THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES on the 2020 National Book Awards Fiction Longlist

The best books start here.

Category: Announcements/Agency Biz

We are over the moon for Upstart Crow client Deesha Philyaw, whose stunning debut short story collection, THE SECRET LIVES OF CHURCH LADIES, was longlisted for the 2020 National Book Awards for fiction. Congratulations to Deesha and to all of the amazing writers on this list!

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Upstart Crow is excited to welcome new client  Kirbi Fagan.
Kirbi is a Metro Detroit-based author and illustrator recognized for her cover art in Adult, YA, and Middle Grade fiction as well as her numerous covers for comic books on projects such as Black Panther/Shuri and Firefly. Her debut as a picture book illustrator is slated for 2021 with SUMMER OF THE TREE ARMY: A Civilian Conservation Corps Story (Sleeping Bear Press). She is currently working on her own nonfiction picture book about wild alpha mares and a middle grade graphic novel memoir.

Her illustrations are known for their magical themes, nostalgic mood and feminine heroines. Kirbi was traditionally trained as an oil painter but now works in mixed media techniques including digital drawing tools. She received her bachelor’s degree in Illustration from Kendall

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“Tender, fierce, proudly Black and beautiful, these stories will sneak inside you and take root.”

–Kirkus (starred review)

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church’s double standards and their own needs and passions.With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.

Buy your copy here!

 

 

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Hello! I’m thrilled to join the Upstart Crow Literary family. For my inaugural post, I’d like to introduce myself and discuss a little about what kinds of projects I’m looking for.

I hail from Austin, Texas, and even though I’ve been based on the West Coast for a decade, I stay connected to my southern roots through cooking and wearing cowboy boots. I started my career in children’s books working for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), where I had the privilege of working with numerous award-winning writers and illustrators, before moving on to work with Jennifer Rofé at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

I’m currently representing books for children: picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and young adult, along with some nonfiction. … [more]

Happiest of publication days to Matt Myklusch and the second book in the Order of the Majestic series: LOST KINGDOM, out today from Aladdin/Simon and Schuster.

Joey Kopecky and his friends, Shazad and Leanora, have the weight of the world on their shoulders. As the new Order of the Majestic, it is their responsibility to keep magic alive and free for all, and to fight the influence of the Invisible Hand, a sinister group of magicians intent on rounding up the world’s remaining magical items and keeping everything to themselves. 

But all of that changes when Fate taps them on the shoulder, and puts the Secret Map of the World in their hands. Together, Joey and his friends strike off on a tour of hidden magical realms, trying to find a lost kingdom that could [more]

We are thrilled to announce the sale of Nicole Collier’s debut middle grade novel, JUST RIGHT JILLIAN, to Versify.

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations, Nicole!… [more]

HOORAY and happiest of publications days to Sue Soltis on the publication of her newest picture books, THE STARS JUST UP THE STREET, with gorgeous illustrations by Christine Davenier!

A grandpa’s memories of brilliant night skies inspire a little girl to take action in a tale for budding community organizers and star lovers alike.

Mabel loves stars. She counts five from her window and thirty-seven from her backyard. But her grandfather tells her that, as a child, he could see thousands. Could it be true? Mabel climbs a hill looking for more stars — only to discover that the glow from the nearby town makes them hard to see. What would it take for her neighbors to turn off their lights, just for one night, so that everyone could see the starlit sky? Sue Soltis’s [more]

We’re delighted to announce the sale of Alison Oliver’s next PB illustration project, THE IN-BETWEEN BOOK, to Jennifer Adams at Sounds True!

Congratulations to all!
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HOORAY and happy book birthday to J.M.M. Nuanez’s BIRDIE AND ME — which is now out there in the world, finding it’s readers. I can’t wait to see how readers react to, and I’m so proud to have been a part of it’s publication.

*“Belongs alongside Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Counting by 7s, Cindy Baldwin’s Where the Watermelons Grow, and Ali Benjamin’s The Thing about JellyfishHighly recommended.”— School Library Journal, starred review

*”This strong, emotional, and engaging read is a must-have for any library. The issues are dealt with realistically and challenge the reader to examine their personal feelings, the various modes for dealing with grief, gender fluidity, and how to appropriately support students in their search for who they truly are. A great coming-of-age story for 5th-8th graders.” — … [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]