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Thursday, May 25 • 1:30pm - 2:30pm
Fact-based Fiction in the Age of Trump: From a Writer’s POV

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From concept to publication, this talk is a journey on writing social justice literature
for young adults.

Child marriages, the Holocaust, wars, conflicts, boy soldiers, torture – are these
topics suitable for children?

Good fiction, that explores the human condition, creates sympathy. Great fiction, of
the same genre, creates empathy. Never in our history has it been more important to
encourage empathy.

How does one describe the life of an Africa child soldier without sugar coating their
reality to suit the delicate sensibilities of a western child? How does one fictionalize
the torture of a boy? How to tell the difference between the real and the sensational?
Where is the line and how do I know if I cross it?

I walk a line as I draw the line. If I go too far my books will never see the inside of a
school library. If I don’t go far enough not only do I disrespect those who are living a
nightmare but, I leave readers with the impression that life outside the bubble is
really not that bad. It usually is THAT BAD.

I often write outside my culture, religion and ethnicity. I work with NGO’s – from the
large, Amnesty International, to the hands-on, Athletes for Africa. I have found my
stories in Northern Uganda, Palestine, Israel, Afghanistan and, most recently, in a
camp on the Syrian border.

I invite librarians to come on the journey with me on how this developing genre is
researched, written, produced and published.

avatar for Crystal Sutherland

Crystal Sutherland

Librarian, Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women

avatar for Sharon McKay

Sharon McKay

http://www.sharonmckay.ca/ Social justice, young adult writer and Canadian War Artist (CFA-Vet)

Thursday May 25, 2017 1:30pm - 2:30pm EDT
Kent Room Rodd Charlottetown