Robert Trujillo’s Successful Kickstarter Campaign for Furqan’s First Flat Top

By Robert Trujillo

Spot paintingPeace Latin@s in Kid Lit readers! My name is Robert Trujillo and I’m an illustrator/author from Oakland, California. I am a part of a growing movement of independent children’s book creators here in the Bay Area, and it is an honor to be a contributor to this blog (I am a reader as well!). In this post, I am going to talk about my experience crowd funding my first children’s book and why creating the story is so important to me.

I’m a dad. My kid is 10 years old this year! When my son was first born, I decided that I wanted to read to him a lot and that I would look for cool books for and about him. As I got reacquainted with children’s literature, I found a few great stories that I enjoyed. I’ve always wanted to use my art to communicate a positive or progressive message, and while reading, I became inspired to tell my own stories–about children who are mixed racially, teen parents, kids who are raised bilingual or trilingual, alternative parenting, hip hop culture, social justice, freedom fighters, and more. But to be honest with you, when I sought out books in big stores like this, there weren’t any that reflected my son or these thoughts. In fact, I felt like these stories were almost invisible. So I decided I would make them. I did not know how to do it, so I decided to study. I’m still learning and will be a lifelong student of the craft.

After a three-year break, I decided to go back to college, finish my degree, and study storytelling in various ways. I immersed myself in comics, graphic novels, young adult novels, anime, film, and children’s books. I met a lot of very talented people who were also interested in telling their stories. I started to go to bookstores, blogs, events, etc. to learn. I sent out tons of art samples and contacted tons of editors, art directors, and publishers. I knew that it would be hard work and that it was normal to get a small response when you are just starting out, but I didn’t know until much later just how unrepresented stories that I want to tell were in the mainstream industry.

I reached out to other artists and writers in the field, who were gracious and generous–mostly. I understood that no one–NO ONE–was going to tell my story. Not only that, I could not wait any longer for people in power through the typical “submission” process to see it, understand it, or give me permission to tell it. I would have to do it on my own and take no shit from anyone. So I practiced, failed, tried out many styles, cultivated relationships, asked dumb questions, failed some more, shared my work all the time with family and friends, and slowly began to feel and be seen as a storyteller! I began to develop stories that spoke to me, without worrying if they were sellable to companies or gatekeepers in the industry. And one of those stories was Furqan’s First Flat Top.

It is partly based on my experience as I got my first flat top around the age of Furqan Moreno, the main character in the book. And it is partly a mixture of various influences, all thrown in the pot to make something that tastes right when I tell people about it, or draw. And that is why it is so important to me. But, how did I go from having an idea to getting it successfully funded? Well, here are some pointers.

Short story 21

Campaign Strategy

So for me doing a Kickstarter about my story was about figuring out the best way to approach it and building a team of trusted riders (friends) to roll with me. I could not have done this book without my family, friends, colleagues, and fellow book creators. When I started, I knew that I wanted to hit the people I know with an image that they could relate to and share easily. I knew that I wanted to connect the many circles I subscribe to or participate in. And I knew that I should do it when it felt right.

Authentic connections

What this means basically is to do what you love and seek out others who have very similar feelings at heart. People of all races, religions, political views, and beliefs can spot a phony a mile away. I am learning to take the time to not only create my story, but to invest in the children’s book community in some shape or form. For me, it means doing my homework, studying the art, etc. And when I do this, I often meet like-minded folks doing the same thing. After seven plus years, I’ve built some small connections with people. I’m still studying it, and I have a long way to go to be able to tell stories that touch people.

RTrujillo_FridaSkate copyAn art to it/outlet

Art has so many different connotations. I love to do many different types of art. I have a hard time sticking to one particular message or style because I like to explore. Exploring to me, means learning and growing. If I just paint a picture the same way over and over again because it works, it will be a style that is recognizable. But I want to transcend style. I want to just keep trying new things. So when I began working on a series of short stories using illustration and creative writing, it was a creative outlet. It was uninhibited and fun, and I think different folks connected with the stories for that reason. So, I would say “have fun” with your chosen medium first.

Social Media

This is a tough one for some folks. On the one hand, I try to detach sometimes. Not so much when I first started to explore with sites like Myspace, but now, I have more than 10 different platforms where I not only engage with people who have similar interests, but I share content. The majority of the time I’m sharing things that I have created, but very often I share things that others have written, drawn, or said because it inspires me. Social media to me isn’t so much about talking and having everyone listen to you. It is about having an ongoing conversation about what drives you. When you do that, you naturally connect with people from Ireland to Idaho and everywhere in between. And of course you want to check in with your friends and family, because they are the folks that will give you your first shot. Then they share it with other people, who in turn may also listen.

