Dianne Salerni author Dianne Salerni author Dianne Salerni books Dianne Salerni blog Dianne Salerni Appearances Dianne Salerni contact Dianne Salerni teachers
Dianne Salerni : Writer of Teen and Middle Grade Fiction | PAYA 2012

PAYA 2012

This past Saturday, I attended the third annual book festival organized by Pennsylvanian teenager Skyanne Fisher – Bring YA to PA, otherwise known as PAYA 2012. (This year with less hurricanes!)
I was delighted to be able to display the cover of THE CAGED GRAVES. (If you didn’t see the cover reveal yesterday, look here!)  The cover drew attention and stirred up a lot of interest in the book, as did my husband’s photographs of the real graves.  I proudly told everyone that my husband is getting photo credit for the bottom image on the book cover.
I didn’t go alone this year. My 15 year-old daughter Gabbey signed up for the morning’s writing workshop. I’ve got her here today doing a guest blog on the event.
A TEEN WRITER AT PAYA by Gabrielle Salerni
I attended this summer’s PAYA festival with the mother unit last weekend, where I signed up for a writing workshop with several other published authors. I had already been to the first year of PAYA and wanted to go to the workshop this year in hopes of receiving some new insight on my current WIP. I was beginning to get a little discouraged over it and was in need of some outside help. I knew I was among my own kind when some writers at the door, Victoria Schwab (The Near Witch) and Tiffany Schmidt (Send Me a Sign), immediately began exclaiming over my Doctor Who t-shirt. 
I was directed into the room where the workshop would be taking place and then watched more and more people trickle in. They were all adults, and despite myself I started to get a little intimidated, being fifteen and having no real writing experience whatsoever. For a few minutes I stood awkwardly in the corner before sidling over to a chair in front of the table. Luckily for me, everyone seemed nice and as the workshop progressed I became more comfortable.
Each of the authors gave a 5-8 minute presentation on a different topic, all of which were entertaining. I tried to take notes on the ones that pertained to my genre, but didn’t end up with much on the paper (yeah…that’s how it happens in school, too). In the end we all split into groups; my group had three authors and three aspiring writers. Due to time constraints, we decided to pair off and Ellen Jensen Abbot read the first three pages of my story. She was encouraging and gave me a lot of ideas and suggestions to help me cut down words and make my story better; not to mention ways to develop my fantastical universe a little more (I have A LOT of that to do). She was very nice, and overall I got a lot out of the experience. I’m also looking forward to reading Ellen Jensen Abbot’s book, Watersmeet soon! Thanks to everyone who was there and who helped us aspiring writers learn so much! 

14 Responses to PAYA 2012

  1. Sarah says:

    Whoa–that sounds like a great conference and workshop! I’m glad you found the experience so useful, Gabbey!

  2. Linda G. says:

    Sounds like it was a fantastic–and helpful–conference for the Salerni family all around!

  3. Tonja says:

    That’s awesome for both of you.

  4. That sounds like my note taking in school and at conferences, too. I know people who end up with pages of notes and I have one line. I get wowed by what they say and forget to write it down.

    That’s awesome that you had a great time, Gabbey.

  5. So awesome for both of you! And very cool to be able to develop a fantastical universe, Gabrielle. I admire that! 🙂

  6. Hi Gabbey! It was go great to meet you at PAYA — and I’m so glad you participated in the Writing Workshop! Keep up the hard work and soon enough YOU will be on the other side of the signing tables <3

  7. mshatch says:

    pretty cool that you guys can do stuff together like that. Glad you both had fun 🙂

  8. Sounds like a fabulous workshop and Gabby, how cool for you to get a different perspective on your work! Even though your mom is a writer, its always nice to get unbiased advice and feedback.

  9. “I tried to take notes on the ones that pertained to my genre, but didn’t end up with much on the paper (yeah…that’s how it happens in school, too).”

    I love writers with a sense of humor. 🙂

  10. It is totally cool that the Salerni mother-daughter team could enjoy something like this together. I have a feeling there’s gonna be another Salerni represented on the bookshelf when all is said and done. Glad you had such a good time, Gabby. Your account made me smile.

  11. Holy moly, that is some serious bravery. Sounds like it was such a fun, rewarding experience! Thanks for sharing your story, Gabbey!!

  12. It sounds like you had a wonderful time at the conference. Sometimes it’s better to just listen rather than trying to write everything down. I’ve found that at conferences. Your critique sounded very productive.

    Thanks for sharing with us.

  13. Demitria says:

    Thank you so much for sharing Gabbey!!

  14. Sounds like it was a great experience for your daughter. Thanks for sharing her thoughts with us.