SCBWI Western Washington's monthly professional series meeting was last week. Kim Baker, one of our region's fabulous leaders, kicked off the evening with the mini-session "What's So Funny? A Look at Humor in Children's Books and YA." Kim spoke about the many ways kid lit authors and illustrators use humor in their work. Talk about learning from an expert! Kim is hilarious in real life--and super sweet! Her debut, a middle grade novel titled PICKLE, will hit shelves in September.
YA author Denise Jaden led our main program, "With a Heavy Heart: Writing Grief in Fiction." She said grief isn't a story in itself, but writers can use it to push things further. She spoke about which stages of grief can enhance a story and which ones can bring it down. Denise knows about writing grief authentically. Her first two YA novels, LOSING FAITH and NEVER ENOUGH, deal with grief and loss.
Both speakers gave us plenty to think about, things to apply to our own work.
Does your work-in-progress have humor in it? Grief? Both? What is the intended age group? Mine is a humorous middle grade, but it has a thread of grief I'm weaving through it.