February 2021 Part Two News, Deals, Reveals, & More


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Melanin in YA News

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Book Deals

Berna Anat sold an untitled nonfiction to HarperCollins/Quill Tree, coming fall 2022.

Kalynn Bayron sold world rights for DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE coming winter 2023 from Feiwel and Friends.

Warona Jolomba sold REST EASY to Wattpad coming fall 2021.

Liselle Sambury sold her standalone novel, BUTCHERBIRDS and a second novel in an exclusive six-figure deal to S&S/McElderry, coming 2023.

Liara Tamani sold WHAT SHE MISSED in a two-book deal coming summer 2023 from Greenwillow.

Erika Turner sold their debut AND OTHER MISTAKES and a second novel in a six-figure deal coming winter 2023 from Feiwel and Friends.

Publisher Breakdown 2021 So Far

  • Available to Substack Newsletter Subscribers

Foreign Rights and Releases

Tiffany D. Jackson sold her novel, GROWN to Poznanskie in Poland.

Jason Reynolds sold his novel, WHEN I WAS THE GREATEST to Faber & Faber Children’s in the UK.

Cover Reveals

  • Tor unveiled SKIN OF THE SEA by Natasha Bowen, out November 11, 2021
    • Cover Art: Jeff Manning
    • Design: Regina Flath
  • CBS This Morning unveiled the cover for BLACKOUT by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon.
  • Jordan Ifueko unveiled the cover for REDEMPTOR, the sequel to RAYBEARER, out August 17, 2021.

Bestseller Lists

NYT: Namina Forna became a bestseller with her debut, THE GILDED ONES. She is the first Sierra Leonian fantasy authoress to make this NYT list.

Indie: Namina Forna‘s debut also landed on the Indie Bestsellers list.


Note: To see the latest virtual events coming up, be sure to visit the Events page!

George M. Johnson appeared on The Tamron Hall Show to promote his partnership with Gabrielle Union for the screen adaptation of ALL BOYS AREN’T BLUE.

Ilyasah Shabazz appeared on Good Morning America to promote THE AWAKENING OF MALCOM X by Shabazz and Tiffany D. Jackson. Watch the full clip here. (She also appeared on CBS This Morning, though trigger warning for gun violence if you watch that video here.)


The Audie Award Young Adult Finalists were announced and include CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo, THIS IS MY AMERICA by Kim Johnson and A SONG BELOW WATER by Bethany C. Morrow. RAYBEARER by Jordan Ifueko is also a Finalist in the Fantasy category. The awards will stream live on YouTube on March 22nd.

The 2020 Cybils Award Winner for High School Nonfiction is STAMPED: RACISM, ANTIRACISM, AND YOU by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi.

BLACK GIRLS UNLIMITED by Echo Brown is a 2021 William C. Morris Finalist.

More Updates

NBCBLK featured Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, Mahogany L. Browne, Elise Bryant, J.Elle, Camryn Garrett, L.L. McKinney, and Renée Watson in “7 YA novels featuring strong, vulnerable, unique Black girls coming in 2021.”

Elizabeth Acevedo starred in an Estée Lauder ad!!! Watch here.

Baldwin & Co. Books and Coffee officially opened its doors in New Orleans, LA, the latest black owned indie book store to open in the United States. Congratulations!

Modcloth featured Roseanne A. Brown (A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN), Elise Bryant (HAPPILY EVER AFTERS), and Rena Barron (REAPER OF SOULS).

The sequel to A SONG OF WRAITHS AND RUIN by Roseanne A. Brown, A PSALM OF STROMS AND SILENCE has had its release date pushed to November 3, 2021.

Deadline City co-hosted by Dhonielle Clayton is back for Season 2! Listen to the first two episodes here.

The 2020 Locus Recommend Reading List features LEGENDBORN by Tracy Deonn, DEATHLESS DIVIDE by Justina Ireland, and A SONG BELOW WATER by Bethany C. Morrow.

Sharon Draper made a visit to NASDAQ.

Namina Forna wrote a wonderful piece for The Guardian during the release month of THE GILDED ONES.

Phoebe Robinson showed her love for GROWN by Tiffany D. Jackson on TikTok!

L.L. McKinney was featured in NPR and The Root among other places around the web to celebrate the release of the graphic novel, NUBIA: REAL ONE.

New York Mag did a piece, “Publishing’s New Power Club A wave of hires is set to pick up where the reckoning left off.” featuring Nicola Yoon among others.

The NYT featured Asha Bromfield, Camryn Garrett, and Brittney Morris in their piece, “13 Y.A. Books to Add to Your Reading List This Spring.”

USA Today featured “50 Black YA authors you should read, from Angie Thomas to Walter Dean Myers.”

WNDB announced the launch the Black Creatives Fund in partnership with Penguin Random House which serves as a workshop, mentorship, and marketing symposia.

YALLWest announced its lineup which includes Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, Asha Bromfield, Mahogany L. Browne, Elise Bryant, Dhonielle Clayton, Natasha Diaz, J. Elle, Saraciea Fennell, Namina Forna, Desmond Hall, Kahlil Haywood, Jordan Ifueko, Zakiya Jamal, Leah Johnson, Bethany C. Morrow, Danielle Paige, Ciannon Smart, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon.

Source: Tiffany D. Jackson’s Instagram

Closing Out Black History Month

  • YouTube Originals launched the “Black Renaissance” series which features Jason Reynolds. Watch the trailer here.


March 2021 Book Releases

March 2, 2021

Home Is Not a Country by Safia Elhillo

March 9, 2021

Noelle: The Mean Girl (Flyy Girls #3) by Ashley Woodfolk

March 16, 2021

That Way Madness Lies: Fifteen of Shakespeare’s Most Notable Works Reimagined Edited by Dahlia Adler (Anthology)

A ​Queen of Gilded Horns by Amanda Joy

Happy reading!


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