Writing for Young Adults: A Conversation with Author Alex Sanchez
Award-winning author Alex Sanchez discusses the role memory plays in writing and previews his forthcoming Writer's Studio classes.
About the Event
We each have our own rich trove of growing up stories. How can we build on those memories to write young adult fiction pulsing with real life?
Join us for a conversation with Alex Sanchez, the author of ten novels for young people, including Rainbow Boys, which Time designated as one of the 100 best Young Adult books of all time. Our conversation will preview Sanchez’s forthcoming classes for Graham School’s Writer’s Studio.
Author and Writer's Studio Instructor
Alex Sanchez has authored ten novels for young people, including Rainbow Boys, his groundbreaking debut about a love triangle between three teenage boys. School Library Journal praised Rainbow Boys as “a book that can open eyes and change lives.” Publishers Weekly dubbed Alex a “Flying Start.” And the American Library Association honored the novel as a “Best Book for Young Adults.”
With the success of Rainbow Boys, Simon & Schuster published two sequels, Rainbow High and Rainbow Road. Both books were honored as Lambda Literary Award finalists.
Alex’s middle-grade novel for younger readers, So Hard to Say, about the friendship between a gay boy and straight girl, won the prestigious Lambda Literary Award.
His novel Getting It, a sort-of “Queer Eye for the straight teenage boy,” won the Myers Outstanding Book Award and was a runner-up for the International Latino Book Award.
The God Box, about Christian teens struggling to bring together sexuality and spirituality was honored by the New York Public Library as a “Book for the Teen Age.”
Alex’s novel Bait, tackling hard-hitting themes of male sexual abuse, won the Florida Book Award Gold Medal for Young Adult fiction and the Tomas Rivera Mexican-American Children’s Book Award.
His novel, Boyfriends with Girlfriends, explores the lives of bisexual teens. It was chosen as an ALA “Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers” and a Lambda Literary Award Finalist.
Alex's graphic novel about the teen superhero Aqualad coming of age, coming out, and discovering his superpowers, was published by DC Comics with illustrations by Julie Maroh.
The Greatest Superpower, released in 2021, focuses on twin thirteen-year-old boys whose dad comes out as transgender.
Alex’s anthologized short stories include "If You Kiss a Boy" in the collection 13: Thirteen Stories About the Agony and Ecstasy of Being Thirteen, selected by the Junior Library Guild. His story “The Secret Life of a Teenage Boy,” appeared in the anthology All Out: The No-Longer Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages.
In 2011 The Lambda Literary Foundation awarded Alex the Jim Duggins Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists’ Prize to honor his body of work.
He received an attribution in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language for the word “majorly.”
In 2017 Alex served as a judge for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature.
Alex received his master’s in guidance and counseling from Old Dominion University and worked for many years as a youth and family counselor.
He was born in Mexico City to parents of German-Mexican and Cuban heritage and now lives in Rochester, New York.