I was at National Book Fest on Saturday for the first session, since Ellen Hagan and Renee Watson were there to read from and talk about Watch Us Rise. I went to see Victoria Schwab (it's possible, I knew her interviewer and cared half as much about that). She talked about revisiting a story you had written several stories ago and how you and what comes next had changed.
Misa Suguira and Mitali Perkins talking about cultural representation and cultural stereotypes and writing about the effect of those on characters (and real people too).
Ngozi Utaku talked about researching hockey and her interest, after creating a romantic pairing in showing how they carried on together.
After that I snuck off for some book chat and some writing in an alcove before making my way back up for the poetry slam. Elizabeth Acevedo hosted this year, and this year they revealed the group's each pet was from ahead of time so that I could demonstrate hometown favoritism. As always, the first round was good, the second round was amazing. The women next to me burst into tears listening to one poem.
I am always grateful I stayed for the poetry slam.