MALF Co-sponsors MEMO Panel on “The Journey of the YA Novel”

Friends of the Library hail from all walks of life and are hard to typecast. We can say two things with certainty, though. Friends like to read, and they enjoy sharing that passion with others. But have you ever wondered what kind of work goes into creating the stories we find so enjoyable? Thursday, October 3, as part of the Minnesota Educational Media Organization (MEMO)’s annual fall conference in St. Cloud, attendees got the chance to find out.

MALF, together with MEMO and Consortium Books & Distribution, co-sponsored an hour-long evening program entitled “Journey of a Young Adult Book: From Writer to Reader.” The session was based on a panel of the same name coordinated last spring for the New York City Book Expo by United for Libraries and Algonquin Books.

Heidi Hammond, Ph.D., an experienced media specialist and St. Catherine University professor, moderated a table of subject matter experts. Panelists included Carrie Mesrobian, a YA novelist and teen writing instructor at The Loft Literary Center; Mary Losure, writer of the YA nonfiction narratives The Fairy Ring and The Wild Boy; Andrew Karre, editorial director for Carolrhoda Lab™; and Dawn Frederick, literary agent and owner of Red Sofa Literary.

Event organizer and MALF Board member Joan Larson was also on hand to represent the Minnesota Association of Library Friends.

The panel walked the audience through every step of the bookmaking process: from generating ideas, composing a manuscript, and getting it polished, to what it takes to submit a book to agents and get it published. Getting new, quality YA materials into the hands of readers is, in short, a long and multifaceted process. Attendees came away realizing that “the story behind the story” is often nearly as interesting as the book itself!

The session – one of the evening’s headliners – was well attended, and we hope to co-sponsor another of the kind in the future.


Photo Caption: MEMO Annual Fall Conference at the River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud, Minn. The October 3 keynote, as well as the "Journey of a YA Novel" evening panel, were well attended. Photo credit: MEMO/Dhaivyd Hilgendorf.

For more photos, please visit MEMO's Flickr photostream.