spec fic & street lit

•November 13, 2011 • 1 Comment

Every time I see that Macy’s commercial I find myself singing along with their version of Olivia Newton John’s “Magic,” which I believe is from the film Xanadu. If YOU believe in magic, check out The Rejectionist‘s fabulous series on women writers of speculative fiction. So far she’s featured Ibi Zoboi, Andrea Hairston, Hiromi Goto, and Kat Howard. You should also swing by Vanessa Irvin Morris’ blog to read her take on the merging of speculative fiction and street literature. A Wish After Midnight is included in her list of sci-fi/fantasy narratives set in the ‘hood…

Amazon Sweepstakes at School Library Journal

•November 10, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Head over to SLJ now and enter to win one of 15 prize packs of AmazonEncore YA and MG titles, including A Wish After Midnight! The grand prize winner gets all 15 books AND a new Kindle Fire. What are you waiting for?!

In other news, you can now pre-order your copy of Ship of Souls!

a tantalizing deal!

•October 3, 2011 • 1 Comment

Amazon’s got a great promotion on right now—the Kindle 100: 100 titles for $3.99 or less. If you’ve been waiting for a reason to read Tantalize by New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith or A Wish After Midnight by yours truly, now’s your chance!

Brooklyn Book Festival 2011

•September 18, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I didn’t sneeze once while I was out today and it was a glorious afternoon for a book festival. We had a great conversation about historical fiction, and it was a real pleasure meeting Judy Blundell, Nick Bertozzi, Victoria Sanders and TR (Tanya) Simon. There were lots of other authors on the plaza—I snapped a shot of Jacqueline Woodson and Christopher Grant. I even came home with a free BBF mug, which I promptly filled with honeyed tea…

Nick (with daughter Sabine) signing my copy of Lewis & Clark

me, Tanya, Judy, and Vicky

Don’t forget that you can see Jackie, Rita Williams-Garcia, and me at the Word, Rock, & Sword reading on 9/22. The festival actually starts today—check out the complete schedule here.

Strong Girls in Fiction

•September 13, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I’m so excited and honored to be included in this festival! Along with award-winning authors Jacqueline Woodson and Rita Williams-Garcia, I’ll be reading on 9/22 as part of an evening we’re calling “Great Women Were Once Great Girls: An Evening of Strong Girls in Fiction” (8-10pm at Outpost Lounge in Ft. Greene, BK). More details can be found on the Facebook page; you can also check out Toshi Reagon’s websitefor more information.

What is Word*Rock*& Sword?

In response to the conservative political backlash against women’s rights, the first Word, Rock, & Sword festival will unite New Yorkers for eight dynamic days of creativity, support and activism. Conceived by musician-activist Toshi Reagon, Word, Rock, & Sword offers performances, screenings, classes and discussions at Manhattan and Brooklyn performance venues as well as yoga studios, cafés and bookstores, September 18-25.

On Saturday, September 24, famed multimedia art cabaret Le Poisson Rouge will host Word, Rock, & Sword: A Musical Celebration of Women, featuring Tamar-kali, Toshi Reagon, Joan As Police Woman, Meshell Ndegeocello, Morley, Imani Uzuri, Slanty Eyed Mama, Arooj Aftab, and many other noted music artists.

Festival highlights also include a free screening of No Woman No Cry, a documentary by Christy Turlington Burns at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Plaza on Wednesday, September 21. In this gripping directorial debut, Turlington Burns shares powerful stories of at-risk pregnant women in four parts of the world, including a remote Maasai community in Tanzania, a slum of Bangladesh, a post-abortion care ward in Guatemala and a prenatal clinic in the United States.

Brooklyn Book Festival 2011

•September 2, 2011 • 2 Comments

I hope you’ll attend our panel if you’re in the tri-state area on September 18th! You can learn more about all the festival events at the BBF Facebook page.

1:00 P.M. Reimagining History. National Book Award winner and New York Times Bestselling author Judy Blundell (What I saw and How I lied, and Strings Attached), Coretta Scott King Award Winners, Victoria Bond and T.R. Simon (Zora and Me), and best-selling author Nick Bertozzi (Lewis and Clark) discuss what it takes to tap into and re-imagine unforgettable characters that bring us mystery and adventure wrapped in emotional and timeless settings. Moderated by Zetta Elliott, author of the novel A Wish After Midnight.

a magical night

•May 15, 2011 • 1 Comment

Did you miss the “Myth & Magic” reading at Franklin Park last week? The L Magazine posted this great review:

Alexi Zentner, hailed as the inventor of a new genre called “mythical realism,” read passages from his novel Touch, which included a sad, riveting, macabre, and harrowing scene of an accident on a frozen river. Zetta Elliott read from her YA fantasy A Wish After Midnight, a pre-9/11 story that time-travels to Civil War-era Brooklyn; she read two passages set in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, one sweet one in which a black-Latina girl gabs with an old Danish man, and another of ghostly, moonlit, time-folding strangeness. Elliott ended on a breathless cliffhanger that left the crowd scrambling for the merch table; during the break, everyone seemed to have a copy of her book tucked under their arms.

great day!

•May 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

We got some very good news yesterday: BIRD has won the West Virginia Children’s Choice Award! Last year Diary of a Wimpy Kid won, so I’m really honored that the children found merit in our book. The competition is open to books published within the past three years that meet the literary standards adopted by the Children’s Services Division of the American Library Association for Notable Books:

  1. Have high literary merit.
  2. Have qualities of originality, imagination, and vitality.
  3. Have an element of timelessness.
  4. Reflect the sincerity of the author.
  5. Have sound values.
  6. Have a theme of subject worth imparting to and of interest to children.
  7. Have factual accuracy.
  8. Have clarity and readability.
  9. Be appropriate in subject, treatment and format to the age group for which it is intended.

