June 2021 Part Two News, Deals, Honors, & More


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Melanin in YA News

  • Melanin in YA reached its $25,000 Fundraising Goal! Woooo!!!!! Thank you so much to everyone for all of your support during this fundraiser. Read more here.
  • Melanin in YA received a shout out in the acknowledgements of THIS POISON HEART by Kalynn Bayron. Endless gratitude, Kalynn for your generosity and support.

Quote of the Month

  • To be a #latequeer is to live with this duality: to love your life (if you’re lucky) and to wish you’d known yourself sooner.” – From Ashley Woodfolk‘s Catapult Piece, How Writing My Young Adult Novel Helped Me Reclaim the Queer Girlhood I Lost.
  • Notable Mention: Tiffany D. Jackson’s Tik Tok. Truly not sure where to place this fun bit in the news round up so there you go and enjoy!

Book Deals

Justina Ireland and Tessa Gratton sold a two-book deal, a good deal for world rights for their fantasy novel, CHAOS AND FLAME coming 2023 from Razorbill.

Rimma Onoseta sold her contemporary novel, HOW YOU GROWS WINGS in a two-book deal for world English rights, coming 2022 from Algonquin Young Readers.

Publisher Breakdown 2021 So Far

  • Available to Patreon and Newsletter Subscribers Only

Foreign Rights

  • THE RUMOR GAME by Dhonielle Clayton and Sona Charaipotra sold to Hungary.
  • BLACKOUT by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon sold to Czech Republic and Portugal.

Tinseltown – Adaptation News

  • Picturestart acquired television rights to THIS IS MY AMERICA by Kim Johnson. Jessica Watson will write the script. Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage will executive produce under their Fake Empire production company. Johnson will also executive produce. – THR


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

Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon appeared on CBS This Morning to promote BLACKOUT. Watch the full interview here.


Watch the 2021 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Celebration in which Tracy Deonn (LEGENDBORN) accepts the John Steptoe Award for New Talent.

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé has been named a Publishers Weekly Fall 2021 Flying Start.

Kim Johnson received the Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature.

Patrice Lawrence has been awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to Literature in Her Majesty The Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021. – Source

BLOOD LIKE MAGIC by Liselle Sambury was chosen as Indigo’s July 2021 Teen Staff Book of the Month.

Becky Albertalli nominated Julian Winters for Good Morning America‘s Who is making LGBTQ+ history right now: GMA Inspiration List 2021.

Buzz – Starred Reviews

BookPage: RISE TO THE SUN by Leah Johnson, BLACKOUT by Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, Nicola Yoon

Kirkus: BEASTS OF PREY by Ayana Gray

Publisher’s Weekly: BAD WITCH BURNING by Jessica Lewis

General Updates

Buzzfeed shared 28 New LGBTQ+ Young Adult Novels That’ll Add Sunshine To Your Summer as well as 26 YA Sci-Fi Fantasy Books That Are Hitting Shelves This Summer which include many familiar names/titles.

Tahereh Mafi shared her 5 Summer Book Picks to US Weekly which include BLACKOUT as well as INSTRUCTIONS FOR DANCING by Nicola Yoon.

J. Elle has opened up freelance services for Editing as well as Book Marketing & Publicity.

Sierra Elmore has launched her own online bookish merch shop, XOX) Sierra.

Epic Reads shared The 19 Most Anticipated YA Books to Read in June.

Bustle shared 40 LGBTQ+ Books To Read Now & Always which includes LET’S TALK ABOUT LOVE by Claire Kann.

Tiffany D. Jackson is now represented by Jenny Bent at The Bent Agency.

Kim Johnson has been named the permanent vice provost for University of Oregon.

Librio shared a list of Black Narrators You Should Be Listening To.

Darlene Okpo opened up a new Black owned bookstore, Adanne in Brooklyn.

People of Color in Publishing in Latinx in Publishing collaborated to conduct and release a report, the Workplace Racism Survey. Publishers Weekly reports on it here.

We Need Diverse Books announced 3 new Walter Grants. Read more here.


July 2021 Book Releases

July 6, 2021

Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson

July 13, 2021

The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass

The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison

Happy reading!


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