Crossroads went back to the drawing board and now we have something new to tell you

Crossroads went back to the drawing board and now we have something new to tell you

Earlier this year, we hit a brick wall. The planning for our next Crossroads Writers Conference had gone swimmingly …until it didn’t. Suddenly, the puzzle pieces weren’t fitting together anymore. What happened? We couldn’t get the venue we wanted on the same weekend as the conference hotel we wanted. A tall order, but not an impossible task. And then… we found out two of our favorite (and vital) organizers become mamas this fall. Another beloved Crossroader, a committee chair, gets married in October. There’s always a lot to juggle with the conference because we’re an all-volunteer group, so with this news, the venue/hotel trouble and us Von Braun Hornes now living in Akron, Ohio, the answer seemed clear: step back and re-evaluate. So we’re putting the conference on hiatus until 2015 and going back to the drawing board. The first step in this process was asking our people how we can actually help. What are your goals? What are your roadblocks? What, if anything, have you gotten out of Crossroads in the past? Whenever we’ve asked before, it’s been about the conference. You know, how can we improve it? Now, we’re thinking bigger. How can we help you all year long? What did we learn? A lot, actually. I’ll start with some broad strokes here and where it’s leading us. Then, over the next couple of weeks, I’ll share more in-depth results from the survey. In a nutshell, this is what you told us: #1) Our people have big, awesome, inspiring goals for their writing but often struggle to finish what they start. #2) They want to connect to other people, specifically readers and other writers. #3)...
Wordy South, Ep. 3: Bernice McFadden & Chuck Wendig

Wordy South, Ep. 3: Bernice McFadden & Chuck Wendig

(NOTE: This is the corrected version of the podcast. The first post was missing a few words. Sorry!) What “lunatic” thing did acclaimed novelist Bernice McFadden do until 2005? And why did she stop? Find out in this interview with the two-time Hurston/Wright Award nominee and author of New York Times editor’s choice book “Gathering of Waters.” She has a ton of great insight to share with writers trying to complete their novel. The next time you think about saying you could care less, be aware pen monkey Chuck Wendig may tap you on the shoulder, eyeball you up and down, and then shake his head, “No, you could care less. And you should.” We play his speech from the 2012 Crossroads so you know why. Shout-outs to a couple of talented writers in the Crossroads family. YA novelist Lauren Morrill, who made Crossroads 2013 awesome and then released her second book–“Being Sloan Jacobs”–on January 7. You can get your copy here. You can see what Lauren looked like in high school here: Delilah S. Dawson, writer of paranormal romance and whatnot, just unleashed “Damsel and the Daggerman,” a new Blud series novella. And, on January 28, you can get your hands on “Wicked After Midnight,” which may or may not be about lonely mogwai who eat dinner too late and have to deal with their emotions as they’re transformed into gremlins. Also, Susannah Breslin is awesome. Find these folks on Twitter: Bernice McFadden, Chuck Wendig, Lauren Morrill, Delilah S. Dawson, Susannah Breslin, Crossroads and Chris Horne Web interviews and blogs: Bernice McFadden – interview How to survive 74 rejections (BONUS: M.W. Gerard’s review of “Glorious”)...
Gear up! “Writing is a lifestyle” shirts by Modern Giant

Gear up! “Writing is a lifestyle” shirts by Modern Giant

Jason at Modern Giant has FINALLY made his award-winning “Writing is a lifestyle” design available as a T-shirt. And we think you’d look great in one. Seriously. Buy one and flaunt it to all your jealous friends. But as they say, flaunt it if ya got it… so if you ain’t got it, you can’t flaunt it. That’s infallible logic, yo. Click...
What’s the “Short Story” ticket?

What’s the “Short Story” ticket?

You have spoken and we have listened. Several of our folks said they can’t get off work early on Friday and they wanted a Saturday-only ticket, which is what we’ve just created: the “Short Story” ticket. Now, for just $99, you can get into all our daytime Saturday sessions, panels and talks. Unfortunately, the Short Story ticket doesn’t include the lunch voucher and it won’t get you into our special sessions on Friday and Sunday, but if you’re on a tight schedule and need to keep a close eye on your budget, this is a deal that’s hard to beat. And stay tuned… the full schedule comes out...
Review of FIRECRACKER by David Iserson

Review of FIRECRACKER by David Iserson

David Iserson, a writer for “SNL,” “The New Girl” and “Up All Night,” made his YA debut with “Firecracker” this May. He was interviewed in the Los Angeles Times, reviewed at Reading Rants and featured in Entertainment Weekly’s Shelf Life and on ForeverYoungAdult.com. And you should love his star-studded book trailer for “Firecracker,” which you can watch below. This will be his first visit to Crossroads and we’re geeked. Meet him at Crossroads when you register by clicking here.  Meaghan Walsh Gerard reviews FIRECRACKER by David Iserson Only once before have a read a YA book most of the way through before realizing it was categorized as such. I haven’t got anything against YA per se, but having been 29 for a couple of years now, I am generally uninterested in the adolescent themes they explore. But occasionally (though rarely) a YA novel manages to defy its genre conventions and just be a darn good story. Our tempestuous heroine, and narrator, is Astrid Krieger and she lives in a rocket ship. Yes, you read that right. Astrid is the teenaged daughter of very wealthy if aloof parents. In short, Astrid is bored. Her only amusements are pulling the strings of those less perceptive than herself. She’s been recently expelled from her very exclusive high school for cheating – something she never denies doing but only determines to find out who turned her in. Her therapist (and former dean) instead challenges Astrid to do at least three things that she doesn’t want to do. As an embittered, independent teen, the list of potential tasks is quite lengthy. But as Astrid embarks on...