YA fiction, although theoretically for readers in the 12-18 years old age group, has become increasingly popular with adult readers. Adults appreciate the energy and story accessibility they find in YA fiction. YA novels often deal with coming-of-age themes, in a wide variety of genres and fictional categories.  

The Young Adult Fiction workshop in the 2023 Southwest Word Fiesta will provide a great way to become acquainted with these themes. Join local author Catalina Claussen on Sunday, October 29, from 10:00 - 11:00 am MDT, Session C for the Young Adult Workshop. Venue: Besse Forward Global Resource Center Room A 

Claussen will discuss her individual creative process and approach to writing novels that appeal to both young readers and adults. She will engage participants in exercises focused on character development, voice, and setting. 

In Holding onto Hope, Catalina Claussen writes about Analicia Rosario Menéndez, who is fifteen when her brother, Junior, is arrested in the middle of her quinceañera. Soon after, Ana's Spanish teacher Ms. García disappears, leaving behind her five-year-old son. During a routine check-in with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ana's father, Dr. Menéndez, is detained. Paralyzed by government forces that make her feel like her world is falling apart, Ana is tired of feeling powerless. Living in a small town along the southern border of New Mexico, someone has to know something, don't they? Ana, desperate to find the truth, reaches out to those around her. Will her friends, Rose and Imani, help, or will they turn their backs? Holding On To Hope explores the complex realities facing families and community members living under constant deportation threats. 

Claussen’s novels, Diamonds at Dusk, Diamonds at Dawn, and Holding onto Hope, have received an impressive list of award honors, including by the New Mexico-Arizona Book Award, the Wishing Shelf Book Award in the UK, the New Apple Book Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing, and others. She lives on a ranch in the Mimbres Valley with a prolific garden and her dog named Bandit. To learn more about her current book project and previous publications, visit her on the web at www.catalinaclaussenbooks.wordpress.com

This event is free and open to the public. For more information about the Southwest Word Fiesta, visit the website: www.swwordfiesta.org .

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