The Cover of We Were Liars, May 13, 2013

Hope you had a good Halloween.
I was a monarch butterfly.
Someone stole our pumpkin AND the bowl of candy we left out for neighborhood kids.
I saw a man with a beard dressed as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.
I ate all the Butterfingers nobody else wanted.
Business as usual for All Hallows Eve in NYC. 

Today (Nov 1) was the cover reveal on the Entertainment Weekly website for my upcoming book, WE WERE LIARS.  
It was an exclusive, which means no one was allowed to see the cover until today -- or the juicy John Green quotation at the top of the shiny beautiful jacket.  
Here it is!  
You also get a hint of the plot, which is highly under wraps. 


I have a book coming out in May.



I have a book coming out in May. It is called WE WERE LIARS. There will be a fancy pants cover REVEAL on Entertainment Weekly's website on November 1, and advance reader copies (ARCs) will be mailed out after that --  but before then my publisher had me sign about 100 manuscripts which were sent to top secret recipients.

Okay, they're not top secret. I just don't know who they were. So if you were one of them, tweet me and let me know!  

If you want to know more about We Were Liars, I answered questions on Twitter the other night so there are some clues there. Search hashtag #wewereliars and you can read the conversation.  


The National Book Award Finalists for 2013

We did it! We picked five National Book Award finalists for 2013, and they announced today, Oct 16. 

It was HARD to decide because we members of the committee adored all top ten books. But I am proud to share with you our choices, and a winner will be decided at a big fancy ceremony in late November.

The concrete info below is cribbed from the NBA's wonderful site -- but  you should click over to it because they have published a FREE EBOOK of excerpts from all 20 finalists in the four categories. So for free, you can read bits of all the contenders before the big event November 20. 


Book covers for the 2013 NBA YPL Finalists


Kathi AppeltThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp 
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)

Cynthia KadohataThe Thing About Luck (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster)

Tom McNealFar Far Away (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House)

Meg RosoffPicture Me Gone (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of Penguin Group USA)

Gene Luen YangBoxers & Saints (First Second/Macmillan)


- Kate DiCamilloFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (Candlewick Press)
- Lisa Graff, A Tangle of Knots (Philomel, A division of Penguin Group USA)
- Alaya Dawn JohnsonThe Summer Prince (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic) 
- David LevithanTwo Boys Kissing (Knopf Books for Young Readers/Random House) 
- Anne UrsuThe Real Boy (Walden Pond Press/an Imprint HarperCollinsPublishers)


Deb CalettiCecil CastellucciPeter GlassmanE. Lockhart, Lisa Von Drasek


National Book Award Longlist, Sophie Blackall and more.

A lot is going on! 

First: WE WERE LIARS is my new YA book and the cover will be revealed on Entertainment Weekly's web site on November 1, 2013.  The book comes out in May, but when you see the cover you'll have a sense of what the book is about, what John Green had to say about it, and the like. 

Second: I am chair of the National Book Award committee on Young People's Literature this year.  The rest of our committee:  librarian Lisa Von Drasek, bookseller Peter Glassman, writer Deb Caletti, writer and editor  Cecil Castelluci. We announced our long list (top ten) on The Daily Beast, and they did a great job giving not only summaries of the books, but Twitter feeds, interviews, etc.   Below you can see the cover art for all our amazing choices.


Then Galley Cat did this really cool link post to FREE samples of every single book, not just young people's literature but fiction, nonfiction and poetry, too. So go there and read your heart out. 

Third:  You know by now that I write under another name, yes? Picture books and books for elementary-aged readers. 

Well, the inimitable, amazing, super-creative Sophie Blackall, illustrator of the Ivy & Bean books, Meet Wild Boars, Ruby's Wish, Pecan Pie Baby and a lot of other beautiful books, has begun blogging about the process of illustrating a book we are doing together -- A Fine Dessert. It requires a lot of historical research and Blackall is showing sketches and inspiration. Fascinating for anyone who is interested in children's book illustration. She is a real master and is opening up her creativity to her readers.  Here is Part One. Part Two. And Part Three.  The project continues almost daily on Sophie's blog.

A trial piece of her work for A Fine Dessert.

Fourth: The National Book Awards short list (finalists!) comes out on October 16, 2013. The awards are on November 20, 2013.  I get to stand up and give the award. What will I wear?

Nice problem to have.

Hope yours are just as nice. 

xo E

Reading SO so much.

August is passing with reading, reading and reading -- but most of it is because I am judging the National Book Awards, young people's literature category.  SO I CAN'T TELL YOU ABOUT IT. 

