Welcome to Stacy Whitman's Grimoire
Currently, she is seeking fantasy and science fiction for children and young adults that features diverse characters and settings. See the submission guidelines for Tu Books for more information.
I have just weathered the hurricane in relative style—thankfully, my neighborhood came out relatively unscathed compared to other places. I still have power and internet (mostly, though some flickers), and I live on high ground. A friend and I just took a walk around the neighborhood, and the worst most of us got here were some downed trees and branches and some business canopies half-torn off. Down by the river, it’s still high, but thankfully in this neighborhood there’s not much down by the river except a park.
Further downtown it’s not such a bright tale, especially down by the waterfront here in Manhattan and in Brooklyn and Queens, and particularly over in New Jersey, which seemed to have gotten the brunt of it. From the press conference I just saw with Greg Christie, it’s going to be a while for New Jersey to really recover from this. The word “unprecedented” keeps coming up—this was a storm like no other on record in this area. It looked like a Cat 1, but the winds and the storm surge acted more like a Cat 3 or 4, from what I hear.
What that means for the New Visions contest, since I’ve gotten a lot of worried emails in the last couple of days from people worried about their entry either being received on time, or people in the path of the storm who haven’t been able to get out to mail their entries:
The deadline is a postmark deadline of Oct. 31, not a receipt deadline. So as long as you’re able to mail your entry by tomorrow, you’ll be fine.
However, particularly for those in the path of the storm, I understand that you’ve got a lot more on your mind right now than writing, and we don’t know when full services like the subway and the post offices will be back to normal. For today, I’m just going to encourage those of you who can to mail your entries by tomorrow. Tomorrow we’ll probably know a lot more about the assessments of damage and timelines and such, and I’ll know whether I can even get in to the office this week. So tomorrow once we know a little more, I’ll announce if we might be able to allow a small extension, particularly for those in the path of the storm, in the greater New York/New Jersey area particularly. I don’t know yet, but I wanted to reassure you that we understand and sympathize, as we’re dealing with this storm as well.
For now, if you can make it to the post office by tomorrow, just go ahead and send your entry that way. No need for any special delivery services like FedEx or UPS—in this situation, it will be *harder* for them because they don’t know when they’ll be able to get back into New York City, so from what I understand they’re not taking packages. The post office will go ahead and take your package, and they will deliver it when they can. As long as the postmark is Oct. 31 or earlier, you’re fine.
Thanks for your patience as we figure out what’s going on in the aftermath of this storm.
Comment over at the Lee & Low blog for a chance to win a copy of Diverse Energies!
Now that yesterday was the official release day for Diverse Energies, both fall Tu books are officially out! Go forth and purchase! Tell your friends! Tell your family! Buy one for the dog!
It looks like the hardcover is not quite released yet on Amazon, which means that books are en route to their warehouses from our warehouse, and that pre-orders will start shipping soon. The Kindle version is available as well. So go ahead and pre-order the hardcover if Amazon is your thing—it’ll be along very soon.
At B&N, the Nook version is available and the hard copy is orderable both in person and online. You can also find it at most major online retailers, and directly from Lee & Low on our site (click the cover). The e-book will also soon be available in the Google Play store and iBookstore.
If you prefer a local independent, make sure to ask your local indie to stock it if they aren’t already doing so! Your word of mouth makes a huge difference for small presses like us. If you’re in Oregon or want to order online from Powells, I know that Powells Cedar Hills has signed copies (by Cindy Pon and Malinda Lo) left from a Sirens signing, so you might be able to track those down.
And if you haven’t checked out Summer of the Mariposas yet, it’s been out for a couple weeks already! What are you waiting for? If you’re in Texas, I hear that the book is in the Local Author section of a few B&Ns. If it’s not in yours, request it! Same for your local indie. For ordering online, it’s available at all major retailers in hardcover (including on the Lee & Low site—click the cover) and e-book. Google Kindle Nook iBooks
And if you’re more of a library type, if your local library system hasn’t already ordered the book, be sure to request it! Both books have gotten GREAT reviews (I’ll post a few below) and any library would be enriched to have them.
