It's November, which means one thing for many writers...time for NaNoWrimo!
NaNoWrimo, or National Novel Writing Month, is an annual event where thousands of writers attempt the heroic feat of writing a novel of at least 50,000 words in just 30 days. This is my ninth year participating in NaNoWriMo and over the years I have "won" twice.
The following is a motivational letter I wrote for the NaNoWriMo Metrowest region (for writers living between Boston and Worcester, Massachusetts). I hope it encourages others to tackle the page with enthusiasm this month! Good luck, Wrimos!
Something I’ve wanted for a while was a Little Free Library. I've looked longingly at pictures of all kinds of Little Libraries on Pinterest. What I've noticed in many of those smiling pictures is something that mirrors the landscape of publishing. A lack of representation of Black and brown people. That is something I want to change.
Even before I knew what my actual library would look like, I started thinking about what I wanted in my theme and design. I LOVE the recent article about the Little Diverse Library in Arlington, MA and had always planned to have a diverse book theme with Kidlit, so my library will be in solidarity with that project.
I've already come up with some creative ideas! This will be a continuing blog series documenting the story of my Little Free BIPOC Library.
I'm honored once again to have been asked to participate in the #31DaysIBPOC Blog Challenge, a month-long movement to feature the voices of Indigenous, Black, and people of color as educators, writers and scholars.
With the effort of distance learning in the forefront of my brain, the idea of emotional labor resonated with me but not for the work I'm doing with my students. In the past year, I've been part of numerous discussions related to race, equity, and inclusion in publishing and education, and who speaks and who is silent and the cost of that, particularly for women of color, shaped my thoughts.
Here is my post on The Emotional Toll of Speaking Up.
I'm so excited to finally share some book news! My middle grade debut DARK TIDE was acquired in a five-house auction by Rosemary Brosnan of HarperCollins/Quill Tree Books in a two-book deal! Thank you to my wonderful agent Lindsay David Auld for believing in this story and championing it through the submission process!
Right now the book is scheduled to release in winter 2022! I'll be sure to share more news in the coming months, but right now it's a dream come true.
Last spring I was honored to be awarded the inaugural Kweli Color of Children’s Literature Manuscript Award. Given in partnership with SCBWI, the award is presented to the manuscript deemed best during the critique sessions at the conference and includes an all-inclusive trip to the annual SCBWI Summer Conference in Los Angeles.
I arrived in Los Angeles full of expectation and more than a bit of worry. I had never been to the Summer Conference, but I had heard much about how wonderful and amazing it was. And big. This year’s conference hosted over 1,100 attendees!