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Writing the Middle-Grade Novel with Ruth Behar
Saturday, October 20, 2018 @ 12:00 pm
300 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33132 United States
Saturday – Sunday, October 20 – 21 (2 days)
12– 3 p.m. | MDC Wolfson Campus, Downtown Miami
The middle-grade novel is perhaps the most exciting genre in young people’s literature today. There has been a boom in writing about characters between the ages of nine and twelve, which has led to innovative and even monumental work. The wide range of writing for and about tweens includes Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, John Boyne’s The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, and Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming. While the genre offers many possibilities for writers, it requires very particular skills in creating characters, setting, dialogue, conflict, and resolution. In this workshop, we will examine the different components of the genre in published work and through in-class writing exercises and student-submitted work. Whether you are contemplating writing a middle-grade novel or already have a manuscript draft, this workshop will help you to find inspiration and gain tools to strengthen your voice, craft, and literary style.
Ruth Behar, an acclaimed author of fiction and nonfiction, received the 2018 Pura Belpré Author Award for Lucky Broken Girl, her first middle-grade novel. This award is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. Ruth was born in Havana, Cuba, grew up in New York City, and has also lived in Spain and Mexico. An anthropology professor at the University of Michigan, she is also the author of The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart, An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba, and Traveling Heavy: A Memoir in between Journeys, and other books about her travels, as well as a bilingual book of poetry, Everything I Kept/Todo lo que guardé. Her honors include a MacArthur Fellows “Genius” Award, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Distinguished Alumna Award from Wesleyan University. Most recently, she was named a “Great Immigrant” by the Carnegie Corporation of New York.