Hot Summer Twisted/Speak Book Trailer Contest!

Thank you so much everyone for all the enthusiastic comments and emails yesterday about the ALAN Award announcement. My feet didn’t touch the ground all day.

The Office Mouse has been scurrying around getting me caught up on technology and preparing for the books coming out in the next year. One of the things we’d like to do is have more contests. That’s where you come in.

Librarians! Do you have summer reading groups?

Get them involved in the Hot Summer Twisted/Speak Book Trailer Contest!

Details! Details!

1. Create a book trailer for SPEAK or TWISTED. You may not use clips from the SPEAK movie (it is copyrighted, that’s why). Your trailer must qualify for a PG rating. Try to keep it under two minutes long.

2. Post the trailer on YouTube. Include the phrase “TWISTED trailer contest” or “SPEAK trailer contest” in the title. Submissions must be posted by 12:00pm, EST, August 31, 2008.

3. Once the trailer is posted, notify us by emailing the Office Mouse: officemouse AT writerlady DOT com . When you notify us, please provide a link to your trailer and a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. If you are in a Summer Reading group, include the name of your librarian and her (or his) email address.

4. Watch and wait. Winner will be chosen by Laurie Halse Anderson (aka me).

5. NOTE! Contest is only open to people who will be 21 years old or younger on August 31, 2008.

6. If your trailer is chosen as the winning entry and you are not 18 yet, your parents will have to sign a release form granting me the rights to use your trailer. If you are over 18, you get to sign for yourself. You will be credited as the producer of the trailer, but the only payment you will receive is the prize described below. If you win, be sure to include this on your college or film school application.

7. If you are in a library summer reading group, your library will receive 5 signed copies of my books. The librarian in charge of the group gets to decide which books to receive.

8. There will be two prizes awarded; one for the best SPEAK trailer, one for the best TWISTED trailer.

9. The creator of the winning trailer will be awarded an 8GB iPod touch. Winner agrees to be responsible for setting up and paying for Internet connection and any warranty protection plan.

10. Winners will be announced on this blog, Sunday, September 7th, and will be notified by email.

I think that’s everything. Please feel free to post this announcement to library and academic listservs. If you have any questions about the contest, please post them in the Comments section.

In which the author blushes and stammers


This is one of those “out of body” things. One of those weird turns on the path of life that you don’t see coming, and it’s really fun, but at the same time you keep doubting it’s real, then you feel dumb for doubting, because, after all, they are very smart people, and yes, they did choose you – ME! – and so you had better just stop being silly and bask in it all.

I’m not sure how to phrase this, so I’ll quote from the press release: “…the ALAN Award Committee has voted to honor Laurie Halse Anderson with the 2008 ALAN Award.”

If you don’t know what ALAN is, hang on a sec and I’ll explain. If you do know, then you understand why this feels glorious and overwhelming and has rocked me to the core. It’s a darn good thing they made the announcement five months before I accept the award and give a speech, because it’s going to take me all that time to figure out how to convey my gratitude properly.

You can read more about it here.

Still wondering why I am so befuddled? They’ve given this award to many of my heroes: Teri Lesesne, Jerry Spinelli, Jacqueline Woodson, Patty Campbell, S.E. Hinton, Mildred Taylor, Walter Dean Myers, Chris Crutcher, Don Gallo, Gary Paulsen, Richard Peck, Cynthia Voigt, Katherine Paterson, Madeleine L’Engle, and The Big Guy: Robert Cormier. Now do you see why this is overwhelming?

::pauses for a brief attack of the vapors::
::nearly swoons::
::rouses self with great difficulty::

“But, Laurie, what is ALAN?” you ask.

ALAN is where all the best English teachers hang out. The acronym stands for The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents. In a nutshell, ALAN is the collection of brilliant English teachers, along with the college professors who taught them, and the authors and editors who are in awe of the work they do. If you teach English, literature, or reading to teens, I beg of you, please join. (Very inexpensive!) You’ll get a kick-butt journal with terrific reviews and articles about real-world classroom challenges, and you will connect with some incredible peers.

If all the world is a high school, then ALAN is the cool kids’ table for English teachers; the nice ones who are always scootching down to make room for new people. Especially the new ones who still feel fourteen and gawky.

Thank you very, very much, my kindred spirits.

I am melting and other obvious facts

Remember how I moved up here because I love ice and snow? I’ll be crawling inside the freezer shortly. This will be the third day with sticky temperatures in the 90s. Ack. I hate heat. Ack. Ack. Ack.

I have a couple of freshly-chilled links to distract you, if you are sticking to your chair the way I am sticking to mine this morning.

My local newspaper, the Post Standard, has a nice article about our upcoming half-marathon and how I became a runner. You can see photos of BH and I running, plus additional bits from the interview on Shelf Life , the newspaper’s book blog.(Yes, I am very proud to live in a region where the newspaper has a reporter who covers books AND a book blog!)

Richie Partington has written a wonderful and moving review of CHAINS.

The Mad Woman in the Forest Writing Challenge starts July 1. If you’ll be joining us, it’s time to sharpen your pencils. In preparation, I’m going to recommend you check out a few books about the business of writing and the artistic process. If you want to publish a book for kids or teenagers, I really think you should buy Harold Underdown’s Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Children’s Books, 3rd Edition. Seriously. You’ll read it until the covers fall off.

Office Mouse got the camera talking to the computer yesterday! (I am still learning how to size the photos correctly. Another obvious fact.) What do you want me to put on a video?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Here is the Creature With Fangs all dressed up for our anniversary last week.

Oh! And I can show you pictures from last weekend’s book signing, too!

Loving the Mitten State

What a great way to start the week – TWISTED has been selected as one of the 2008 Michigan Library Association’s Thumbs Up! Award honor books. THANK YOU, MICHIGAN!! Woooooooo!

::runs around office, tripping over stacks of books::

(I’ll post a link to the complete list as soon as it is available.)

The weekend flew by. We had our last group run in preparation for next week’s race. It was disgustingly hot and humid, but we didn’t die, so I guess it worked out. After a dash home, a quick shower, and a long drive to Skaneateles, I had a great book signing at Creekside Books there.

“And where are the photos, Laurie?” you ask. “You always post photos about these things. Come to think of it, you promised us video, too. Whatever happened to that, huh? Huh?”

Yeah, about the photos. We are experiencing technical difficulties trying to get my new Nikon Coolpix S550 to talk to my operating system, Mac OS X 10.5.3. The Office Mouse will be hunting down the right driver today, but if any of you guys know anything about this configuration, please let us know in the Comments.

Office Mouse is also setting up a listserv for any of you would like direct notification about new books or when I might be showing up at a bookstore or conference near you. Details later in the week.

How is prom season going? Check out the Readergirlz site where we are talking about my book PROM all month long. I have started to spill the stories behind the stories in the forum. Go read and share your own prom tales of woe or wonder!

To give you a photo fix for the day, here is a shot of the PROM book signing I had at river’s end bookstore in Oswego a couple of years ago. The store turned the event into a prom, complete with band and punch. And they sent a limo for me and my date!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

We had a blast.