For teachers and school librarians, you can contact our sales department directly to place large orders, or you can use our website (which takes purchase orders).
And when you have finished the books and savored them, may I ask that you review them at the online venue of your choice? Reviews at Goodreads and Amazon really help out, if you’re looking for a way to support Tu Books!
Praise for Summer of the Mariposas
“In her first fantasy, Pura Belpré winner McCall (Under the Mesquite, 2011) tells the story of five sisters and their myriad adventures as they travel from their home in Texas to Mexico. When narrator and eldest Odilia and her sisters, Juanita, Velia, Delia and Pita, find a dead man in their swimming hole, Odilia wants to call the authorities. She is soon overruled by her sisters, who clamor to return the man to his family and visit their grandmother, all of whom live in Mexico. What follows is a series of adventures that hover somewhere on the border between fantasy and magical realism as the sisters are helped and hindered by supernatural forces including Latin American legends La Llorona, lechuzas and chupacabras. . . . Originality and vibrancy shine through to make [this story] a worthwhile read.”—Kirkus Reviews
“While Summer of the Mariposas deals with highly fantastic elements (the girls battle witches, chupacabras, and trickster demons, to name a few), this is ultimately a story about family and bonds that can never be broken. I absolutely adored this book. Everything about it, from the sisters and magic to that GORGEOUS COVER (!!), Summer of the Mariposas was a complete homerun. The imagery was beautiful, the wording was remarkable, the characters were fleshed out so well I felt as though I knew them.”—Leah Rubenstein, “The Pretty Good Gatsby”
“This unusual mythic reality tale . . . [is] a darn good story [and] it has a lyrical quality and structure that will appeal to readers who read for literary value.”—“GenreFluent”
“These are colorful characters, crowding the stage, all waiting for their turn to speak or act. It’s The Odyssey, with Mexican-American, female adventurers set against the background of a whole new land. . . . Long live the Garza girls.”—Tanita Davis, “Finding Wonderland”
“As a fun adventure story of 5 Mexican American sisters living on the border between Mexico and the U.S., this book has definite merit. There is a lot of between-the-lines information about Mexican and Mexican American culture (including such events as quinceaneros parties), a nice glossary of the some of the Spanish terms used, and terrific little Spanish proverbs or sayings at the beginning of each chapter. . . . I learned a lot!”—Betsy Farquhar, “Literaritea”
Praise for Diverse Energies
In an afterword, coeditor Monti writes about a heated 2009 discussion (dubbed “RaceFail 09”) regarding race in fantasy and science fiction, and how his reaction was to put together a collection showcasing “this wonderful, blended, messed-up world.” Hence this book, which feels different than the usual fare—characters, settings, and authors come from all across the global spectrum—and, maybe more to the point, proves to be not that different at all. It starts off with a fabulous one-two punch: Ellen Oh’s devastating “The Last Day,” about a future global war and the horrific Hiroshima-like aftermath; then “Freshee’s Frogurt,” a wild, violent, and funny excerpt from Daniel H. Wilson’s Robopocalypse (2011). In general, the subsequent stories fall on the more thoughtful, brainy side of the sf spectrum. Two standouts are Paolo Bacigalupi’s “A Pocket Full of Dharma,” about the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama on a portable storage drive; and Cindy Pon’s “Blue Skies,” a wistful have/have-not tale from a smog-filthed future Taipei. A solid introduction to a number of highly talented writers.—Daniel Kraus, Booklist
“As the title promises, this sophisticated science-fiction anthology is diverse in nearly every sense of the word. Beyond their being science fiction, no single element or quality unites the collection’s stories. However, the anthology was created in response to concerns that mixed-race characters, non-Western characters, LGBTQ characters and characters of color were underrepresented in young adult fiction, and most stories bring one or more of these underrepresented identities to the foreground. Readers will find poor children working in mines and factories, a have-not yao boy kidnapping a rich you girl and a girl reeling as the world inexplicably changes around her, and no one else notices. Although many stories imagine bleak futures, their tones are refreshingly varied. Daniel Wilson’s tale of a robot attack at a frozen-yogurt shop takes the form of an almost-comical police-interview transcript. Ursula K. LeGuin’s ‘Solitude’ is a sweeping, nostalgic epic. K. Tempest Bradford’s ‘Uncertainty Principle’ is a character-driven time-travel tale. Understanding many of the stories takes patience: Readers are plunged quickly into complex worlds, and exposition often comes slowly. Careful, curious readers will be rewarded, though probably not comforted, by the many realities and futures imagined here.”—Kirkus Reviews
