Last week, at a conference on young adult literature, key note speaker Beth Kephart (multi-award winning writer of fourteen books and more on the way), argued for the “radical significance” of stories in our new, “Sandy-Irene-Katrina world…of fiscal cliffs and residual recessions.”  She asked:

“We are a globe on the verge, I’m saying, and because we are, mere entertainment for mere entertainment’s sake — for mere (forgive me) profit — strikes me as an increasingly unviable platform. Literature as easy distraction, literature as untempered horror, literature as gossip, literature as desolation, literature as isolation, literature as sensationalism, literature that leaves us stooped, numb, incinerated, angry, distracted, glassy-eyed, New Jersey Shored (and I am referring the show), and emotionally paralyzed: Do we honestly have time for this now?”

What do we have time for, and how will we spend that time so we might find a better future, not yet written?  This is an essential question, not just for young people but for all people whether we are writing stories or writing our lives.

For Beth’s entire speech, Lamp Lighters and Seed Sowers: Tomorrow’s YA, click on the link.