Regretfully, Donna Galanti has had to step aside as a conference instructor due to a family emergency. Laurie Morrison, author of  EVERY SHINY THING (out now) and UP FOR AIR (Spring 2019) from Abrams/Amulet Books, has graciously agreed to come in and teach the scheduled workshop,  ““Harness Your Inner Child: Writing and Marketing for MG and YA.”

Laurie Morrison taught middle school English for ten years and collaborates with other authors to run Middle Grade at Heart, an online book club and newsletter. Laurie holds a BA from Haverford College, an MA from The University of Arizona, and an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts.  She lives with her family in Philadelphia.


This 3-day session is geared toward Middle Grade and Young Adult writers. It will build on such topics as developing compelling protagonists; crafting a character-specific voice; and marketing your book by connecting with schools and libraries, both in person and online.

We care deeply about stories when we care deeply about characters. It’s especially compelling to read about child and teen protagonists who are realistically flawed so that we can root for them to learn, change, and grow. In this session, Laurie will share techniques for creating memorable, sympathetic protagonists with fully realized backstories and mistaken beliefs that drive their actions, propelling them along captivating journeys and toward a satisfying resolution.

It’s easy to tell when a story has a great voice, but it’s not so easy to say why that’s the case. When the voice is especially strong, readers are invited right into the mind and world of the character whose point of view we’re following. There’s something special and vibrant about the rhythm, word choice, and personality of the narrative. Something wonderful…but difficult to pin down. This session will delve into the elusive concept of voice, offering successful examples and concrete techniques for developing a vibrant, character-specific voice that sings.

Once your children’s book is published, one of the best ways to get it in the hands of your readers is to connect with teachers and librarians, both in person and online. Laurie will guide you on how to schedule school visits and develop engaging presentations for kids and teens, and she will share tips for connecting with influential teachers and librarians via social media and in other settings. Even if you are not published yet, this session will give you ideas for connecting with a passionate community of educators and writers and prepare you for post-publication success.


PWC wishes Donna all the best, and welcomes Laurie to the conference. These things happen! In the meantime, learn more about Laurie on her Website, Twitter, or Instagram.