“This is a book I’ve been thrilled about ever since I saw it at ALA. It’s filled with incredible dystopian stories from some of the top authors out today and all of the stories feature brilliantly diverse characters. This has the potential to be a huge hit and I cannot wait to hear how much everyone loves it!”—Danielle, “There’s a Book”
“My three favourite stories are “Blue Skies”, “Good Girl” and “Solitude”. I found these stories the most thought provoking and loved the way the world creation added to the message of each story. The imagery supported the feelings of the characters – all of whom I found to be compelling in their own ways. “Solitude” I think works perfectly as short story as do the other two, but I would love for “Blue Skies” and “Good Girl” to be turned into full lengthy novels, because the worlds and characters still have much to offer. I enjoyed Bradford’s story and the premise makes this one of the best time-travel tales I’ve read. It amazes me how Bacigalupi’s and Kanakia’s stories manage to create such a strong sense of environment in the span of a short story. . . . “Pattern Recognition” and “What Arms to Hold” got me thinking about the rights of the child and the importance of questioning those in authority. “The Last Day” is well-written and thought provoking – in that depressing sort of way all stories about the futility of war make us think.”—Katja, “YA’s the Word”
“When I first heard the premise of this anthology, I was thrilled. Science fiction and dystopia stories about multicultural characters and worlds written by diverse authors? Sign me up! . . . Most of the stories were very good, and I think they explored the idea of diverse futures very well.”—Jia Vergara, “Dear Author”
I haven’t been blogging very consistently, I know—which made me only realize today that despite my many mentions of it on Twitter and Facebook, I haven’t yet talked about our New Visions Award here on the blog yet! With less than a month left before the deadline, I wanted to go a little into further detail about why we’re running this contest, and why you should share it far and wide with all your writer friends!
As you know, I focus on diversity in fantasy, science fiction, and mystery. We don’t require that our writers be people of color. Writing cross-culturally is perfectly valid—we’ve talked a lot here about how important it is to get a culture right if you’re writing cross-culturally, and to me, that’s what matters most when it comes to diversity in our books: that the books themselves reach beyond the status quo, and get it right while doing so.
But a vital part of getting it right is also welcoming voices from those communities we’re talking about, discovering new voices and adding them to the choral symphony. Look at CCBC’s 2011 numbers—the number of writers of color have mostly stagnated at roughly 6% of all books published, with roughly 8% of all books published featuring significant content about people of color (including formulaic non-fiction). Compare that with the population at large, which is roughly 25% PoC—or to the percentage of kids of color, our audience, which is fast approaching 50%—and you can see how stark those numbers really are, how bad we’ve been as an industry at offering “mirror” content to our readers and at sharing voices from their communities. If we were able to break it down into genres (does anyone have access to that kind of information? I’d love to see it), I have a feeling that YA SF and fantasy would have numbers that would look much worse.
So with that in mind, we started the New Visions Award, modeled after Lee & Low’s New Voices Award, to seek out new voices in genre fiction for young people. All the details can be found at our site (plus some awesome words about the contest from awesome people like Mitali Perkins and Nikki Grimes), but I’ll post a bit of it here so you can get an idea of what we’re looking for:
TU BOOKS, the fantasy, science fiction, and mystery imprint of LEE AND LOW BOOKS, award-winning publisher of children’s books, is pleased to announce the first annual New Visions Award. The award will be given for a middle grade or young adult fantasy, science fiction, or mystery novel 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.
