Episode 18: Oregon Book Award Nominee Shelley Pearson

Does self-published YA literary fiction have a place?

Can a self-published book be nominated for a book award usually reserved for traditional authors?

Yes AND yes! Today’s guest Shelley Pearson proves it.

Shelley Pearson self-published her first zine when she was sixteen. She grew up making art and crafts and, despite being an adult, has always gravitated toward young adult books. She leads a book club for adults to discuss young adult books through a queer and feminist lens, and self-published her first young adult novel in July of 2018. The novel, Book Smarts and Tender Hearts, was recently named a finalist for the Oregon Book Award in Young Adult Fiction. She lives in Portland with her girlfriend and two cats. Check out her website and find her on Instagram @shelleypearsonwrites.

Shelley came to chat with Emily and Corinne about making friends with strangers the old fashioned way—through placing an ad in a magazine! Other topics include: writing with a mentor, staying vulnerable while weathering promotions and the sudden attention that comes with being nominated for an award, and of course influential YA books.

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