Monday, September 8, 2014

Bloom article

Hi everyone! So the first part of my Bloom article has posted!

Check it out here! 

The second part - which is a Q&A, will be posted on Wednesday.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Pinterest and Instagram!

I've been getting a lot of asks about what other social media I am on besides twitter, tumblr and facebook. Well I'm also on pinterest and instagram.

I had deleted my account awhile back but I have now reactivated it. So if you want to see the random stuff I like to pin, please feel free to follow me here.

I am also on Instagram but if you decide to follow me here, please be warned that my kids like to hack into my account and I also post lots of photos of my little puppy.

 And sorry to all you Snapchat users, but that's one social media I don't plan on using!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

WNDB incorporated!

Grassroots organization files for incorporation as a non-profit organization in the state of Pennsylvania, and welcomes its first advisory board members, authors Grace Lin, Jacqueline Woodson, Matt de la Peña, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Cindy Pon

New York City, NY (July 28, 2014) More than just a hashtag, We Need Diverse Books is a grassroots organization created to address the lack of diverse, non-majority narratives in children’s literature. We Need Diverse Books is committed to the ideal that embracing diversity will lead to acceptance, empathy, and ultimately equality. Its mission is to promote or amplify diversification efforts and increase visibility for diverse books and authors, with a goal of empowering a wide range of readers in the process.

 In order to accomplish its mission, We Need Diverse Books reaches out to individuals and groups involved in many levels of children’s publishing—including but not limited to publishers, authors, distributors, booksellers, librarians, educators, parents, and students. “Incorporating will give us the legitimacy and standing we need to move forward with our mission,” says Lamar Giles, VP of Communications. “We have many exciting projects in the works.”

 In addition to a Diversity Festival planned for 2016, We Need Diverse Books plans to initiate a grant program to support diverse authors, bring Diversity into the Classroom with collaborations with First Book and the National Education Association, and develop a “diversity toolkit” for librarians and booksellers.

Inaugural advisory board members includes Grace Lin, Jacqueline Woodson, Matt de la Peña, Cynthia Leitich Smith, and Cindy Pon. “Each of these members has a history of advocating for diverse books, and is a pioneer in the field of children’s literature. They will not only increase our visibility as an organization, but light the way going forward,” said Ellen Oh, President of We Need Diverse Books.

On the heels of its enormously successful panel at the inaugural Book Con, the We Need Diverse Books team has been invited by the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) to present the first ever diverse author signing and reception, and present panels at the Baltimore Book Festival, National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the American Library Association (ALA), and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), among others.

And we have a new website!!

Friday, July 4, 2014

KING Countdown Widget!

Over the years, I have been so fortunate to meet and become friends with some amazing people! The blogging community is truly a wonderful one and one of my favorite people is the awesome Petra of Safari Poet who has always been so kind and supportive of me. And she's done it again! A beautiful King countdown widget to celebrate the very last of the Prophecy trilogy! As always, I'm deeply grateful to her for thinking of me! And so if you are interested in a KING countdown widget, you should be able to grab the code on this post or go to Petra's blog and take it from there. She's got a lot of other wonderful widgets there also! Thank you Petra!!!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Cover Reveal for KING! The final book in the Prophecy Series!!

When it comes to book covers and editors, I do feel like I'm the luckiest girl in the world. I've known the concept art for the final book for a while now and it has been incredibly hard for me not to want to brag about it.

I have 3 books and each cover has been even more beautiful than the last. I don't quite know how the art team at HarperTeen does this. Their talent is truly extraordinary. From color choice to background details to placement of art. I am truly blown away by my cover.

It is the perfect cover to the final book of the series.

The crowning glory.

The King of the trilogy.

Okay, I'll shut up and reveal it now... drumroll please...




 ***





TA DA!!!




Tuesday, June 3, 2014

BookCon recap!

So much good stuff has happened! How do I relate it all? I think the best way is to share links with you.

Here's a PW wrap up on the panel.

Here's a little NPR interview our team did.

Here's a pretty thorough reporting on the panel by the wonderful Lynn Miller Lachmann.

And if you want to actually listen to the entire panel, here's an audio podcast for your listening pleasure!

Also, why is it that everytime someone takes a photo of me, I'm making a weird face and hand gesture?
That last one looked like I was going to start a song and dance number soon.

But in any case, I can tell you that the event was an amazing success! Just take a look at the crowd we had!

I like this picture a lot because that's my fabulous agent, Barry Goldblatt sitting in the very front! Do you know that he is a true supporter of diversity? He created the  The Angela Johnson Scholarship, a talent-based grant for writers of color attending the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults Master of Fine Arts program. The $5,000 scholarship will be awarded to up to two students annually. You can find more information about it here.

The audience at our panel was simply amazing. We were so crowded that when we started people were sitting on the floors, standing against all the walls and more people who wanted to come in were turned away. The crowd was incredibly enthusiastic and so very supportive and we had the best time. And now there's still far too much to do but I shall leave you with my new favorite thing.

This is a Chibi version of me! By the incredibly talented Sharean Morishita who I am a huge fan of! Her art is so awesome and she is working on creating a fantastic, diverse comic which I cannot wait to get my hands on when she is done!!

