Meet the Panelists: Camryn Garrett talks unicycles, For All the Girls Who Are Half Monster & DUMPLIN’

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Camryn Garret.

‘Diversity’ and inclusivity is something everybody in the publishing world is discussing, for good or bad – but how can it affect blogging? Camryn Garrett will be one of the speakers on Zoraida Córdova’s “Blogging Diversely” panel to discuss what blogging inclusively means and how others can blog inclusively, as well as what has or hasn’t worked for her in the past.

Want to know a little more about Camryn before heading into the panel? We asked her a few questions – what started her blogging, what her favorite books and bloggers are, and what her favorite animal is. Check out her answers below, then sign up and join us at the Jefferson Market Library on July 10th!

Tell us a little bit about yourself! Who are you? What do you write / where do you blog? What’s your favorite animal? What one unexpected thing do you want people to know about you?
Ah, such a scary question. Well, I’m Camryn Garrett. I write anything YA. Sometimes I blog at Huffington Post, sometimes at MTV, and sometimes on my own blog called For All the Girls Who Are Half Monster. My favorite animal is either the narwhal or the elephant, but I can’t quite decide. Something unexpected…well, I can’t ride a bike, but I can ride a unicycle.

When did you first start getting involved in the blogger/publishing world?
I think I first got involved in the whole publishing world around 2012 or 2013. There used to be this blog called Teens Can Write, Too, and it got me thinking that I could be involved in this world at a young age. At first, I just sort of hung out on Twitter and stalked everyone. Now I tweet more than I probably should.

You’re on a panel discussing ‘diversity’ and inclusivity while blogging. What should we expect?
I’m honestly not sure what you should expect. I’ll probably talk about how I hate the word “diversity,” mostly because it’s such an easy word for the majority to use to keep marginalized people out of the club. Speaking in terms of racial minorities, it’s so easy for white authors to stick in some “diverse” characters without including voices from POC, who are ultimately the best at telling their stories.

What are some kidlit or YA books that you’ve read and loved in the past few months?
Hmmm… I recently read and loved The Great American Whatever, Carry On, Monster, and Dumplin’.

Who are some kidlit or YA blogs that you love and read regularly?
Disability in Kidlit and YA Interrobang are probably my favorites. B&N Teen also has some really cool people writing.

What is one piece of advice that you would give to bloggers?
Your feelings matter, and they are valid. When you write posts that hit close to home, I would get a few people close to you to read them beforehand. Getting feedback from strangers might hurt already, if they’re just generally sucky people, but it’s harder for me when they can pick on things like typos or weird sentence structure. It’s easier to hear that stuff from people who have your best interest at heart, and to hold their hands once the post is up.

Where on the internet can people find you?
Like I said, I’m at Huffington Post, MTV, and For All the Girls Who Are Half Monster. I spend a lot of time on Twitter (@dancingofpens), but I won’t even link Facebook because I’m mostly useless there.