the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults Author Blog

Julie Berry and THE PASSION OF DOLSSA

Posted by Sarah Johnson on Thu, May 05, 2016 @ 08:05 AM
Today we celebrate Julie Berry's novel, The Passion of Dolssa, published by Viking Children’s Books.

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Buried deep within the archives of a convent in medieval France is an untold story of love, loss, and wonder and the two girls at the heart of it all.  

Dolssa is an upper-crust city girl with a secret lover and an uncanny gift. Branded a heretic, she’s on the run from the friar who condemned her mother to death by fire, and wants Dolssa executed, too.

Botille is a matchmaker and a tavern-keeper, struggling to keep herself and her sisters on the right side of the law in their seaside town of Bajas.

When their lives collide by a dark riverside, Botille rescues a dying Dolssa and conceals her in the tavern, where an unlikely friendship blooms. Aided by her sisters and Symo, her surly but loyal neighbor, Botille nurses Dolssa back to health and hides her from her pursuers.  But all of Botille’s tricks, tales, and cleverness can’t protect them forever, and when the full wrath of the Church bears down upon Bajas, Dolssa’s passion and Botille’s good intentions could destroy the entire village. 

From the author of the award-winning All the Truth That's in Me comes a spellbinding thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final page and make you wonder if miracles really are possible. 

 

Welcome, Julie! Can you share who was your favorite character to write and why?

Favorites are always tricky for me, because I love all my characters, but I can say this: the hardest was Dolssa, my ethereal mystic; the most playful was Sapdalina, who is a bit of a comic-relief character with a bit of a “My Fair Lady” arc; the two that had the tightest hold on my heart were Botille, who probably gets the Main Character crown in this large ensemble cast, and Symo, the surly grump of a newcomer to town who exasperates Botille to no end, but is always there when she needs help.  

What was the most difficult element to cut/change during the revision process and why?

I’m not sure if I’ve recovered enough yet from the revision process for this book to be able to talk about it without my eyeballs twitching. This novel went through more iterations than I can count. Not just revisions, but structural overhauls, charts, spreadsheets, color-coding, cutting, trimming, honing. It was a nightmare, perhaps, but in a way, it was also an incredibly stimulating puzzle to unravel. It was worth it.  

Tell us about your writing community. Are you in a critique group? Does a family member read your early drafts?

 I belong to a writing group and a critique group, and both are vital to my sanity and productivity. In fact, as I write this response, I’m sitting in a library quiet study room with Larissa Theule (S3Q2, Summer 2009) and Catherine Linka (Winter 2006). We meet weekly to write together. I also belong to a critique group of Boston area writers that has kindly let me stay involved via Skype group chats. We meet when someone has finished an entire novel and we give it a global critique and love-fest. Their input has been lifesaving. My dearest and lifelong bosom buddy, Ginger Johnson (S3Q2, Summer 2009) always reads my manuscripts, bless her, and I treasure her input. My husband Phil is a brilliant reader. He reads my completed drafts, and occasionally I’ll let him see a partial. He’s my canary in the well – I know if he survives my early pages, I’m onto something.

What's your writing superpower?JulieBerry_2013_HiRezPublicityPhoto.jpg

Hm, I wish I had one! My husband would say that it is my ability to throw out what I’ve written and start over. A capacity for taking out the trash feels like a dubious power indeed. Also, I’ve seen a handful of bloggers say things like, “Julie Berry is unafraid to make her characters suffer.” Another curious accolade. Is sadism a superpower? I know what they mean, though, and I guess I’ll take it.  

Tell us about something special you keep on your desk/wall as you work.

A catastrophic mess. I’m sort of a Pigpen of domestic clutter. Unlike Pigpen, I’m not proud of it. But maybe that’s my superpower. Someone once asked me at an author event how I managed to write books with four kids. I told them that I was capable of functioning amid a level of mess and chaos that would drive many women smack out of their minds. It’s true. But I should really try harder to find the floor.

What unusual swag do you wish you could make for this book? 

It isn’t swag, but I want make a live-action cinematic trailer for this book. I think it screams for one. Who knows; perhaps I will.

Who were your advisors at VCFA?

