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  • Tiffany Jewell

My author story...

I am an author.

I write books for kids.

I am an author.

I write books for kids.

I have to keep reminding myself of this because it's not the path I ever envisioned for myself...

My publishing story begins with my former editor.

She messaged me via Instagram. At the time, I was sharing a lot of the work my students and I were doing in our Montessori lower elementary classroom. We were exploring the history of racism and resistance, learning about economic justice and creating a plan for justice in our own school community modeled after the Black Panther Party's 10 Point Program. We were embarking on identity work, creating our maps and telling our stories.

She asked me if I ever considered writing a children's book... and, I thought someone was playing a joke on me. It wasn't a joke though.

I wrote This Book Is Anti-Racist during my lunch breaks and after bedtime over the course of a few months. My children were little and my school commute was 45 minutes each way every day. The book came along quickly. Aurélia Durand illustrated sections while I wrote the next and, on January 7th, 2020, the book was put out in the world for all!

I became a teacher who wrote a book.

And I thought the one book was it.

I didn't imagine I'd get to write more.

And then the pandemic came and we were all at home, glued to social media, feeling disconnected from and connected to the world more than ever. We collectively witnessed the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and grief swiftly moved into outrage and folks consumed any and everything that might help them to understand what and why Black folks continue to be murdered by the police.

My book became a #1 NewYorkTimes bestseller for several months. It was sold out everywhere. Folks wanted to consume my words and opinions, thoughts, experiences, and expertise. And, this didn't just happen to me. It happened to many Black authors who specifically write about antiracism and justice. (I'm still sorting through email requests from 2020...) This Book Is Anti-Racist was added to lots of antiracist booklists. Jacqueline Woodson even shared it in a curated list for Oprah. (!!)

I was a teacher who wrote a book.

I started to dream up other books to write.

I talked to Kwame Alexander (with my eyes all filled with stars) and he shared advice and support, My friend, Christine Platt connected me with my incredible agent and, soon... I had two book deals with the Versify imprint. And, there are currently more books in the works too... which I am SO excited for.

I was a teacher who was becoming an author.

I love teaching. And, I am so happy my path shifted and I can write books for young folks.

I am an author.

I write books for kids.

I am an author.

I write books for kids.


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