Judy Lopez, a big move, WIFYR, and deadlines!

The title of this entry is meant to be a kind of explanation. Sometimes I come to my own blog, look at the last time I posted, and I just stare at the screen in confusion. Has it really been that long? Yes, yes it has. And a lot has happened since then.

First, I am thrilled to announce that I am now a full-time writer. At the beginning of June, I officially resigned from my career in School Psychology, which I have loved, to pursue a career I love more. It had reached a point where I simply could not do both, and to continue trying meant compromising both in a way I could not accept. So with a mix of emotions, I gave my notice, and since then I have felt such relief and joy it’s difficult to describe. I will miss working in the schools everyday. I will miss the administrators and teachers and staff and fellow school psychologists I still count as dear friends. But hopefully school visits (which I love doing) will keep me in touch with my young readers.

The other big change is that I have moved from Utah to Northern Idaho. It’s so beautiful up here, with lakes and pine trees and wildlife. I will miss much about Utah. Family and friends, most of all, but also the amazing writing community. But I guess that’s what email is for, right? And I’m looking forward to meeting the writers who live here. We’re everywhere, you know.


Icefall has won the Judy Lopez Memorial Award. It’s an award given by the L.A. chapter of the Women’s National Reading Association, and I am so honored. They presented me with a beautiful medal, which you can see to the left. They brought me to L.A. for the award ceremony, which was lovely, and I got to listen to Eugene Yelchin speak about what books meant to him during his childhood in communist Russia. A very powerful and moving speech. He’ll be at the SCBWI annual conference this summer, at which I am speaking, and I’m looking forward to talking with him again. Thanks to Rosalind and Meg for taking such great care of me and showing me around their corner of L.A.


I recently got back from the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers Workshop. It was such an amazing experience returning to the place where my journey as a children’s writer began. My students (not a term I’m comfortable with – I prefer to think of them as my fellow writers) were amazing. So much talent and so many wonderful stories. It was truly a memorable, exhausting, and rewarding week. I enjoyed my time with the other members of the faculty, and formed some lasting friendships. Thank you to Carol Lynch Williams for inviting me. I’ll come back anytime!


The last thing I want to mention is that you shouldn’t be surprised if I go another month before I post again. I’m currently under deadline for my next book, due in a matter of weeks, after which I have to immediately begin writing my installment in the Infinity Ring series. It’s stressful, but I’m grateful for the stress, because it means I get to keep doing the thing I love, and do it full-time. I get to keep telling stories. And speaking of which, they’re waiting for me!

P.S. A few more reviews of Icefall.

Bookshop Talk

Books j’adore

Julian’s Abroad

3 responses to “Judy Lopez, a big move, WIFYR, and deadlines!”

  1. Congratulations on the Judy Lopez Memorial Award! What an honor–and so well deserved.

    WIFYR was amazing, wasn’t it? I came home feeling so enlightened. Our class had such a tremendous dynamic, and I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher. Thanks again for an incredible week.

    Good luck with your deadlines! And have fun:).

  2. Congratulations, Matt! Moving to full-time writing is a big deal–the holy grail for a lot of writers. Also continued much-deserved kudos on all your successes.

    I hope you love your new home. We visited Coeur d’Alene and explored the area for a week one summer, and northern Idaho was just plain gorgeous.

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