Another update from the residency.

12 days of lectures, workshops, and conversations about writing for children and teens. This is intense AND wonderful. Swathi Avasthi was a guest speaker yesterday and she spoke on Voice and YA fiction. A wonderful snippet: “Voice is the circulatory system of the novel.”

You should have heard the buzz in the room when she shared that.

Today Kelly Easton and Claire Rudolph Murphy led workshops. Kelly’s was on dialogue as a tool of character-building, while Claire led an exploration of the role of the antagonist. I slipped in and out of both and will be using snippets from both in my lecture on “The Paralyzed Protagonist” come Saturday.

We finished up the lecture/workshop part of the day with Marsha Chall’s lecture on anthropomorphism (try spelling that at 1:30 a.m.!) in picture books. Piaget, Freud, Frog and Toad, and Marsha’s own Labradoodle, Scout, were all part of the mix. I bet more than a few of the novelists in the crowd were inspired to go home and start a picture book about, well, bunnies or some such.

I’m learning lots and having fun and I need to go to bed.

Marsha Q.