I worked with Cynthia Leitich Smith, Brent Hartinger, and Tim Wynne-Jones. (I transferred in from Simmons College, so I only needed three semesters.) I was incredibly lucky in each case. Cyn held me together as I came face to face with all my writing weaknesses, and rewrote the beginning of The Amaranth Enchantment five times, once per packet. The poor dear! Brent worked with me on my critical thesis, which was a transformative experience, and he helped me channel the momentum I’d been building with Cyn into a completed draft of Amaranth. He was wonderfully encouraging and kind. With Tim’s wisdom and affection buoying me up, I wrote All the Truth That’s in Me and the first draft of The Rat Brain Fiasco. They launched me. I love them all.

What is your favorite VCFA memory?

Oh, where to begin? The dances! The nervous excitement of waiting to learn who my instructor would be. The sleepless jitters the night before giving my graduating lecture, nearly rewriting the entire thing. Goofing around and bonding with others in the dorms. NECI breakfasts and cookies – I’m easy to please. J Tromping through the snow. Finding kindred spirits.

One of my best VCFA memories now is that experience I’ve had, more than once, of helping an applicant who is considering VCFA overcome their hesitation and take the plunge, and then hearing afterwards how blissfully happy they are with that choice, and how grateful they are for the nudge. Advice is a tricky business, fraught with peril, but this one’s a slam-dunk, and it’s wonderful to see the glow in their eyes afterwards.

What do you wish you had known before you first set foot on the VCFA campus?

I suspect that the thing I wish I’d known was knowledge that I could only learn from submitting to the VCFA experience, a perspective I could only earn with time. I needed to learn to surrender my ambitions, my competitive urges, my eagerness to prove myself or find validation in writing achievement. I needed to let myself be a beginner and a student. I needed to give myself full, genuine permission to fail, and I needed the courage to allow others to see me fail. I needed to learn how to keep on going when no progress seemed evident, and I needed to let myself be taught and inspired by everyone around me – not just the most popular instructors, but every student. In other words, I needed to get out of my own way and patiently do the work, without saddling it with expectations. It was only when I began to learn to do that that my writing began to reach toward progress.

Can you tell us about your graduating class?

I entered VCFA with the Cliffhangers (Summer 2008) but because I transferred in, I graduated before them, with the Dedications  (Winter 2008). So I guess I’m a Cliffcation. Ooh, no, a Dedhanger. 

Sleep-deprived, wild-haired, rarely tidy, usually tardy, constantly grazing, generally fretting, and increasingly forgetful, Julie Berry writes teens and raises books.  She is the author of many books including The Amaranth Enchantment, Secondhand Charm, All the Truth That’s In Me, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, and the Splurch Academy for Disruptive Boys series.

 Visit Julie online at www.julieberrybooks.com

Topics: young adult, Julie Berry, 2016 release, historical fiction, Viking Children's

HOORAY FOR VCFA! Jandy! Kekla! Julie! Jackie! YAY!

Posted by Tami Brown on Tue, Feb 03, 2015 @ 09:02 AM
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Yesterday the American Library Association announced its most prestigious awards for young people's literature and Vermont College of Fine Arts alums led the way!

Three cheers for Jandy Nelson whose I'll Give You The Sun won the Printz award- the highest honor for a young adult work.

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The Printz Committee said "(o)nce inseparable, twins Noah and Jude are torn apart by a family tragedy that transforms their intense love for each other into intense anger. Timelines twist and turn around each other in beautifully orchestrated stories of love and longing."

I'll Give You the Sun also received a Stonewall Book Award Honor as a book of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience. Make that six cheers!

Kekla Magoon's How It Went Down received a Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor! Hip Hip Hooray for Kekla, a member of the class of Summer 2005 and a new VCFA faculty member!!

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Julie Berry's wonderfully fun and powerfully written The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place received an Odyssey Audio Book Award Honor. The committee said "(i)n a very clever, very fun, very Victorian murder mystery, young boarding school ladies bury the dead while maintaining perfect manners. Jayne Entwistle makes death-by-poison a laugh riot with her dark, dry narration and amazingly lively characters in this delightfully macabre tale."

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And finally former VCFA faculty member and forever friend Jackie Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming scooped more awards winning the Coretta Scott King Author Award, a Newbery Honor, a Sibert Honor! Triple Play (plus the National Book Award and how many more? Here's to a jacket plastered with wonderful award stickers!)

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Fireworks, champagne and confetti for all the wonderful VCFA books published in 2015 and a special toast to Julie, Kekla, Jackie and Jandy for this fabulous recognition!


