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2015 Children’s Choices List Released

The 2015 Children’s Choices list, which features books selected by 12,500 children from around the country, has been announced.

The list is a joint project of the International Literacy Association and the Children’s Book Council. Titles on the list were chosen in voting by children from more than 600 newly published children’s and young adult trade books. For the past 40 years, teachers, booksellers, librarians, parents, and caregivers have used the list as a source of book recommendations.

The Children’s Choices program is currently accepting submissions from publishers for the 2016 Children’s Choices through July 1. Submissions may become finalists in the Children’s Choice Book Awards. 

2016 PEN Literary Awards Calls for Submissions

PEN is inviting publishers and literary agents to send in submissions for the 2016 PEN Literary Awards in the fields of fiction, science writing, essays, drama, and poetry.

PEN’s deadline for submissions and nominations is August 15, 2015, which is earlier than in previous years. Those interested should visit each award’s page for details on how to submit, as some awards’ submission processes have changed.

Nominations are also being accepted from writers and PEN members for PEN’s numerous career achievement awards.

Nebraska Votes to Reduce Property Taxes When Federal E-Fairness Passes

Last week, Nebraska’s unicameral legislature voted 47–0 to reduce property taxes when e-fairness legislation passes in Congress. The move is meant to send a message to Washington that the time for e-fairness is now. A handful of states, including Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, Idaho, and Utah, have already passed similar legislation, hoping it will put pressure on Congress to act.

Economist Dr. Art Laffer believes this pro-growth reform will create nearly 10,000 jobs in the state of Nebraska by 2022. Additionally, he estimated that Nebraska loses roughly $45 million each year due to the online sales tax loophole. Last year, he published an op-ed in the Kearney Hub, where he articulated that “by holding local Nebraska retailers to a completely separate set of standards than online businesses, our government is effectively discouraging consumers from supporting local businesses.”

“Nebraska is joining with other states to reduce harmful taxes and ensure that local small businesses don’t compete with one arm tied behind their back,” said Joshua Baca, spokesperson for the Alliance for Main Street Fairness. “Congress needs to put forth solutions to close this outdated tax loophole that picks winners and losers in the free market. The solutions they are putting forward do little to close the loophole and are not workable from a business, economic, and political perspective. Sensible solutions are needed to ensure property taxes for Nebraskans are reduced.”

27th Annual Lambda Literary Award Winners Announced

More than 550 people, including authors, publishers, sponsors, and celebrities, attended a gala to celebrate excellence in LGBT literature at the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards on Monday night, June 1.

Coming on the heels of BookExpo America, the “Lammys” ceremony was hosted by comedian Kate Clinton at The Great Hall at Cooper Union, and was followed by an after party hosted by Scholastic.

At the height of the evening, feminist legend Gloria Steinem introduced Rita Mae Brown, author of the classic Rubyfruit Jungle (Bantam), who received the Pioneer Award. Famed gossip columnist Liz Smith then presented filmmaker and author John Waters with the Lambda’s Trustee Award for Excellence in Literature.

Other winners that night included Casey Plett in the Transgender Fiction category for A Safe Girl to Love (Topside Press) and Anne Balay and Daisy Hernandez, who received The Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Awards.  

Among the award presenters were Alison Bechdel, Justin Vivian Bond, Andrew Rannells, Susie Bright, Alan Cumming, Janet Mock, and Michelangelo Signorile. 

For the complete list of winners, visit the Lambda Literary website.

Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards Finalists Announced

The Midwest Independent Booksellers Association has announced the finalists for the Midwest Booksellers Choice Awards, which honors titles selected by booksellers from across the association’s nine-state region.

Finalists were chosen from books published between May 2014 and April 2015 that highlight the Midwest or were written by Midwestern authors. They include: in the Adult Fiction category, Descent by Tim Johnston (Algonquin); in Adult Nonfiction, Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay (HarperCollins); in Poetry, Chasing Weather by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (Ice Cube Press); in Children’s Literature (YA & Middle Grade), Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau (HMH Books for Young Readers); and in Children’s Picture Books, Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall (Greenwillow Books).

Over the next month, Midwest Independent Booksellers Association members will once again vote for their favorites. The winners, to be announced July 14, will be honored on October 9 at the Heartland Fall Forum in Lombard, Illinois.

Zazzle and Candlewick Press Launch Online Shop

On June 1, e-tailer Zazzle launched its first publisher collection in collaboration with Candlewick Press, with a dedicated online shop that features products with characters and art from favorite Candlewick children’s books.

At, customers can peruse more than 1000 products featuring illustrations from select Candlewick books, including baby products and clothing, gift wrapping and cards, home furnishings, and stationery.

Currently, characters include the baby from Huggy Kissy and Fa La La by Leslie Patricelli and the five furry stars from Bear on Chairs by Shirley Parenteau, illustrated by David Walker. Other products showcase Lucy Cousins’ trademark art as seen in Hooray for Fish and Maisy Goes on Vacation