Friday, December 3, 2010

Kirkus Review of CAMO GIRL

...and it's STARRED! I'm so excited to share this blurb from Kirkus on Camo Girl: "This elegantly crafted story features strong writing and solid characterizations of both main and secondary characters. Ella and Bailey’s racial identity is one element in a full and richly textured narrative." To read the full review, CLICK HERE.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hunger Mountain Fall Issue!

The Fall issue of Hunger Mountain is now LIVE and online!

Here's our Letter from the Editors, which previews the contents of the YA and Children's Literature Section:

Dear Reader,

Welcome to Hunger Mountain! Our theme for this issue is Exploring Options, Stretching Boundaries…as we strive to challenge ourselves to tell authentic stories, write from the heart and turn personal pain into powerful prose.

For our Features this issue, we asked GLBTQ authors and authors whose work touches on teen sexuality to shed some light on the many possible meanings of that exploration both on and off the page. Alex Sanchez tackles controversy, catharsis and writing alongside his own inner, angsty teen. Cheryl Rainfield shows us what to do when scars are more than skin deep. Sara Ryan reminds us of the importance of Q (for questioning). And Malinda Lo shares what her last book, Ash, taught her about her work and about herself. Their work spans genres, but these authors each use writing to explore, to question, to challenge, and ultimately, to heal.
Lee Wind, a writer of two minds, tackles The Flip Side, offering an imaginary dialogue about GLBTQ teen readers’ need for coming out stories vs. novels where being gay is not “the problem.”

Our Toolbox contributors challenge us to stretch our boundaries in other ways: Sarah Aronson teaches techniques for thinking like a film director to get a new perspective, and Sarah Sullivan helps us shape and revise picture book texts. Author and illustrator Melanie Hope Greenberg shares some INKLINGS about incorporating visual diversity into picture books.

As an Industry Insider, author and publisher Cheryl Willis Hudson of Just Us Books shares insight on the need for and presence of Black and multicultural books within the publishing industry. And Mayra Lazara Dole takes us on a journey toward understanding the need for authentic Latino characters in fiction, in The Writer’s Life.

Our last issue’s Flip Side column also generated dialogue about multicultural books—an ongoing conversation in our industry. In Response, Nikki Grimes offers her thoughts on multicultural books, who isn’t reading them, and why they should.

Finally, be sure to check out our Fiction selections: We’ve gathered a collection of touching, funny, heartfelt and sometimes shocking tales from Jennifer DeMotta, Rachel Furey, Jenny Hubbard, Angelica Jackson and Margaret Nevinski, plus excerpts from a novel in verse by Liz Clift, and a sneak preview of Ellen Potter’s The Kneebone Boy (Feiwel and Friends, 2010).

Enjoy the read!

Bethany and Kekla

Monday, June 28, 2010

The BIG 3-0!

I just posted this on Chicks Rock!, but want folks to see it here, too:

Well, as of this weekend I've officially crossed the threshold from 20s into 30s! I always planned to throw a big party for myself on my 30th birthday, but as it happened this year, the American Library Association decided to throw one for me!

Okay, not for me, exactly, but I came to their annual conference determined to get my little piece of the celebration and festivities. On Saturday I signed copies of The Rock and the River in Simon & Schuster's booth at the ALA conference expo. Then I hung out with friends from Vermont College of Fine Arts who surprised me with an Alumni Achievement Award (I cried) followed by a yummy restaurant dinner complete with key lime pie and a pink candle!

Yesterday I attended an awards banquet, where I found myself surrounded by well-known and up-and-coming YA and children's authors. Strangest of all, I began to truly feel that I could count myself among them! Which brings me to the real reason I'm here at the ALA conference: because my book was selected to receive the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent!

Tomorrow morning, at the frightening hour of 7am (!!!! I am such a night person, people. It goes against nature to expect me to function normally before the double digit hours of the morning....but for the CSK Breakfast, I will muster!), I will receive my award, and have my moment to thank the Academy...errr, the CSK selection committee. It's so exciting!

All in all, my 30th weekend did not go as I orginally expected, but I certainly feel the occasion has been extraordinarily well-marked.

Monday, March 1, 2010

NAACP Image Awards

I attended the NAACP Image Awards this weekend. I've begun posting about it at CHICKS ROCK!, but stay tuned here, too, for future updates!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Brown Bookshelf: 28 Days Later

I am featured on The Brown Bookshelf today as part of their 28 Days Later campaign, an annual tribute to African American authors and illustrators.

Author Kelly Starling Lyons interviewed me on such compelling topics as The Rock and the River, civil rights, what people are saying about my book, why middle schoolers never fail to make me feel old, my inspirations, and my favorite flavors of ice cream (of which there are several).

Whew! There's a lot in that interview, folks. I'm, frankly, exhausted....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

SCBWI Soundbite

Blogger Lee Wind interviewed me as a first time SCBWI Conference attendee. I talked about my experience. Not too shabby, for a spontaneous "What did you learn this weekend?" on-camera moment. If I do say so myself....

For more videos and a whole recap of events, visit the Official SCBWI Conference Blog.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mondays at CHICKS ROCK!

On Mondays, I blog for The Women's Mosaic:

Slipping, Slipping, Slipping...

Okay, so I've not been great about keeping up with my New Year's Resolution to be a better blogger. It's time to take steps to rectify the situation, once and for all. (She says, knowing that it will be a struggle...)

I attended the SCBWI Winter Conference here in New York City this weekend. Sadly, my cell phone broke on Saturday, so I was not able to take any delightful pictures to share with you all. Perhaps I will try to pilfer a few from someone else's blog later...but in the meantime, I will just tell you about some of the highlights for me:

Recent Printz Award-winner Libba Bray gave the opening keynote, which was awesome. Even better: A group of us grabbed lunch with Libba at the end of the conference, and it was very affirming to see that even the most successful among us can be down-to-earth and willing to just chill with new and aspiring authors from time to time. Libba, you rock!

Jacqueline Woodson spoke about "Shutting the Door" on yourself, and finding time and space to get your work done. Her speaking style is engaging and moving, and hearing her read her work aloud in her own voice is an amazing experience. I got to chat with Jackie later during the book signings, which was fabulous. She has been extremely supportive and lovely toward me and my work this past year. She inspires me to believe and to keep going as I begin to dip my toes in the waters of success. Awesome.

Illustrator-turned-Author Jim Benton (creator of Dear Dumb Diary and Franny K. Stein) dazzled us with images he's created and what life is like for a "Compulsive Creator" such as himself.

An informal panel discussion organized by blogger Lee Wind focused on developing a larger place for LGBTQ characters, issues and themes in children's and YA books. The event brought a diverse group of people together to talk about how our work touches the subject, and what the market is for bringing these characters to life in new ways for teen readers.

Breakout sessions on TV and New Media, Viral Marketing, and NonFiction market were useful and interesting. All it all, the experience was worth the $$$, which I had desperately hoped it would be. Sweeeeet.

Oh, and I shot a video about my school visit presentation, which will later be posted on SCBWI website. I look forward to linking it here, too!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Drumroll Please....

I woke up this morning to a call from my favorite editor (@EditorK) informing me that The Rock and the River and I have won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent. This is a huge honor in the world of children's literature and I'm so pleased!

More on this to follow later today as I get it all figured out....and stop randomly shrieking. (The yappy dog that lives next door is not very happy with me for stealing his thunder. He's responded to each of my "woohoos" with a resounding triple yap.)

In the meantime you can check out the list of award recipients here:

Thanks to the American Library Association and the Coretta Scott King Book Award Committee. Yay!!!

Mondays at CHICKS ROCK!

On Mondays, I blog over at CHICKS ROCK! for The Women's Mosaic:

Monday, January 11, 2010

Mondays at CHICKS ROCK!

On Mondays, I blog over at CHICKS ROCK! for The Women's Mosaic:

To link directly to today's post, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

NAACP Image Awards

I always get good news when I'm in the library.

When I saw my book cover for the first time, I was in the library. When I heard I was getting a NYTimes Book Review, I had just come from the library. And today, I was sitting oh-so-decorously in the library when I got the news that The Rock and the River was nominated for an NAACP Image Award!!!*

Yeah, baby. I was so excited, and it was not the kind of excitement that's conducive to the library environment, so I quickly checked out all the books I was holding (only two of which I actually needed to check out, I realized later...) and ran out of doors so I could celebrate properly. By running through the streets of New York shrieking with joy. (Few people noticed. Random strange outbursts are the status quo here.)

This is the link to the NOMINEES LIST. I am under Literature. You will have to scroll down, but as you do so, peek at all the other authors. I'm so pleased to be among this group of names. Thanks, NAACP!!!!

What a great first birthday present for my book. Thanks, NAACP!!!!

*You would think this sort of track record would cause me to spend much more time in the library. Hmm.....

Monday, January 4, 2010

Chicks Rock!

On Mondays, I blog over at CHICKS ROCK! for The Women's Mosaic.

You can find a post from me there today:

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolution

If there was an award for worst blogger ever, I think I'd be in the running. It's been, what...six months? since I posted anything. Ugh. Need to get back up on the horse, as they say.

New Year's Resolution: Be a good blogger.

No, scratch that. I will never be a terribly good blogger. Umm.....

New Year's Resolution: Be a better blogger. Be a better blogger than you were last year.

Yeah. That sounds doable.

We'll see! Happy 2010, my dear followers!