Characters collageCommunication

While the campaign was going, before, and even now as I type this, I try to be open to receive and give. Open communication is key. Of course, I have my privacy, but I do like to see what my favorite musician, journalist, or sculptor is doing lately. And so I share my work and talk about it. Sometimes it feels like no one is listening, and then there are these amazing bursts of conversation where I connect with people one on one about storytelling; and I had no idea they were even into it. It helps to be accessible. You can turn it on or off when necessary but get out there and talk to folks, online or in person.

Planning

Right now I’m looking at my storyboards, sketches, and manuscript for the book. It is very challenging to create a picture book, but this one is fun because it’s a chance to just do my thing. No art directors, no editors (even though they are definitely helpful at times), nada. It’s just me and a team of folks I rely on to say “yeah” or “nope” when the time is right and I can’t decide. Before the campaign, I planned to create a short story, develop it, test it, get feedback, and expand it. I planned to talk to blogs, and various activists in the field of diversity, and I came across a bunch of obstacles that I was not expecting.

Follow through and Community

As I mentioned, I get help from people. Seek out people, build a phone tree, an email group, a regular group. Whatever, just build a community of people who can support you and whom you can support. And set small goals and knock them out. Start small so you can follow through and finish them. This way, you build momentum and feel like you are achieving something, moving forward, or progressing.

Good luck to all of you creators out there!

photo1Born and raised in the Bay Area, Robert Trujillo is a visual artist and father who employs the use of illustration, storytelling, and public art to tell tales. These tales manifest in a variety of forms and they reflect the artist’s cultural background, dreams, and political / personal beliefs. He can be found online http://work.robdontstop.com/ and on Twitter at @RobertTres.

 

 

Shine a Bright Spotlight on Unsold Diverse Books: An Idea Inspired by Hollywood’s Black List

By Patrick Flores-Scott

I’m happy to have the opportunity to be blogging here at Latin@s in Kid Lit!

Once again, I’ve got the We Need Diverse Books movement on my mind.

If you’re reading this post, I’m sure you’re very aware that children’s literature does not reflect the true diversity of this land. And you’re very likely to agree that it must.  And you can explain the myriad reasons why it must. And you’ve most likely asked yourself, How do we fix this? And I bet you’ve got ideas.

It’s going to take many ideas from myriad sources and a lot of people working together in every phase of the publishing industry to make change happen.

I’d like to use this post to throw one possible idea into that mix. For many reasons, I’m not the guy to put this one into action, but I think it’s an idea worthy of consideration, and it would be very cool if someone ran with it.

The idea is stolen from Hollywood. It’s called the Black List. I’m not referring to the mid-last-century process of blacklisting supposed Hollywood communists and those who refused to name names, in an effort to keep them from ever working in this town again. And I’m not referring to NBC’s TV show, The Blacklist. I’m referring to the Black List, which is a list of the best unsold scripts for each calendar year. Simple as that.

The List was started by Franklin Leonard in an effort to bring attention to scripts that otherwise, may never have seen the light of day, and in an attempt to create a path to success for yet-to-be-produced screenwriters.

Check out this link to an interview with Franklin Leonard. It’s is a great introduction to the Black List.

In the interview, Franklin Leonard states that:

“…the more that we can do to shine a very bright spotlight on people doing ambitious and very high quality work, the more likely it is that those scripts get made. I think the role we play is to shine that bright spotlight and say, “Here’s a bunch of stuff that maybe you overlooked, that maybe you loved but you didn’t pull the trigger on for whatever reason; it might be worth taking a second look.”

He goes on to say that’s exactly what happens when the list comes out each year. There are meetings all over Hollywood where executives go over the list and reconsider scripts they’d previously passed on, or they find new scripts that they then request from writers and agents.

Since 2005, over two-hundred films that made it onto a Black List have been produced. Some of them include Argo, American Hustle, The Descendants, Juno, The Wolf of Wall Street, Slumdog Millionaire, The Social Network, and The Wrestler.

In an attempt to start a dialogue, here are some ideas about how the Black List could work in the world of kid lit:

The Kid List (or whatever it’s going to be called) committee would solicit manuscripts from writers from underrepresented backgrounds, or manuscripts with underrepresented main characters, regardless of the writer’s background.

