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Congratulations & HOORAY! to P. O’Connell Pearson on her new deal for CRACKING AN AMERICAN CONSPIRACY: NIXON, WATERGATE, AND DEMOCRACY’S DEFENDERS. This is her third book, after FLY GIRLS: The Daring American Women Pilots Who Helped Win WWII and FIGHTING FOR THE FOREST: How FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps Helped Save America.

CRACKING AN AMERICAN CONSPIRACY will be out this fall, and it’s a fabulous read! Make sure you get a copy!… [more]

Big congratulations to Ruth Spiro, on her new books deals to extend the BABY LOVES SCIENCE series! We’re now up to NINETEEN books, with five new titles coming in 2020 and five more in 2021! Of those new titles, we’ll see books about the senses, one for Hanukkah and one for Christmas (still with the everyday science tie-in), and a spin-off group: BABY LOVES POLITICAL SCIENCE that will debut this spring with BABY LOVES DEMOCRACY!

 Alyssa Mito Pusey and Monica Perez at Charlesbridge are editing, and the books will feature the wonderful artwork of Irene Chan and Greg Paprocki.

MAJOR CONGRATS TO EVERYONE!

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Big congratulations to Paul Acampora, on his *sixth* book deal, for DANNY CONSTANTINO’S FIRST DATE, and for a second un-named MG novel! Nancy Mercado at Dial Books for Young Readers will publish the books and DANNY will be out this year.

If you know Paul’s writing, you know that this book will be as wise as it is laugh-out-loud funny, and an utter pleasure to read. And if you don’t know Paul’s writing, you should! A bit more about the book:

When Danny Constantino asks his old-friend-turned-Hollywood-movie-star, Natalie Flores Griffin, to his local school dance and homecoming parade, she surprises him . . . by saying yes!

Unfortunately, now everyone in Cuper Cove has something to say about Danny’s love life–especially since Natalie is the hometown hero. Throw in herds of TV reporters and Natalie [more]

Congrats to both Marcie Colleen and Alison Oliver for their first, starred review for their picture book collaboration, THE BEAR’S GARDEN, from Kirkus Reviews:

One little girl understands that urban spaces need tender loving care.

When a little black girl with her hair in two puffballs looks at her city street, she sees people who rarely slow down enough to imagine the possibilities of beauty around them. But she does…Inspired by a true story of a stuffed bear found in what has become the Pacific Street Brooklyn Bear’s Community Garden, this tale of urban renewal shows how one person with an imagination, a little dirt, and a few seeds can transform a concrete village into something beautiful. Oliver’s endpapers depict maps of the garden site—the front endpapers sans garden and the rear ones featuring [more]

Big congratulations to Brian Broome on the sale of his stunning debut memoir, LIKE THIS, to Rakia Clark at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt!  LIKE THIS is a poetic, uproarious, and raw coming of age story about Blackness, masculinity, and addiction in America’s Rust Belt.

Brian is a Moth finalist and is currently in the MFA program at the University of Pittsburgh. I first heard him perform his work at a reading series in Pittsburgh, and the entire audience just fell in love with him. I know you’ll be just as captivated by him when you read his work!  The book will be out in May 2021.

 

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Congratulations to Upstart Crow client and graphic artist Jenna Luecke!

Jenna’s illustrated humor book, THE BREAKUP HAIR HANDBOOK, will be published by Andrews McMeel publishing in 2020. Part catharsis and part smash-the-patriarchy manifesto, THE BREAKUP HAIR HANDBOOK inspires readers to revolt against societal pressures and take ownership of their hairstyles.

Jenna’s colorful artwork combines old world inspirations with the youthful spirit of punk fashion. Visit her at jennaluecke.com or follow her on Instagram @jennaluecke.

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“When you’re making things, time goes fast.”

Vera B. Williams, Scooter

I’m serious here.

Once upon a time I taught composition and rhetoric, and one of the things I’d tell my students is this: If you’re bored while writing your papers, I guarantee you that I’ll be bored while reading them. But if you are interested in what you’re writing, or even having fun—why, that quality will come through in your prose.

It can sound counterintuitive—this idea that our best work comes when we’re playing and having fun—but I’ve always found that to be the case.

If marrying the words “play” and “fun” to “work” sparks scorn, think of it more as showing the sort of keen focus and deep involvement that children show when they are playing hard. In his swell little book Keep [more]

Going into NaNoWriMo, the temptation will be to write as much as you possibly can each day. It makes sense, right? You’re trying to write as many words as quickly as possible, so if you’ve got more fuel in the tank once you’ve hit your daily goal of 1,000 or 2,000 words, why not use it? Get down as many words and as much of the story so that you can meet your ultimate goal.

I am here to tell you not to do that. My advice—and the advice of many, many writers with more skill and wisdom than me—set a target number of words, write until you reach that goal, and then stop. Some stop mid-sentence (see Graham Greene, who stopped at 800 words exactly); others stop in the vicinity of their target, … [more]

Some of you may have written an outline of the novel you will be writing. Some will have sketched out only the barest minimum—starts here; something happens over there; this thing takes place; somehow it all wraps up. Many of you will have no outline at all, but only a premise, a sense of some characters, a handful of scenes, and—if you’re lucky—an insistent voice dictating the telling of a story.

Outliners start with some gas in the tank, but for those of you who write without a certain idea of where you are going, starting can be gulp-inducing. Happily, NaNoWriMo is almost tailor-made for seat-of-the-pants writers. Plunging ahead is a great way to blaze a trail through the dark of an unknown story. Your trail may ultimately turn out to have wrong turns and … [more]

Big congratulations to Sarah Lariviere, on her next book deal for her second novel, TIME TRAVEL FOR LOVE AND PROFIT! This superb novel will be published by Kelly Delaney at Knopf Books for Young Readers, and comes out next year. I adore this novel. If you like to read books that literary love stories, with a speculative twist, this is for you!

Just a bit more about the book…

Nephele is a whip-smart math prodigy who invents time travel in order to re-do a disastrous first year of high school. Unfortunately, Nephele becomes stuck in a time loop that results in her repeating that year ten times in a row.

Now facing yet another freshman year, Nephele knows what to expect. Or so she thinks. She didn’t anticipate that a new teacher would be a … [more]