Sunday, 26 April 2015

Saturday (oops, it's Sunday) Update #3 - April 26

It's the weekend again and I'd like to give everyone a quick status update! Next weekend's will be much longer and will contain more photos of books! All the books are coming into my office at a fast and furious pace now, and I think by next week a proper Bookish Photoshoot might be in order.

A Note on Shipping: Please, please make sure you mark your envelopes clearly! I work for a distributor and we receive HUNDREDS AND MILLIONS (no really) of books shipped through. If they're not marked to me, I'll have to wrestle the warehouse guys for them. I fight dirty. No one wants to see me get book-crazy mean.

As of today, a magnificent 39 authors have come forward to donate their titles. People are amazing. Really, truly amazing.

We have closed the author registration form on the site. There are still a few authors considering, but without dramatically expanding the number of participating blogs or doing the authors a disservice by skimping on interviews and excerpts, we can't possibly host more than 40.

This week, the lovely Saba Sulaiman joined our agent/editor line up to provide Wild-Cards for boxes of books in the auction.

Saba Sulaiman - Talcott Notch - Agent

Donating TEN Skip the Query Queue Wild Cards

I’m looking for strong voices and unconventional narratives that really make me sit up, pay attention, and move me. Introduce me to unforgettable characters with complex, deep relationships, and show me worlds where things aren’t necessarily as they seem. Intelligent, sharp writing with soul is my biggest weakness, and if you can offer a fresh perspective on top of that, I’ll probably be sold.
Also—and this deserves its own paragraph—I’m all about diversity, in all its various forms. Bonus points if your book contains multicultural perspectives, and themes of immigration, displacement, and cultural adjustment.

My excitement for this event just keeps going up and up. I can't wait for June! At this time, we're looking to push our promotion a bit further and make sure lots of readers can find out about the event before it happens. Here are a few banners that you can share on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads:

Help spread the word for the event and to benefit Stonewall!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Saturday Update #2 - April 18th

Hello Everyone!

It's Saturday again, and time for an update on the progress of the event. It's been another amazing week with more authors coming forward to pledge their book AND a couple of amazing agents/editors donating their time in the form of 'Wild-Cards' -- more about that to come.

Most amazingly, the first books have arrived in Edinburgh! Most of these are signed copies that I am handling with the utmost reverence. Here they are, gloriously arranged on a pink plaid blanket:

And a zoom in on the dedication written by Nina Rossing ... because aww, all the feels :S

For the records of all authors, shipping seems to take the following:

From the UK: 2-3 Business Days.
From Continental Europe: 5-7 Business Days.
From East-Coast US, City: 5-7 Business Days.
From Elsewhere in the US/Canada: 7-14 Business Days.
Australia - Absolutely No Clue.

Additionally, here are the new books that FABULOUS, ALTRUISTIC, BEAUTIFUL authors pledged this week:

I really am blown away by the number of authors who have agreed to participate in two weeks. To me, it really proves just how much desire there is in the writing community to help LGBTQ young adults both by supplying them with great fiction they can relate to, but also by actually physically donating to the programs that support them via Stonewall


Authors, Agents, and Editors ... oh my! A few fantastic publishing professionals have agreed to donate their time to the campaign via Wild-Cards. Wild Cards will feature in the boxes to be auctioned for Stonewall, not in the promotional Giveaway. 

After winning a box auction, the winner will be able to select 3 Wild-Cards to add to their box. Picks will be price structured (also donated). We haven't determined what these pick price structures will look like, but somewhere in the ballpark of £100 for first pick in addition to the auction price of the box. 

If we end up receiving more than 15 donated wild-cards, then we will also sell Wild-Cards individually for a set price (yet to be determined!). 

These agents and editors are all actively looking for diverse YA projects themselves. Yes, I creepily pinched these photos from social media (with permission). 

Brent Taylor - TriadaUS - Agent
Query Critique Wild Card x 2

Although his tastes are eclectic, all of his favorite novels are similar in that they have big commercial hooks and fantastic writing.

He is seeking smart, fun and exciting books in the following categories: Middle grade, Young Adult, Mystery/Crime, Women’s Fiction.

Patricia Nelson - Marsal Lyon Literary Agency - Agent

10pg Critique Wild Card 
Patricia represents adult, young adult, and middle grade fiction, and is actively looking to build her list.  In general, Patricia looks for compelling, well-written stories featuring complex characters that jump off the page and thoughtfully drawn, believable relationships. On the adult side, she is seeking women’s fiction, historical fiction, and accessible literary fiction, as well as contemporary and historical romance.

For YA and MG, she is open to a wide range of genres, with particular interest in contemporary/realistic, magical realism, mystery, horror, and fantasy. She is interested in seeing diverse stories and characters in all genres.

Also, I think agents like sunglasses. 
This may or may not be an overt generalisation based on a small sample size. 
These two agents rock the sunglasses. 