The purpose of The Kid List would be to connect publishers with manuscripts that an esteemed committee would deem worthy of publication. It would also be a vehicle for connecting unrepresented writers with agents. Furthermore, the list could be used as a form of mentorship for writers of promising manuscripts that do not make the list. These writers would be given quality feedback and the opportunity to resubmit to the list the following year.

The manuscripts could be sent from agents or from individuals who do not yet have representation. I picture manuscripts coming from unpublished writers, but I think it’d also be appropriate for a published author to submit a manuscript that has gone through the traditional editorial submission process without garnering a deal.

At the end of the year, the committee would create a list made up of  (whatever number) of manuscripts that they feel are worthy of publication. I picture the list being unveiled by the committee during one of the major book conventions.

The make-up of the selection committee would be crucial to the success of The Kid List. In order to shine that spotlight that Franklin Leonard talks about, the folks on the committee would need to be bright lights in their own right. They should be influential librarians, well-regarded booksellers and big-name authors. It would be a major time commitment—maybe like being a member of the BFYA committee—but I think there are enough big-time players out there who value diversity in children’s literature and who would like to play a role in making that diversity happen.

Recruiting a selection committee, creating its rules and structures… all that, would be a big challenge for some dynamic, driven passionate individuals. Are you one of them?

My big fear would be that the list would come out… and nothing would happen. Editors and agents would greet it with a big whatever. I just don’t think that’d be the case. I truly believe that, for the most part, editors would like to publish more “diverse books.” But change is hard. People need a nudge. They need help. They need to be educated and they need someone they respect telling them it’s okay to go for it. But more than all that, The Kid List would create marketing buzz for books before they’re even sold. What publisher wouldn’t want a piece of that?

I could picture the first Kid List coming out and one book being published off that list. It might not seem like much, but editors and agents would know that a cool book from an unknown author was sold, at least in part, because of The Kid List. They’d check it out a little closer the next year and maybe then a few more books would be published because of The List. From there, it’s not hard seeing a time and place where The Kid List has done for diversity in kid lit what the Black List has done for Hollywood.

And it’s not hard to picture young writers from diverse backgrounds, inspired by the idea that there’s a path that I can take to get a book published. And the characters in that book can look like I do.

There it is. One idea. Let me know what you think. Or don’t, and just go for it.

PatrickFS1Patrick Flores-Scott was, until recently, a long-time public school teacher in Seattle, Washington. He’s now a stay-at-home dad and early morning writer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Patrick’s first novel, Jumped In, has been named to a YALSA 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults book, an NCSS/CBC Notable Book for the Social Studies and a Bank Street College Best Book of 2014. He is currently working on his second book, American Road Trip.

Latin@s in Kid Lit is Now on Pinterest!

Pinterest-logoGood news! Latin@s in Kid Lit is on Pinterest!

Come have a look at our just-hatched boards. They’re growing day by day!

Please follow us and share our pins. If you have boards on Pinterest related to Latin@ kid lit, we’d love to follow you too and re-pin from your wealth of book covers, author highlights, writing tips, and literacy promotions, just to name a few categories. This is one more way that we can help each other widen the reach of Latin@ kid books!

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Forgive Me My Bluntness: I’m a Writer of Color and I’m Right Here In Front of You: I’m the One Sitting Alone at the Table

By René Saldaña, Jr.

I’ve avoided writing this piece long enough. Number one reason is that politically I’m a conservative, and the last thing I want to do is to appear as though I’m playing the race card. Which I’m not, though it might look like it. Doing so’s a cheap and underhanded thing to do. So I don’t. Second reason: what I’m tossing out there can be dangerous to my career as a writer, I’ve been told, because of who I’m aiming it at: the very folks who buy my books, or won’t due to my brazenness: librarians and fellow educators, my bread and butter. (I trust in the educator, though, enough to know that if we are about anything we are about growth through honest self-reflection; it’s my hope that this piece will serve as a catalyst for such). Third reason: during my own reflection over the last couple of years, mulling over whether I should or shouldn’t put this observation to paper, one of the cons was that maybe it’s just sour grapes I’m dishing. Ultimately, it’s not. Not even just a little.

My sincere desire is to talk from the heart, to share this heavy load I’ve been carrying, and to reciprocate. I’ll do my part to take on the equally heavy burden librarians and educators have been carrying for far too long. To, arm in arm, move in a direction upward when we’re talking about race, in particular race in children’s and YA publishing, a hot topic to be sure.

