Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Sat. Oct 15 – Middle Grade Author Panel

Date(s) - 10/15/2022
10:00 am - 11:30 am

Diving into Middle Grade
Author Panel Discussion

Saturday, October 15, 2022
10:00 – 11:30 am PT
Virtual Zoom Event



$10 for members  /  $15 for non-members
Registration closes Oct. 13th at 6pm

Get a peek behind the scenes of writing a great middle grade novel! Authors Dashka Slater, Yamile Saied Méndez, Katryn Bury, and Wendelin Van Draanen will share their craft advice and publishing experience on this fantastic panel. This panel discussion will be moderated by author Darcey Rosenblatt. 

The Zoom link will be emailed to registered participants 1 day before the event.

This event will be recorded.

Guest Speakers:
Dashka SlaterDashka Slater is the New York Times bestselling author of the true crime narrative, The 57 Bus, winner of the 2018 Stonewall Book Award and a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor. She is also the author of  the Feylawn Chronicles, a middle grade fantasy series which began with the The Book of Fatal Errors, and many picture books, including the beloved Escargot series and The Antlered Ship, which has been translated into more than a dozen languages.

Dashka has been telling stories since she could talk. An award-winning journalist who writes for such publications as The New York Times Magazine and Mother Jones, she is also the recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts but has spent most of her adult life in Oakland, California, where she is always working on far too many writing projects.


Yamile Saied Méndez Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American Pura Belpré gold medal winning author. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s also a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children’s and Young Adult program. She writes picture books, middle grade, young adult and adult romance fiction. Yamile is a founding member of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx MG and YA authors. She’s represented by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary.


Katryn Bury PhotoKatryn Bury is the author of the middle grade mystery Drew Leclair Gets a Clue and the forthcoming sequel Drew Leclair Crushes the Case. A lifelong true crime nerd, she has a bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminology. Her short and serialized fiction can be found in Suspense Magazine and The Sleuth. By day, she is a library technician who is lucky enough to work with her target audience. She lives in Oakland, California, with her family and a vast collection of Nancy Drew mysteries.


WendelinWendelin Van Draanen has written more than thirty novels for young readers and teens. She is the author of the 18-book Edgar-winning Sammy Keyes series—often called “The new Nancy Drew”—and wrote Flipped, which was named a Top 100 Children’s Novel for the 21st Century by School Library Journal and became a Warner Brothers feature film, with Rob Reiner directing. Van Draanen’s latest novel, The Peach Rebellion, explores the lives and loves of three young women who come from completely different backgrounds and join forces to take a stand against the patriarchy. Her other stand-alone titles include Wild Bird, The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones, Runaway, Confessions of a Serial Kisser, Swear to Howdy, and The Running Dream, which was awarded American Library Association’s Schneider Family Award for its “expression of the disability experience.” A classroom teacher for fifteen years, Van Draanen resides in California where she can be spotted riding shopping carts across parking lots. She and her husband, Mark Parsons, have two sons and enjoy the three R’s: Reading, Running, and Rock’n’Roll.

 Panel Moderator:

Darcey RosenblattDarcey Rosenblatt writes for middle grade and teenage people because she believes for them stories can be life changing – they were for her. Her debut novel Lost Boys (Henry Holt for Young Readers) was released in August 2017. Darcey is a cofounder of the annual Better Books Workshop for middle grade and young adult writers. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her fabulous husband and daughter, some fish, and the best dog in the world.



Questions? Contact Colleen Riordan, Co-Regional Advisor

*This event is non-refundable. 

*A Zoom link will be emailed to registered participants the day before the event.

*This event will be recorded. 



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