TU BOOKS was launched in 2010, dedicated to diversity in the beloved genre fiction market for young people. Titles include Wolf Mark, Tankborn, and Cat Girl’s Day Off. This fall will bring the publication of Morris Award nominee and Pura Belpré Award winner Guadalupe Garcia McCall’s Summer of the Mariposas. For more information about TU BOOKS, visit leeandlow.com/p/tu.mhtml.
- The contest is open to writers of color who are residents of the United States and who have not previously had a middle grade or young adult novel published.
- Writers who have published work in other venues such as children’s magazines or picture books, or adult fiction or nonfiction, are eligible. Only unagented submissions will be accepted.
- Work that has been published in its entirety in any format (including online and self publishing) is not eligible. Manuscripts previously submitted to TU BOOKS will not be considered.
Dates for Submission:
Submissions will be accepted from June 1, 2012, through October 31, 2012, and must be postmarked within that period.
Notice that the deadline is coming up at the end of this month!! So please share on Facebook and Twitter, share with your writing groups, share with your listservs—post it wherever it might be appropriate to share it around. Let your writer friends know! And if you, reading this right now, have a book that would be right for me, send it along!
I’d also add for those who aren’t new writers of color who want to submit a book to me, we’re always open to submissions from all writers, both agented and unagented, in our general submissions.
I just finished watching the first episode of this season of Once Upon a Time. I enjoyed the first season of the show, but did wonder why “all” the fairy tales seemed to include only tales from Europe. (However, I actually don’t wonder why it was at least tokenly diverse, as I’ve seem some wonder; actually, Europe in the Middle Ages was probably more diverse than we usually imagine it. Shakespeare wrote of “blackamoors” and the Romans were a diverse lot who ranged all over the continent and made soldiers of all their conquered foes, not to mention the Huns in Eastern Europe (I’m not well-versed on how far west the Huns got, though), and Middle Eastern cultural exchange/influences, including the Jewish diaspora. There’s another post there about how often what we’ve been taught/shown in common media contributes to these assumptions about the whiteness of history, but I digress. My point is that though diverse populations perhaps weren’t nearly as large in Europe in the Middle Ages and Renaissance as they are today, people of color were also not unheard of in places usually thought of as ethnically white.)
My point here is that it was refreshing, then, to have Mulan show up in the first episode of the season. Yay for strong Asian female characters!
Well, character. Singular. It’s only the first episode of the season, so it remains to be seen whether we’ll see more people from Mulan’s world. But this episode brought up a lot of questions that I wanted to just make a list of, in hopes that there will be answers eventually; I’ll try to remember to revisit this later in the season to see if they’ve been addressed. The show has done a pretty good job, after all, of answering the questions it raises, if excruciatingly slowly.
I had an 80gb Ipod Classic, which lasted me at least 5 years, maybe six. I think I bought it in 06 or 07. It died earlier this year and I’ve been trying to make do with my phone. I have a great phone. I love it. I’m not going to buy the Iphone 5 because I have everything I need on the phone… except Itunes. Pretty much everything is covered on my Android (Galaxy Nexus) but a good music management + podcast app in one, and I want to be able to watch the videos I have bought on Itunes, too. (I have unlimited data, so most of what I watch on my phone—at lunch, for example, or while out walking to/from the train—is streamed on Hulu or Netflix, but you can’t stream underground on the subway, and you can’t read on the subway ALL the time; not to mention Doctor Who doesn’t stream current episodes here in the States, at least.) I can’t figure out how to make any of the Android podcasting apps work right for my podcast playlists (I make playlists of Talk to Me in Korean lessons, for example, that I want to listen to in order); Google Music can’t seem to figure out that no, the order is NOT Lesson 1, Lesson 10, Lesson 11, Lesson 12, … Lesson 2, Lesson 20… No app that promises to import well from Itunes has done it right, and I’ve tried several. It’s all a big headache.