8334361Let me tell you a story: I’m attending a librarians’ convention. I’ve been asked to sit on a panel or two, and at this point in my story I’ve met those obligations. Like happens at these functions, as a writer with a new book under my belt (best I can remember it’s A Good Long Way published by Piñata Books, an imprint of Arte Público Press), I’m also committed to sit for an hour at a table to sign copies of my latest. This is a very awkward thing for me to do. I really don’t like this part of my job. I mean, really, who am I? I’m not a top-tier author, and so I realize I won’t get the throngs of fans begging for my signature. (I found this out while sitting at another table, this one in D.C. at the National Book Festival in 2005, and I happened to be sitting next to Mary Pope Osborne, whose line was unimaginably long; I had to ask my wife, who was pushing our son in a stroller, and my sister-in-law to act as my line). Talk about eating humble pie. I get it. If a couple of teachers or librarians line up for my signature I count myself the most fortunate writer in the world. This time is no different from other times. I’m resolved to sit my time out, and if I get that librarian or two, I’ll make it a point to let them know how lucky I am to meet them.

I truly feel that way. My love for libraries and librarians goes back a long, long way. Back to when I was checking out the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Little House on the Prairie during my elementary school years, and later books on UFOs, lost treasures, and the book that kept me in the reading act, Piri Thomas’s Stories from El Barrio during middle school, and throughout high school and college, to this day even, visiting our public library with my children. Along with my parents and a small handful of teachers, I owe librarians the bulk of my reading life. This is why, in the end, I feel I need to write this essay: I owe librarians dearly.

So, back to the story: I’m sitting there with Arte Público’s representative, and I do get the one or two curious librarians who ask about my work. I could tell them that I’ve published three other books with Random House, that I’ve published several short stories in several anthologies edited by Gallo, Springer, and Scieszka, but I don’t. The only book that matters to me is the one I just published. It’s my favorite book. Not my favorite because it is my most recent. It’s really and truly my favorite of all the titles I’ve published to date. I love A Good Long Way for so many reasons, but that’s the stuff for another essay. These librarians are kind and buy a copy for their collections, are already thinking of which students will benefit from this book most (and it’s not just Latino kids they’re telling me about).

From the time I sat, I’ve taken notice of the author two tables down from me. I actually just presented with her. Undeniably a rock star in the field. The kind of author for whom I’d stand in line to get her autograph. I know her personally, too. She’s a genuinely awesome person. I’ve used her work in my graduate adolescent lit classes. My students love her. I understand why these librarians are in line to get her signature and for a chance at a word or two, maybe a picture if time allows.

What I don’t get, though, is that not a one of these librarians in this other author’s line chances to look up in my direction, not that I can tell from my time at the table, anyhow. Not a one notices that just two tables down is another writer, one of color, a conversation that has been pushed to the fore recently? The Myers’ father and son team each wrote brilliant editorials for the New York Times (in the middle of me writing and rewriting this piece, wouldn’t you know it? The world of children’s and YA writing is shaken to the foundation at the news of Walter Dean Myers’ death and among his last acts was to force us to have this difficult conversation, so thanks to him). Others like Monica Olivera have added to that conversation in a blogpost on NBC Latino, The folks over at Lee & Low have ably challenged us to consider the state of children’s and YA publishing regarding race. Lee & Low on Twitter, especially, has rocked that boat. But it was a discussion we were having back then, too. Albeit mostly amongst ourselves, we writers and publishers and teachers and librarians of color. So it’s been brewing a long enough time.

So, what I’ve heard librarians say over the last decade and a half on my visits is that there are so many Latino children, and how unfortunate that there are so few Latino authors publishing books for them. “Just look at how excited these kids get,” they tell me, “to find one of their own publishing books.” It’s true, they do get excited to meet writers of color; I’ve seen it with my own eyes, heard it with my own ears. As a side note: I’ve also seen kids jump for joy at meeting white authors.

Can you tell I’m purposely going off on rabbit trails? I’m avoiding getting to the point again.

But whatever. There’s an urgency. We need to get beyond this hurdle. We need to courageously speak about race. Confront it head on. We’re told this also by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in one of his early speeches at the outset of his work for the Obama administration. We must face our shortcomings if we are to get to that place Dr. King dared us to dream about alongside him.

Anyway, these librarians have told me that there is so little of this material, and what there is of it is so hard to find.

