Interviews, news, and Tu’s new submission guidelines

Link roundup from the coverage that Tu Books has been getting on the web, including interviews of me and coverage in Publisher’s Weekly:

ETA: Opening New Doors (PW)

Lee & Low Gets New Imprint

Interview at The Enchanted Inkpot (also be sure to catch their discussion of diversity in fantasy, if you haven’t seen it yet) (Oo! Just saw this–they also interviewed Clint Johnson, the author of Green Dragon Codex, which I edited)

Interview with Cynthia Leitich Smith at Cynsations

For those of you wondering how and where to get the information you need to send me your awesome fantasy or science fiction YA or middle grade novel featuring characters of color, check out the submission guidelines over at Tu’s new website. Note that there are a few changes to bring it in line with Lee & Low’s submission policy, such as the new no-response policy. Please be sure to note the new address, as well!

Thanks so much, everyone, for your support of Tu Publishing. We wouldn’t have gotten this far without you.

What’s up with this New York talk?

Have you been wondering where I’ve been on this blog? Have you noticed me talking on Facebook or Twitter about a move and wondered what was up with that? Now, your questions can be answered! Some pretty awesome things have been happening that required me to relocate to New York City. For more on what’s going on, check out the press release:

Now that it’s out there, we’ll have more to talk about in the next little while. I’m sure you’ll have questions, and you’re welcome to ask them here. (Right now, though, I’m starving and must go find myself some lunch.)

Here’s what it says:

LEE & LOW BOOKS, the respected independent children’s book publisher specializing in diversity, has acquired Tu Publishing, an independent press focusing on multicultural fantasy and science fiction for middle grade and young adult readers.

New York, NY (PRWEB) March 9, 2010 — LEE & LOW BOOKS, the respected independent children’s book publisher specializing in diversity, has acquired Tu Publishing, an independent press focusing on multicultural fantasy and science fiction for middle grade and young adult readers.

“This is a natural fit for us,” says LEE & LOW publisher Jason Low. “Our customers have been asking us for years to publish stories for older readers. Tu represents an excellent way for us to bring diversity to a whole new audience.”

Recent controversies over whitewashing have brought widespread attention to the dearth of people of color in fantasy and science fiction stories, although avid fans of these genres have long acknowledged the problem.

Tu Publishing founder Stacy Whitman began the press in 2009 to address the need for more books featuring diverse characters and inspired by non-Western cultures, a need that she had seen as both a reader and an editor of fantasy and science fiction.

Supporters met Whitman’s project with great enthusiasm and donated funds via the online organization Kickstarter to help launch the company. Through many small donations, Tu Publishing surpassed its $10,000 goal, catching the attention of LEE & LOW.

“The fact that Tu was able to raise so much money indicates that there is a real need for this,” says Low. Since Tu will now become an imprint of LEE & LOW, all money will be refunded to donors.

“The outpouring of support on the Kickstarter project and from children’s book professionals validates my mission, and the opportunity to join forces with LEE & LOW, with its vast experience publishing diverse children’s books, will allow me to accomplish my goals even beyond what I could have expected,” Whitman explains.

Whitman will join LEE & LOW as editorial director of the new imprint, which will undergo a slight name change to Tu Books. Several manuscripts are already under consideration for possible acquisition, with hopes of releasing the first books under the new imprint in 2011.

Kickstarter funded! Thank you!

I just woke up to see that our Kickstarter has been fully funded with 11 hours to go. You guys, I’m speechless. I went to bed knowing we had $2000 left to go, and wondering if we’d make it. iStock_000009849257Small


So, a big thank you to everyone who made this happen: All the people who tweeted, blogged, and shared on Facebook about it; all the people who participated in the auction; and especially all the people who pledged. We’ll officially be open for submissions from writers come Jan. 1 because WE MET THE GOAL!

For you writers: keep an eye on the Tu Publishing blog, where we’ll be posting official submission guidelines in the next few days!

58 hours to go!

Cross-posted from Tu Publishing:

A big thanks to Alana Joli Abbott, who arranged the online auction to benefit our Kickstarter campaign, and to everyone who donated something or who bid on the items in the auction.

Now that the auction is over, we’re still heading toward the home stretch in our Kickstarter campaign. As of writing this, we are at $6502 with 58 hours to go! That means we are $3498 short of our $10,000 goal. Can we make it in 58 hours? Well, we jumped about 25% up in the last several days, so it’s very possible!

Several people have been asking why we’re doing this Kickstarter campaign. Mary Robinette Kowal said it best over on her blog:

Once upon a time, someone starting a new publishing house would either have a personal fortune or would seek large private investors. Crowdsourced fundraising allows the masses to chip in for projects they believe in.

When we start out, we’ll have a lot of friends who we know helped us out, who will be rooting for us to succeed. It’s because of all of you that we’ll be able to do this. So, thanks for your support so far, and thanks for the help you’ll give us to be able to reach the goal.