Stephen Morgan - Entangled Publishing - Editor

Query Critique Wild Card 
5pg + Twitter Pitch Wild Card 

For YA/NA, he’d love to see more gritty across-the-tracks romances, tortured heroes/heroines on the path to redemption, and high-concept genre pieces (biopunk, steampunk, thrillers, even fantasy or paranormal if it’s just a splash of supernatural grounded in the real world).

If your story doesn’t match any of that, don’t worry! Bottom line, if it’s fast-paced and has a strong romantic conflict, send it his way. Find a way to write your story with commercial elements and a literary voice and you’ll immediately have his attention. LGBT characters more than welcome.

Rachel Brooks - L. Perkins Agency - Agent
Query Critique Wild Card

She is excited about representing all genres of young adult and new adult fiction, as well as adult romance. While she is looking for all sub-genres of romance, she is especially interested in romantic suspense. She is also on the lookout for fun picture books.

She’s a fan of dual POVs, loves both print and ebooks, and has a soft spot for marketing savvy writers.

Maria Vicente - PS Literary - Agent
Query Critique Wild Card 

For YA books, I am looking for a few specific things to add to my list: psychological horror, magical realism, a break-up story (ideally between friends, but I’d also be open to reading an emotionally gripping break-up between a couple), and a contemporary series full of drama (think Gossip Girl). I’d also be interested in a YA short story collection if it has a great book-long theme. Above all, I am looking for diversity in YA fiction; I don’t want characters and plots I’ve read over and over again. And because I’m asked a lot: LGBTQ YA fiction is a great fit for me.

Rebecca Podos - Rees Literary - Agent

10pg Critique Wild Card

Rebecca is interested in Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction of all kinds. She's looking for projects with compelling characters whose journeys feel human, whether they're high school students, were-dragons or space travellers. 

She is thrilled to represent books like Rin Chupeco's THE GIRL FROM THE WELL (Sourcebooks), Ryan Bradford's HORROR BUSINESS (Month9Books), Mackenzi Lee's THIS MONSTROUS THING (Katherine Tegen Books, 2015), Sarah Nicolas' DRAGONS ARE PEOPLE, TOO (Entangled, 2015), Ashley Herring Blake's SUFFER LOVE (HMH Children's, 2016) Kenneth Logan's THE SLOW THAW (HarperCollins Children's, 2016), andEmily Ross's HALF IN LOVE WITH DEATH (Merit Press, 2016.)

Marietta Zacker - Nancy Galt Agency - Agent

Skip the Query Queue Wild Card x 2

Marietta has professionally experienced every aspect of children's books for over 15 years, working with authors, illustrators, publishers, educators and readers. As an agent, she is passionate about bringing those worlds together. She represents authors whose words make her pause, shiver or laugh out loud and illustrators who add a completely different dimension to the story being told. Marietta approaches her work with the knowledge that there are remarkable books of all genres, targeted to all ages, just waiting to be discovered.

Damn. That might actually be the longest blog post I've ever written. More next week and truly looking forward to the event!! 

I leave you with my cats. 

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Saturday Update #1 - April 11th

Wow! Since I started contacting potential blog hosts last week Saturday, things have been a bit of a crazy-awesome whirlwind.

In order to keep everyone up to date with the progress/evolution of the event, I'll be doing a brief update every Saturday morning on books that authors have signed up as well as items that have physically arrived in Edinburgh.

Since we posted the sign up form and the host bloggers started promoting on Wednesday night, twenty authors have come forward and said that they would be happy to donate their books. I especially want to thank Becky Albertalli for being THE FIRST. It takes a particularly lovely and altruistic person to agree to donate things via random twitter approach -- when no one else is involved yet.

Here are the cover files of all the books we've signed up so far!

The list is subject to some change until we actually receive the physical books! And, since we only opened this three days ago, I'm confident that we will sign up a few more great titles.

So many thanks to all the authors who have agreed so far. Stonewall is very excited about this! I will be posting some updates directly from them next week.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

What is Queer YA Scrabble

What are we?

Queer-YA Scrabble is an event hosted by blogs and on twitters to support Stonewall-UK and increase awareness of LGBTQ positive YA books.

Participants will hunt for letters concealed in blog posts featuring Queer YA books and then solve anagrams allowing them to compete for a chance to win a box full of great titles. Following the promotional game, another set of book-boxes will be up for bid with 100% of proceeds donated to Stonewall.

I am an author / publisher / agent - how do I help?

Please take a look at the Author Registration page! The event can't succeed without author/publisher  participation! 

I am a reader - how do I help?

The keys to success for this event are promotion and author engagement. As a reader, feel free to tweet or blog about the contest, and encourage your favourite authors to sign up! <3


The event will run from June 6th-8th, 2015. Author registration will close on May 25th, and we must receive all books by then!

Blog Hosts 

I Have Questions ... So Many Questions 

I am so very happy to answer any questions you might have! (please do ask, I refresh my phone  about 200 times a day, and it's nice for the little icon to blink)

Blog specific questions can be addressed to the blog hosts listed above! They are the sexy faces of this operation, while I am the spreadsheet monkey.

Update April 9th: My email has helpfully decided to crash.  Hopefully it will be back and functioning soon, but in the mean time please feel free to ask questions below in the comments!