Okay, I’m jumping in, confronting, being courageous, mostly trusting my readers to know I’m out for all our best interests, and especially for those we serve, our students: so,

NO! this material is not hard to find.

Simply look up and two tables down from where you’re standing, there I am. At that point in my career I’ve got some six books to my name. There. I. Am.

And if you think I’m an idiot, especially now that I’m telling you this, then do this other thing and you’ll know I’m right: walk up and down those aisles that usually are nowhere near the major publishers, the ones relegated to the edges of the main floor. They’re the small, independent presses. The outliers, in so many ways. You’ll know them because they’re the ones who don’t give out ARCs or free copies of books. Not because they don’t want to but because it’s not in their budgets to do so. Take 20 minutes per stall, look through their catalogues, their titles. For goodness’ sakes, talk to the reps, who are usually the publishers and editors themselves (when it’s not both of them, it’s either Bobby or Lee Byrd of Cinco Puntos Press manning their booth), and these reps will explain clearly what they have for you and your readers. They’re eager, as eager as you and I, to help all children reach their reading potential. Next, buy from them directly. Come ready with cash, checks, or cards. They’ll take any method of payment.

I’m not saying that the Bigs don’t publish authors of color. They obviously do. Random House has me and several other Latinos on their list. So has Dial. Scholastic. Little, Brown. S&S. Etc. They publish Black writers, and Asian writers. The difference is, though, that the smaller presses focus all their attention on writers of color, so they are experts at it. Arte Público Press/Piñata Books is one. Another is Cinco Puntos Press out of El Paso (of Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood fame but before that a picture book titled The Story of Colors by Subcomandante Marcos with magnificent illustrations by Domitila Domínguez, a book I’ve yet to find shelved in the libraries I’ve visited, even in deep South Texas where the majority of the population is Latino, Mexican American, and Mexican to be exact). Lee & Low, that sometime ago acquired Children’s Book Press and that recently started Shen Books, a new imprint that “focuses on introducing young readers to the cultures of Asia,” is yet another. The list of them, admittedly short—nevertheless, these few presses publish nothing but books by and about people of color. For all readers, but in particular readers of color.

The books are there.

All you have to do is to look for them.

And when you think you’ve found them all, look again. Because we’re still writing the books, publishers big and small are still publishing them. All we need is for you to look and look and look again until you can’t look no more, which likely means you’ve retired and you’re no longer pushing books into kids hands formally. But a librarian is a librarian is a librarian. You’ll be giving books to kids any chance you get ’til the day you die.

This is why I know I can write a piece like this, harsh as it might seem: because you’re educators first and foremost. And you’ll forgive me my bluntness. But we are not the focal point of this conversation, our children are. So we are either proactive and talk and then do, or we stand in the way of the progress necessary. Let’s be the former.

Rene Saldana

René Saldaña, Jr., is the author of the bilingual picture book Dale, dale, dale: Una fiesta de números/Hit It, Hit It, Hit It: A Fiesta of Numbers. He’s an associate professor of Language and Literature in the College of Education at Texas Tech University in West Texas. He’s also the author of several books for young readers, among them The Jumping Tree, Finding Our Way: Stories, The Whole Sky Full of Stars, A Good Long Way, and the bilingual Mickey Rangel detective series. He can be reached at rene.saldana@sbcglobal.net.

Writers: You’re Invited to Our First Ever Pitch Fiesta!

We’re baaaaaaack from vacation and so excited to announce the details for our first ever Pitch Fiesta, an online pitch event that could lead to writer-agent-publisher matches and future books by/for/about Latin@s. This event is open to middle grade and young adult writers. We’re sorry, but no picture book manuscripts this time around. We might have a separate event in the future for picture book writers and illustrators.
Before we get to the application information, let’s introduce our participating agents and publisher:

ADominguezSMALLAdriana Dominguez, an agent at Full Circle Literary since 2009, has 15 years of experience in publishing, most recently as Executive Editor at HarperCollins Children’s Books, where she managed the children’s division of the Rayo imprint. She is a member of the Brooklyn Literary Council, which organizes the Brooklyn Book Festival, and one of the founders of the Comadres and Compadres Writers Conference in NYC. She is interested in middle grade novels and literary young adult novels. Adriana has a long trajectory of publishing underrepresented authors and illustrators, and welcomes submissions that offer diverse points of view.

