YAing News: Week of March 13

Spring is springing, and thankfully it’s arrived with some sunshine! Between school deadlines, looming midterms, and general life tasks, we hope you’ve been making some time for yourself. So, sit back, relax, and check out what’s been happening in the children’s publishing industry!

YAing Updates

First, let’s start with what’s been going on here at Young Adulting this month! In our February author spotlight, editor Hannah Luppe interviews Johnnie Christmas, #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novelist of Swimteam! Johnnie talks community, creative processes, and manatees:

Each form has it strength. The written word can be very direct and helpful if you need to describe something that isn’t entirely visual (the smell or sound of something in the story, for instance. Since comics are solely a visual medium). Also writing is also very efficient for expository storytelling. Words are a very fast, clear way to get complex ideas out in a very short amount of page real estate. You can also describe emotional feelings with a bit more complexity with the written word. However, emotional complexity is sometimes best shown. Reading the emotions on a character’s face can be more powerful and subtle than a long block of exposition. Also expressing place is very effective in pictures. Showing what a world looks like is far more effective with an image. If I wanted to depict the interior of a gas station as gritty and grimy, showing it would be clearer. Yet describing it may better convey how I feel about the gas station, perhaps I despise it. Maybe it’s a nostalgic happy place for me. This is where words and action have a leg up.

5 Questions for Johnnie Christmas

Don’t forget to check out extra content in our recorded interview!

We’ve also published some marvellous reviews since I last wrote you! Here’s a recap:

  • The Countdown is not just a mystery, it’s a coming-of-age story, one that teaches the valuable lesson of facing our past mistakes headfirst so that we can become better people.” Shubhdeep Kaur Gill reviews The Countdown by M.J. McIsaac
  • “In Conservation Canines, Groc teaches readers everything there is to know about dogs who work to help conserve the planet. Readers will learn about the history of working dogs, how they are trained, and what kind of jobs conservation canines do.” Evelyn Hussey reviews Conservation Canines by Isabelle Groc
  • “While this lighthearted novel tells the beginning of Willow and Mason’s love story, at the centre are mother-child relationships in need of Salem’s magic to bring them closer together.” Kaila Johnson reviews Spells for Lost Things by Jenna Evans Welch

Happy Birthday, YAing!

On March 13, 2019, Emily Pohl-Weary and Elizabeth Leung published an announcement: the beginning of “an online magazine that celebrates, engages with, and reviews contemporary literature for young adults (YA), middle-grade (MG) and new adults (NA).” In the four years that have passed since then, almost 300 reviews by dozens of writers have appeared on these digital pages, along with author interviews and newsletters much like this one — all guided by a handful of devoted editors. As the launch announcement said, we started small, but we’re only continuing to grow. Thank you so much for reading, writing, and sharing!

Industry News

Exciting news!! Three Canadian publishers—Owlkids Books, Orca Book Publishers and La courte échelle—have been nominated for the 2023 Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publishers of the Year. Young Adulting receives many fantastic review copies from Orca Book Publishers, and we are so excited they are nominated. Congratulations to these three amazing publishers! Learn more here.


The Canadian Children’s Book Centre is hosting a Get Published! webinar on March 25! The webinar will focus on writing picture books and fiction for young people and include expert advice for industry professionals. Click here to register and learn more!

Join author Shannon Stocker in a virtual read aloud of her book, Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion with a special American Sign Language interpretation from Cassidy Robertson. Prepare to read and draw along on Wednesday, March 15 at 7pm EST! Learn more and sign up here.

Get creative with New York Times-bestselling author-illustrator of The Circles All Around Us, Brad Montague as he discusses the importance of community in The Art of Learning Through Communities webinar on Tuesday, March 21 at 7pm EST! Learn more and register here!


The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is now accepting submissions for the fall 2023 edition of Best Books for Kids & Teens (BBKT)! The submission deadline is March 31! Find more information on how to apply here.

As always, please do send us your news related to children’s and young adult literature at young.adulting@ubc.ca so we can feature them in future newsletters. Our newsletter is published on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. And remember to keep up with us on Twitter and Instagram!

Take care, and happy reading, 

The Young Adulting Editors 

2 thoughts on “YAing News: Week of March 13

  1. Hello,

    I am teaching a virtual creative writing workshop series for teen writers, and wondered if you might have room in an upcoming newsletter under Events for this post:

    Author Jessica Scott Kerrin has designed a practical, six-week creative writing workshop for teens that will show how to harness the driving power of words and the pleasure of writing stories. The series will be delivered (virtually) on Saturdays, from April 22 to May 27 (11:00 am to 12:00 pm Atlantic Standard Time). Learn more and register here: https://writers.ns.ca/workshops/grab-the-wheel-virtual-2023/ https://writers.ns.ca/workshops/grab-the-wheel-virtual-2023/




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