So my plan is to go back to what was working: my phone for everything but music and the occasional offline video or game.
Which leads us to the choices:
- 160 gb classic—will hold everything, but tiny video screen for porting around the few offline videos I want (Doctor Who and a few old anime series), being able to watch video on the subway. This is pretty much what I used my old dead Ipod for, except it was 80gb. Nice room to grow for new music, and more. I liked the clickwheel for a few old-fashioned games, too.
- Ipod Touch. Don’t ever plan to get an iphone, but I wouldn’t mind a Touch as a secondary device. Biggest possible size is only 64 gb, though, which is part of the problem with my phone (it’s like a more expensive version of a shuffle, which is silly), but at least I could move all the music there, and everything else would stay on my phone. More expensive for less storage space, but a nice big screen for an ipod (but as a phone/streaming device/most apps I use, my Galaxy still has Iphone beat). I wouldn’t mind trying out the camera, too–from what I can tell, it does seem to have better optics than my cell phone camera (though either would just be for snapshots; I use my SLR for important pictures, but I don’t carry my SLR around with me—the dang thing is too heavy for everyday use).
- Buy an older Ipod off e-bay or whatever for cheap. Who cares about screen size if you can get the same thing you’ve been wanting your poor dead ipod to do for months, and not finding a good alternative in what you’ve got on hand? (Though I note that someone thinks they can get $268 out of me for a Classic that only costs $249 brand new on Apple’s site).
If you were me—and by that, I mean relatively poor, have no need to changes phones (just upgraded to my current phone in April), had my usage patterns, etc.; I truly mean if you were me, not if you with your own set of circumstances were in a position to have these choices, if that makes sense—which would you choose?
I’m leaning toward the Touch, but that feels super extravagant when I already have a phone that does most of what the Touch does. The only real advantage to it is the screen size, and how often would I use it?
There is ONE more option, I suppose, which might work, as far as having portable Itunes, but it’s an option I wouldn’t be able to afford for a while: an Ipad. It’s certainly an idea I’ve toyed with, but it’s also the least portable of the options (I can’t clip it to my waist and go for a bike ride, which I always did with my ipod), and the most expensive.
So… you’re now in my shoes. What would be your vote?
How many times have I heard people call living on a farm or living in the past “simple”? Ursula K. Le Guin has a point here, in a quote from “Solitude,” her story in Diverse Energies:
Our daily life in the auntring was repetitive. On the ship, later, I learned that people who live in artificially complicated situations call such a life “simple.” I never knew anybody, anywhere I have been who found life simple. I think a life or a time looks simple when you leave out the details, the way a planet looks smooth, from orbit.
I’ll be at this conference, and hope you can make it as well! Info below is from the press release:
Day-Long Event to Offer Experts, Insight into Publishing Industry Opportunities
New York, NY; July 26, 2012 – Las Comadres Para Las Americas, the national Latina organization, will present a day-long conference on October 6 for Latino writers seeking more access into the publishing industry.
Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference will be held at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, Brooklyn. Joining La Comadres as collaborators are the National Black Writers Conference, the Center for Black Literature, the Foreign Language Department and the Latino American Association, Full Circle Literary, Marcela Landres, and Scholastic, with support from the Association of American Publishers.
Through the workshops, panels and other sessions, writers will gain an insider’s perspective into how to best navigate the challenges and opportunities of the industry.
A highlight of the day will be a full schedule of one-on-one meetings for writers with agents and editors. Participants currently include Johanna Castillo, Vice President & Senior Editor/Atria, Simon & Schuster: Jaime de Pablos, Director/Vintage Español, Knopf Doubleday Group; Adriana Dominguez, Agent/Full Circle Literary; Mercedes Fernandez, Assistant Editor/Dafina Books, Kensington Publishing; Sulay Hernandez, Editor/Other Press; Cheryl Klein, Executive Editor/Arthur A. Levine Books; Selina L. McLemore, Senior Editor/Grand Central Publishing; Christina Morgan, Editor/Harcourt Houghton Mifflin; Lukas Ortiz, Managing Director/Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency, Inc.; Diane Stockwell, Founder/Globo Libros Literary Management; and Stacy Whitman, Founder and Editorial Director/Tu Books.
