New Voices Award for writers of color

August 27, 2011

LEE & LOW BOOKS, award-winning publisher of children’s books, is pleased to announce the twelfth annual NEW VOICES AWARD. The Award will be given for a children’s picture book manuscript by a writer of color. The Award winner receives a cash grant of $1000 and our standard publication contract, including our basic advance and royalties for a first time author. An Honor Award winner will receive a cash grant of $500.

As a New Voices Honor winner myself, I want to encourage aspiring writers to enter this contest. So often I receive emails from writers of color, asking me how to get published. They ask for the names of my editors who might publish their stories, or agents who will help them find an editor. One lady recently promised that if I gave her an opening into publishing, she’d do the same for someone else once she got published. But as a new author myself, I don’t hold a magic key to the publishing industry that I can simply loan out to aspiring writers. What I can do is give advice.

My advice: Read a lot. Write everyday. Polish (revise) your stories. Learn as much as you can about the children’s publishing industry. And if you’ve written a book that fits the guidelines of Lee & Low Books New Voices Award, enter the contest, by all means. I did, and my book will publish next spring.

Hurry! The deadline is September 30, 2011.

– Don Tate


On the horizon: Books by Coe Booth and Andrea Davis Pinkney

August 21, 2011

With two picture books and a chapter book series in the works, I’ve had an extremely busy workload. But I’m not complaining. In this scary economy, having any work at all is a good thing. It does make me sad, however, that I haven’t been able to dedicate much time here at the Brown Bookshelf. I truly love fulfilling our mission of promoting books by/or about African Americans. While time won’t allow for reading and write-ups, I can still act as as town crier for wonderful books that happen my way. Here are two amazing books on the horizon at Scholastic:

Bronxwood, by Coe Booth (PUSH/Scholoastic, ages 14 and up), is the highly anticipated sequel to the award-winning novel Tyrell. With this sequel, acclaimed author Coe Booth returns to the world of her Los Angeles Times Book Prize winning novel. Booth gives voice to characters seldom heard from in young adult fiction.

Tyrell’s father is just out of jail, and Tyrell doesn’t know how to deal with that. It’s bad enough that his brother Troy is in foster care and that his mother is no help whatsoever. Now there’s another thing up in his face, just when he’s trying to settle down. Tyrell’s father has plans of his own, and doesn’t seem to care whether or not Tyrell wants to go along with them. Tyrell can see the crash that’s coming — with his dad, with the rest of his family, with the girls he’s seeing — but he’s not sure he can stop it. Or if he even wants to.
Coe Booth is the award-winning author of TYRELL and KENDRA. Publication date: September 2011.

Dear America: With the Might of Angels, The Diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson, by Andrea Davis Pinkney (Scholastic Inc., ages 8 to 14), is an all-new title in the acclaimed and bestselling Dear America historical fiction series.

New York Times bestselling author Andrea Pinkney tells a gripping story of the Civil Rights movement, that Kirkus calls, “an outstanding contribution to the Dear America series, . . .”

In the spring of 1954, twelve-year-old Dawn Rae Johnson’s life turns upside down. After the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Dawnie learns she will be attending a previously all-white school. She’s the only one of her friends to go to this new school and to leave the comfort of all that is familiar to face great uncertainty in the school year ahead.
However, not everyone supports integration and much of the town is outraged at the decision. Dawnie must endure the harsh realities of racism firsthand, while continuing to work hard to get a good education and prove she deserves the opportunity. But the backlash against Dawnie’s attendance of an all-white school is more than she’s prepared for. When her father loses his job as a result, and her little brother is constantly bullied, Dawnie has to wonder if it’s worth it. In time, Dawnie learns that the true meaning of justice comes from remaining faithful to the integrity within oneself.
Source: Publisher press releases and Amazon.com

–Don Tate


Jerry Craft interviewed on Cablevision’s Neighborhood Journal

August 14, 2011

Click to see the video here.


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