Ellen Hopkins has written seven New York Times bestselling novels. She is the RA of the Nevada region of SCBWI.
*Ellen Hopkins writes honestly—she doesn’t sugarcoat anything. She credits her parents for setting her on her path.
*She says we don’t know exactly where we belong or the path we are going to take as writers.
*Hopkins published her first poem—a haiku—at age nine. She first went into journalism and then began to write children’s non-fiction. Hopkins has written 20 non-fiction books for girls. Looking for a way to break in? Hopkins says that non-fiction is a hungry market.
*Hopkins started her own publishing company in Nevada to publish a children’s newspaper. She was also doing artist residencies to teach creative writing.
*Hopkins originally started writing Crank for herself, not because she expected publication. It is loosely based on her daughter’s battle with drugs. She started writing the book in prose, and then switched to poetry after hearing a keynote speech at SCBWI LA.
*Hopkins marketed Crank herself, and it took 2.5 years for the book to become a New York Times bestseller. It was a viral effort that she spearheaded.
*After Crank, she wrote Burned and followed it up with Impulse. She now has seven NYT bestsellers.
*So what’s next? Hopkins has just signed a contract for two adult novels in verse.
Super Awesome Quote of the Day (or at least the keynote): “The journey to this place wasn’t easy. Pain inspired a lot of it. Find the story that matters to you. If a story doesn’t speak to you it’s not going to speak to a reader or an editor.” –Ellen Hopkins