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Virginia

Are you a YA author from VA? Win $2K here!

By Awards and news, The Writing Life

Richmond Public Library has stepped forward to promote young adult books in Virginia – and I mean in a big way. Actually, in two thousand big ways. If you’re a writer for teens in the Commonwealth, you may be eligible to win the $2,000 literature prize. (WOWZA!) YAVA (Young Adult Virginia) is an annual teen book event, now in its fourth year. It features the works of Virginia authors who have had an upper middle grade or  young adult novel published that year. It’s free and open to the public for teachers, librarians, and book fans who want to meet and hear from our state’s fine stable of authors, whether new to publishing or seasoned.  The event is scheduled for October 12, 2017, 6- 8:30 PM at the Main branch of the Richmond Public Library. Here’s the Facebook page. The award is selected in a combination of public voting and judges, who pick the winner from among the finalists. Last year, Anne Holton was the honorary judge. (Yep, Tim Kaine’s spouse and our Secretary of Education.) She selected Gigi Amateau’s Come August, Come Freedom as the winner. Important rules to note: Winners are selected from the previous year’s publications. Plus the author has to have been present at the live YAVA event at the library to be eligible. PLEASE take the time to vote on the 2015 title you think is most deserving. Then, do your YA authors a favor and circulate the survey widely. (Nobody’s allowed to launch vote-for-me campaigns, though….

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Literary Mischief: A New Answer to Book Signings in RVA

By Appearances

This Friday night, I’m getting in the ring with one of Richmond’s favorite (and best named) storytellers, Slash Coleman for Literary Mischief, his refreshing and oddball take on book events. We’ll be at The Crossroads Art Center and here’s the basic set up. Four authors get a few minutes to talk about anything they choose. Then they face Slash for offbeat interview questions and plenty of audience participation. Yes, you can buy a book and we’ll sign it, but the night is about relaxing and connecting with the authors who live and work in this city. I’ll likely talk about what it’s like to write for kids when your book pushes all the wrong buttons for school administrators. If that doesn’t suit you, don’t worry. I’ll be joined by some of Richmond, Virginia’s favorite faces in the arts, too. The lineup: Harry Kollatz, Jr – Senior writer and Arts and Entertainment Editor at Richmond Magazine  (Yep, you know him. The dashing guy in the fabulous hat.) He’s the author of Richmond in Ragtime. Virginia Pye – former chair of James River Writers, whose debut novel River of Dust, was called “mysterious, exotic and creepy… A fine journey, well worth the effort” by The Washington Post Susann Cokal – critic, college professor essayist, and cat-obsessed friend, whose new novel The Kingdom of Little Wounds has earned a starred review from Kirkus. I admire everybody on the list, but we are a far-flung bunch, so who knows how Slash will knit us all together.  That’s the fun. Our work spans the Renaissance,…

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Read Local: You’re invited to Teen ’13

By Appearances, Community work, The Writing Life

Mark your fall calendars, teen book lovers. You’re invited to Teen ’13, a literary party that will celebrate Virginia’s homegrown talents.  If you’ve had the chance to sink your teeth into a local Virginia peach this summer, you already know why it makes sense to buy local.  But you shouldn’t limit yourself to buying local food. You can feel  good about “reading local,” too – especially if you’re a fan of teen fiction. That’s because Virginia has an impressive bench when it comes to authors. We’re home to New York Times bestsellers and to authors who have won the Newbery Award, the Hans Christian Anderson Award, the National Book Award, and other top literary prizes. And that’s to say nothing of the hefty number of Virginia authors whose works regularly grace the annual “Best of” lists  that recognize the top books for kids each year. Free and open to the public, Teen ’13 will give book fans of all ages a chance to gather at the Richmond Public library to enjoy food and drinks, buy books, meet their favorite authors in person and win everything from indi bookstore gift certificates and free Skype visits to autographed copies of books and more. Fourteen Virginia authors will attend – all of whom have new releases in 2013. (Teen 13 authors and book blurbs.) It’s exciting enough to have all those creative types in one place. But what’s most satisfying to me is that teen fiction – or YA, if you prefer –  will be part of…

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