Back in March, during the Temecula SCBWI writer’s conference, I had a brief conversation with Shannon Messenger about the “YA Mafia.” It was interesting to speak with her about it because, in my opinion, she was included in this so called “YA Mafia.” Though I don’t recall the details of the conversation, nor would I plaster them here, Shannon said something that opened me to a new idea. It was something to the effect (oh man, am I paraphrasing) that the “YA Mafia” is just a group of fellow writers, who joined together during the same path in their career and bonded strongly and did something with that bond. (ie. Bookanistas)
Cliques happen. This is not high school, where the popular girls are ousting the average girls so they can be crowned prom queen. Even in my adult life I form various groups of friends, not on purpose but out of similar life paths and preferences. The “YA Mafia” just happens to be another grouping of friends, given a hurtful name by a jealous group of “people.” (Not sure who started the mudslinging.) Which brings me to my point, Shannon’s last words struck a hopeful positive cord in me. “Why don’t they go make their own group?” (Shannon was referring to the Bookanistas, not YA Mafia.)
Yeah, why not? Though I think the name “YA Mafia” is ridiculous and I have never ever considered the group of alleged woman to be in some cohorts about ousting every last writer they don’t personally approve of, I do recognize their group, writer friends with a big following. They seem to be a lovely, humorous and knowledgeable group of woman I’d love to be a part of. But instead of trying to find a way in their group, why don’t I create one myself? Hence the birth of “The Scribbler’s Fork.”
It was a group of woman I invited over, whom I’ve grown to know and love and hoped to bond with. And by golly, I think we did. (Shut up, I said “by golly,” get over it.) Are we a fierce “YA Mafia Jr.?” Heck no, never want to be, but we are a group of like minded writers, who share similar interests, who’s career paths vary but are not far off from the other and maybe, just maybe it’ll be the “Scribbler’s Fork Mafia” that takes over the bookshelves next. ;)
Psst, Scribbler Girls, I’m planning our future venture as we speak, one of the virtual kind.