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Richmond Young Writers

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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Wanted: Writers under 18

By The Writing Life

Just a newsflash for writers under 18:  Richmond Young Writers summer camp has opened registration.  Its got all the elements needed for a great time for the literary set:  a charming used bookstore, a cool part of town — and Bird Cox and Valley Haggard at the helm. Here’s the schedule. I’ll be teaching July 25 during Julie Geen’s Magical Creatures week. See you this summer!

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Living la vida loca

By Random howls into the world, The Writing Life

I haven’t written in more than a week, but that’s because my life has sped up like a Toyota with a stuck gas pedal. It’s hard to complain, though. My days are crammed with things I love. The Girls of Summer Q & As are coming in. I hope you caught Cathryn Clinton this week — and Jacqueline Woodson before that. (Every Friday, a new author answers our questions, so stay tuned.) I’ve been corresponding with students who are working with author (and professional gummie bear eater) Wendy Shang in northern Virginia, and my own summer residency with the Latino Education Advancement Program wrapped up. Here’s Freddie’s piece so you can see why I love this group. ESL had just finished, and I jostled my way towards the lunch line. Passing by the fifth grade hallways, I was hoping to be as big and smart as they were one day. I got in the cafeteria line and as usual, the cafeteria cashier smiled and said, “Have a good lunch, my little tootsie roll.” I went to the table where my class sat and talked to my friends: Tyler, Patterson, Michael, Michael, and Conner Lugio.  As we swapped our lunches, I had to crush my napkin because my mom left me a note saying she loved me. Although it was in Spanish and my friends could not read it, it was still embarrassing.   It was halfway through lunch when I saw her: Alexa.  She had blonde hair and green eyes, and…

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