One of the unexpected benefits of being a writer is getting to travel. 2018 was a banner year for me, getting to go to Hong Kong for the Young Readers’s Festival, as well as being part of Poughkeepsie’s amazing Little Read program, its companion program to the community Big Read. I met some wonderful people and have lots of fond memories.
This year, I am going to a writing retreat for the first time in a couple of years. I attended the Time to Write run by the amazing duo of Linda Urban and Kate Messner on Lake Champlain about five years ago; if you ever have the chance to go, I recommend it! This time, I’m going to Kindling Words East in Vermont, which has been around for more than 20 years. I’ll let you know how it goes!
I’m also heading to the Truman State University Children’s Literature Festival in April, located in Kirksville, Missouri. Festivals are always a great chance to catch up with writer friends and make new ones. I am also honored to be working with the Virginia Center for the Book on their program, Changing the Narrative through the Power of a Story, which works with authors and teachers to bring inclusive representation of young people’s literature to classrooms throughout Virginia. This spring, I will be an author-in-residence at The Academy at Lakewood in Norfolk.
Whether I am traveling near or far, I always welcome the opportunity to meet and speak with new readers and writers. My job is to provide insight and inspiration, but truthfully? I often get just as much out of it.