Congratulations to our members with books releasing today! Click on the covers below for more information about each title:
Cynthia Reeg received the 2017 ZIA Award for outstanding children’s literature from the New Mexico Press Women on April 22 in Las Cruces, NM for her middle grade fantasy novel, From the Grave. The Zia Award is given annually to one or more woman book author who lives in or has ties to New Mexico. Each year the contest focuses on one of three genres: fiction, children’s literature or non-fiction.
Whether you’re a teacher looking for curriculum connections or a book club organizer looking for a new selection with ready-made discussion questions, we have the resources for you! The links below provide direct, free (!!!) access to educator’s guides and discussion questions for a variety of middle grade and young adult titles, all published in 2016.
Here’s the final installment in our series where members of the Sweet Sixteens share what they’ve learned in their debut year.
Sarah Ahiers, author of Assassin’s Heart and Thief’s Cunning
Find her online at sarahahiers.com
“I wish I’d known that even though everyone says you shouldn’t read reviews, I shouldn’t really read reviews. But it also seems to be a lesson everyone needs to learn on their own.
Also, that writing book 2 will be the hardest thing ever, even though I had written books before, and after, I’d sold Assassin’s Heart. It didn’t matter. It was still really hard, just like for countless other debut authors before me. They were right all along.”
Laura Shovan, author of The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary
Find her online at laurashovan.com
“I wish I’d known that the middle grade “slow burn” was a real thing. My book came out in April. The first six weeks after launch were a roller-coaster. The book did well, but sales and readership really started taking off when the school year began. Teachers, librarians, and parents are still finding my book, talking about it, and sharing it with young readers.”
Cynthia Reeg, author of From the Grave
Find her online at www.cynthiareeg.com
“I wish I’d known that publishing a first novel is a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows. That it is a marathon of edits and promotion and self-doubt and exhilaration. I feel extremely lucky to have joined with The Sweet Sixteens to weather the storms and to celebrate the highs. I’d encourage debut authors to find peer support in their writing community. It will make the adventure much easier and enjoyable!”
Lisa A. Koosis, author of Resurrecting Sunshine
Find her online at www.lisakoosis.com
“I wish I’d known that as amazing as my debut year would be, it would also be terrifying, that there would be times when everything would be outside my comfort zone. I wish I’d known that I’d have moments when I’d want to make the whole thing just stop…and that it’s normal to feel that way, that it will eventually pass. I wish I’d known to trust myself more, that when it came time, I would find it in me to do what needed to be done (like speaking in front of people!). So trust yourself…and enjoy the ride!”
Harriet Reuter Hapgood, author of The Square Root of Summer
Find her online at harrietreuterhapgood.com
“I wish I’d known that I really was invited to the party! My first panels and green rooms and events were a crash-course in imposter syndrome. The thing is, I deserved to be there. I might not know everything (joke, I know everything), but I knew how to write get an agent, write a YA book, sell it – which qualified me to answer questions about YA, publishing, craft. I did all the things, but I wish I’d done so with way less anxiety and beta-blockers and self-doubt, and much more razzmatazz and balloons.”
A new month, a new collection of sample chapters and preorder incentives for recent and upcoming releases from the Sweet Sixteens!
Penguin Summer 2016 Preview Sampler Includes THE SEASON by Jonah Lisa Dyer & Stephen Dyer (page 113), Traci Chee’s THE READER (page 89), and Aditi Khorana’s MIRROR IN THE SKY (page 1) .
From the Grave by Cynthia Reeg (Jolly Fish Press, October 18, 2016). Preorder and have a chance to win a spooky child’s t-shirt!
Here’s our handy printable release calendar to help you keep track of all the sweet October debuts coming at you soon!
Thanks to our printable calendar team: Sarah Alexander, Jenn Nguyen, Dee Romito, Shari Schwarz, Kathy MacMillan, Randi Pink and Ava Jae!
//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.jsIn our latest #SixteensBlogAbout, the Sweet Sixteens blogged about gratitude! Check out the posts below to see what we are grateful for, and don’t forget to leave the Sixteens some love on their own blog as well as here!
Feel free to share this post with the hashtag #SixteensBlogAbout.
Curious? Follow the links and spread the word!
1. SOMETHING’S MISSING: the launch is planned, the cover is fantastic, the publisher is all ready to go….except you completely and totally forgot to write the book!
2. You’re all set for the launch date, and the morning of you wake up and realize…IT WAS ALL A DREAM. You haven’t sold your book and there are three rejections waiting in your email box.
3. You’ve been anxiously awaiting the day for months, and finally it’s here. You open up your box of ARCs only to find that the publisher has put in not your professional author photo, but an image they found of you by Google image searching your name . . . and it’s from your crazy antics in college.
TOP SIXTEEN WRITER SUPPORT GROUPS THAT SHOULD EXIST…BUT DON’T
Hi everyone, my name is “Writer”, and I’m messed up. And there’s no one out there to help me with my problem, no special group to back me up as I struggle with…well, check out what I struggle with, in our Top Sixteen List below!
1) Query Letters Anonymous: If you have ever binge-queried more than 500 times for a single work, our group can help. Sessions include having your manuscript pried from your cold, dead fingers by caring peers.
2) Twitter-Free and Proud: For friends and family of authors who are tweeting themselves into the small gilded cage of addiction. Our understanding, gentle group leaders may not be able to actually help, but at least there are no cell phones allowed at meetings.