And that's the recap!!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Imminent Brain Implosion

So I've been neglecting my poor blog because of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and all the blogging I'm actually doing over there instead. If you are curious, here's the link.

There's been so much to do that I've been in constant state of blind panic as I worry about what I'm forgetting. Not to mention that no writing has been getting done and you can imagine what I've been spending all my time on.

But I'm really excited that our BookCon panel is this Saturday! I am looking forward to seeing as many people as I can there! We are up against John Grisham and Carl Hiaasen, but I'm sure people would rather see us, right? Right? :o)

Here's the information again for anyone who wants to come! We will have some buttons and bookmarks to pass out AND if you come by our table, we would LOVE to have you take a photo submission for our blog!

The World Agrees: #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Date: Saturday, May 31
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Location: Room 1E02
Speakers: Aisha Saeed, Ellen Oh, Grace Lin, I.W. Gregorio, Jacqueline Woodson, Lamar Giles, Marieke Nijkamp, Matt de la Peña, Mike Jung
Description:
After taking the Internet by storm, the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign is moving forward with brand new initiatives to continue the call for diversity in children’s literature. Join the WNDB team as they share highlights of their campaign, discuss the success of grassroots activism, highlight diverse books and how everyone can diversify their shelves and talk next steps for the campaign. Ellen Oh (PROPHECY Series), Aisha Saeed (Written in the Stars, 2015), Marieke Nijkamp, founder of DiversifYA, Lamar Giles (Fake ID) and Mike Jung (Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities). Special Guests include acclaimed Authors Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), Matt de la Peña (The Living) and Jacqueline Woodson (Beneath a Meth Moon). Moderated by I.W. Gregorio (None of the Above, 2015).

Thursday, May 8, 2014

BookCon Panel!

It's been an amazing experience to see the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign take off as well as it did. Clearly, it was a message that truly resonated with people and I say it's about time! To top things off, we have the great pleasure of announcing that we have been invited to host a panel at BookCon on May 31.

The World Agrees: #WeNeedDiverseBooks

Date: Saturday, May 31
10:00 am - 11:00 am
Location: Room 1E02
Speakers: Aisha Saeed, Ellen Oh, Grace Lin, I.W. Gregorio, Jacqueline Woodson, Lamar Giles, Marieke Nijkamp, Matt de la Peña, Mike Jung
Description:
After taking the internet by storm, the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign is moving forward with brand new initiatives to continue the call for diversity in children's literature. Join the WNDB team as they share highlights of their campaign, discuss the success of grassroots activism, highlight diverse books and how everyone can diversify their shelves, and talk next steps for the campaign. Ellen Oh (PROPHECY Series), Aisha Saeed (Written in the Stars, 2015), Marieke Nijkamp, founder of DiversifYA, Lamar Giles (Fake ID) and Mike Jung (Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities). Special Guests include acclaimed Authors Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), Matt de la Peña (The Living) and Jacqueline Woodson (Beneath a Meth Moon). Moderated by I.W. Gregorio (None of the Above, 2015)

We got a terrific right up in Publisher's Weekly - link is here

If anyone is going to be in NYC for BookCon, I hope you will come and support us! We'd love to see you!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

DIVERSIFY YOUR SHELVES

Today we're revealing part three of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, a project that’s near and dear to my heart! Part three is called “Diversify Your Shelves,” and it’s all about taking a personal approach to promoting diversity in literature.

What, exactly, does that mean? Is this maybe something we’ll do for a week and then go back to buying books by old white guys?

Well, no. “Diversify Your Shelves” is a continual celebration of fabulous diverse literature, by fabulous diverse authors. Checking out what books we have on our shelves, and seeing how we might diversify them, is just a jumping off point.

There's also going to be a “Diversify Your Shelves” chat on Saturday, May 3rd at 2PM EST to discuss our favorite diverse books and authors! Use the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag to join in!

But wait! Why is this so important?

Well, there are lots of people blogging about this more eloquently than I, like here, here, here, and here, but some of my biggest reasons are:

Because, at every conference I or my writer friends attend, there are kids asking why they can’t find books with characters who look like them, either on the cover or in the pages.

Because the same thing happens at book signings, except there the kids are saying they’ve always wanted to get into writing, but don’t think they’ll be successful because they’re people of color.

Because queer kids are still killing themselves over being different (or being told that they’re different) and the greater representation they have in books, the less alone they’ll feel.

Because awesome genres like YA wouldn’t exist if we hadn’t moved away from the old, white dude model of literature and started reading stories written by ladies. Diversify Your Shelves is a continuation of that principle—hearing all stories from all voices.

Because it’s 2014, but we still keep seeing all-white panels at book festivals, or even all-white male panels (in genres vastly dominated by women!) and that’s kind of insane to me. Diversity shouldn’t be the exception. It should be the norm.

And because, at the end of the day, when I look at my shelves, I think:

I can be better.

I can do more.

And I’d love for you to join me.

So, without further ado . . .

Let’s Diversify Our Shelves!
           