Tu Publishing in the news, last day of auction

Cross-posted from the Tu Publishing website:

We’ve gotten a little press lately: the Galesburg, IL, Register-Mail and the Galva, IL, Galva News recently ran stories on us. Stacy Whitman, our editorial director, grew up in Galva, so the stories are local interest–focused.


Galva native Stacy Whitman is starting a small press in Orem, Utah, dedicated to multicultural fantasy and science fiction books for children and young adults. The editor of more than 20 books for children and young adults, including the New York Times bestselling picture book “A Practical Guide to Monsters,” Whitman hopes to address a gap in the children’s book market with the company.

“Fantasy has a long history of being drawn from the folklore and fairy tales of Europe,” Whitman said. “J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic ‘Lord of the Rings’ novels, inspired by Norse and British folklore, have spurred two generations of adventurous fantasy books. However, many other cultures in the world also have enthralling folklore with the potential for reshaping and inspiring modern stories.”iStock_000010849371XSmall

The press hopes to be open to submissions from writers as early as January 2010. Looking for a different way to raise capital for the company, Whitman is raising money with a project on

Also, just a quick reminder that if you intended to bid in the Kickstart Tu auction, today is the last day! Remember, every winning bid is a Kickstarter bid, so you also get the rewards from the Kickstarter level that you bid at.

If you want to head directly to the Kickstarter, we have until Dec. 14 for that.

Kickstart Tu with holiday gift-giving

I came down with bronchitis over the weekend (even had to go the hospital—yikes!) and haven’t been able to post the way I intended to. Now that I’m home, I am still recovering, but wanted to remind everyone that we’ve only got about 2 weeks left on our Kickstarter campaign. If you’ve been thinking about donating, and you’re starting to think about holiday gifts, consider the Kickstart Tu auction, especially for the writer or book lover in your life. They’ve got all sorts of great stuff, including handcrafted mugs, made-to-order crocheted Alice in Wonderland dolls, a FULL YEAR of advertising on YA (& Kids!) Books Central, out-of-print children’s books and a folklore pack, and writing critiques and line edits. Oh, and don’t forget the giant box of manga for that manga and anime lover in your life! I plan to add some D&D and Star Wars minis later this week, and if you’re a Brandon Sanderson, Jim Hines, or Howard Tayler fan, you’ve got the chance to get a Garden Ninja Studios customized mini from the Mistborn, Goblin Quest, or Schlock Mercenary worlds.

In addition to winning an auction, you’ll also get the rewards from the Kickstarter level at which you donate—for more on how the auction works, check out the rules here.

The auction ends Dec. 9th, to make sure that the donations to the Kickstarter have enough time to go through.

If you don’t have money, but do have something you’d like to donate to the auction, please feel free. And either way, please spread the word among your friends and family—we’ve only got a few days left, and a long way to go!

Thanks for all your support! With your help, we’ll be able to get up and running!

Reading beyond reality: interview with Cindy Pon at Tu Publishing

In continued celebration of the theme of Teen Read Week, even if the week itself is over, I interviewed author Cindy Pon about her new book, Silver Phoenix, and about reading beyond reality. Okay, sure, it was because our schedules didn’t meet up for getting the interview up during Teen Read Week, but I think it’s an important enough idea that we should continue to discuss reading beyond our reality long after the week officially celebrating it ends.

I especially like what she had to say about universal ideas in literature — even if you’re not Asian, or English, or a ballet dancer, “This is why stories are so wonderful to me. If the author did her job, you can love and relate, even to something that isn’t exactly like you.”

I plan to continue to interview authors, teen readers, and other bloggers over the next several months, probably one a week, so stay tuned. If you’re interested in this issue and have something you’d like to submit as a guest post for Tu’s blog, please also let me know at stacylwhitman AT

Also, if you didn’t see it last week, I guest-posted over at Myth, the Universe, and Everything, talking about folklore, fantasy, and the kinds of stories I’d like to see for Tu Publishing.

Tu Publishing update, anthology contest

And also, a big thanks to those who have pledged to Tu Publishing this week. We’re getting closer to our goal. Once I catch up on critiques, my next project will be to add more content to the Tu site and make it more than a relatively static website.

We’re planning an anthology contest, rules for which will be announced when I’ve had time to put them in writing, so start polishing those short stories featuring multicultural characters or settings for young readers. I’m posting about it here but not at the Tu site yet because I want to post about it officially there when I’ve hammered out the rules, when I’m ready to take submissions. But in the mean time, be thinking about those stories. There will be a young writers category for teen writers, as well, so tell the teens in your life who love to write.