3) Haven’t Interacted with Another Human Being in Over a Week Group: It’s time to step away from your computer or notebook for at least a couple of hours and speak to some real-life people. No, Netflix and your characters don’t count. Don’t worry – we won’t ask how your novel is going. Promise.
4) Butt In Chair Exercise Group: Classes available online, of course, so you don’t have to move out of your chair while you are completing your first, second, third…millionth drafts. All exercises performed with B.I.C as well (such Finger Pushups, Wrist Rotations, Toe Crunches, and the grueling Thigh-Minator Presses.) Our motto is “Stay in Shape While You Punctuate!”
5) Contention Deficit Disorder of America Group: Writers! Do agents reject your manuscripts with the comment, “There’s no conflict in this story?” Do your protagonists lead stress-free, boring lives? Yawn no more! At Contention Deficit Disorder of America’s cheerful six-week-long retreats, we will help you insert conflict by withholding Cheetos, coffee, alcohol, and chocolate of all kinds until you crack and agree to do whatever we tell you.
6) Finish Line Race Team: Do you find yourself revving your writing engine only to stall out half way around the track? Do faster, shinier writing ideas zoom past you and keep you from staying on course? Have no fear dear writer, Finish Line is here to take your project from starting block to checkered flag no matter what speed you like to drive. Seatbelts optional.
7) Book Baby Weight Buddies: If you’ve used savory meals and deliciously decadent desserts to celebrate every small success along the way, you might need BBWB. (Wrote 100 words! Finished Revising! Partial request! Full request! Agent offer! Sale!) Join the Book Baby Weight Buddies for getting back into healthier eating habits and exercising. We’ll do our best not to celebrate every successful spin class with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s latest flavor.
8) Google Hands Anonymous: Are your hands constantly Googling or in Google position–even when doing other activities like arguing with your teenager or watching Netflix? Oopsies, you have Google Hands. Don’t be ashamed. We all have it. We can’t stop googling our names. Anything good? Anything bad? Is that ugly picture of you and your ex at that stupid gala from 2008 still showing up? Damn you Google! This group has a $5.00 fee that includes a pair of comfy gloves to soothe your Google Hands.
9) Hip Replacement Group: Have you grown a full beard and mustache and taken to writing only upon a portable manual typewriter, which you lug around with you on your vintage bicycle, in hopes that this will make you a “real” writer? Meet our bunch of clean-shaven guys with laptops, who will fight you bare-fisted until you give up clinging to this delusion.
10) Writing Forum Addicts Anonymous: You wanted somewhere to discuss the trials and tribulations of the writing life. So you joined a forum or two, or three, or five. For a while, you had it under control. Then suddenly, you found yourself spending hours daily lurking on your forums, following other people’s complaints about querying like soaps. You read thousand-page archived threads stretching all the way back to the snail-mail era. You started needing to check your favorite threads before you could sleep at night. In this group, we force you to make face-to-face conversation with people who think a “WIP” is something you might use for kinky sex and an “MC” is generally found in dance clubs.
11) Weekly YMCA Shower Check-In: during which all writers arrive ready to bathe themselves for the first time, possibly, in a week. The only problem is that those who most need to be there forget to show up.
12) Procrasticleaning and Procrasticooking Maid Services: Put those hours spent avoiding your manuscript by scrubbing toilets and baking complicated dinners to good use! Team up with other writers and maybe earn some cold hard cash for every junk drawer you suddenly decide *has* to be organized NOW, or that new recipe for a cake with a million layers.
13) The Herb Brooks Support Group: Are you constantly comparing yourself to other writers, particularly those who are more disciplined, more productive, more polished, more creative, and all-in-all more successful than you? Join our group, named for the immortal Team USA hockey coach Herb Brooks, who famously told his “Miracle on Ice” team captain: “You worry about your own game. Plenty there to keep you busy.”
14) Review-Me-Not Group: Stop reading those reviews. No, we mean it: stop. NOW! This group ties you to the nearest chair, table, bed or heavy object and blindfolds you, while singing “Kumbaya” and “Happy”, to keep you from seeing your book torn to shreds. Not to be confused with the Fifty Shades of Grey withdrawal group.
15) The ‘How to Cope with the Death of Your Favorite Lines’ Group: Celebrate and share your best literary, heart-wrenching, eye- tearing line that you know is Pulitzer-worthy, but alas, your editor does not.
16) Email-Refreshers Anonymous: You’ve queried ten agents and you’re waiting for news. You’re on submission, and your agent expects an email any second. You’re waiting for edits from your editor. Whatever the cause, do you find yourself compulsively checking your email every other second as you wait for that anticipated email? Do you stare at your phone and hit refresh . . . refresh . . . refresh? Then this is the group for you. Email-Refreshers anonymous will talk you through the basics of life with less e-mail. And you WILL be okay. We promise.
BONUS! 17) Author Improv Group: Even before you signed your book deal, you suspected that you were the only person in the world who didn’t know what you were doing, and now you’re sure of it. Every other author you meet is so confident. They talk about editors and agents and marketing until your head spins. Line edits, copyedits, first pass proof pages, second pass proof pages… you can’t take any more! We can let you into a secret – we’re all making this stuff up as we go along. You need the Author Improv Group to teach you the vital skill of sounding as if you know what you’re doing.
—This month’s Top Sixteen List brought to you by the following authors: Ami Allen-Vath, Kathleen Burkinshaw, Victoria Coe, Lindsay Eagar, Claire Fayers, M. Garcia, Margot Harrison, Emily Henry, Bridget Hodder, Janet Sumner Johnson, Scarlett Kol, Cynthia Reeg