Topics: 2014 release, Kekla Magoon, Jandy Nelson, Printz Award, Odyssey Award, Coretta Scott King Award, Jacqueline Woodson, congratulations, Julie Berry, American Library Association

October Round-Up!

Posted by Adi Rule on Fri, Nov 07, 2014 @ 05:11 AM

awardsDeborah WilesRevolution (Scholastic) was shortlisted for the National Book Award. Wow!

Congratulations to Joyce Ray, who has won a 2014 Silver Moonbeam award for Feathers & Trumpets: A Story of Hildegard of Bingen (Apprentice Shop Books, illus. Lisa Greenleaf)!

Hooray for Linda Oatman High, who has won a 2014 Gold Moonbeam award for Teeny Little Grief Machines (Saddleback Educational Publishing)!

Brotherhood by Anne (A. B.) Westrick has won the inaugural Housatonic Book Award for Writing for Middle Grades and YA. Congratulations, Anne!

Congratulations to Kelly Bingham (Z is for Moose) and Julie Berry (All the Truth That's In Me) for their UKLA Award nominations!

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It's here! The cover for Anne Bustard's Anywhere But Paradise (Egmont USA, 2015) has been revealed . . . and we love it!

Author/illustrator pj lyons has sold two board books to Zonderkidz. Wahoo!

The new collection EMINEM and Rap, Poetry, Race (McFarland) includes an essay by our own Stephen Bramucci!

We're having triple celebrations with Wendie Old, whose biographies The Wright Brothers, Aviation Pioneers and Inventors; The Life of Duke Ellington, Giant of Jazz; and The Life of Louis Armstrong, King of Jazz (Enslow), have been released in paperback and ebook.

 

 

  

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Dana Walrath gave a brilliant TEDx talk on Comics, Medicine, and Memory. MediaBistro/Galleycat gave her a nice shout-out and so did Entertainment Weekly. Wow!

Publishers Weekly came out with their list of Best Children's Books of 2014, and it includes Deborah Wiles' Revolution, A. S. King's Glory O'Brien's History of the Future, and Jandy Nelson's I'll Give You the Sun!

The YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominations continue, and we're thrilled to see Caminar by Skila BrownGlory O'Brien's History of the Future by A. S. KingEvil Librarian by Michelle KnudsenHow It Went Down by Kekla Magoon, I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson, and Revolution by Deborah Wiles on the list!

The Los Angeles Times posted a great review of Kekla Magoon's How It Went Down.

The Huffington Post named Girl on a Wire by Gwenda Bond one of 5 Great Reads for Your Bookclub.

Buzzfeed listed Micol Ostow's Amity one of 13 Young Adult Novels to Spook You This Halloween

And for more spookiness, check out Michelle Knudsen's Evil Librarian on Mashable's 9 Scary YA Books for Halloween Fans Too Old to Trick-or-Treat! (If you need us, we'll be under the covers!)

 

Topics: Linda Oatman High, round-up, Saddleback Educational Publishing, Scholastic, Apprentice Shop Books, Joyce Ray, A. B. Westrick, Deborah Wiles, Skila Brown, Kekla Magoon, Kelly Bingham, Jandy Nelson, Dana Walrath, Wendie Old, McFarland, Enslow, congratulations, Julie Berry, Micol Ostow, A. S. King, Michelle Knudsen, Stephen Bramucci, pj lyons, Zonderkidz, Gwenda Bond

Julie Berry & THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD OF PRICKWILLOW PLACE!

Posted by Adi Rule on Tue, Sep 23, 2014 @ 06:09 AM

Happy launch day to Julie Berry, whose new middle grade murder mystery, The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, drops today from Roaring Brook Press! 

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There's a murderer on the loose—but that doesn't stop the girls of St. Etheldreda's from attempting to hide the death of their headmistress in this rollicking farce.

The students of St. Etheldreda's School for Girls face a bothersome dilemma. Their irascible headmistress, Mrs. Plackett, and her surly brother, Mr. Godding, have been most inconveniently poisoned at Sunday dinner. Now the school will almost certainly be closed and the girls sent home—unless these seven very proper young ladies can hide the murders and convince their neighbors that nothing is wrong.

Julie Berry's The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place is a smart, hilarious Victorian romp, full of outrageous plot twists, mistaken identities, and mysterious happenings.