 

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Adrienne Rosado is an agent at the Nancy Yost Literary Agency as well as the Foreign Rights Director. She is interested in literary and commercial fiction, especially YA, urban fantasy, multicultural fiction, women’s fiction, and new adult, all with strong voices and an authentic tone.  She’s especially drawn to dark humor, innovative takes on classic literary themes, and Southern gothics. Adrienne is also on the lookout for quirky and smart narrative nonfiction, memoirs, pop science, and business books with a creative approach. Please no picture books, chapter books, poetry, or westerns.

 

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Amy Boggs is an agent at the Donald Maass Literary Agency. She is looking for all things fantasy and science fiction, especially high fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk (and its variations), YA, MG, and alternate history. She is also looking for unique works of contemporary YA, historical fiction, Westerns, and works that challenge their genre are also welcome. She seeks and supports projects and authors diverse in any and all respects, such as (but not limited to) gender, race, ethnicity, disability, and sexuality. Please no: thrillers, women’s fiction, picture books, chapter books, poetry, screenplays, or any debut work under 30,000 words in length.

 

sara_sized_160x240Sara Megibow is an agent at the Nelson Literary Agency. Sara is looking for debut authors with a complete novel-length manuscript in any of these genres: middle grade, young adult, new adult, romance, erotica, science fiction or fantasy. Any sub-genre is accepted including paranormal, historical, contemporary, steampunk, fantasy, etc. In short – if you can write it, Sara will read it – as long as it’s 100% complete, novel-length, not previously published and in one of the above genres. Where does Diversity fit in? Sara is looking for manuscripts AND/OR authors representing diversity of religion, race, culture, socio-economic status, ability, age, gender and/or sexual orientation. Sara is on twitter @SaraMegibow and on Publishers Marketplace here:  http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/SaraMegibow/

 

_KO Agent Photo

Kathleen Ortiz is the director of subsidiary rights and a literary agent for New Leaf Literary & Media, Inc. She is an active member of AAR and SCBWI. She’s always on the hunt for outstanding stories with strong characters whose voice and journey stay with her long after she finishes reading the story. She loves YAs set within other cultures and experiences across all genres (though she’s a bit full up on sci-fi and dystopian at the moment).

 

 

Laura Dial

Laura Dail of the Laura Dail Literary Agency received her Master’s degree in Spanish Literature from Middlebury College (but would prefer to consider works in English). She’s most interested in realistic YA, and funny middle grade and chapter books. She represents fiction and nonfiction, but no picture books, poetry, or screenplays. See more here: http://ldlainc.com/kids-teen-ya/

 

 

AP long logo color verticalArte Público Press, affiliated with the University of Houston, specializes in publishing contemporary novels, short stories, poetry, and drama based on U.S. Hispanic cultural issues and themes. Arte Público also is interested in reference works and non-fiction studies, especially of Hispanic civil rights, women’s issues and history. Manuscripts, queries, synopses, outlines, proposals, introductory chapters, etc. are accepted in either English or Spanish, although the majority of our publications are in English.

Piñata Books is Arte Público Press’ imprint for children’s and young adult literature. It seeks to authentically and realistically portray themes, characters, and customs unique to U.S. Hispanic culture. Submissions and manuscript formalities are the same as for Arte Público Press.

Now, here are the guidelines:

1. Writers who are Latin@ or writers of any ethnicity who have included Latin@ characters, settings, etc. in their manuscripts are eligible to apply.

2. You must have a complete manuscript at the time of the Pitch Fiesta. If an agent or editor is interested, you must have a complete manuscript ready to send. So, writers–get writing! Finish that manuscript!

3. Please read and consider what the agents are looking for. Please do not send us a query and first pages in a genre that does not mesh with their lists.

4. We will accept applications from September 2 through October 3. To apply, please send your query and the first 5-10 pages of your middle grade or young adult novel to our email: latinosinkidlit@gmail.com. In the subject line, please write: PITCH FIESTA ENTRY. Please post both the query and the first pages directly into the email. No attachments.

5. One of the Latin@s in Kid Lit members will read and respond to your email. During the month of October, we will help selected writers revise and polish queries and first pages to prepare for the Pitch Fiesta. Even though we will help you with your queries and first pages, please send us your best work. We have the right to reject any applications.

Queries and first pages will be posted on November 12 and 13. If an agent or an editor from Arte Público is interested, you will be contacted.

Exciting, right?

We hope writers will take advantage of this opportunity to present your work to publishing professionals who are actively seeking, and thereby supporting, diversity in kid lit!