Here’s how it works: this weekend, May 3rd and 4th, we’re all going to head out to our local bookstores* to pick up books by fabulous diverse authors. (Need recommendations? Check out the May 3rd #WeNeedDiverseBooks chat!) Then, once you’ve returned home, snap a photo of your new diverse book(s)** and post it as a comment below! And if you want to get really creative, you can take Before and After photos of your bookshelves: Before, when they weren't too diversified, and After, when you've added in books by fabulous  PoC authors, queer authors, and authors with disabilities! Woot! 

This Monday, May 5th, one lucky winner is going to win FIVE BOOKS OF THEIR CHOOSING out of the choices below!!! And every Monday throughout the spring, a new winner will be chosen to receive two fabulous diverse books! Woot!

But wait, it doesn’t stop there. Remember when I said “Diversify Your Shelves” was a continual celebration? That means any time you buy a book from a diverse author, or featuring a diverse character, snap a picture of that book and post it to Twitter with the #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag! We’ll retweet you, and help spread the word about what diverse books people are buying! And by participating in the “Diversify Your Shelves” movement, you’ll be showing publishers the kinds of books you want them to buy, showing conference organizers which authors you want to see on panels, and helping tweens and teens find representation in books! Which, really, is the awesomest prize of all!


REMEMBER: THE WINNER OF THE PRIZE PACK WILL BE CHOSEN MAY 5TH!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Obviously, not everyone has the money to “Diversify Their Shelves” at this particular moment. That’s okay! Because stopping by the library and having them order a book by a diverse author, or even sending them an email about your interest in diverse books, can make a big difference in the “Diversify Your Shelves” movement! You can even snap a photo of a certain section in your local library, and then snap another one after they’ve ordered more diverse books for you! That way, you’ll not only be diversifying your own shelf, but you’ll be diversifying the shelves for your entire neighborhood! Go, you!

**Don’t worry, e-book lovers! You can totally enter the contest too. Just snap a photo of your reading device with the book’s cover showing (or a screenshot of the purchase), and you’re good to go!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

We Need Diverse Books Campaign




Recently, there’s been a groundswell of discontent over the lack of diversity in children’s literature. The issue is being picked up by news outlets like these two pieces in the NYT, CNN, EW, and many more. But while we individually care about diversity, there is still a disconnect. BEA’s Bookcon recently announced an all-white-male panel of “luminaries of children’s literature,” and when we pointed out the lack of diversity, nothing changed.
Now is the time to raise our voices into a roar that can’t be ignored. Here’s how:
On May 1st at 1pm (EST), there will be a public call for action that will spread over 3 days. We’re starting with a visual social media campaign using the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks. We want people to tweet, Tumblr, Instagram, Facebook, blog, and post anywhere they can to help make the hashtag go viral.
For the visual part of the campaign: 
  • Take a photo holding a sign that says “We need diverse books because ___________________________.” Fill in the blank with an important, poignant, funny, and/or personal reason why this campaign is important to you. 
  • The photo can be of you or a friend or anyone who wants to support diversity in kids’ lit. It can be a photo of the sign without you if you would prefer not to be in a picture. Be as creative as you want! Pose the sign with your favorite stuffed animal or at your favorite library. Get a bunch of friends to hold a bunch of signs. 
  • However you want to do it, we want to share it! There will be a Tumblr at http://weneeddiversebooks.tumblr.com/ that will host all of the photos and messages for the campaign. Please submit your visual component by May 1st to weneeddiversebooks@yahoo.com with the subject line “photo” or submit it right on our Tumblr page here and it will be posted throughout the first day. 
  • Starting at 1:00PM (EST) the Tumblr will start posting and it will be your job to reblog, tweet, Facebook, or share wherever you think will help get the word out. 
  • The intent is that from 1pm EST to 3pm EST, there will be a nonstop hashtag party to spread the word. We hope that we’ll get enough people to participate to make the hashtag trend and grab the notice of more media outlets.
  • The Tumblr will continue to be active throughout the length of the campaign, and for however long we need to keep this discussion going, so we welcome everyone to keep emailing or sending in submissions even after May 1st.
On May 2nd, the second part of our campaign will roll out with a Twitter chat scheduled for 2pm (EST) using the same hashtag. Please use #WeNeedDiverseBooks at 2pm on May 2nd and share your thoughts on the issues with diversity in literature and why diversity matters to you.
On May 3rd, 2pm (EST), the third portion of our campaign will begin. There will be a Diversify Your Shelves initiative to encourage people to put their money where their mouth is and buy diverse books and take photos of them. Diversify Your Shelves is all about actively seeking out diverse literature in bookstores and libraries, and there will be some fantastic giveaways for people who participate in the campaign! More details to come!
We hope that you will take part in this in any way you can. We need to spread the word far and wide so that it will trend on Twitter. So that media outlets will pick it up as a news item. So that the organizers of BEA and every big conference and festival out there gets the message that diversity is important to everyone. We hope you will help us by being a part of this movement.

My website is safe again!

Thanks to Alex who gave me the heads up about the virus on my website and to my amazing web designers, Denise and John Biondo, who worked really hard to clean it all up for me. Ellenoh.com is safe!

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