Bits and Pieces–and Good News

There is never a bad time for good news, and if we can start the week off with good news on a Monday morning, so much the better.

I heard via Colleen @ Chasing Ray that our very own TANITA, of THIS BLOG RIGHT HERE, is on the ALA’s 2013 Rainbow List of LGBTQ titles for young people for her latest book, Happy Families. Knowing as I do how much heart, sincerity, and perseverance went into the writing of this story, I couldn’t be happier to hear the news. (And I was already doing a little happy dance after seeing Happy Families prominently featured on the New Teen Books shelf at my local library.) Congratulations!!

A few other items that crossed my virtual desk recently:

“No matter what type of novel you’re writing, there had better be some
kind of suspense in it. The reader must be asking, ‘How will this turn
out?’—a question preferably followed by: ‘I have to find out, and I
can’t go to bed until I do!'” 
Jeff Gerke wrote a guest column for Writer’s Digest about How to Raise the Stakes in Your First 50 Pages so that your reader can’t help but keep turning the pages. We all know how important this is, but it never hurts to read some well-written reminders.

Also, via Laura Atkins’ Twitter feed, I found this SLJ article in which librarians respond to a recent New York Times piece claiming there’s a lack of Latino characters in children’s lit. Librarians respond: “there is actually a wealth of resources currently available to these
kids, and librarians have the power (and the responsibility) to make
those meaningful connections.”
Hear, hear. Lamenting the fact that there aren’t MORE Latino characters is one thing, but doing it without giving due credit to those authors and illustrators who do portray Latinos in literature is a disservice to those out there who ARE making the effort. …End Diversity Soapbox.

Lastly, how much do I wish I could go to the Clarion Writers’ Workshop this summer? Kelly Link? Cory Doctorow?  SIGH. Unfortunately, there’s just too much other stuff going on and potentially going on this summer already. NOT THAT I AM COMPLAINING about my June book release! 🙂

About the author

Sarah Jamila Stevenson is a writer, artist, editor, graphic designer, professor of humanities, and localization QA tester, so she wears a teetering pile of hats. On any given day, she is very tired. She is the author of the middle grade graphic novel Alexis vs. Summer Vacation, and three YA novels, including the award-winning The Latte Rebellion.


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