Monday, March 30, 2009

Class of 2K9 ... or Why You Should be Mad at Sarah


I'm a bad person. Michelle reminded me today that this blog post was overdue.  I've already had chocolate, so even the most severe punishment will be survivable ... but it would be also be suitable. You should have heard about these folks before now. 

Please allow me to introduce the Class of 2K9.

The Class of 2K9 consists of 22 middle grade and young adult authors whose debut novels are being released this year. I got a chance to listen to five of them discuss their experience as 2K9 members at the Festival of the Book. They were: 

Ellen Jenson Abbott, author of Watersmeet
Lisa Greenwald, author of My Life in Pink & Green
Edith M. Hemmingway, author of Road to Tater Hill
Ann Haywood Leal, author of Also Known as Harper
Fran Cannon Slayton, author of When the Whistle Blows

They began by reading a brief portion from their debut novels. By the time the last author finished, I was thinking how unusual it was to actually enjoy readings from five different authors. Normally, there's at least one bit that makes you think, "Meh."

(I'm going to digress a moment, but bear with me- it'll make sense in a minute.)

For those of us still trying to finish novels, getting published seems a million miles away. But another panel at the Festival made it very clear that getting published is just the beginning. The publisher publishes your book- but publicity? That's gravy. 

The Class of 2K9 is making their own gravy, so to speak. They pooled resources to create a website, print publicity materials, and hire a publisher. They promote themselves as a whole, and in doing so, have better chances of being invited to various venues. 

What stood out to me most was the comaraderie between these women. You couldn't get one of them to talk about only her book. (Crazy, huh? I'm not even published and my novel is a favorite topic of mine.) Each mentioned other members of the Class. In fact, the entire Class is actively promoting member Albert Borris' Crash Into Me. Albert suffered a stroke several months ago, but that's not kept people from hearing about his book. 

We all know how important it is to have a support group in the writing process. The Class of 2K9 showed me it's possible to have that when published as well. I could go on and on, but I'll not waste your time any longer. 

Go read more about the Class of 2K9 and the women whose stories I enjoyed so much. 

And please don't be mad that you had to wait so long.



6 comments:

Sarah said...

I should also mention that this was an SCBWI hosted event at the Festival of the Book. (Our Mid-Atlantic regions is so good!)

Michelle said...

For the record, Sarah, no one should be mad at you! Thanks for representing the Slushbusters at the panel.

Sarah said...

I was more frustrated with myself than anything. These were great authors- I'd like others to hear about them.

franslayton said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed our panel! We had a great time too! For anyone who is interested in winning 4 2k9 ARCS, we currently have a contest over at our blog:
http://community.livejournal.com/classof2k9/ (and one of them is mine!!) Thanks again for being there!

Kathryn Fitzmaurice said...

I really enjoyed your post, thank you!

Sarah said...

Thanks for telling us about the contest, Fran. I had a chance to skim the first few pages of your book after the panel. (Did you bring a ARC?) I didn't want to give it back to the very nice lady taking book orders. Winning would be a great way to finish it before June 11.

Kathryn, so glad you dropped in! I just stopped by your website. All the best with The Year the Swallows Came Early. (I have to add that the picture of Holly on the Meet Holly page is adorable.)

Here's the link if anyone else is interested:
http://www.kathrynfitzmaurice.com/holly.html