Home > Blog > Month: October 2016

Month: October 2016

  • Mayim Bialik, Actress and Founder of GrokNation, to Pen Book About Growing Up For Teen Girls

    New York, NY – Mayim Bialik, actress, writer, neuroscientist, and founder of GrokNation.com, will publish a girl’s guide to growing up with Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers. Scheduled …

  • Hachette Audio Enhances Young Adult Audiobooks Through Immersive Music Soundtracks With Booktrack Technology Platform

    NEW YORK, NY — Hachette Audio, a division of Hachette Book Group, and literary technology pioneer Booktrack (www.booktrack.com) launch a new generation of audiobooks with an industry-first partnership, bringing full soundtracks to young adult …

  • We Need Diverse Books to Launch OurStory

    The app, which will be available online and on iOS and Android platforms in January 2017, will feature over 1,200 curated books with diverse characters and themes. Versions will be …

  • Jeff Kinney’s Bestselling Series Now Has 180 Million Books in Print Worldwide

    New York, NY — Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS, announces a new global in-print number for the #1 bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, as well as the …

  • Finalists Announced for the 2016 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

    2016 Finalists: Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick) March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illus. by Nate Powell (Top Shelf) When the Sea Turned to Silver by …

  • Pottermore Publishes New Writing from J.K. Rowling with Revealing Details about the Magical Congress of the United States of America

    Writing and video provide important backstory to the upcoming feature film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them London, England, 6 October, 2016 – ‘The Magical Congress of the United …

  • Author Ross Welford on the Pleasure of Reading Aloud

    Welford says reading aloud lets parents share their own favorite books with their children, exercise creativity with dramatic voices and characterization, and revive their imaginations through the magical worlds of children’s …

  • Penguin Young Readers Publishes Jacqueline Woodson’s National Book Award Winner ‘Brown Girl Dreaming’ For The First Time in Paperback

    New York, NY — Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, will publish New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Woodson’s memoir in verse, Brown Girl Dreaming, for the first …

  • Eight American Teenagers Chosen to Represent the Political Views of the Next Generation of Voters

    BOSTON, MA – Channel One News, a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt company, today announced the eight students who will represent the political views of America’s youth vote leading up to the …

  • Four Debuts on the NYT Children’s Best Sellers Lists

    The following books made the list: Middle Grade Hardcover: The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner (Aladdin) The Answer by Rebecca Sugar, illus. by Elle Michalka and Tiffany Ford (Cartoon Network) Young Adult Hardcover: …

  • Author and Illustrator Christopher Myers at the CBC’s Annual Meeting

    Through his work at the International Youth Library in Munich, Myers spoke with child refugees and helped them find a voice to share their harrowing journeys. He believes that publishers have the power …

  • #DVpit

    Contributed by Beth Phelan, Agent The Bent Agency

    #DVpit is a Twitter event created to showcase pitches about and especially by marginalized voices. It will be held on October 5 and 6th. Visit dvpit.com to learn more.

    I have always been a reader. Many times, I would read the last page of a book only to immediately flip back to the beginning and start again. What brought me back to books again and again was the escape, but it still felt like I was escaping into someone else’s story, someone so far removed from my own reality. It never felt like it could be mine, or that my own stories and experiences could be worth sharing.

    That needs to change. And it’s starting to, but there’s still so much more to do. Thanks to Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, we have this important concept of mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. And I know there are younger readers out there who were and are, like me, still searching and still deserving of many different reflections and many different windows. 


    #DVpit is a Twitter pitching event created to aid in this search, to showcase pitches about but especially by marginalized writers, whether writing their own experience or outside of it. This includes (but isn’t limited to) Native peoples and people of color, disabled persons, people identifying as LGBTQIA+, and anyone with an underrepresented background or identity. #DVpit is focused on the writers for a couple of reasons. First, because focusing on only the stories and ignoring the creators contradicts our goal. We need to follow through by diversifying our rosters as well as our characters. Second, I want more young creators to feel like they could have a place in this industry by sending this message to the next generation: You can do this. We want you. When we make this a more inclusive space, a space that respects and accepts instead of exploits, we’re making it safe for the next wave of brilliant minds. In this industry, we know that words have power, and we must look at the people who wield that power.  

