At the end of the summer, Figment teamed up with SohoTeen, 826NYC, and I Heart Daily for a pretty amazing writing contest. We challenged you to prove that you didn’t kill the editor, Herman Mildew. And write you did.
RumbleroarRedvines won $1,000 and a chance to attend the SohoTeen launch party. On her trip to New York, she got to chat with Jon Scieszka, watch Libba Bray sing with her band Tiger Beat, and rub shoulders with some pretty big YA muckety-mucks. Lucky for us, she wrote everything down, so she could share it with her fellow Figs. Without further ado, here is RumbleroarRedvines’ account of her trip to Manhattan!
It is very difficult to drink Mexican hot chocolate in the presence of someone you greatly admire. I learned this several days ago, across from Jon Scieszka at a cozy New York City chocolate shop. The author of The Stinky Cheese Man, a childhood hero, was RIGHT. THERE. Of course my hands were shaking. Of course I had trouble sipping politely from the artsy hipster mug.
My fellow Stinky-Cheesers will be thrilled to hear that Jon is exactly the wonderful person you’ve always imagined him to be. He was not, however, the only such person at the table. With us were Ms. Meredith Barnes and Mr. Daniel Ehrenhaft of SohoTeen. Meredith has exquisite taste in both books and clothing. Dan is whip smart and also madly skilled at the guitar. I realized, while sitting at this table of talent, that I had never really thought about people like Meredith, who works marketing, and Dan, who is an editor. (He ordered black coffee, apparently that’s how you can tell.)
To me, writing has always been something I “must do alone,” my ring to take to Mordor. This idea made me sad—to think of myself all holed up in a windowless room, hissing at sunlight, and stroking several cats. But over my trip to New York, I realized I don’t have to work alone if I don’t want to. I can collaborate with the likes of Meredith and Dan—and Jon! At the party we went to later in the evening, it became clear that the New York young adult author community is very closely knit. Take for example, the all-author band, Tiger Beat (fronted by Libba Bray). As they sang “Holden Caulfied is Not an A—,” they were absolutely and utterly a team—not like Edgar Allen Poe, all alone in his dismal tower, not like Harper Lee, who didn’t even leave her house for Alabama’s annual “Harper Lee Festival” (come on). Authors, I realized, are real people—they want to play music and dance and drink smoothies and dress up and straighten their hair. And they’re all so nice, so supportive, so generous, so brilliant—even David Levithan was kind to me, and my story involved murdering his co-author in cold blood!
So, thank you, 826 NYC and I Heart Daily. Thank you, Soho Press with your groundbreaking new novels that make me have feelings on airplanes. And Figment—you beautiful, crazy thing. Will you marry me?