrote.

At a glance I'd say 90% of the room raised their hands. And it's probably safe to say the other 10% were being modest.

A lot of the panels, after all, are designed to speak to writers. To help them understand their craft by conversing with and hearing from working authors.

That said, the aforementioned panel was a little disappointing, though mainly because of poor moderation. The authors themselves were engaging and funny. Patrick Ness, author of the Chaos Walking trilogy, was fascinating, and not just because of his British accent. He expressed excitement to even be on the panel, considering his trilogy is set in an alternate universe where everyone can hear each other's thoughts all the time, like a world full of Sookie Stackhouses. But he was able to attack his theme from the angle of privacy, noting that young people today have more access to each others' private lives than ever before, even citing the recent suicide at Rutgers as an example of the issues this can cause. And though his co-panelists L.K. Madigan and Condrad Wesselhoeft were interesting in their own rights, they were a little outshined.

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