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. 🙂



MultiCultural Round-Up: SCBWI Conference and more…

I’m so excited about the following announcements!

SCBWI once again gives us something to celebrate. The Summer Conference will be open for registration on April 21 at 10 AM PDT. As always, the program is fabulous. Mouthwatering. Where do I start?

Even if the organizers do not always state so in the program, cultural diversity is never ignored in SCBWI international events. In previous conferences, I had the opportunity to listen to and sometimes interact with outstanding, award-winning authors and illustrators such as Jacqueline Woodson, Nikki Grimes, Sherman Alexie (I nearly passed out when he said “hi.” I’m ridiculous, I know. Some can’t handle their liquor. I’m like a kid when I meet my literary heroes.), Kadir Nelson, etc… The international conferences, New York and Los Angeles, could be considered pricey depending on your budget; however, trust me, they are totally worth it. If you are a writer or illustrator, it is an investment in your career. It could be a defining moment. For everyone, publishers, publicists and who-did-I-miss?, it is an extraordinary opportunity to network.

Back to the 2010 Summer conference in L.A. Among the fabulous keynote speakers are Jon Scieszka, Gennifer Choldenko, Illustrators E.B. Lewis, Ashley Bryan… The premium workshops, available for an extra fee, fill up pretty quickly. Within the hour in some cases. This year there is an opportunity to work on your YA manuscript with DelaCorte (Random House) Senior Editor Krista Marino (the link is an interview she gave on Shelli Johannes’ Market My Words in 2009), on picture book craft with Golden Books Editorial Director Diane Muldrow, to learn about graphic novels, digital illustration and more…

The conference fee includes sessions such as Writing for Magazines, Solving Plot Problems, Media 101: How to Make the Most of Twitter, Blogging etc… Read the complete program. You won’t regret it.

I saved the best for all. SCBWI did it!!! *You can’t see, but I’m actually doing the happy dance in my living room*
They’ve included the following break-out session: WRITING MULTI-CULTURAL IDENTITY. I’m dying to know who the presenter is. Will keep you update, and feel free to check SCBWI website on April 21 for the answer!

Of course, most if not all the sessions in the program are useful in regard to writing multicultural stories for kids and teens; however, it is really helpful to have at least one specifically dedicated to that topic.

Shameless advertisement: SCBWI rocks your socks, and I hope you’ll consider joining if not already. 😀 It’s $85 for the first membership fee, then $70 when you renew each year. Upon registering you will receive a package that, if you are a novice, will provide you with invaluable information regarding the publishing field: from the first steps to take as a writer, advices on query letters etc… plus list of children’s book publishers and magazines, and much more.

There is likely to be a SCBWI presence in your region. To find out about it, visit SCBWI website and click on regions, then regional chapters. The chapters often have monthly meetings open to members and non-members for a very small fee, as well as affordable local conferences that will enable you to meet agents and editors, while networking with fellow artists.

Okay, moving on. Didn’t expect to write so much about it. 😀

April is quite a busy month. I knew about National Poetry and School Library Month, but Edi at Crazy Quilts also mentioned Alcohol Awareness, Stress Awareness, Mathematics, Donate Life, National Jazz and National Garden. Are you still there?

Let’s start with National Poetry Month. I want to know: How do you celebrate? Share you deeds, leave the URL of your blog if you have one. I and I’m sure others will gladly visit and let ourselves be taken on the lyrical journey. Thought of using the s**k word but will refrain. Don’t laugh at me and my language barrier, I still haven’t figured out if “suck” is a bad word or not; so I’ll rephrase: I’m *terrible* when it comes to writing poetry, but so enjoy reading it over and over again.

I hope that you will visit PaperTigers’ Blog and read about their wonderful multicultural poetry round-up! You won’t regret it.

In addition PaperTigers had a shout-out to the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBYP) regarding the 1st National Children’s Book Award. Deadline is April 15. Head over for more info!

I also warmly recommend Donna’s blog, Word Wrangler NC, a place where you can get your poetry fix any time of the week. 😉

Bear with me, I have a few more announcements to make. Author Zetta Elliot’s blog, Fledgling, is on fire. Seriously. You gotta head over and read. You’ll be enlightened. I haven’t really been online for the past four weeks, so catching up, but still hung up on her posts. Thanks to her I learned about a tradition of oral storytelling picking up in Crown Heights, NY, as part of a project. A group of young women interview people who live or have lived in Crown Heights. The interviews will be donated to Brooklyn Historical Society. It made my heart feel warm when I read some of the interviews. That initiative tells me about the identity of Crown Heights. It’s like a glimpse at the soul of the neighborhood, something so rare nowadays, especially in era where neighbors hardly know each other and people hardly interact in person (Facebook and Twitter do not count). Oral tradition is important. Giving and knowing the identity of our neighborhood matters, as opposed to letting a label be put on it…

Niway, please, when you have a minute, visit Crown Heights Oral History Project.

Back to Zetta, she breaks down books written by or about Blacks in Canada. I shook my head in disbelief: Why such low numbers? Not enough Black writers? I doubt this. Even if you take the ratio of Black people forming the Canadian population, the number shouldn’t be so low. In addition, many of the books about Black people published there ship to Africa. Lots of them deal with slavery… I’ll keep reading Zetta’s blog. Want to know what her take and analysis of this phenomenon is.

Still reading? Good, because it just gets better: Edi Campbele is your highschool librarian, and she has much to say about School Library Month and the budget cut affecting school libraries. Most importantly, she needs your votes! Tell her what you think and show your support by voicing up and expressing your stand in a poll. Destination: Crazy Quilts.

Last but not least, author Medeia Sharif posted about winning MR’s March giveaway: APALA 2010 winner, Cora Cooks Pancit (Publisher: Shen’s Books). Thank you for participating, Medeia! 🙂 She also shares about her latest reads and much more.

Over a thousand words. Wow! Let’s wrap it, shall we? I wish you a delightful weekend, filled with happy reading moments.