For those of you who don't follow these things, the history of the NBA is pretty interesting, and the Wikipedia version is here (not authoritative, but probably basically the gist of it). The NBA online exhibition of the YPL award winners and finalists is below (I've linked to it before.)

Anyway, what happens is that publishers submit the books -- and they can be fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, picture books, middle-grade, young adult -- anything! We are a committee of five -- three writers (one is me), one librarian and one bookseller. All in the field of children's literature. We read read read read read read, and discuss at length. Then we come up with a longlist of ten books that will be announced Sept 12. 

About a month later, the finalists from that list are announced. The five authors have a month to stew and worry -- and then we have a big PARTY at Cipriani. It is black tie! All the finalists do a big reading the night before the party, which is open to the public and which is pretty incredible.

Anyway. Party. Black tie. I am planning to wear a J. Crew party dress that is very pretty but maybe not as flattering as it might be. Unless I find something even better. And they have fancy writers and supporters of literature and people give speeches and they give the award. Also, lots of people liveTweet it, which is quite fun. And I get to give the award! Because I am the Chair of the YPL committee. 

Which means maybe I SHOULD get a new dress. 

But seriously. It is not about the dress. It is about the books. 

A few things I've read this summmer that I can tell you about:

GOBLIN SECRETS by William Alexander. This was our Mother-Daughter Book Club pick, and it won the NBA last year. Alexander talked at the Hamline MFA program when I taught there in July, and he was fascinating -- discussing  everything from Shakesperean theater to the Muppets, both influences on the novel.

Amulet of the Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud. I am in the middle of this on audio. So MUCH FUN. Why did it take me so long?

Bronxville by Coe Booth. This is a sequel to Tyrell, which I also loved, but I think it stands alone. It is in some ways a romance, in other ways a harsh and heartbreaking story of life in Bronx housing projects and a boy who is trying to find his way in a really tough situation. 

Happy reading!


Invisible Inkling, Hamline MFAC and more.

Hello from a couch where I am sitting with Sarah Mlynowski and Courtney Sheinmel, WRITING STUFF. Well, they are writing stuff. I am blogging. 

My new book for elementary-aged readers came out this past week. Invisible Inkling: The Whoopie Pie War is the third book in the Invisible Inkling series. The return of the killer unicorn head, 15 ways to make pumpkin ice cream, pygmy hedgehogs, romance, a league of supervillains, moderate violence. What more could you want? Oh! Pictures by Harry Bliss. It's got those, too.

I am recently returned from teaching at Hamline's MFAC -- an MFA program in writing for children. It's a low-residency program, which means there are intensives in July and January, and the rest of the time the students work directly with an advisor on their creative and critical work. There are only a couple programs like it in country, specializing in writing for kids, so if you're interested I recommend you check it out.

This was my second residency, and one of my favorite things about teaching there is that I get to attend my colleagues' lectures on the craft of writing. Oh, hearing Franny Billingsly explain how to develop a character, or Anne Ursu talk about "staging" a novel, or Gary Schmidt talk about point of view -- all in a day's work.

I did a lecture this time called Self Editing: Better Living Through Technology, which was about using Final Draft, Scrivener and the Track Changes function of Word. 

The other big thing that's going on with me right now is I am judging the National Book Awards, young people's literature category. There are five judges total, and the long list of top ten books is announced on September 12, 2013. So I am reading reading reading. Here is a link to Up All Night Reading, the National Book Foundation's online exhibition of the YPL category winners and finalists, organized by year. It is very fun reading and has loads of essays about the books and tidbits about their authors.

Hope you are doing some amazing summer reading, too! 

xo E

My first boyfriend, Tumblr, and more.

So, this video shows me talking about my first boyfriend, and I made it hiding in the bathroom at a ballroom dance studio. It's part of a promotion for Julia DeVillers' fun new middle-grade series launcher: Emma Emmets, Playground Matchmaker.  

If you click through to the video on YouTube, you'll see similar videos by loads of other authors, including Lauren Myracle, Lauren Oliver, Elizabeth Eulberg, Jon Sciezska, Julia DeVillers, and way more. You can also watch this "first crush medley," which is pretty darn amusing. 
In other news: I have attempted Tumblr. The results are mixed so far. I haven't totally got the hang of it, so if you stop by or follow me, bear with me while I learn. 
I am reading reading reading right now, rather than writing, because I am judging the National Book Awards this year. They recently put up an online exhibition of all the Young People's books that have won the NBA, including finalists. There are lots of articles and fun facts on there, and I encourage you to check it out. Here's the link to the section of books 2007-12, which includes The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Happy summer!  I hope you are all eating pie, feeling sand beneath your toes, and slagging off work.