Thank the Admins!

“Thank the Admins” is an end-of-2016 feature that provides a shout-out to the core group of sixteen authors who have been the tireless engine behind making The Sweet Sixteens a cohesive debut group. They’ve been the brilliant minds behind ARC tours, Sweet Sixteen logo & web design, Facebook posts, Twitter love and so much more.  We hope you’ll take a moment to extend your gratitude and give these peeps a virtual high five.

Randi Pink

Into White

Randi PinkYour role as admin: Calendar Coordinator

What’s up next:  Conferences, speaking engagements, and most of all, writing.

Thing you learned in your debut year: “The most gratifying aspect of being a debut author is lifting up other authors and aspiring authors. It’s easy to get lost in the chaos of book launch, but focusing my energy on cultivating someone else’s creative energy has helped me to become a stronger artist and human being.”


Marieke Nijkamp

marieke_1nytcoverMarieke NijkampYour role as admin: Website and blog administrator.

What’s up next:  Marieke is busy with stories for anthologies and another contemporary YA. And in between, a fantasy story to play with!! So excited for more words from this talented author!

Thing you learned in your debut year: “The book community — readers, writers, publishing folk — is a wonderfully amazing place to be.”


Printable Release Calendar for September!

Here’s our handy printable release calendar to help you keep track of all the sweet September debuts coming at you soon!


Click here for the September 2016 calendar in .pdf format




Thanks to our printable calendar team: Sarah Alexander,  Jenn Nguyen, Dee Romito, Shari Schwarz, Kathy MacMillan, Randi Pink, Ava Jae, and Marieke Nijkamp!











#SixteensBlogAbout Diversity

In the month of May, the Sweet Sixteens took to their blogs to discuss diversity.diversity

1) Randi Pink shares her thoughts in video form.

2) Ki-Wing Merlin discusses how her Chinese-American identity affects her writing at DiversifYA.

3) Laurie Elizabeth Flynn reflects on the need for kids to see characters that look like them.

4) Celeste Lim discusses seeing Britain and America from afar as a child growing up in Malaysia.

5) Heidi Heilig reflects on bringing marginalized voices to the forefront of children’s literature.

6) Ashley Herring Blake shares how listening makes all the difference.

7) Jenn Bishop reflects on diversity in summer reading lists.


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. Until next month, happy reading!

A Tisket, A Tasket. The Winner Gets A Book-ish Basket!

Unknown-1 Writers and readers don’t want candy. They want writerly, readerly goodies! And if we told you more, we’d have to kill you.

Yep, it’s the April giveaway!

Be the first to correctly match the 16th line to the 2016 debut novel and win said mystery basket, donated by Jen Maschari (THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF CHARLIE PRICE, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, Winter 2016). Last month, Elise Robins won a critique from Shannon Parker. Congratulations, Elise! 

Read on:

She’s the weakest black girl I’ve ever seen, bruh,” another voice muttered.

Can you guess which novel it’s from?

A. Jenny Moyer’s FLASHFALL (Macmillan/Spring 2016)

B. Randi Pink’s TOYA  (Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, Fall 2016)

C. Meghan Roger’s CROSSING THE LINE (Penguin/Philomel, Winter 2016)

D. Gail Shepard’s SOUTH BY SOUTHEAST (Penguin/Kathy Dawson Books, Winter 2016)

Know it? Want it? Send your answer to And good luck!

The Debut Club: An interview with Courtney Alameda, author of SHUTTER

Sweet Sixteener Randi Pink recently spoke to Fearless Fifteener Courtney Alameda about her YA thriller/horror debut novel, SHUTTER (February 3, 2015 Feiwel & Friends/Macmillan).

Courtney PhotoAbout the Author:

Courtney Alameda’s spent her entire career trying to con and cajole people into reading great books. A veteran of the big-box bookstore trenches, Courtney now works as a librarian for the prettiest library you’ve ever seen, where she spends her time ordering large stacks of YA books, doing readers’ advisory, and dressing up as various mythical creatures for a variety of library events.

Courtney holds a B.A. in English Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. She is represented by the amazing and talented John M. Cusick of Greenhouse Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah.


Find Courtney on her website, FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Shutter Cover PhotoAbout SHUTTER:

When a routine ghost hunt goes awry, Micheline and the boys are infected with a curse known as a soulchain. As the ghostly chains spread through their bodies, Micheline learns that if she doesn’t exorcise her entity in seven days or less, she and her friends will die. Now pursued as a renegade agent by her monster-hunting father, Leonard Helsing, she must track and destroy an entity more powerful than anything she’s faced before . . . or die trying. Lock, stock, and lens, she’s in for one hell of a week.



SHUTTER is available for purchase at Amazon, Powell’s, Books A Million, Barnes & Noble, and Indiebound.

Randi: The concept of SHUTTER is incredibly unique! How did you conceive the idea?

Courtney: Thank you! All my novels generally start with the wisp of a character—in SHUTTER’s case, I saw a girl fighting a massive ultraviolet ghost, armed only with a camera. She piqued my curiosity, and the more I followed her around on the page, the more I came to know about her world of tetrachromats, necrotic monsters, and ghosts. 

Continue reading

Meet the Author: Randi Pink


Randi PinkRandi Pink is a writer and graduate student of creative writing at University of Alabama at Birmingham. In March of 2013, Randi was working on an assignment for a Children’s Literature course when she conceived the idea for her debut novel. After reading the first fifteen hundred words aloud in class, she realized that the world was ready for TOYA and she got to work.

Her debut novel, TOYA (FSG/Feiwel and Friends, Fall 2016) is the story of sixteen-year-old Latoya Williams, a black girl who attends a mostly white high school in the Bible Belt. In a moment of desperation, she prays for the power to change her race and wakes up white.

Randi is the Sweet Sixteens Calendar Coordinator. She is responsible for coordinating and maintaining the group calendars and keeping members well-informed about book launches, deadlines, and miscellaneous events.

 Fun facts:

  • Favorite book growing up: THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR by Eric Carle
  • Childhood aspiration: The first female President of the United States
  • Book currently reading/most recently read: SCARLET by Marissa Meyer
  • Favorite things to do (other than reading): Binge watch Netflix with her husband and two dogs
  • Surprising personal fact: She read her first novel at seventeen years old
  • Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Being surrounded by exceptionally creative people who understand, inspire, and support her journey to publication

Where to find her:


Website | Twitter | Add book