Giving Time

Every Sunday my pastor does her little routine…

“What time is it?” she says, a glint in her eye as she scans the church.

And the congregation responds, “It’s giving time.” And everyone knows that it’s time to dig deep into their pockets or checkbooks and prime themselves for the offering.

Well, it’s giving time here at the Brown Bookshelf. Or at least, almost. On September 30th the submission window opens for our 4th Annual 28 Days Later. And we want the regular visitors to our site to start shaking the literary tree for those gems that deserve to be recognized in February 2011.

You may have noticed that I’ve been out of the literary loop for a few months now – absent from BBS and many other writers circles. And not that I thought the landscape would change in the six months I’ve been gone, but while cruising the bookstore I’m not seeing any more variety from books featuring African Americans than I did a few years ago.

I can’t help but feel like our progress has been terribly slow. I’m not so jaded as to think there’s been none, but…I’m not doing any chair dancing here, in celebration of what progress has been made.

You all know I’m a YA-chick, so I look at the literary world through that lens and from that perspective I’m really displeased with the lack of broader offerings.

Kimani Tru is still holding it down, well. And for that, I’m grateful. But, I’m simply not seeing the breadth of diversity among other publishers that I’d thought we’d see by now.

I’m three years removed from my series debut and I thought my series would be the first of many. But I’ve no proof we’re any closer to that than when Kensington acquired me in ’06.

So, look…before I begin philosophizing, get your thinking caps on. The submissions window will open September 30th and will remain open until the end of October. We, here at the Brown Bookshelf, will continue to celebrate what’s out there as we advocate for an increase in the inventory. So we need your help.

So, let me hear it… What time is it?

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5 Responses to Giving Time

  1. Doret says:

    GIVING TIMEEEEEE!

  2. jeannine says:

    I will start compiling my list. One of the days I will be able to recommend myself!!!!!

  3. kelstar71 says:

    Alright, Doret and Jeannine! Let’s do this. Thanks, Paula, for the rallying cry. It’s Giving Time!

  4. Ari says:

    Ok i will start thinking! It’s so hard not to come up with repeats though, ahhhh

    @Jeannine-I will recommend you first :)

    Oh and as an idea of how little progress we’ve made. n YA alone 3,000 books are published. So far only 46 are about PoC. http://zettaelliott.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/the-breakdown/

  5. Paula Chase says:

    @Ari you’re right it’s tough not to repeat. It means you have to really dig and search. I may have to dedicate an entire weekend just to visiting bookstores and publisher sites!

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