Ever since Matthew and I learned to publish books for ourselves, we have been sharing how to do it with others! True power rises and I could feel the power as soon as we began, and the desire to share it.
What I know is that our work is never about the book even though books get made. It’s always about power. Books are the vehicle, the space we create for our voice, our self, our vision. We create a place where we can be our real selves and know each other. We create a new world!
The Heart of It Collection is a series of anthologies in direct response to inequity in the children’s book industry and is about sharing power and making ourselves visible.
I wanted a playful model to publish new and emerging children’s book artistauthors who are not historically reflected in children’s books, and do it from a supportive, holistic framework. This means centering the experience and voice of people of color, the lgbtqia2s community, American Indians, disabled people and elders.
It felt invaluable to provide real life experience on how to engage with traditional publishers or self-publish. By inviting artistauthors after the course to put the materials to practical use through the anthology, we’ve shown that everyone has a story, a unique voice and vision, and everyone can do it. Having a safe, solid community and holistic mentorship supports voice coming forward and growing stronger. This is exactly what our kids need to see us doing. Owning our voice, our creative power and taking action. We are setting the stage for them.
In the first two anthologies we published 45 people.
I am about to begin the next Heart of It course and after some consideration we’ve decided that this round will be the third and last anthology, for a while. This has been a powerFULL experience and it has me pumped to continue exploring the many ways I can support reflective children’s books, including publishing more of my own books and developing more free materials for my communities and our kids.
Be sure that even though I’m taking a break from the anthology collection after 2016, The Heart of It immersion course and the new Make Books Now action program will continue to dance on with great energy!
AND once the 3 anthologies in The Heart of It Collection are complete, I will focus on sharing them as a set providing free curriculum about how to use them in the classroom and how they connect to my Write Now! Make Books free online kids’ program.
If you’d like to learn how to create meaningful books for our kids in a supportive holistic frame and then put the teaching to real-world application, come be part of the 3rd anthology. My next Heart of It e-course starts April 18th.
…and since we just decided that this will be our last anthology for a while, we’re extending our scholarship deadline until April 5th.
I look forward to seeing what stories and art will arise in our 3rd and final anthology in this series!