A New Project: Giving Back

I’ve had an idea floating around in my mind for awhile, something I really wanted to do but was waiting for the right time. And now seems like the right time to do it.

It started back when I was editing Perchance to Dream last spring. I was talking to someone who had been a long-time friend about the amazing stories in the book and how excited I was to share them with the world. And in return? My “friend” expressed disappointment that I’d included “inappropriate” stories in the anthology.

How could these stories be inappropriate, you might ask? Gratuitous sex? Graphic violence? Profanity? Nope. It was because the book included a couple of stories with (some very G-rated) LGBT relationships.

(* I’d like to add that this person was aware of the fact that I’m bi. But, apparently, “it doesn’t count” because I’m also ace. That conversation was fun times all around.)

That conversation is really what put the idea in my head. Because I’m a crotchety old lady who’s comfortable enough with her position in life to go, “Hey, f*** you, buddy,” when someone pulls something like that on me, and be annoyed but not ultimately endangered or threatened by it. I’m lucky enough to have a family that supports me, who were like, “That’s nice,” when I came out to them. I never had to worry about being disowned or kicked out of the house. But lots of other people aren’t in my position. And for teenagers? It can be much, much worse.

So ever since this incident went down, I’ve been wanting to find a way to give back. To find a way to help teens who aren’t as lucky as I was. To help the kids who might be hurt by “friends” like this, or who might be missing out on books that could be lifesavers to them because someone along the line—be it a publisher or a librarian or someone stocking the local bookstore—said, “That’s inappropriate.” So that’s why I decided to put together a charity fundraiser to benefit The Trevor Project.

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For those of you who might not be familiar with it, The Trevor Project is a crisis intervention and suicide prevention hotline focusing on providing help to LGBTQIA+ teens and young adults. You can learn more about them at www.TheTrevorProject.org.

From October 7 through 16 of this year (coinciding with National Coming Out Day on October 11!), YA Lifeline will be auctioning off signed books, swag and more from YA authors, with all the proceeds going to The Trevor Project. I’m super excited about this project, and am hoping it will be a success! Our goal is to raise at least $500 for The Trevor Project with this auction. Want to learn more? Check out our website!

If you’re an author, publisher, book blogger or librarian and would like to help out, you can learn more about the donation process here. YA authors with any publishing background (traditional, small press or indie) are welcome to contribute, and we’d be delighted to have you on board! Even if you don’t have any books to donate, if you’d be willing to donate a service such as query letter or manuscript critiques, that would be wonderful. Every little bit helps. And of course, the best way you can help is to spread the word! The more people are involved, the better the auction will be.

Everything is still in the early planning phases for now, but I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on the details as the event gets closer. So everyone get excited! 😀

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