Thanks for stopping by, Julie! Now, for all the scandalous details . . .

Who was your favorite character to write and why?

Oh, dear. I’ve given my story seven heroines, and a whole cast of goofy supporting characters, and I love them all. It’s like choosing which is your favorite child. I will say, though, that I had a lot of fun writing Disgraceful Mary Jane, that shameless flirt who values rules no more than last night’s carnations, and Reverend Rumsey, the tipsy vicar who preaches against the evils of drink. He made me giggle a lot.

What was the most difficult element to cut/change during the revision process and why

Well, I’ll just say that I originally thought the novel would be a YA when I sold it, so when we decided to skew a little younger, I had to alter a few shenanigans involving, who else, Disgraceful Mary Jane. Nothing too too scandalous, at least not for our modern sensibilities, but very oh là là for the Victorians!

What was the spark that ignited this book?

It was definitely a spark this time. Generally my stories slither out of a primordial ooze swamp, but this one was electric. I was listening to a lecture about Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, one published by the Great Courses Company, and the professor, John Sutherland, contrasted the regiments of soldiers (in the Napoleonic wars) who appear in the novel with the sheer number of marriageable young ladies in the story. He said, “There’s a veritable regiment of maidens.” I was driving at the time, and I did not cause a crash, nor break the law, but nevertheless I had a real lightbulb moment then. “A regiment of maidens? I have to write that story.” And that’s how The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place began.

Do you write in silence? If not, what’s your soundtrack?

I do write in silence. I’m always amazed at the people who can write to playlists. I love music, but I find it completely distracting when I want to write. I could possibly get by on instrumental music, but I’m never organized enough to plan ahead and make a playlist. I do have two favorite Chopin albums, one of nocturnes and one of waltzes, that are my go-tos for car rides when I want to think. Sometimes the car is the only place where I can think in my life with four sons.

Tell us about your writing community. Are you in a critique group? Does your son or mom read your early drafts? Is Twitter your bastion of support?

I have just recently joined a critique group, and it’s been great. We swap finished manuscripts, though, and I haven’t yet submitted one, though I plan to soon. My page count may make them want to eject me from the club. :) I used to be much more heavily involved in manuscript swapping when I was in graduate school, and I think it was critical to my education. Over time my critique pals and I shifted to a sort of as-needed basis. My husband, Phil, is my first reader, and I value his opinion and judgment beyond price. My next reader is fellow VCFA alum and lifelong bestie, Ginger Johnson, July '09, the Super Secret Society of Quirk and Quill (S cubed, q squared), bless her longsuffering heart!

Who were your advisors at VCFA?

I was beyond lucky to work with Cynthia Leitich Smith, Brent Hartinger, and Tim Wynne-Jones. Each helped me tremendously in their own distinctive ways. The reason I have three advisors, and not four, is that I transferred into Vermont College after spending a year at a different graduate program, one where I learned a tremendous amount about literary theory and criticism, for which I’m forever grateful. I did have a creative writing advisor there, and she happened to be VCFA alumn Hannah Barnaby, author of Wonder Show. Her encouragement for my train-wreck of a first novel draft is a big reason why I’m a writer today. I could say the same for all of my advisors, though. Cyn really kept propping my confidence up at a time when my saggy prose kept pulling me down. I’m forever grateful.

How did attending VCFA affect your writing life?

I’m in awe of the many authors I know who didn’t attend an MFA program, because for me, it’s clear that I wouldn’t have a writing life at all, period, end of story, if it hadn’t been for the Montpelier Magic. I can list the sort of brochure-y reasons why I went, and why it helped me, but in the end it’s something intangible. I needed the structure. I needed instruction. I needed to be assigned to write and read. I needed to associate with people who had really published and discover that they didn’t have inspiration fizzing about their hair follicles (except that some of them did) and that they ate their hummus one scoop at a time just like I did. I needed to absorb lectures in large quantity, and learn workshopping skills (and the single greatest skill to be learned there, the one most often overlooked, is kindness). All these things are vital and true, but in the end I suspect it’s just something in the water there. There’s a reason we call it Brigadoon.

What advice would you give to a prospective VCFA student?

Be willing to be the worst writer in the room, and learn. Go to more lectures than you think you need, but not so many that you have a nervous breakdown. In workshops, be kind. It’s possible to offer highly useful feedback while still being kind. Be willing to make friends with everyone. Have fun, and take full advantage of the opportunity to be a student there. You’ll miss it when it’s done.

describe the imageThanks, Julie! The raves are already pouring in for The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place, and we can't wait to guess whodunnit!