Then I looked on Amazon and noticed that a new review of WISH had been added. It’s actually from a teacher who allowed her two students to post these evaluations of my novel:

Review 1: A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot was an interesting book. It is about a girl, Genna, and how she is in a bad neighborhood and she wants out. She gets more than she bargained for when a wish sends her back to 1863. This book gives you a good look at some of the things that happened around the Civil War-era.

When Genna is in the world of 1863, she has to learn to fit in, work, not say what is on her mind, and find a way out. In the book, it shows you how everyone who was not white was treated.

This book has good information about the Civil War and a good story!

Review 2: A Wish After Midnight was an eye-opening book. Even though some parts in the beginning were a little intense, the historical part gives a great view on the start of the Civil War. The main character, Genna, shines a light on the difficulty of being a black girl in the 1800s while continuing to hope and work toward a positive and educated life for herself. This book has so many twists and turns that it keeps you on your toes as you await the next turn of events. A Wish After Midnight is a great segue into thinking about the Civil War because the number of perspectives you get from people with very different backgrounds and ideas. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone 13 or older who is looking for a book that really brings out the tensions and worries of people during the Civil War. From: Books R. Cool

myth & magic

•April 30, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I hope you can join us for a night of “Myth and Magic.” In response to our world of natural disasters, strife and chaos, writers ALEXI ZENTNER (Touch), HELEN PHILLIPS (And Yet They Were Happy), ZETTA ELLIOTT (A Wish After Midnight), ANTHONY TOGNAZZINI (I Carry A Hammer In My Pocket For Occasions Such As These), and NED THIMMAYYA (Old Ghost Stories) present an alternate reality of time travel, witches, ghosts, and monsters.

The details:

Monday, May 9, 8-10pm
Franklin Park Bar and Beer Garden
618 St. Johns Place, between Franklin and Classon Avenues
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
FREE; $4 pints
Subway: 2/3/4/5 trains to Franklin Avenue

ALEXI ZENTNER is the author of the debut novel Touch. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in The Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, Glimmer Train, Narrative, The Walrus, Slice Magazine, Orion Magazine, on FiveChapters.com, and in other publications. His short story “Touch,” which inspired his novel, was awarded a 2008 O. Henry Prize and his story “Trapline” won the 2008 Narrative Prize. He holds an MFA from Cornell University and lives in Ithaca, New York with his family.

is the author of the debut novel And Yet They Were Happy and the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, the Meridian Editors’ Prize, and the Italo Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has appeared in PEN America, Brooklyn Magazine, Mississippi Review, Sonora Review, Salt Hill, and L Magazine, among others, and in the anthology American Fiction: The Best Previously Unpublished Short Stories by Emerging Authors. She received her MFA from Brooklyn College, where she now teaches undergraduate creative writing and administers the MFA program. Originally from Colorado, she lives in Brooklyn with her husband, artist Adam Thompson.

ZETTA ELLIOTT is the author of the novel A Wish After Midnight and a poet, essayist, and playwright.  Her poetry has been published in the Cave Canem anthology, The Ringing Ear: Black Poets Lean South, Check the Rhyme: an Anthology of Female Poets and Emcees, and Coloring Book: an Eclectic Anthology of Fiction and Poetry by Multicultural Writers. Her essays have appeared in The Black Arts Quarterly, thirdspace, WarpLand, and Rain and Thunder.  She won the 2005 Honor Award in Lee & Low Books’ New Voices Contest and published a picture book, Bird, in 2008. Her play Nothing but a Woman was a finalist in the Chicago Dramatists’ Many Voices Project. She lives in Brooklyn.

is the author of I Carry A Hammer In My Pocket for Occasions Such As These, a collection of prose poems and short fictions. His work has appeared in Quarterly West, Mississippi Review, Denver Quarterly, Swink, Pindeldyboz, Puerto del Sol, Quick Fiction, the Alaska Quarterly Review, and other journals, and in Sudden Stories: A Mammoth Anthology of Minuscule Fiction. He was born in California and has lived in Texas, the Philippines, Spain, Germany, Indiana, and the Czech Republic. He lives in Brooklyn.

is a writer, law student, and former rapper.  His work has appeared in the Foundling Review, Up the Beanstalk, and is forthcoming in the Brooklyn Journal of International Law. He has written a short story collection, Old Ghost Stories, and is currently working on a new story collection and a novel. He has also written and recorded three rap albums: The Leap, Empire State, and The T-Notebook. Originally from Kinderhook, NY, he now lives in Crown Heights.

About the Franklin Park Reading Series:

Launched in March 2009, the Franklin Park Reading Series is held every second Monday at the Franklin Park Bar and Beer Garden in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. We feature emerging and established fiction writers, memoirists, poets, storytellers, and comedians (and the occasional musician). Whenever possible, we draw from the local talent pool. And we love to showcase a wide range of voices, reflecting the diversity of the Crown Heights community.

The series has been recommended by the New York Times, the New Yorker, New York Magazine, Time Out, the Village Voice, New York Press, The Brooklyn Paper, and other publications. The L Magazine gave the Franklin Park Reading Series a 2011 Brooklyn Bar Award for “best readings.”

Books are sold through the Prospect Heights independent bookstore Unnameable Books.

upcoming Toronto event

•April 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment