ALA Chicago and other upcoming shows

It occurs to me that I should specifically note that I’ll be at ALA Chicago this weekend, in case you will be there and want to stop by the Lee & Low/Tu Books booth and say hi. This is the first time since I’ve joined Lee & Low that I’ll be at the conference. If you will be there, be sure to get in touch and let me know you’ll be looking for me, because I won’t be at the booth most of the time; rather, I’ll be out talking to people, attending meetings, and such. If you want to see me, let’s make an appointment to be sure we don’t miss each other!

Coming up, I’ll be in Hartford, Connecticut for ConnectiCon as well—where Tu Books will have a dealer’s room table, and I’ll be revamping my “Beyond Orcs and Elves” talk for the show. Three Tu Books authors will be there as well: Bryce Moore, Shana Mlawski, and Joseph Bruchac, who will also all be on panels. I’ll post their schedule as it comes closer and is finalized. My friend Brandon Sanderson will be the literary guest of honor, and he’ll be on at least one panel and possibly signing with Bryce Moore.

Over Labor Day weekend, if you’re going to be at DragonCon in Atlanta, let me know, because I’ll be there too! Tu Books will have a booth in the dealer’s room there for the first time! We’re really looking forward to it.

A Is for Anansi conference

If you’re in New York City and have the time (i.e., you’re not out volunteering or salvaging your own home) the A Is for Anansi conference at NYU this weekend is still on, despite the university being shut down for the week after the hurricane due to flooding and electrical outages. That is now taken care of and they’re getting back on their feet, and looking forward to discussing literature for children of African descent on Friday evening and all day Saturday.

There’s an RSVP number at that link, but if that isn’t working (I’ve heard there might be troubles with it), don’t worry—just show up. The conference is free to the public, so anyone may come.

I’ll be on the fantasy/science fiction panel on Saturday, along with Nnedi Okorafor and Zetta Elliott, which I’m really looking forward to. We’ll be talking about the  scarcity of fantasy/science-fiction books featuring children of African decent and how we hope to fix that. I hope you can make it!

November 9-10th, 2012

Location for all programs: Kimmel Center-NYU,

60 Washington Square South, E&L Auditorium, 4th Floor

Friday 6 p.m.–8 p.m.

Saturday 9 a.m.–after 5 p.m.

Las Comadres conference in October

I’ll be at this conference, and hope you can make it as well! Info below is from the press release:

Las Comadres to Host October Conference for Latino Writers

Day-Long Event to Offer Experts, Insight into Publishing Industry Opportunities

New York, NY; July 26, 2012 – Las Comadres Para Las Americas, the national Latina organization, will present a day-long conference on October 6 for Latino writers seeking more access into the publishing industry.

Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference will be held at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, Brooklyn. Joining La Comadres as collaborators are the National Black Writers Conference, the Center for Black Literature, the Foreign Language Department and the Latino American Association, Full Circle Literary, Marcela Landres, and Scholastic, with support from the Association of American Publishers.

Through the workshops, panels and other sessions, writers will gain an insider’s perspective into how to best navigate the challenges and opportunities of the industry.
A highlight of the day will be a full schedule of one-on-one meetings for writers with agents and editors. Participants currently include Johanna Castillo, Vice President & Senior Editor/Atria, Simon & Schuster: Jaime de Pablos, Director/Vintage Español, Knopf Doubleday Group; Adriana Dominguez, Agent/Full Circle Literary; Mercedes Fernandez, Assistant Editor/Dafina Books, Kensington Publishing; Sulay Hernandez, Editor/Other Press; Cheryl Klein, Executive Editor/Arthur A. Levine Books; Selina L. McLemore, Senior Editor/Grand Central Publishing; Christina Morgan, Editor/Harcourt Houghton Mifflin; Lukas Ortiz, Managing Director/Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency, Inc.; Diane Stockwell, Founder/Globo Libros Literary Management; and Stacy Whitman, Founder and Editorial Director/Tu Books.
Scheduled panels will examine magazines and literary journals, genres, poetry, children’s/young adult writing, fiction, non-fiction, publicity and self-publishing. There will also be a session for authors to pitch their work and get instant feedback as well as an agents/editors panel.

Keynote speaker is author and television personality Sonia Manzano. Having originated the role of “Maria” on Sesame Street, Manzano wrote two children’s books, No Dogs Allowed (Simon and Schuster, 2004) and A Box Full of Kittens (Simon and Schuster, 2007), and will have her first YA novel, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, published by Scholastic in Fall 2012.

Registration for writers and vendors is now open for the conference.

Las Comadres is a nationwide grassroots-based group of Latinas launched informally in 2000 in Austin, TX. The national networks, created in 2003, have grown to over 100 US cities. Its 15,000 strong membership keeps Latinas connected via email networks, teleconferences, and monthly potluck events in individual cities. In conjunction with the Association of American Publishers, it sponsors a national book club promoting the work of Latino authors and encouraging literacy. The National Latino Book Club is currently celebrating its fourth year

ALA–Summer of the Mariposas and Diverse Energies!

Will you be at ALA in Anaheim? So will Guadalupe Garcia McCall, author of Summer of the Mariposas! Guadalupe will be there to celebrate her first book, Under the Mesquite, and its win of the Pura Belpre Author Award, but she’ll also be signing ARCs of Mariposas, so be sure to come by the booth. You can find the schedule on the Lee & Low blog.

Several of the contributors to Diverse Energies will also be at ALA, and though they don’t have a specific signing time, they will be dropping in to sign select copies of the book. Perhaps you might be the lucky one to win a copy in a drawing. And if you just want to read some awesome stories, signed or not, from Ursula K. Le Guin, Paolo Bacigalupi, Daniel H. Wilson, Cindy Pon, Malinda Lo, Greg van Eekhout, and more, make sure to stop by and take a look.

And whether or not you’re off to California this weekend, if you’re a reviewer or a librarian and on NetGalley (and if you’re one of those and NOT on NetGalley, check it out) our fall books are now available for you to request for review. Take a look!

Highlights Foundation workshop on creating an authentic cultural voice

I’m going to be at this, and you should go too! Check out the call for applications below.


Call for Applicants: Creating an Authentic Cultural Voice

April 26-29, 2012

A program from the Highlights Foundation


Our children live in a world of diverse voices and experiences. They deserve to live in a book that authentically represents their world.

Creating an Authentic Cultural Voice

Join award-winning authors Donna Jo Napoli and Mitali Perkins, as well as editors Alvina Ling and Stacy Whitman, and special guest Kathryn Erskine for an intensive four-day workshop. Your mentors will work with you to discover your true cultural voice through impeccable research, imagination, empathy, and experience. Our goal is to gather a community of open-minded children’s book authors who wish to think deeply about questions such as:

  • Who has the right to write multiculturally?
  • How do we bring humility to our research?
  • What audience are we writing for?


If you are interested in being a part of this amazing opportunity, please fill out the application and submit it, with your responses to the essay questions, in addition to your writing sample. Applications for our scholarships are available by e-mailing Jo Lloyd at, or calling, toll-free, (877) 512-8365.

Workshop and conference miscellanea, other events

  • Just got invited last minute to join a panel at ASJA on Saturday on “Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch” from 11 a.m. to noon this Saturday, April 30, at the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC. I believe it’s open to the public (not sure if there’s a cost) so if you’re going, see you there.
  • Only a few weeks away from the NESCBWI conference in Fitchburg, MA, which I believe sold out, but if you were one of the lucky ones who got a ticket, I’m looking forward to doing a workshop on worldbuilding and a talk on diversity in fantasy in science fiction. I’ve given “Beyond Orcs and Elves” before, in California and in Utah, so this will be my East Coast version of it, and then after for those who didn’t make it to any of those events I plan on sharing at least parts of it on the blog here.
  • how not to talk down to your YA audienceIf you were to be in my worldbuilding workshop, what would you want to hear about? What kind of handouts would you find useful? I’ve done this workshop before, but it’s been a while and I’m working on updating it, so feel free to jot down a wish list. This is another topic that I’ve been meaning to blog more about, as well, so once the presentation/workshop is over I plan to share at least parts of it here.
  • While I’m in Fitchburg, I’m sad to say, I’m going to miss the Diversity in YA Tour stop in New York. Of COURSE all the cool things are happening on the same weekend! But that doesn’t mean that YOU have to miss out on it. They start the weekend after next with San Francisco, where friends Cindy Pon, Malinda Lo, and J.A. Yang will be signing (Cindy and Malinda are the masterminds behind the whole thing and will be at every stop), as well as Gene Luen Yang, who I don’t know personally but you might have heard about through, I don’t know, his National Book Award nomination for American Born Chinese or the book winning the Printz and the Eisner. Then they’ll be in Austin, where they’re joined by a large contingency of authors including Lee & Low author Guadalupe Garcia McCall, whose debut Under the Mesquite comes out soon. And if you’ve read and loved Bleeding Violet as I did and are in the Austin area, Dia Reeves will be there, too, as well as several other notable authors. In Chicago, they’ll be joined by Nnedi Okorafor, among others. In Boston, you’ve got Holly Black, Francisco X. Stork . . . the list is getting too long. Just go to the tour page and look at all the cool people who will be at each stop! I will wave in Cindy and Malinda’s general direction as we pass, three ships in the night (or day as the case may be), me on the way to Massachusetts from New York City and them the other way around.
  • Then later this month is BEA. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of author friends in town. If you’re coming in town for BEA, drop me a line.
  • Before BEA is School Library Journal’s Day of Dialogue, which sounds like it’ll be a great event—Katherine Paterson, discussions on diversity, apps, debut authors. Not a bad price for SLJ subscribers, too.

May will be a busy month, and then in June all of publishing will be at ALA (I don’t believe I’ll be going to it myself this year, but Lee & Low will have a booth), then later in the year is WorldCon in Reno, which I wish I could attend but likely won’t be able to shoehorn in between all my work, hopefully a trip home at some point in the summer, and Girls’ Camp for the girls in my church, which I’m chaperoning this year. I kind of feel like saying all this stuff out loud is making the summer feel almost over, the way that when I work on books for a year or more in advance I kind of feel like I’m living in the future. But you live in the present, so you should schedule a few of these events in!