Julie is a member of January 2008's The Dedications (and also an honorary Cliffhanger, by virtue of transferring in when they arrived). We're thrilled to welcome her latest book!

Julie Berry has never solved a murder or attended boarding school. Her manners are decidedly improper. But she is part of a scandalous sisterhood. She's the youngest of seven children, six of whom are girls, and if they'd ever had a chance to conceal a corpse and run a school, they'd have jumped on it. Today she lives in southern California with her husband and their four sons and two cats.

Check out the trailer here!

Learn more on the Publisher's Weekly ShelfTalker blog and at www.julieberrybooks.com.

Topics: 2014 release, middle grade, Roaring Brook Press, Julie Berry

Roundup: ALA Accolades, the Coretta Scott King Award, and More!

Posted by Tami Brown on Sat, Jul 05, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

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We hope you had a spectacular Independence Day! We're setting off our own VCFA fireworks around here to celebrate this week's fantastic news!

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Rita Williams-Garcia delivered a stunning acceptance speech as she received the 2014 Coretta Scott King award for her novel P.S. Be ElevenRead the entire speech here.

Catherine Linka's novel A Girl Called Fearless attracted extra attention at ALA's Marketing Committee's Speed Dating Event. School Library Journal columnist Lisa Kropp highlighted Catherine's novel as one that "really caught my ear and eye." 

Buzzfeed lists Julie Berry's All the Truth That's In Me as one of its "19 Truly Brilliant Young Adult Books You Can Enjoy At Any Age." We agree!

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Cover Girl Anne Westrick graces Richmond Parents Monthly Magazine with a story about her novel Brotherhood and Richmond Civil War history!

Have a wonderful week, everyone -- especially those of you heading up to Montpelier for the MFA-WCYA summer residency!

Topics: round-up, A. B. Westrick, congratulations, Julie Berry, Catherine Linka, Rita Williams-Garcia

Roundup - Bank Street Honors VCFA Authors, Book Deals & More

Posted by Tami Brown on Fri, Jun 13, 2014 @ 06:06 AM

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It may be Friday the thirteenth (and a full moon at that!) but at VCFA it's our lucky day!

Bank Street College of Education recently released its list of Best Books of 2014 and there are a slew of familiar Vermont College of Fine Arts names on the list. Check out this honor roll of VCFA writers!

senorpancho vampirebaby cowboyup yeslets robotgobot penelopecrumb psbeeleven thevinebasket describe the image parched formerlysharkgirl 45pounds

Señor Pancho Had a Rancho by René Colato Laínez, illustrated by Elwood Smith (Holiday House). Old MacDonald and Señor Pancho both have a lot of noisy farm animals in this festive, bilingual sing-a-long. Lively ink and watercolor illustrations

Vampire Baby by Kelly Bennett, illustrated by Paul Meisel (Candlewick Press). Big brother is certain that his baby sister—who chomps everything in sight—must be a vampire, so he tries to find the right home for her. Humorous mixed-media color illustrations.

Cowboy Up!: Ride the Navajo Rodeo by Nancy Bo Flood, photographs by Jan Sonnenmair (Wordsong/Boyds Mills Press/Highlights) A day of roping and riding competitions at a rodeo is depicted through photographs, poetry, and prose.

Yes, Let’s by Galen Goodwin Longstreth, illustrated by Maris Wicks (Tanglewood) A family trip to the woods, including a hike, a picnic, and swimming, packs a lot of fun into one day. Colorful, humorous illustrations.

Robot, Go Bot! by Dana Meachen Rau, illustrated by Wook Jin Jung (Random House). Simple words, in comic-style balloons, tell the engaging story of a bossy girl and her robot.

Penelope Crumb Never Forgets by Shawn K. Stout, illustrated by Valeria Docampo (Philomel Books/Penguin) When a quirky, spirited girl establishes her Ultra Museum of Forget-Me-Notters, her choice of objects to represent her loved ones causes havoc. Black-and-white puppet-like illustrations.

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia (Amistad Press/HarperCollins) Life gets complicated for the Gaither sisters in 1968 Brooklyn—Dad’s in love, uncle Darnell’s home from Vietnam, and the Jackson Five are coming to town.

