Two weeks ago, I got an email (and a phone call!) saying that I was a finalist in the Tu Books New Visions Awards. My book The Ark Chronicles – Generation Zero is one of five Young Adult/Middle Grade Science Fiction and Fantasy books being considered for this award. The grand prize is a publishing contract with Tu Books, an imprint of Lee and Low Books.

Being a finalist is exciting for so many reasons, but one of the most important is that this contest was specifically for writers of color, whose books feature multiethnic characters.

After the announcement came out, I ‘met’ the other finalists as we cyber-stalked each other and then began to email. Each of these other writers is amazing in their own right. We’re all at different stages in our writing but we are all as yet unpublished. We come from different backgrounds and are scattered all over this country. But what we definitely have in common is that we are in love with story and the telling of it.

I love that this is an opportunity to showcase writers of different ethnicities and to celebrate their talent. I think of how, growing up an avid reader, I longed for a heroine or hero to look like me, (actually I probably wished I looked like them). Through opportunities like this one that Tu Books gives us, we’ll get to see heroes and heroines of all colors, shapes and sizes. Isn’t that more reflective of real life?

I’m so excited to have made it to the final five. The other writers in this group are hugely talented people as I’ve recently discovered. I’m so privileged to be grouped with these wonderful writers.

Do look out for more about each of us to come. We’re going to post some of our conversations soon, so you can get to know us all.