    #DVpit is definitely a group effort, so I asked some of the participating agents and editors to chime in on what their hopes are in participating in #DVpit and why they are joining this effort:


    “The idea of mirrors in publishing often stops at the representation of characters in a book. And as someone who’s spent a lifetime reading books that were neither for her nor about her, that representation means a lot to me. But authors mean a lot too. People are more likely to support a child’s dream of one day becoming president than to ever support their dreams of becoming a writer—especially if they’re from a marginalized background. #DVpit is raising the voices of marginalized writers and giving them a space to share their stories. As an editor, I’m always thrilled to see a project from a marginalized writer. For young readers in particular, these stories, these writers, and these mirrors matter.”

    Mekisha Telfer, Editorial Assistant, Simon & Schuster BFYR & Salaam Reads

    “I’m involved in #DVPit because all children need diverse books! For readers, books can be two things: a window or an opening to the world, and a mirror, a place readers can see themselves. For a child or teenager—a person actively involved in learning who they are, and understanding the world—those windows and mirrors are incredibly valuable and important, building empathy and a strong sense of self. Books that reflect and embrace diversity give us the best, most true way of seeing the world and our place in it. I’m interested in all kinds of diversity and diverse stories, and I’m re-opening to queries as of Oct 5th!“

    Susan Hawk, Literary Agent, the Bent Agency


    “I think the very least that YA literature can do (but also the very best) is to show teens that they aren’t alone. It can’t make promises that life will be perfect, rewrite hateful laws, or remake society into an accepting place overnight. But for marginalized teens to see themselves reflected in diverse stories—and in diverse authors—it shows them that they aren’t alone or wrong or unworthy of a narrative; That they deserve a place in history, and romance, and sci-fi, and in the world. I so wish that I’d seen more of myself in books growing up, and as a literary agent, I’m in the position to do my own small part to help to correct that.”

    Rebecca Podos, Literary Agent, Rees Literary

    “I’m involved with #DVpit because I know that we can do better—and we need to do better. As an editor, saying I want to see more diverse voices in my inbox can only accomplish so much. That relies on authors from underrepresented communities and backgrounds, authors who didn’t grow up seeing themselves in books the way I and many of my colleagues were lucky enough to as young readers, to come find us—to navigate their way through traditional avenues that haven’t always been open to them, toward a table that hasn’t always had a place for them. I’m glad to see us, as an industry, trying to add more chairs to that table; but we can’t just wait with our fingers crossed, hoping that underrepresented voices will find their way to our inboxes. We can do more. And we should.”

    Stephanie Stein, Associate Editor, HarperCollins Children’s Books


    “The misconception that diversity is about lowering the bar and pandering to special demographics insults readers of all kinds. Non-white/straight/cis/able readers have spent generations reading, loving, and empathizing with characters who are different from them, and there’s no reason to assume that “mainstream” readers are incapable of doing the same. As a mixed-race POC who hasn’t always identified that way because all the mirrors I saw only reflected my white heritage, I know that the books we read change the people we are, letting us become someone else in the moment while expanding our own identities in the world. I have confidence that readers from all backgrounds love great stories and deserve exposure to a broader spectrum.”

    Kirsten Carleton, Literary Agent, Prospect Agency

    “It’s been documented that publishing has been under-serving segments of the book-buying community. Some people don’t understand the need for change because they already see themselves in a lot of published books—but not everyone is as lucky. As a white lady, I’d say that I think it’s very important for us ‘non-diverse’ types to read literature about people who live different lives than ours. I went to two schools—one with a diverse mix of students and one without. I find, as an adult, that being exposed to other cultures and ways of thinking as a child prepared me for college, ‘the real world’, and working better than the second school did. If you want your child to succeed at life, you should be an advocate for diversity in children’s literature and you should encourage your child to read books outside his or her experience.”

