Now on to some tidbits of wisdom from some amazing writers.
On why not getting your book published isn't the end of the world:
"Nothing's wasted—even a failed book is a success... Be kind to yourself."
On why YA is the place to be:
"YA breaks all the rules... It took off when nobody was paying attention."
On how to write what you don't know:
"I'm not a teenage boy, I've never been a teenage boy...but I could observe the essence of boy and then channel it."
On finding motivation even when you don't feel like writing:
"The reason writers write is because they have a story to tell... Write through the garbage."
—Sarah Collins Honenberger
(Sorry, I couldn't get a picture of Sarah because there was a head in my way. But it was a really cool 15-year-old boy who asked good questions and chatted with me about writing and books after the panel, so I didn't mind so much.)
On outlining vs. the "seat of your pants" approach:
"If you try to keep it all in your head, you'll explode... Sometimes if you can see what's wrong, you're that much closer to seeing what's right."
—Amy Brecount White
I've never attended the Fall for the Book Festival before, but you can bet I'll plan to attend more events next year. So thanks to George Mason University for hosting this event and helping build a community of book lovers!
P.S. Look for next week's posts featuring National Book Festival speakers Tomie dePaola, Brian Selznick, Rita Williams-Garcia, Susan Cooper and Gary Schmidt. I'm hoping to catch Sherman Alexie and Toni Morrison as well, but I have some scheduling conflicts. Good thing the Library of Congress archives everything, so you can watch the webcasts or listen to the podcasts within a few weeks of the festival.