"That’s all perhaps bigger stuff than fits on an Urban Outfitters book table, and likely unsettles many a neatly crafted worldview. But that stuff is all there, for most or at least many twentysomethings, right now. If only we could get someone to talk about it."

The Shrinking Boundaries of Being a (Certain Kind of) Twentysomething

"I’ve been acting, writing, and storytelling all my life. In college at Brandeis, some friends and I started a sketch comedy group called the Late Night Players, which became a hit on campus. After graduation, we continued doing that professionally, and I also worked various day jobs around Cambridge. It was at one of my day jobs teaching kids that my students introduced me to the story of Harry Potter. I picked up the first book skeptically, but as I read that first chapter, something shot through me and I said out loud, “This book just changed my life.”"

- Andrew Slack Rallies Dumbledore’s Army For Marriage Equality, Haiti Earthquake Relief on Fast Company

Great interview with one of our 2012 Millennial Mega Mashup speakers!

"If Harry Potter were in our world he would do more than talk about Harry Potter"

Andrew Slack, Creator, Co-founder, and Executive Director, The Harry Potter Alliance presented an enormously quote-able, tweet-able presentation on “Using Story to Change the Story of Our World” based on his experience founding the Harry Potter Alliance and using the fandom to help social causes. Other takeaways were:

"you’re not just a wave, you’re a part of the whole ocean"

"the court of public opinion is more important then the actual court"

"The towers of Tower Records have fallen"

"Finding where the energy is in the culture and then moving that energy to create action in the world, that’s "Cultural Acupuncture."

Do readers make writers?

David Levithan of Scholastic just spoke at Mega Mashup on the Hunger Games, Harry Potter and the new YA readership phenomena. The Hunger Games became a huge hit for Scholastic in part because it discovered a network of passionate evangelists. With a nod to the quality of the initial product, Levithan spoke of distributing enormous amounts of review qualities, confident in the fact that it would pay off.

Obviously it did, with the first Hunger Games movie now enjoying enormous success. Levithan spoke as well of general trends in the YA space, describing Hunger Games as one corner of the triangle that also included Harry Potter and Twilight. Many young readers now have instant access to books on e-reading devices, and the internet word-of-mouth process allows buzz and fandom to spread quickly.

Interestingly, the popularity of Hunger Games has produced a new glut of “Distopian Fiction” being pitched to the publishing world, (for example, Scholastic has also begun publishing “Tomorrow Girls” as a “Hunger Games-Lite” for the younger set of readers,) but Levithan predicts a resurgence of realistic fiction to happen next as a backlash.

One question that came out of the session: Will this new generation of readers create a new generation of writers? David’s answer was yes, citing NaNoWriMo and online fan fiction communities as examples of a trend in that direction. “The YA books boom fueled an interest in stories,” and we won’t see that trend going away anytime soon.

(Source: iirusa.com)

What better way to end our first day at Millennial Mega Mashup then with a first person story illustrating so much of what we’ve heard today?
Where we spent much of the day sharing (admittedly fascinating) statistics and doing a bit of looking outside in, Malín Alegría brought us inside the Hispanic Millennial experience. “I was too dark to be American and too gringa to be Mexican” she said, speaking of growing up a third generation Hispanic in the U.S.
Her mission now? To be a culture ambassador. To encourage teens to step out of their comfort zones by reflecting their experiences back to them in YA literature (such as her new series Border Town, pictured here). The Latino community is diverse and a huge (and growing) part of the American experience and culturally competent expert voices are needed in the conversation.

What better way to end our first day at Millennial Mega Mashup then with a first person story illustrating so much of what we’ve heard today?

Where we spent much of the day sharing (admittedly fascinating) statistics and doing a bit of looking outside in, Malín Alegría brought us inside the Hispanic Millennial experience. “I was too dark to be American and too gringa to be Mexican” she said, speaking of growing up a third generation Hispanic in the U.S.

Her mission now? To be a culture ambassador. To encourage teens to step out of their comfort zones by reflecting their experiences back to them in YA literature (such as her new series Border Town, pictured here). The Latino community is diverse and a huge (and growing) part of the American experience and culturally competent expert voices are needed in the conversation.

"but then again Tom Joad was fictional. If he were real, I’d love to ask him what he was doing for health insurance."

Millennials Everywhere Are Offended By Their Portrayal In The New York Times

Congrats to The Hunger Games trilogy on being nominated for The Kids Choice Awards 2012!
We’re looking forward to “A Tribute to The Hunger Games” with David Levithan, VP Editorial Director, at this year’s Mega Mashup.
Levithan has worked on seemingly everything YA, from the Baby-sitters Club series to Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, both writing his own works and launching Scholastic’s Teen imprint Push, which has seen enormous success with 13 to 18 year-olds. Check out this 2008 profile of Levithan in Publisher’s Weekly for a peek into his career. Of course it’s hard to beat our excitement about The Hunger Games trilogy.
At David’s session at Mega Mashup, he’ll discuss trends in YA literature, where The Hunger Games fits in, the future of YA literature, and capturing Millennial attentions and getting them interested in reading. Join us! Use code MASHUP12TUMBLR to save 15%.

Congrats to The Hunger Games trilogy on being nominated for The Kids Choice Awards 2012!

We’re looking forward to “A Tribute to The Hunger Games” with David Levithan, VP Editorial Director, at this year’s Mega Mashup.

Levithan has worked on seemingly everything YA, from the Baby-sitters Club series to Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, both writing his own works and launching Scholastic’s Teen imprint Push, which has seen enormous success with 13 to 18 year-olds. Check out this 2008 profile of Levithan in Publisher’s Weekly for a peek into his career. Of course it’s hard to beat our excitement about The Hunger Games trilogy.

At David’s session at Mega Mashup, he’ll discuss trends in YA literature, where The Hunger Games fits in, the future of YA literature, and capturing Millennial attentions and getting them interested in reading. Join us! Use code MASHUP12TUMBLR to save 15%.