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The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society
presents A Special Double Panel Speaker Event!

"Writing for the Young Adult Novel Market"
"Writing for the Children's Book Market"

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society is proud to present a talented and award-winning slate of authors who will appear in person to share their experiences on the craft of writing and the business of selling to the Children’s Book Market and Young Adult Novels Market. It’s a subject so big, we will have two consecutive panels! No matter what you are writing, you will find these writers can help you on the path to success. (See detailed bios below).

Authors on the Young Adult Panel include: Valerie Hobbs, Kaleb Nation, and R.L. LaFevers, and will be moderated by GLAWS member/author Judy Seckler. Authors on the Children's Book Panel include: Mary Hershey and Lee Wardlaw, and will be moderated by GLAWS member/author Gillian Lee Hutshing.

The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society is a non-profit organization that provides a forum for writers of all disciplines to meet and discuss the craft and the business of writing. GLAWS accomplishes this through monthly meetings, discussion forums, critique groups, special writer appearances, conferences, and other events conducted for the purpose of educating and mentoring writers of all levels of expertise. GLAWS Special Speaker Events are open to the public, and a great venue to meet other writers and expand your expertise.

This Special Double-Panel Speaker Event washeld Saturday, Sept. 19th, 3:00 pm at the Palms-Rancho Park Library in the Ray Bradbury Room. 


Hershey Mary at the Greater Los Angeles Writers SocietyMary Hershey is a third generation native Californian and the author of fiction for kids and young adults. Mary’s first novel My Big Sister is so Bossy She Says You Can’t Read this Book (Random House 2005) was selected as a Book of the Week in the Washington Post Kid’s Post. Her second book, The One Where the Kid Nearly Jumps to His Death and Lands in California (Razorbill 2007) was described by Publisher’s Weekly as a “…poignant novel populated with complex, memorable characters.”

Kirkus dubbed her most recent release, Ten Lucky Things That Have Happened to Me Since I Nearly Got Hit by Lightning, (Random House 2008) “hilarious.” The sequel entitled Love and Pollywogs from Camp Calamity will be published Summer 2010.

10 Luck Things...Ms. Hershey says that writing for children is the fulfillment of a life’s dream, and beats her other dream of being locked in a Ben & Jerry’s factory for a three day weekend. She credits a band of grammar-compulsive nuns, generous mentors, and the luck of the Irish for her success in publication.

Ms. Hershey holds a Masters Degree in Counseling & Guidance from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and is a certified Personal Coach. When she is not composing really long book titles, she works for the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System as an Administrative Officer. She can be found trailing her bliss all over the county of Santa Barbara where she lives. Learn more at:  |


John Mehrmann, Author at the Greater Los Angeles Writers SocietyValerie Hobbs was a Publisher's Weekly "Flying Start" author after the publication of her first novel for young adults, How Far Would You Have Gotten If I Hadn’t Called You Back. In 1991, she was the winner of the PEN/Norma Klein award for "an emerging voice of literary merit among American writers of children’s fiction". In 2003 she was the Judy Goddard / Arizona Library Association Young Adult Author of the Year.

Hobbs has won numerous awards for her fiction, including the following: How Far Would You Have Gotten If I Hadn’t Called You Back (1996): an ALA Best Book of the Year; Tender (2001) Junior Library Guild Choice and a Big Picture choice of the Center for Children's Books; Sonny's War (2002) Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of 2002 and a Banks Street Best Call It A GiftBook of the Year; Charlie's Run, a Banks Street Book of the Year; Letting Go Of Bobby James Or How I Found My Self Of Steam (2004) an ALA Quick Pick for Young Adults;Defiance (2005) A Kirkus Reviews Children’s Book of the Year, School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, Southern California Children’s Literature Council Distinguished Book of the Year.Sheep won a California Young Reader Medal in the Intermediate Category.

Call It A Gift (University of Nevada Press), her first novel for adults, won a 2006 IPPY award. Valerie Hobbs lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband, Jack, a high school teacher, and is an Emeritus Lecturer in the Writing Program at the University of California Santa Barbara. Learn more and get books at:


R.L. LaFeversR.L. LaFevers (Robin Lorraine when she’s in really big trouble) grew up surrounded by shelves of old dusty books (alas!—not a single ancient text nor grimoire among them) and a passel of brothers. She has also spent a large portion of her life being told she was making up things that weren’t there, which only proves she was destined to write fiction.

She is the author of eight books for young readers, including Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos, (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) which received starred reviews and was a Junior Library Guild selection, a Booksense Summer Pick, and nominated for the Malice Domestic’s Agatha Award. Her most recent book, Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist: Flight of the Phoenix, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in September, 2009.

Flight of the PhoenixShe has taught a number of plotting workshops for the SB/Ventura SCBWI Region and is on the faculty of the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference. She and Mary Hershey run Shrinking Violet Promotions a blog dedicated to marketing for introverted authors. She currently lives with her husband and a demonic cat in Southern California and spends her days wallowing in old forgotten texts.

R. L. LaFevers will have copies her most recent titles available for purchase at the GLAWS event. Her books can also be found in bookstores nationwide, or ordered online through IndieBound, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.  |


Kaleb Nation at the Greater Los Angeles Writers SocietyKaleb Nation On the third night of the third month of 2003, fourteen-year-old Kaleb Nation suddenly imagined a boy and a banker on a roof, waiting for a burglar to come. From that original idea was born the story of Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse, a novel that would take most of Kaleb's teenage years to write. Bran Hambric is as funny as it is action packed. In many ways, it reads as a Terry Pratchett for middle grade readers. When a young boy is immediately transported to a city in which magic is banned, he is taken in by a foster family that can only be described as ludicrously strange. But, years later, Bran’s life threatens to become the strangest imaginable as he discovers that he is the heir to outlawed magical powers and that equally powerful and dark agencies seek his destruction.

Aside from writing, Kaleb blogs regularly at, and runs, a site revolving around the Twilight book series, which receives about 10,000 hits per day. He also has a YouTube channel ( where he creates video blogs and content for over 36,000 subscribers.

Bran HambricKaleb also makes music with his computer, mainly instrumental and soundtrack scores, and has composed a soundtrack for the novel (you can hear many of the tracks at his website. He turned 20 in 2008 and currently lives in Los Angeles. Visit Kaleb at

Kaleb Nation will have copies of his novel, Bran Hambric: The Farfield Curse, available for purchase and autographing at the GLAWS event. His book can also be found in bookstores nationally, and ordered online at Barnes & Noble, Borders and Amazon.


Lee WardlawLee Wardlaw is the author of more than twdozen books for children ranging from board books to easy-readers, and novels to non-fiction. Lee's award-winning titles include the best-selling 101 Ways to Bug Your Parents and 101 Ways to Bug Your Teacher, as well as Punia and the King of Sharks, Saturday Night Jamboree, Bubblemania: The Chewy History of Bubble Gum, Corey's Fire, and many others.

101 Ways...Lee received her B.A. in Education from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and taught elementary school for five years before deciding to write full-time. She has 25+ years experience presenting lively and interactive writing programs in grades K through 8th. Since 1988, Lee has also taught a variety of workshops and classes for educators, librarians, parents and aspiring writers, and for several years, she was the ‘Ask the Children’s Book Author’ columnist for Inklings, an online magazine. Currently, Lee is working on her master's degree in Education, attending the Montessori Institute of San Diego.

She lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and 13-year-old son. To learn more about Lee, her books & workshops, and 98 other ways to bug her, visit her website at

Lee Wardlaw will have several of her children's books - - including Saturday Night Jamboree, Corey's Fire and 101 Ways to Bug Your Teacher - - available for purchase and autographing at the GLAWS event. Her books are also available at your favorite independent bookstore or online at Amazon.


Gillian Hutshing at the Greater Los Angeles Writers SocietyGillian Lee Hutshing (Moderator, Children's Book Panel) knows a good story when she sees one. As a feature film editor in Los Angeles for over twenty years, she has worked with acclaimed directors Ridley Scott, Peter Weir, Kevin Costner, among others. Ms. Hutshing has also worked on many films for children including Ferngully: The Last Rainforest for 20th Century Fox and Oliver & Company for Walt Disney.

Ms. Hutshing grew up in La Jolla, California, and attended the University of California at Davis. Sparky the Wonderfish: A story of how love creates magic is her first children’s book. She is currently working on a series of books to teach children big words in a fun and humorous way.

Sparky the Wonderfish: A story of how love creates magic is a charming story of triumph over adversity. Based on a true story, Sparky the Wonderfish is about a little girl who manages to save a tiny feeder fish from becoming dinner for six ferocious Oscar fish. Although feeder fish aren’t expected to live longer than a few days, the real-life Sparky lived happily for thirteen years in his bowl. Thanks to the little girl in the story, the fictional Sparky thrives as well, proving that with love, truly anything is possible!

SparkyMs. Hutshing was a featured author and title at the Book Expo America New York and has had numerous signings at Borders Bookstores throughout Los Angeles. She is currently promoting her book with readings and signings at schools, libraries, bookstores and more. Ms. Hutshing lives in Santa Monica, California, and cooks, photographs, gardens and is hard at work on her next children’s book. She is also the GLAWS Chair for Bookstore Events.

“I enjoyed Sparky a lot, good fun, and my daughter likes it too." Mike B. Anderson - Supervising Director, The Simpsons on Fox Television

“Your delightful, charming book ‘Sparky the Wonderfish’ is heartwarming and sure to delight..." Jerry and Esther Hicks, Abraham-Hicks Publications

Get more Sparky at or or Barnes & Noble Bookstores


Judy SecklerJudy Seckler (Moderator, Young Adult Novels Panel) is a Los Angeles-based writer, specializing in art, design and architecture. Her appealing stories and copy are crafted with gusto. As an experienced freelance journalist, her work has appeared in the L.A. Times, Agence France-Presse, an international news agency, Yahoo News, Newsweek, American Bungalow, Victorian Homes, Cottages & Bungalows, Art and Living, Ceramics Monthly, Art Ltd., Urban Glass Quarterly and Ceramics: Art and Perception.

She's also logged hundreds of stories as a staff writer at the Glendale News-Press, a division of the L.A. Times and the Pasadena Weekly over a seven-year period. At the Weekly, she was an editor of special issues, and a copy editor in addition to being a staff writer. She's covered local politics, public education, science and the arts. Also, she was the only writer given a weekly column in 1999 titled “Pasadena Centurions”, ushering in the new millennium with stories of prominent individuals that lived or worked in the city between 1900 and 1999. Recently, five of her magazine stories were featured on the covers of three publications. She's furiously at work on her first novel: A young adult fantasy story, following the adventures of two spirited cats.

She is a product of UCLA’s Certificate program for Print and Broadcast Journalism. In addition, she is an alumnus of Cornell University and holds a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in graphic design. Apart from her writing, Judy has served as the Director of Communications for IWOSC, where she supervised all event information between 2007-08, and was Director of Membership from 2006-07. Currently, she is the Critique Group Manager for the GLAWS Children's/YA Critique Group.




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