Tidbits–Tu Publishing, book club, critiques update

  • We’re up to almost $1000 on the Kickstarter project for Tu Publishing. Thanks so much to everyone for pledging, and please feel free to share the link with anyone who you think might be interested, even if they can only spare $5. We’re starting this through Kickstarter because it’s secure, run by a third party, and it’s a great way for me to be able to give back to the people who pledge — if you donate $10, you get a coupon for $5 off a book, and so forth. The idea is that if a lot of people pool together, artistic projects can get off the ground more easily. Tu Publishing will be a for-profit company, but we are committed to literacy for all children and young adults and will be getting involved in local and national endeavors as we grow, such as YALSA’s Teen Read Week. (If you have literacy projects to suggest involvement in, especially ones that I can volunteer for here in Utah, please feel free to let me know. I’m on the lookout, and will be getting more involved in the community once I finish up the critiques I’ve got in the queue.) If we reach our Kickstarter goal, and add to it the money from a private investor and some savings of my own, it will be enough to cover the costs of our first season’s books (author advances, small stipends for freelance, printing and shipping costs, and marketing), and it will also show a bank that we are a good investment for a small business loan going forward.
  • Our first two books will be fantasy or science fiction, and I’ll specifically be looking for books that feature characters of color, characters from minority or non-Western cultures, and/or non-Western/minority cultures. That’s pretty broad–it could be Japanese or Jamaican, Alaskan Inuit or African American settings and/or characters, and I’m not looking for books where race is necessarily the issue–just really great stories that will entertain readers from 7 to 18 (and up, if you count me and all you folks like me!). So if you’ve got a children’s or YA novel that you think will fit this criteria, if we make our Kickstarter goal I’ll be acquiring manuscripts beginning January 1. That means you’ve got just over three months to whip that manuscript in shape! I’ll be posting more specifics for our submission guidelines as that time comes closer, so keep an eye on the Tu Publishing Submission Guidelines page. As you can imagine, just as with the critiques, during this transitional period to my day job, these website changes will be coming along sporadically. I’ll post about them here as well to alert you.
  • In addition, several people have asked that instead of giving them the incentive, that I give it to their local libraries, which is completely doable. If we reach the goal, I will be contacting everyone to get their mailing information to send them their rewards. At that time, if you want me to send it to your local library instead of you, all you’d need to do is let me know their address. Full books will be sent later, of course, when the first season’s books are printed.
  • I’m hosting a book club tomorrow, where we’re going to discuss Justine Larbalestier‘s How to Ditch Your Fairy. The book is a fun read so far, but I need to finish it tonight! If you’re local and can’t make it tomorrow, feel free to go ahead and send your suggestions for what to read next month, so that we can have plenty of time to decide and prepare. If you can come tomorrow and need to know where to go (7 pm, my house), please drop me an email and I’ll give you the scoop.
  • The new job is becoming quite fun. In my off time, I’ve slowly been getting back to authors on their critiques, so thanks again to everyone for all your patience as I transition and finish up those critiques while starting a new full-time job. Now, if I can just get health insurance going, life would be just about perfect (it’s a small non-profit based in California that uses Kaiser Permanente, which means that here in Utah I’d have no coverage with that, which means that I have to get an individual policy, which is really, really complicated when you have chronic conditions like asthma). If you’ve been wondering why I twitter so much about health care, it’s because I have a personal interest in the health care crisis, seeing as how I’m having my own personal health care crisis. Hopefully, by my talking about it openly, it will put at least one face on the discussions out there–the face of a self-employed (and now employed by a small nonprofit) worker for whom taking care of something as simple as an asthma condition becomes out of the question due to the cost of health care and insurance.

Updated video–please respond to that for the video challenge

On Tuesday, I challenged everyone (teens, especially) to respond to my video with videos of their own talking about their experiences with reading and multicultural literature. Since then, I’ve figured out how to not squish my lovely friend Christine, who answered several questions for me, and was able to add music as well. (I really like the music, actually–it reminds me of a silent film now because of the slides between interviews.)

Here’s the updated video (I had to upload a new one, rather than just doing a straight replacement, so any links you might have posted to the YouTube video are out of date, though the Kickstarter link is the same).

Also, thanks so much to everyone who has retweeted, blogged, Facebooked, and otherwise shared this project with others. We’re off to a great start, and I appreciate everyone who has been so kind as to share the news and to pledge to the project. A special shoutout to Kimberly Pauley of YA (and Kids) Books Central, who has issued a challenge: she will send out a signed copy of her book to the first 10 people to donate $50. Also, thanks to Mitali Perkins, Cheryl Klein,Varian Johnson, KaedtiannHP, Jana Stocks, Kim Baccellia, Cassandra Yorgey, and all the other people who have been passing the word along!

I’ll work on getting a thank-you page going on the Tu Publishing site as soon as I round up a few other things I need to finish first–namely, critiques that people have been waiting on–and I also plan to add a few more things to the site as time goes on. Thanks again, everyone!