Scheduled panels will examine magazines and literary journals, genres, poetry, children’s/young adult writing, fiction, non-fiction, publicity and self-publishing. There will also be a session for authors to pitch their work and get instant feedback as well as an agents/editors panel.
Keynote speaker is author and television personality Sonia Manzano. Having originated the role of “Maria” on Sesame Street, Manzano wrote two children’s books, No Dogs Allowed (Simon and Schuster, 2004) and A Box Full of Kittens (Simon and Schuster, 2007), and will have her first YA novel, The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano, published by Scholastic in Fall 2012.
Registration for writers and vendors is now open for the conference.
Las Comadres is a nationwide grassroots-based group of Latinas launched informally in 2000 in Austin, TX. The national networks, created in 2003, have grown to over 100 US cities. Its 15,000 strong membership keeps Latinas connected via email networks, teleconferences, and monthly potluck events in individual cities. In conjunction with the Association of American Publishers, it sponsors a national book club promoting the work of Latino authors and encouraging literacy. The National Latino Book Club is currently celebrating its fourth year
Now that it’s been circulating around for a while, I thought I’d show off the gorgeous Diverse Energies cover right here, in case you missed it in the hundred other places people are talking about it. In other news, I haven’t had much time for blogging lately, but I am working hard on Awakening by Karen Sandler (Tankborn 2) and New Worlds by Shana Mlawski (spring books) as well as books for next fall that include Joseph Bruchac’s next book. Here’s the description we sent to Publisher’s Marketplace:
Stacy Whitman at Lee & Low Books has bought world rights for Wolf Mark author Joseph Bruchac’s newest YA Killer of Enemies, a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel with a steampunk twist, for publication in fall 2013 under the Tu Books imprint. Described as “space cowboys in the new Old West,” it retells the story of Lozen, the monster slayer of Apache legend, in a world where space dust has rendered digital technology obsolete. Barbara S. Kouts of the Barbara S. Kouts Agency did the deal.
Awesome, right? I’m SO EXCITED for it, you guys. And, without further ado, check out this gorgeousness from designer Ben Mautner. And the lineup? If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out after the cover.
No one can doubt that the wave of the future is not the conquest of the world by a single dogmatic creed but the liberation of the diverse energies of free nations and free men. No one can doubt that cooperation in the pursuit of knowledge must lead to freedom of the mind and freedom of the soul.
—President John F. Kennedy, from a speech at University of California, March 23, 1962
In a world gone wrong, heroes and villains are not always easy to distinguish and every individual has the ability to contribute something powerful.
In this stunning collection of original and rediscovered stories of tragedy and hope, the stars are a diverse group of students, street kids, good girls, kidnappers, and child laborers pitted against their environments, their governments, differing cultures, and sometimes one another as they seek answers in their dystopian worlds. Take a journey through time from a nuclear nightmare of the past to society’s far future beyond Earth with these eleven stories by masters of speculative fiction. Includes stories by Paolo Bacigalupi, K. Tempest Bradford, Rahul Kanakia, Rajan Khanna, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ken Liu, Malinda Lo, Ellen Oh, Cindy Pon, Greg Van Eekhout, and Daniel H. Wilson. Edited by Tobias Buckell and Joe Monti.
On Facebook today, I’ve started a poll that anyone is welcome to answer. Let me know: do you prefer e-books to print books or vice versa? Both, depending on the circumstances? Or do you forget e-books entirely and go for audio instead of e-books? Check it out and weigh in!
And if you aren’t on FB, feel free to weigh in here in the comments!