NEWSFLASH (please spread the word): Patchwork Collective Virtual Mentors

Hi again,

this is a Multiculturalism Rocks! premiere: you’re treated to two posts in one day, and this one is also the bearer of great news!


The Patchwork Collective for Writers of Color is accepting
applications for its Virtual Mentoring Program! If you are a writer of
children’s literature looking to improve your craft and get a better
understanding of the children’s publishing industry, read on.

Participants will be invited to join an online group and receive
personalized advice from mentors on manuscripts and technique (no more
than one critique of 10 pages of a long-form work, or 1 PB over the 8
week period), industry- and craft-related information (books,
conferences, helpful organizations, Web sites, etc.), and more.
Mentors will not be offering referrals to any agents or editors. If
you are a writer of color in the “intermediate” stage of your pursuit
of a career in children’s literature, this is an opportunity for
one-on-one online communication with a published children’s book
author (PB-YA).

Mentors include authors Kelly Starlings-Lyons, Y.S. Lee, N.H. Senzai,
Ebony Joy Wilkins, Jerry Craft, Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Neesha
Meminger, Christine Taylor-Butler, Jennifer Cervantes, Crystal Allen,
and Rachel Renee Russell. They are generously donating their time and
expertise to this project, and I am extremely grateful.

If you are a writer of color 18 or over interested in this
opportunity, please send 1) a short (one paragraph) biographical
sketch of your work/writing career so far; include the URL of your Web
site if you have one 2) the classes, groups, conferences or other
resources you’ve been involved with, etc. and 3) a one-page writing
sample (for mentor matching purposes, not to be evaluated) to This is for writers of CHILDREN’S
LITERATURE ONLY, defined as picture book (PB)-young adult (YA).

APPLICATION in the subject line. Submissions that do not adhere to
these guidelines will be discarded. There are at least 10 spots
available, and matching will be first-come first-served, according to
genre. The Spring 2011 submission process is open from Feb 1-Feb 4.

Disclosure: information received from
Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
8TH GRADE SUPERZERO (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic)

Note: Olugbemisola was interviewed about the program by Doret, at the Happy Nappy Bookseller. Read about it here!


A Multicultural Interview Round-Up & Help for Nashville

Hello and Merry Monday!

Here are past and current interviews of authors, from fellow bloggers, you don’t wanna miss.

o Dia Reeves is the author of BLEEDING VIOLET, an amazing and remarkable debut novel, which received rave reviews all over the blogosphere! Some of the reviews can be found @ Reading in Color, the Happy Nappy Bookseller and Manga Maniac Cafe, just to quote a few.
Dia’s interview, dated May 1st, 2010, can be found on Ari’s blog. She is also featured at Color Online, a blog dedicated to women writers of color. BLEEDING VIOLET is published by Simon Pulse (Simon & Schuster).

o You are going to love this! Zetta Elliot is the author of the award-winning picture book BIRD, published by Lee & Low Books, and of A WISH AFTER MIDNIGHT, a YA novel. Zetta’s story is as surprising as it is inspiring. She encountered challenge after challenge on her road to publication, so she decided to self-publish her novel. When Amazon expanded by becoming a publisher, the editor(s) picked up AWAM for publication. Author Mitali Perkins interviewed Zetta a few days ago. The interview is titled (partial title): AMAZON AS A PUBLISHER?
Sure you wonder as well! 😀

o Congratulations to Tonya Cherie Hegamin, author of MOST LOVED IN ALL THE WORLD (Publisher: Houghton Mifflin), and Korean Native illustrator Taeeun Yoo, for ONLY A WITCH CAN FLY (Publisher: McMillan), both winners of the Ezra Jack Keats Awards! Zetta Attended the award ceremony and has short videos to share. 🙂

o Zetta strikes again with another must-read interview!!! Kidlit editor Laura Atkins talked to Zetta Elliot about her strategies for finding writers of color. Following a conversation on Scholastic Editor AnnMarie Anderson’s post on Multiculturalism Rocks!, Zetta kindly gave us the link to Editor Laura Atkins’ November interview. A must-read! (Thanks, Zetta)
React to the interview here!

o Best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith, whose blog Cynsations does not need an introduction *smile*, has a wonderful interview of debut novelist Christina Diaz Gonzalez. Christina is the author of THE RED UMBRELLA. She starts the interview by sharing the impact that the writers & illustrators organization SCBWI had in her journey. Her story is simply amazing. Here is a sneak peek:
“My book is loosely based on parents’ experience in coming to the U.S. and that of the other 14,000 children who were part of Operation Pedro Pan (a secret program where over 14,000 Cuban children were sent by their parents to the U.S. alone in order to escape Castro’s Communist revolution).”
Read the full interview here.

o Last but not least, writers unite to raise funds for food relief for Nashville, TN. As you know, Nashville has been devasted by a recent flood, and the death tool in the region is already up to 23 people. Amanda Morgan, Victoria Schwab and Myra McEntire are the organizers of the project titled DO THE RIGHT THING FOR NASHVILLE, also the name of the blog where you will find more information and ongoing fantastic auctions.

Is there something you’d like to put up for auction? Do you have any question? Contact the organizers:
dtwtfn at gmail dot com!

Here’s the project Facebook Page.

Please, spread the word.

That’s a wrap. Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful week! I look forward to hearing from you. Feel free to share links to more interviews in the comments. 🙂