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Meg’s 3rd Annual Bookish Gift Guide: 2021

By The Writing Life
The holidays are here! If you’re one of my blog readers, chances are you have lots of bookish friends on your gift giving list. Here are some of my favorite finds for 2021 that could help Bookish fun for kids This Lego Bookshop is the best thing ever for your book nerd / Lego fanatics. It's 2,500 pieces of book joy. The box says for people 16 and older, but it looks like a perfect parent/kid project, too. Rechargeable reading light For the late night reader in your life, you just can’t have enough of these* in the house. I try to keep one in everyone’s nightstand, even for guests. For another option, try the lights from Mighty Bright, which are rechargeable, too. Bookish t-shirts I have a whole collection of bookish clothes, but t-shirts have become my pandemic wardrobe go-to. Etsy has great options, like the one pictured below, but  you can also look to Out of Print for t-shirts and so many other book-ish delights.  Bookish t-shirts Goldbelly gift certificate:  My friend, Lamar, turned me on to Goldbelly. It’s how I ate a lobster roll last summer and how I got through hard times, when cooking to feed myself seemed overwhelming. A gift certificate here gives both help or, in happy times, a reason for a culinary splurge!  Moveable table for working/snacking* Every place in my house is now an office, so why not make moving this around a little easier? I bought this for Javier, and he...
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A one-minute video series for writers on Instagram

By #LetsStayConnected, writing advice
I just finished a ten-day virtual residency at Hamline University, where our craft focus was on all aspects of plot. It’s always an exhausting but rewarding time to do deep dives with faculty and aspiring writers. My notebook is now littered with sentences and fragments of wisdom that I’ll add to my toolbox going forward. Which brings me to telling you about an experiment I’m trying on Instagram starting this week. It’s a mini-video series on IGTV called Meg's One-Minute Writing Tips. No, it’s not an MFA, but this might be just what you need when you’re in a pinch. I’ll unpack different aspects of craft and/or writing practice in sixty-seconds – short and sweet. I hope you’ll find the nuggets useful for your own writing or for sharing with students when school starts in a few weeks. I’ll try to post one up there every couple of weeks. Anyway, here’s where you can find the first one on characters. Let me know what you think! And if you have burning topics you’d like me to cover in one minute or less, send those suggestions, too. See you on Insta! Odds and Ends Where can you find Meg next: Book Love Foundation's Summer Book Club, July 27th at 10am ET PBS Books Live, July 29th at 5pm ET **Don’t forget to write your questions for me on my Goodreads author page. I will answer them every first Monday of the month. **Love Merci Suárez Can’t Dance? Leave me an honest review on Amazon...
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Beyond Books: Creative ways an author can support you

By Community work, The Writing Life
As authors, we're often asked to support a variety of causes, usually related to reading and literacy. I'm always happy to do it, if I can. Frequently, this means providing signed copies of my books. But it's fun when you can bust out of the model. Here are two examples of unique ways to support your favorite book organization. Recently, I supported the Richmond Young Writers whose mission is to spark youth voices through creative writing. For their annual auction, I donated naming a character in the final installment of my Merci Suárez series. That's why, book three will have a sixth grade soccer dynamo named Robin Farmer in the pages. In real life, Robin, who had the winning bid, is a Richmond author, who has been a huge supporter of the literary arts in Richmond, where we both live. I'm thrilled to be able to do this. Talking about Merci Suárez Changes Gears at Takoma Education Campus in Washington, DC On Wednesday night, I will host a zoom story time with a family all the way across the country, in California. This creative idea came from a children's literacy organization with which I often partner - An Open Book Foundation. This team works hard to connect "authors, illustrators, and their books with Washington, DC-area students to build equitable access and nurture a lifelong love of reading." Check out this short video celebration of their 10 years with a sample of their work and a few words from me. Mia...
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Check out my new site – plus the Newbery speech and other goodies

By Appearances, Awards and news, The Writing Life

Welcome to my  new website!  After cobbling together a blog for a while now, I’ve given myself a fresh look that’s bright, clean, and easy. For my first news post, I’m offering the link to my Newbery speech (the official version), as well as photos from the entire  celebration, which can only be described as a huge, life-affirming love fest.

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