The D-List: September 14, 2015

The D-List

MFA and PoC: On Creating a Safe Space in the Aftermath of a Backlash

The purpose of any MFA program is to grow writers. And Hamline’s MFAC program grows writers for children. More and more the children we are writing for come from diverse backgrounds.  More and more they are from non-traditional, same-sex, or single parented families. It is vital that these children – whatever their race, orientation, gender identity, class, ability, or faith –see themselves in books, as heroes of their own stories, see that they are not alone. They need to find themselves in the words and characters and pages, and they need to feel, in the words of Julie Schumacher, “recognized and therefore relieved.” And we cannot do that, unless we create a safe space for writers of color and diverse voices. Read more here.

They Pretend To Be Us While Pretending We Don’t Exist

The long con of white mediocrity may never be exposed because there are too many people invested in making sure not a single instance of white excellence is overlooked but quickly drop the vigilance when it comes to the excellence of those of us who were never afforded such protection. But for those of us who didn’t grow up entitled, those of us who grew up underestimated, underinvited, undersolicited, underacknowledged, underloved, I say let’s expose each other’s excellence. Read more here.

Telling the real story: diversity in young adult literature

As a diverse YA author I am often asked, usually by teens searching in vain for their own reflection in the novels they read, whether I think things will ever change. I do, mostly because I believe there is a limit to how long literature can peddle the fantasy of a non-diverse world to readers who are living in a diverse reality. Read more here.

Book Trailer love: RAISING DION

When the book trailer for the new comic RAISING DION (written by Dennis Liu, illustrated by Jason Piperberg) rolled down my timeline I damn near lost my mind.


At first I didn’t even realize I was watching a comic trailer. I figured it was for an upcoming television series or a movie. But I was hooked! A Black single mother raising a superpowered son with nothing but her wits, strength, and love to protect him (which is, ultimately, everything). Sign me allll the way up!


Enough from me. Just watch. Read the first issue here. And join me in tossing some well-deserved coins at their continued efforts.

Notes from #MWW15


This weekend I’m in Muncie, Indiana attending Midwest Writers Workshop! Although it’s the 42nd annual gathering, I’m a first-timer and super excited!


Thanks to generous sponsors, I’m attending on a scholarship. Yesterday included an amazing intensive with Christa Desir (my crush has grown immensely), being awed by my squad of super-talented YA/NA writers, motivational advice, lots of hugs, and tasty free chicken wings.

We just wrapped up the agent Q&A panel (TONS of good info to unpack there). Now it’s off to re-caffeinate, learn how to edit and revise when you’re SO sick of your book, and practice for this afternoon’s agent pitch session. (EEP.)