The Weekly 411 (5/19/23)


© Michelle Therrien

May 19, 2023 vol. 20

The Weekly 411 gathers all the links added to Kidlit411 each week. To receive this post by email, sign up for our email updatesAre you on Facebook? Join our Kidlit411 group for conversations and camaraderie. This week's illustration is by Michelle Therrien.

Publishing News

What Recent Publishing News Says about the Industry (recent kid lit agent controversy)

PEN America, Penguin Random House Sue Florida District Over "Unconstitutional" Book Bans


Middle Grade Giveaway

We are excited to host a giveaway of the middle grade novel, The Tarnished Garden, by Alyssa Colman (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), out now in paperback (paperback by Square Fish Books). Enter to win a copy in the Rafflecopter below.

About the Book: In this sparkling companion to the middle-grade fantasy The Gilded Girl, Maeve and Izzy must adjust to a new life together, but when Maeve's magic goes awry and their school is in danger, they'll need to lean on each other to make things right.

The Manhattan School for Magic is the newest kindling school in New York, but Maeve O’Donnell knows she doesn't deserve her place there. Though her sister, Izzy, is one of the school's founders and a hero to those who can now kindle, Maeve can't control her magic—and one day it goes rogue, leaving her desperate to repair what she's broken. Then she discovers a garden in the tenement neighborhood of the Tarnish, a hidden place where her magic actually works. She befriends talking kittens (that is, house dragons) who need her help to find their missing mother. But someone else is searching for the kittens, someone who doesn’t care how many magical sites they destroy to stop magic’s expansion. And Maeve’s unstable powers might be the only way to save her sister’s school from being snuffed out next.

About the Author: Alyssa Colman is the author of The Gilded Girl and The Tarnished Garden. Her debut novel won the 2021 Northern Lights Book Award for middle grade fantasy and was selected as a best book of the year by Bank Street College of Education and Nightly Girl. Alyssa now lives with her family in Virginia where she enjoys making messes ini her kitchen, reading, and hiking with her dog, Daisy.  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Picture Book Giveaway

We are pleased to host a giveaway of the picture book, A Day with No Words, by Tiffany Hammond, illustrated by Kate Cosgrove (Row House Publishing) out now. Enter to win a copy in the Rafflecopter below.

About the Book: A Day With No Words is a colorful and engaging picture book for young readers shares what life can look like for families who use nonverbal communication, utilizing tools to embrace their unique method of "speaking." The story highlights the bond between mother and child and follows them on a day where they use a tablet to communicate with others.

About the Author: Tiffany Hammond (she/her) is the voice behind the Fidgets and Fries platform. She is an Autistic mother, advocate, and storyteller who uses her personal experiences with Autism and parenting two Autistic boys to guide others on their journey. Tiffany has a Masters in Developmental Psychology and spends her time teaching, coaching, and mentoring others in Disability Justice issues. Her activism is rooted in challenging the current perception of Autism as a lifelong burden, cultivating a community that explores the concept of Intersectionality and inspiring thought leaders through storytelling, education, and critical discourse.

About the Illustrator: Kate Cosgrove is an artist with rainbow hair and pencil-smudged fingers. Her favorite things are drawing, reading and hanging out with tiny creatures like worms and toads in her probably haunted and very old house. Cosgrove is an award-winning children’s illustrator. Her debut picture book, AND the Bullfrogs Sing: A Life Cycle, was a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, and a Maryland Blue Crab Young Reader Award Honors book. Kate’s second picture book, The Dirt Book, Poems About Animals that Live Beneath Our Feet, was juried into The Original Art 41st Annual Exhibition in NYC by the Society of Illustrators. It was also a New York Public Library Best Book of the Year.

Buy your copy here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For Writers

Why There's No Such Thing as "Just a Story"

Three Key Elements to a Successful Story

Character Voice versus Narrator Voice

Submissions: Agents & Editors

Large Word Counts are More Expensive for Publishers

Conferences, Workshops & Retreats

July 12-15 Kidlit - Futurescapes Writers Workshop A highly competitive workshop with agents, editors, and authors providing instruction and mentorship for 10,000 words of a speculative (fantasy or sci-fi) manuscript, working in small critique groups. Virtual. ($696 for SCBWI members, more for nonmembers)

Contests & Awards

May 1-31 SCBWI Graphic Novel Award

  • What: submit a pitch packet for an unpublished graphic novel
  • Who is eligible: SCBWI members who are illustrators or author-illustrators
  • Prize: mentorship with an industry expert plus have your project presented to editors
  • WhatSubmit your unpublished novel-in-verse for middle grade or YA readers
  • Who is eligible: SCBWI members who are unpublished traditionally
  • Prize: mentorship with an industry expert plus your project is presented to editors


  1. Oh wow. these both look beautiful. And the blog art today is 🔥! 🐔🏠

  2. Both of these books look beautiful!! Can't wait to check them out!

  3. Both these books look amazing! Alyssa, I love magic stories and yours sounds great. Tiffany, your book looks so important. We had a child in our care (through the foster system) who had selective mutism, and alternative means of communication are critical for kids to learn about. I am working on revaping a unit on autism for my school's Understanding Differences program, and I am so glad you are highlighting useful technology. I can't wait to read your book!

  4. I can't wait to read both of these books. The cover art is beautiful.

  5. The book covers are gorgeous! Looking forward to checking them out!

  6. Both these books look fantastic and would be great mentor texts for writing projects. I would also love to share with my teen daughter and students. Such great topics. Can't wait to check them out.

  7. I love this week's illustration! So trippy and so funny and so perfect!

  8. Lovely books and wonderful links. Thanks for the post.

  9. These books sound wonderful. My school has students who use AAC devices, so I am definitely interested in adding A Day with No Words to our school's media center collection.

  10. As a mama living in an Autism world with my low verbal daughter, I'm thrilled to see more neurodivergent books on the shelves. Bravo

  11. So much good news! And great books! Congrats to all!

  12. A Day With No Words has been on my TBR list--this looks so good!


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