The Vine Basket by Josanne La Valley (Clarion/HMH) Mehrigul, a Uyghur farm girl and gifted basketmaker, longs to go back to school but must battle her aggressive father, her depressed mother, and the Chinese rulers who have invaded her homeland.

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing) Twelve-year-old Chap Brayburn, along with the Sugar Man and two raccoons, must save the Texas swamp and its rare inhabitants from animal and human predators. Fast-paced and funny.

Parched by Melanie Crowder (Harcourt Children’s Books/HMH) Sarel and Musa use their knowledge of the land to survive after the violent deaths of family members and abuse by gang members brought on by a devastating drought.

Formerly Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham (Candlewick Press) Jane, a high school senior recovering from the loss of her arm from a shark attack, discovers her special talents as well as her responsibilities to herself and others. Told in narrative verse. (Sequel to Shark Girl)

45 Pounds (More or Less) by K. A. Barson (Viking/Penguin) Emotional eater Ann has allowed her weight to control her life, until she is faced with her aunt’s wedding. She then acquires a greater understanding of her family.

HOORAY VCFA!

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Hailed for its creepy cool cover (we think it's a twisted tip of the hat to Downton Abbey!) Fuse #8's blog at School Library Journal featured Julie Berry's upcoming release The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place (Roaring Brook Press).


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With months still to go before its publication date, Dianne White's Blue On Blue (Beach Lane Press) has received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. Way to go, Dianne! This is the first of many accolades this beautiful book will receive!

 

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Happy launch week to Makeover Magic, the third book in Jill Santopolo's delightful Sparkle Spa series! Jill stopped by The Launchpad to talk about this series back in March -- read about it here if you missed it!

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A. B. Westrick's critically acclaimed middle grade novel Brotherhood (Viking 2013) is out this week in paperback!

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NEW BOOK CONTRACTS!

Coretta Scott King/Steptoe Award winner Kekla Magoon's The Guerilla Life of Manolo Cabesas, the story of a rural teen's transformation into a hardened soldier for a rebel army in South America, to Andrea Tompa at Candlewick, by Michelle Humphrey at the Martha Kaplan Agency (World). Congratulations, Kekla!!

Cynthia Surrisi sold her debut middle-grade mystery, The Maypop Kidnapping to Carolrhoda. It's set in a small coastal Maine village filled with eccentric locals; when 13-year-old Quinnie's beloved teacher goes missing, Quinnie leads a relentless, sometimes misguided search – against her mother's orders and it's scheduled for publication in 2015! Hooray Cynthia!

Erin Hagar sold a biography that's sure to be near and dear to our hearts-- and tummies! Julia Child: An Extraordinary Life in Words and Pictures, beautifully illustrated and aimed at 8 to 12 year olds, will be published next spring by DUOPRESS Books. We can't wait, Erin. Bon Appetit! 

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KPPrize

And last but not least...

The deadline for the Katherine Paterson Prize at Hunger Mountain is fast approaching! (June 30th) Enter your Young Adult, Middle Grade, or Picture Book manuscripts (up to 10,000 words). This year's judge is Katherine Applegate, Newbery-winning author of The One and Only Ivan and dozens of other books. There's a $1000 first prize, and past winners have found literary agents and ultimately sold books to major presses following the publication of their winning pieces at Hunger Mountain. Please visit Hunger Mountain at www.hungermtn.org/contests for guidelines.

Topics: Candlewick Press, Holiday House, Elwood Smith, 2014 release, round-up, Shawn K. Stout, Philomel, Penguin Random House, Kathi Appelt, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, HMH Books For Young Readers, A. B. Westrick, Kekla Magoon, Kelly Bingham, Paul Meisel, Roaring Brook Press, Viking, 2013 release, Jan Sonnenmair, Maris Wicks, Cynthia Surrisi, Kelly Bennett, Nancy Bo Flood, Wordsong, Amistad Press, K. A. Barson, Random House, congratulations, Julie Berry, Melanie Crowder, Rita Williams-Garcia, Rene Colato Lainez, Jill Santopolo, Aladdin, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Dianne White, Valeria Docampo, Beach Lane Books, Boyds Mills Press, Highlights, Galen Goodwin Longstreth, Tanglewood, Josanne La Valley, Clarion, Dana Meachen Rau, Wook Jin Jung

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