Ah, 2022, the year we all hoped to return to normalcy only to discover we’re not really there just yet! (Or was that just me?) I’m pretty sure I’m not the only author who was eager to turn to a new calendar year last week, and not just because it meant a shiny new planner (though I am always pretty excited about new planners). 2022 was not full of fantastic publishing news — from Barnes and Noble announcing they would no longer be carrying most middle grade hardcovers to organized book banning effort sweeping the country — but it was all not doom and gloom, upon further reflections.
As I look back over the past year, these were some of the things that brought me either joy or a sense of accomplishment:
- most of the books I read this year (212 books, according to Goodreads, not including picture books)
- finally taking a class in picture book writing (my draft is very much still a work in progress, but it’s a start!)
- my agent making my first foreign rights/translation sale: Things You Can’t Say will be published in Saudi Arabia/Arabic (not sure when, but I will share when I have more info!)
- my first peek at Free Throws, Friendship, & Other Things We Fouled Up (coming fall 2023 from Chronicle Kids) all laid out like a book — it’s real!
- hearing back from early readers in the kid-lit world who were willing to read the copyedited manuscript and provide wonderful blurbs (which I’ll share as soon as the book’s up for pre-order)
- my first in-person school visit since 2019 (kids! how I missed them!)
- my first in-person talk to adults since 2019 (librarians! same!)
- my first in-person book festival since 2019 (author friends!!!!)
- reading a bajillion chapter books and drafting my first attempt at one
- moderating a panel at the American Library Association’s annual conference in Washington, DC (I was so proud of my debut author panelists!)
- hosting my nephew for a week in Cincinnati this summer
- holding a real, live owl at the Renaissance Faire
- visiting a new-to-me ballpark, Polar Park in Worcester, home to the WooSox (AAA affiliate of the Boston Red Sox)
- putting my feet in the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans
- seeing old and dear friends in Denver, CO this fall
What’s coming in 2023:
- Hopefully I will soon finish the first draft of a new middle grade project. It’s rough and not under contract and it’s changed a lot already from the original conception to where it is right now, but I love these characters and hope that someday it can find some more readers than, well, me and my critique pals. We’ll see!
- Free Throws, Friendship, & Other Things We Fouled Up, aka my basketball book, aka my ode to all things Cincinnati and college basketball, will be published this fall (date TBD). This book is going to be SO MUCH FUN to promote. No shade to my previous books, but this is my very first book where no one dies, or might die, or died in the past. Which… is not to say it isn’t a Jenn Bishop book; I think readers will discover plenty of commonalities with my other titles. But it’s a distinctly lighter book, thematically, and a bit higher concept. I can’t wait to share more (and more, and more) in the coming year.
- Maybe my basketball team will start playing better. Maybe… 😉