16th Annual Florida Writers Conference

“What A Character”
October 19 – 22 in Altamonte Springs, Florida

Jenny Torres Sanchez


Jenny Torres Sanchez is a YA author and former English teacher. She was born in Brooklyn, New York, but has lived on the border of two worlds her whole life. She currently lives in Orlando, Florida, with her husband and children. She is the author of Because of the Sun, Death, Dickinson, and the Demented Life of Frenchie Garcia, and The Downside of Being Charlie. Her next YA novel, Crows Cry Emilia, is scheduled for publication in 2018 by Penguin Random House.


Your Life As A Character with Lauren Gibaldi

The teen years are difficult, but we’ve all gone through them. Why not use what we’ve learned to create authentic, relatable characters? Join YA authors Lauren Gibaldi and Jenny Torres Sanchez as they explore what it’s like to use real life experiences to influence characters.

Getting to Know Your Characters

Characters are  …  well, strange sometimes. They demand to be written. They want your time and attention. Tell my story! they say. And yet, sometimes … they don’t show up. Or maybe they do, but they refuse to tell you who they are. You wait, tapping your foot, looking at the clock, hoping they’ll reveal something about themselves. If your characters are showing up like this, don’t worry. Getting to know your characters is a process. Learn how to listen to your characters. Find out who they really are. By getting to know your characters, you’ll gain more insight into your story. They’ll grab you by the hand and lead you down secret paths you never would have seen before. Discover the story they really want you to tell. Compelling stories start with compelling characters. Get to know yours.


Smells Like Teen Spirit

The YA fiction market has exploded over the last decade, and our panel is here to help you learn more about writing for teens. Are YA characters just like adults, only younger? Do I need to know teen slang? Should I avoid writing about “Bad Things” like sex and drugs? These and other questions will be explored by our panelists, who will tell us what to include and what to avoid if you want to be a YA writer. Racquel Henry moderates.

Interview Topics

Writing for young adults. Path to publication.


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