Learn how to craft characters that build empathy in young readers in this workshop with Melissa Hart.
About this Workshop: Based on Melissa Hart’s Better with Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens (Sasquatch, 2019), this workshop teaches writers of children’s and YA literature how to craft characters that build empathy in readers. Using examples from diverse bestselling children’s and YA literature, we look at how authors write what they know and create characters that reflect kids’ real lives and experiences. This technique helps young readers to develop insight and compassion. We’ll talk about the #ownvoices and We Need Diverse Books movements, then mine our own experiences for inspiration to ensure that the characters we create represent an authentic and respectful portrayal within a compelling plot. 
About the Instructor: Melissa Hart is the author of two memoirs for adults–Gringa and Wild Within–and Better with Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens (Sasquatch, 2019) plus the award-winning middle-grade novel, Avenging the Owl (Sky Pony, 2016). She’s Contributing Editor at The Writer Magazine. Website: www.melissahart.com