Local YA authors Amy K. Nichols and Bill Konigsberg have been announced as spring 2016 writers in residence by the Arizona State Library's Archives & Public Records office. Nichols will serve as writer in residence at the Glendale Public Library from March through May, while Konigsberg's residency will take place at the Mesa Public Library during the same timespan. Both authors will host workshops on writing and publishing.
Nichols, author of the young adult science fiction Duplexity series Now That You're Here and While You Were Gone (published by Knopf Books for Young Readers), will host office hours in the Creative Space at the Glendale Main Library, 5959 West Brown Street, during her three-month residency. She will be available Mondays from 2 to 3 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to noon. The office hours are open to teens and adults looking for writing inspiration. Says Nichols, "It's a big open space with tables inside, and the public can come in and talk to me. I'm definitely interested in talking with teens. Who knows, if I had been able to talk to a published author when I was a teen, I might have started [being a writer] a lot sooner."
On what she expects of her office hours, she says, "It's going to look like a woman sitting at a laptop staring into space with maybe a glass of water or cup of coffee by her side. So please feel free to interrupt." Maybe, she muses, she will bring a sign.
In addition to the creative office hours, Nichols will conduct three workshops: "Polishing Your Manuscript" at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6; "Crafting Your Query Letter and Pitching to Agents" at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 3; and a third workshop on the ins and outs of publishing to be held in May (date to be announced). Nichols says the workshops are designed to build on each other, and for those who might want to attend all three, there would be time between workshops to work on some of the techniques and tips discussed.
Konigsberg, who authored Out of the Pocket, Openly Straight, and The Porcupine of Truth, will hold residency duties at the Mesa Public Library. His workshop, "So, You Want to Publish a Book," will take place Saturday, March 19, from 1 to 3 p.m. in the Saguaro Room of the Main Library (64 East First Street). And his event, "First-Page Critiques," will be Wednesday, May 25, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. For that event, participants are asked to bring the first pages of their novel, on which Konigsberg will provide feedback.
Nichols currently is working on three new book projects and says she's looking forward to discussing the creative process during her time as a writer in residence. "If a young writer came in with a story and wanted to sit and talk about how revision works, or how writing works, or what the writing life looks like, that would be wonderful."
Two additional residencies are taking place this spring: Writer Susan Polman will be in residence at the Avondale Civic Center Library, and fantasy and adventure novelist Janni Lee Simner will be in residence at the Pima County Public Library in Tucson.
Look for more authors to be named writers in residence at local libraries this summer. This project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. All events are free and open to adults and teens.