Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful new year! Hope it’s started well and that it brings you much joy. If you’re a writer or teacher, here’s a recent list of resources you might find useful:
- Diverse Verse contains a list of novels-in-verse, old and new, that I read or re-read last year, as well as teaching activities (such as these lesson plan insights by Valerie Bolling and Lisa Stringfellow), interviews (such as Nadine Pinede’s chat with Marilyn Nelson), writing prompts (including those featured by our student intern Avalon Lee during Poetry Month 2022), reviews of award-winning novels in verse (like Reem Faruqi’s review of Veera Hiranandani or Suma Subramaniam’s review of Rajani LaRocca or Ari Tison’s review of Amber McBride) and story-behind-the-story essays (such as this behind-the-scene take on A SEED IN THE SUN by Aida Salazar or these essays by Leslea Newman and Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie). In case you aren’t aware, #DiverseVerse is an initiative that I founded, which is growing with the help of wonderful authors and educators. If you self-identify with a marginalized or underrepresented community and are an author or educator who’d like to join us, please contact me!
- I was delighted to be invited to share a #writing tip by Newbery Award-winning author Avi, and was thrilled to be interviewed on Newbery Award-winning author Karen Cushman’s website.
- I was also honored to share my thoughts on my experience of being the target of cyber-bullies in an essay published by Renaissance Learning – alongside essays by Jacqueline Woodson and Francisco X Stork, and featured on Edith Campbell’s blog.
On a personal note, I was so grateful that BORN BEHIND BARS received multiple awards (Julia Ward Howe / Boston Authors Club Award), South Asia Book Award, Nerdy Book Award, and Malka Penn Award Honor, in addition to the many amazing honors that it won in 2021; and it was an amazing experience to keynote three sessions at NCTE 22 and to be a keynote speaker at VAASL, which allowed me to return to Williamsburg, where I once was a student! I also loved spending time teaching in Southampton in summer ’22 … was blown away to be invited as a featured author at the Arizona Author festival, among others, where I ate one of the most beautiful desserts ever, before hiking in the desert with my beautiful family.
2022 was also a tough year in many ways, but I look forward to good things in 2023, including school visits, which I always love – and – coming up very soon, a keynote at the Write to Learn conference in MO. If you’d like to schedule a keynote or presentation or school visit, please feel free to reach out to my speaking agency, The Author Village, and copy me, as well. Thank you so much for your support!
A few of many happy moments in ’22… but hope ’23 will be better!