    Emily Keyes, Literary Agent, Fuse Literary


    “I read a lot of contemporary realistic YA growing up, and credit these books for making me such an avid reader, such a big fan of stories. But while I loved (and still love!) those books, as a young reader I always felt like I had to reach to see myself in them, to readjust my reading experience to glean universal truths. More significantly, a small part of me suspected that books just weren’t meant for people like me because I never saw myself nor my experience reflected in them. I’m supporting #DVPit because I want to find voices—specifically in the contemporary YA space, for me—that reflect the way the world is: full of people of all different shapes, sizes, colors, circumstances. I want today’s generation of YA readers to have their experiences validated, to feel celebrated, to feel seen. To feel that sense of belonging so many of us were and still are denied.”

    Jennifer Ung, Associate Editor, Simon Pulse, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

    “I’m constantly looking for #ownvoices authors. What better way to get access to a large variety of options than by participating in something as wonderful and needed as #DVPit? As a POC in publishing it is immensely important to me to feel that I am making sure that I strive for realistic representation in the books I acquire.”

    Quressa Robinson, Assistant Editor, St. Martin’s Press


    “I firmly believe that diverse books create real social change: seeing characters who make you feel recognized can offer a desperately needed sense of belonging and acceptance, while seeing characters who are different from you can build empathy and understanding. Plus, there are just so many talented, diverse voices out there that deserve a chance to be heard!”

    Patricia Nelson, Literary Agent, Marsal Lyon Literary Agency

    “I’m committed through my work at Riptide Publishing to #DVpit and to diversity and inclusiveness in all levels of publishing, because representation literally saves lives. Representation educates and representation stops people from feeling they’re alone. Everyone deserves their happy ending and everyone deserves to be the hero of their own story.”

    Sarah Lyons, Editorial Director, Riptide Publishing


    “I’m excited about participating in #DVpit because reading is one of the most empathetic (and human) things you can do. Having a diverse set of voices in publishing honors that reality and gives readers the opportunity to practice it.”

    Laura Zats, Literary Agent, Red Sofa Literary

    “I’ve always wanted to see more diversity in stories, both as an agent and as a reader. I remember hearing about black Hermione when Harry Potter and the Cursed Child first debuted and how thrilled I was—and yet, it was a bittersweet moment because that was when I realized that, without any cultural markers, I always assumed characters in books were white, despite my own background (who would expect Carrie Pestritto to be an adopted Korean?). But now instead of just being frustrated by the slow change, what I feel most is eagerness to introduce readers to new worlds and viewpoints so that everyone can see the similarities between themselves and the people on the page.”

    Carrie Pestritto, Literary Agent, Prospect Agency


    To the marginalized writers reading this, whether you are writing in the children’s/teen space or for the adult market, I want you to know that you are important. Your words and your voices matter. Even if you aren’t ready to participate, I hope you will stop by on October 5 and/or 6 to reach out to the community. We’re here. And we want your voice.

    Beth Phelan, #DVpit Creator & Literary Agent, the Bent Agency

    For more information, please visit dvpit.com

  • Celebrating 45 Years of ‘The Monster at the End of This Book’!

    To commemorate the occasion, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and beloved comic book artist Gene Luen Yang invites readers to submit fan art inspired by a favorite scene from …

  • The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards Kick Off The National Art.Write.Now Exhibitions Program Featuring Work From Creative Teens

    New York, NY – September 16, 2016 – The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition initiative for creative teens, kicks off the annual Art.Write.Now …

  • Best-selling Children’s Author Mo Willems to Match Donations to First Book Up to $50,000

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Mo Willems, author and illustrator of the award-winning Elephant & Piggie books, and his wife Cher are matching up to $50,000 in new donations to First Book, a …

  • United for Libraries to Coordinate National Friends of Libraries Week, Oct. 16-22

    BRYN MAWR, PA — Friends of the Library groups and libraries across the country will be celebrating the 11th annual National Friends of Libraries Week Oct. 16-22, 2016. National Friends …

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