Children’s authors will be front and center on the Uptown Stage tomorrow, when a day of back-to-back kids’-only programming takes place. A stellar pantheon of authors and illustrators are scheduled to take part in an array of panel discussions ranging from timely themes in fiction to the art of writing for specific audiences. Booksellers and other industry professionals will have the opportunity to hear fresh voices—those of promising new authors whose books were selected for this year’s Young Adult and Middle-Grade Buzz sessions—as well as the voices of two esteemed Newbery Medalists.

BEA education director Sally Dedecker, a digital and print publishing consultant and owner of Sally Dedecker Enterprises, worked with many publishers to assemble the stage programming. “The stage events are a great opportunity for everyone at the show—booksellers, librarians, and publishers—to hear authors talking about their books,” she says. “Putting the events together has been a real collaborative effort with publishers. And creating events around themes means that there is something for everyone.”

Dedecker says that the decision to schedule most of the children’s stage events on a single day (a Star Wars Reads Day celebration takes place on Saturday) was a calculated one. “Instead of spreading these events out throughout the fair, we decided to let everyone know Friday at the Uptown Stage is all kids,” she says. “No matter what time people visit the stage, they’ll know what to expect.”

For those who want to plan their itineraries, here’s the lineup of events on the Uptown Stage.


10–10:30 a.m.: Meet BEA Young Adult Buzz Authors 2013. Ellen Myrick, president of Myrick Marketing, moderates a discussion among the five authors whose novels are showcased in this year’s YA Editor’s Buzz Panel. They include Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl), Anna Jarzab (Tandem), Cristin Terrill (All Our Yesterdays), Amy Rose Capetta (Entangled), and Sara Farizan (If You Could Be Mine).

11–11:30 a.m.: Out of This World: Page Turners for Young Readers. Brandon Mull (Spirit Animals Book 1: Wild Born), Gordon Korman (The Hypnotists), and Cathryn Constable (The Wolf Princess) will discuss creating fantastical action and adventure series for middle-grade readers. The panel will include a q&a and will be moderated by Barry Cunningham, publisher and managing director of the Chicken House.

Noon–12:30 p.m.: Writing Genre for Boys. “Don’t be Wimpy, Kid! Put on your Captain Underpants and get to work solving 39 Clues,” reads BEA’s teaser for this panel, featuring Jon Scieszka (editor of Guys Read: Otherworlds), Kevin Emerson (The Fellowship for Alien Detection), Brandon Mull (The Beyonders series; Spirit Animals Book 1: Wild Born), and Jack Gantos (From Norvelt to Nowhere). The authors will discuss how they go about cracking the code to boy readers’ minds. Jordan Brown, senior editor of HarperCollins’s Walden Pond Press and Balzer + Bray, will moderate.

1–1:30 p.m.: Meet BEA Middle-Grade Buzz Authors 2013. Jennifer Brown, children’s editor of Shelf Awareness, moderates a panel of the novelists whose work was chosen to be featured on today’s Middle-Grade Editor’s Buzz Panel. They are Caroline Carlson (A Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates #1: Magic Marks the Spot), Holly Goldberg Sloan (Counting by 7s), Matthew Ward (The Fantastic Family Whipple), Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith (Nick and Tesla’s High-Voltage Danger Lab), and Amy Herrick (The Time Fetch).

2–2:30 p.m.: Picture Book Powerhouses. Five prolific authors share their thoughts on the process of creating successful picture books. They are Oliver Jeffers (The Hueys in the New Sweater; The Day the Crayons Quit), Loren Long (An Otis Christmas), John Bemelmans Marciano (Madeline and the Old House in Paris), Judy Schachner (Bits and Pieces), and Jan Brett (Cinders).

3–3:30 p.m.: Realistic Fiction: The Next Hot Genre in Young Adult. This program rounds up five YA authors who will discuss why realism may be edging out vampire, dystopian, and paranormal themes in fiction for teens. Participants include Robyn Schneider (The Beginning of Everything), Katie Cotugno (How to Love), Corey Ann Haydu (OCD Love Story), and Suzanne Young and Cat Patrick (Just Like Fate).

4–5 p.m.: Newbery Medalists Forum. Cynthia Voigt, who won the Newbery for Dicey’s Song and Newbery Honors for A Solitary Blue, will discuss her new book, Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things, illus. by Iacopo Bruno, due from Knopf in September. And Kate DiCamillo, Newbery winner for The Tale of Despereaux and author of the Newbery Honor Book Because of Winn Dixie, will talk about Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, her collaboration with K.G. Campbell, which Candlewick will publish in September.


1–2:30 p.m.: Star Wars Reads Day Celebration. This gala will feature book signings and giveaways, a trivia contest with Star Wars author Jason Fry, a reading from Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, and appearances by audiobook artist Marc Thompson and paper engineer Matthew Reinhart. Surprise guests are slated to announce the date of this year’s global Star Wars Reads Day. The event is sponsored by Abrams, Chronicle Books, Dark Horse, Del Rey, DK, Klutz, Random House Audio, Scholastic, Titan, Quirk Books, and Workman.