Saturday, October 24, 2009

Nervous in Oregon

I used to be terrified of public speaking. Thankfully, I've learned to love it. But I still get extremely nervous before delivering a speech I've never given before.

Some time ago, I was invited to speak at the Eugene Public Library in Oregon. They wanted me to give one speech to teens about writing Thirteen Reasons Why, and another speech to teachers and librarians about the importance of books dealing with controversial subjects.

One way I've learned to enjoy speaking is by getting the audience to laugh. It was hard to find many natural places for humor in the speech to teachers and librarians, but they were very responsive to what I had to say and the stories I shared about attempts to ban or restrict access to Thirteen Reasons Why. In fact, I might just have to find a place to give that speech again! (But next time I'll try not to worry as much so I can get more than four hours of sleep the night before.)

Then I got to speak to my teen readers, which is always fun. And to follow it up with pizza? Absolute heaven!

The teens in Eugene were wonderful to chat with as I helped myself to some slices o' greasy goodness.

For more pics from the event, check out fellow Razorbill author Suzanne Young's blog. (Based on the reaction to Suzanne's upcoming book, I think she's got a hit on her hands!)

Upcoming Appearance: This Tuesday, I'll be speaking at a suicide prevention forum at the United Methodist Church in San Luis Obispo, CA. The 3-hour event begins at 6pm and is filled with valuable information. Plus, there will be free cookies!


Jennie Englund said...

Welcome to Oregon!

Hope you loved it here as much as I do.

Wish I knew you were coming. Would have gone up to see you.

Paul Greci said...

Hi Jay,

I wish I would have heard your speech to the teachers and librarians but I live in Alaska. Thirteen Reasons Why is a courageous book. You tackled some edgy issues in a poetic, page-turning way.

I'm a former teacher turned full-time YA writer. My first novel will be out on submission soon.

If I were still teaching I wouldn't hesitate to booktalk Thirteen Reasons Why to my students.

Keep pushing the limits with your stories.

Unknown said...

Glad you liked it here. I really enjoyed your talk, and you did well handling some awkward comments. :)

McKenzie (I'm that one girl you stood up for to take a picture with me haha)

AmandaHewer said...

You can come do that speech at my school in Michigan! My newspaper teacher is very strong on stopping things from being censored. Plus I could meet you. Which would be pretty nifty, I think. =)

Unknown said...

Oh man, that's so awesome!
I wish I could've gone!
But I missed four days of school that week because I was sick and my mom said I wasn't fit to go.
Eh. You should totally come around here again soon while I'm healthy! ^^