Kya Publishing Announces Date for the 2017 Toronto Urban Book Expo

TORONTO, ONT (November 2016) - Toronto publishing company Kya Publishing has just announced the date of their 4th annual Toronto Urban Book Expo (TUBE): Sunday, August 6, 2017.

TUBE is the only Canadian event dedicated to celebrating Canadian Urban Fiction; this event highlights published and independent writers and their books at a free and family-friendly book fair.

Kya Publishing--committed to the celebration of contemporary Canadian Urban Fiction and culture through their books, research, events, and community initiatives--has established this annual venue for urban authors to sell their books and raise awareness for this genre of cultural writing.

"We are pleased to feature DJ Majesty to provide the urban music soundtrack for the event again," said Kya Publishing founder Stacey Marie Robinson. "By gathering talented artists from Canada, the U.S., and hopefully beyond, we at Kya Publishing are excited to contribute to the development of Canadian Urban Fiction and the culture that inspires it."

Details about TUBE 2017 will be released in the new year, including registration dates/fees and confirmed authors. For more information about this event, please contact the planning committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit

Back To School Children's Book Expo - Kya Publishing


Toronto’s ‪#‎KyaPublishing‬ will be hosting their 1st annual Children’s Back-to-School ‪#‎BookExpo‬ on Saturday, September 24, 2016 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm at the @RiddimFit ‪#‎WellnessCentre‬ (845 ‪#‎WestneyRoad‬ South, Unit #7) in Ajax.

An expansion to their Kya Keys ‪#‎BookDonation‬ Program—which has previously donated ‪#‎readingmaterials‬ to youth locally, in the ‪#‎Caribbean‬, and in Ontario’s correctional system—this charitable ‪#‎bookevent‬ will feature a ‪#‎donationdrive‬ for ‪#‎schoolsupplies‬ and ‪#‎books‬.

Kya Publishing will be collecting new and lightly ‪#‎usedbooks‬ for school-aged children (grades K to 8), as well as new school supplies, that will be transported to ‪#‎Jamaican‬ school children in St. Elizabeth and Manchester through a local charitable organization*. Along with collecting ‪#‎literacy‬ and‪#‎educationaltools‬, Kya Publishing will also feature a ‪#‎bookfair‬ where Toronto-based children’s writers will sell and share their works with the children in attendance. Hosted by @KeishiaFacey, there will also be musical entertainment provided by @DJMajesty101, refreshments, activities and ‪#‎storytelling‬ for children, and a ‪#‎booklaunch‬ from Canadian‪#‎childrensauthor‬ Jaden Amber Taylor.

All are welcome to attend! For more information, please contact the planning committee at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or call (647) 342-3040.

Twitter/Instagram: @KyaPublishing
Facebook: Kya Publishing Canada *Donations in support of Toronto’s Maica Impact organization.

You Could be the Next FEATURED AUTHOR

Depicting the Writer in You will choose an author to spotlight for FREE in the month of April. We will promote this author by conducting an exclusive interview, your book will be advertised on our blog as well as our Facebook business page, and we will also share your interview with many social media sites and tweet about it.
Apart of this promoting includes selecting a book from our blog to promote every two weeks for one month and the book we have selected is "I am Beautiful: When I Look at Me, I See" a beautiful book with a beautiful message.
To be featured, we humbly ask that you purchase a copy (print) of "I am Beautiful: When I Look at Me, I See...' at Knowledge Bookstore and A Different Booklist for $14.99 Canadian dollars (CAD). To confirm your purchase, please send an e-mail to ‘contact us,’ include the title of the book, a buy link and your twitter name. Then tweet #IamBeautifulWhenILookatMeISee we will send out tweets every day for two weeks to promote your book or whatever book you choose (some restrictions may apply). Our tweets will be randomized throughout the month of April from our twitter account @simonesblognet.
To purchase a copy of "I am Beautiful: When I Look at Me, I See..." click on the links below. 
Knowledge Bookstore:
A Different Booklist:

The Literary Connection Volume II “My Canada” Anthology Submission Guidelines

The Literary Connection Volume II
“My Canada” 
Anthology Submission Guidelines
Canada is a vast country of diverse and exciting history, a climate and environment that spans from the boreal forests of the Canadian Shield, muskegs of northern BC, and tundras of the Arctic Circle to the grasslands of the Prairies and southern woodlands of Ontario and Quebec. 
We live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, with the 8thhighest per capita income globally, and the 8th highest ranking in the Human Development Index. Canada ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, and education. It stands among the world's most educated countries—ranking first worldwide in the number of adults having tertiary education with 51% of adults holding at least an undergraduate college or university degree. With two official languages, Canada has a thriving Aboriginal population and practices an open cultural pluralism, creating a cultural mosaic of racial, religious and cultural practices.  
Canada’s symbols are influenced by natural, historical and Aboriginal sources. Prominent symbols include the maple leaf, the beaver, Canada Goose, Common Loon, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the polar bear, the totem pole, and Inuksuk.
The “My Canada” Anthology celebrates this beautiful and wonderful country, from its vast wilderness, great open waters, flat prairies and farm communities to its industry, technology and historical cities.
Call for Submissions
We are looking for original, unique works about what it means to live and be in Canada.  Works may include one of the following: short story, poetry, creative non-fiction, essay.
While the nature of your work may encompass a diversity of expression (e.g., discovery, tragedy, betrayal, endurance, isolation, exploration, transcendence, triumph, humor, inspiration, community) the work needs to portray Canada and being Canadian in a positive light. No Canada-bashing.
You may submit on any topic or sub-theme that speaks to being and living in Canada. However, the editors particularly enjoy works that express metaphoric journeys that span Canada’s own diverse ecosystems, particularly the harsher places. Canadian topics we would like to see include:
Journey in Nature & Wilderness
Life in one of Canada’s harsher climates
Historical discoveries and meanings to self
Overcoming and surviving weather calamity or other natural phenomenon (e.g., ice storms)
Traditions of family, friends & community
Canadian city/town phenomena
Canadian activities (e.g., street or ice hockey, skiing, quilting, baking, etc.)
Canadian heralds & symbols
Art & photography
Mythology, folktales and traditional tales (e.g., Aboriginal stories / experiences; others)
Coming to Canada / leaving Canada
Traveling within or outside of Canada
In all cases, how these observations and experiences affected you philosophically, spiritually, intellectually and viscerally should infuse the work; whether it is a poem, short story or essay, the work should celebrate Canada and being a Canadian. See the specific guidelines below for each narrative form.
Voice and Language
In keeping with the multicultural nature of Canada, the intent of this anthology is to fully represent a diversity of writing voices, styles and use of vernacular. The editors reserve the right to reject any work we deem unsuitable for our intended audience. This may include inappropriate subject matter and inappropriate use of expletives or offensive terms. We will not accept any works that promote racism, bigotry, prejudice or other forms of disrespect.  
Style Guide
Use Standard manuscript formatting, including headers and footers (e.g., your name /title/page on each page of your manuscript)
Use Canadian spelling
Paragraph indents should be standard
Font should be 12pt Times New Roman or similar font style 
Word count should be less than 7,000 words
Each writer may submit: one short story and/or one essay per person; 5 poems or five pages of poetry
Photographs and illustrations/artwork should be submitted in jpeg of 300 dpi and above.
Poetry Guidelines for Anthologies
Poetry is distinguished from prose by its form and elements. 
Forms of poetry include epic, haiku, limerick, ode, rhyming couplet, and sonnet, each with their own rules and rhyme schemes. Free verse is also common in modern poetry.
Elements of poetry include caesura (or pause), foot, metre, rhythm, scansion, stress, and syllable, as well as alliteration, assonance, balance, consonance, and rhyme.
In creating poetry for an anthology, you need to be aware of the rhythm that you are creating, based on the stresses and syllables of words in each line and how you arrange them into repeating patterns. You may find that a regular beat of stressed syllables, e.g., a sound pattern such as in iambic pentameter, is appropriate to express your thoughts and feelings. In other cases, free verse may allow you greater emotional range. Even in free verse, however, modulate the lines to move in an orderly pattern that rises and falls in a meaningful flow. Even if you abandon rhyme, use other poetic elements, such as alliteration and assonance, to create satisfying parallels and coherence.
Do not force rhymes by sacrificing grammar, or vice versa. In free verse, keep the same pattern of poetic elements throughout the entire poem, except to create a special emphasis. Use punctuation to guide your readers with expressive pauses.
If your poem is inspired by or based on a particular artist or event, please cite the source, or include a line such as, “With apologies to William Wordsworth.”
Read lots of poetry of all sorts and have fun with it. Challenge yourself to create different forms of verse. Don’t get discouraged! The main thing is to keep writing!
Guidelines for Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction Short Story
The anthology editors prefer a narrative “story” with a meaningful theme (connected with Canada) and conclusion over an anecdote. 
An anecdote relates something of interest that happens. Stories have an inherent structure that consists of a beginning, middle, and end. The inherent structure of a story makes it memorable and allows it to resonate with the reader in a meaningful way. Stories provide context to what might otherwise be an anecdote. This is because stories provide meaning to what happens, a “so what” part. How did what happened affect the characters and why? Stories provide the means to change a reader’s perspective on something.  An idea, an event or a viewpoint. Stories build to a question that is resolved at the end. That resolution may only be a change in perspective. It may not mean that the hero wins in the end; in fact, the hero may totally not get it. What’s important is that the reader comes away with a memorable experience through change.   
Guidelines for Essay
Essays may include an anecdote (narrative essay or anecdote lede) as introduction to a topic of discussion or to bring in a personal aspect of an analysis. This helps focus your topic. The rest of the essay must then shift into a more explanatory mode. So you do not want to tell one long story in your essay. But you do want to look for mini-stories, or moments, or “times,” that you can relate as examples of something you want to illuminate in your essay. 
The essay form should read with a beginning, middle, end (like all good narrative) but needs to be directed, make a clear argument and end with an obvious conclusion.
Guidelines for Images
(Photography & Art): 
We are calling for submissions from ‘creative artists’ with high quality photographs and artwork that are ‘Canadian’ in theme. Catch our attention with the striking, the unusual angle or perspective, the unexpected/uncommon take on the ordinary, the eye-catching. Images that speak volumes and get us thinking, that spark inspiration, nostalgia, appreciation. The eye of a true artist working with light, background, focus and theme. 
Black and white images only in jpeg, 300 dpi and above.
Colour photograph for the front/back cover will be chosen from among submissions. Aim for an image that particularly speaks to the theme of ‘My Canada.’
To submit an entry for consideration:
See CONTACT US for submission email address and mailing address. Write ‘The Literary Connection Volume II’ submission in the message line. Our Chief Submissions Editor will review all submissions and the accepted entries will be notified. The acquisition editor will reject contributions considered inappropriate or not of professional literary standards.
Accepted submitters will be emailed a contract in which the following details will also be mentioned:


( Application deadline: June 12/2015, 5:00pm)
The Harriet Tubman Student Summer Programme 2015
Exciting news for youth this summer...
The Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas at York University invites youth ages 14-18 (or grade 9 to grade 12) to participate in its 6th Student Summer Programme.
Some themes:
• African, Caribbean and Afro-Latin@American histories.
• The trade in enslaved Africans and their resistance (historical and contemporary representations)
• Legacies of the histories of migration, citizenship, race, education and gender relating to persons of African descent.
• Current themes in politics, business, and economies in Africa and the African Diaspora.
• Popular Culture and Identities: Music, Dance and Sports.
• Museums, archives and the preservation of memory, including folkloric traditions in communities in Africa and the African Diaspora, and specifically in African Canadian contexts.
• Introduction to technology to digitize historical records: working sessions with photographs and documents featuring communities in Africa and the African Diaspora.
Youth will participate in daily activities (art, dance, creative writing, sport, storytelling, graffiti, music, workshops, trips and classes) that will give them an overview of the contributions of African peoples and cultures to the historical development of the world. Experienced educators, facilitators, volunteers and students from York University will deliver all the sessions.
The programme will run from July 6-17th at York University and there are about 30 spaces available. Meals (breakfast and lunch) as well as transportation (bus tickets) will be provided. The 6th annual student summer programme will be held at the Archives of Ontario, Keele Campus (York University). It runs approximately from 9.00am - 3.30pm each day.
The youth will have the opportunity to accumulate community hours and an official certificate from the Harriet Tubman Institute at York University will be awarded to students on completion of the programme.
Application deadline: June 12/2015, 5:00pm
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. OR This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Prof. Abubacar Fofana Leon 
Director, The Harriet Tubman Student and Teacher Programs at York U

Woman on Fire (WOF) Official Launch & Media Blitz

You are cordially invited to WOMAN ON FIRE official launch and media blit.z. This event is FREE!

Enjoy a wonderful evening of Networking, learning about the upcoming WOMAN ON FIRE.....NORTH AMERICAN TOUR.

Find out how you can be part of it....connect with some awesome people as well....all for FREE when you RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If you do not RSVP the cover charge at the door is $20.00. For more information, please contact us at 647-713-3622.

Diverse Books Needed

Can Children’s Authors End Publishing Industry Prejudice — and Change the Way America Reads?

As young adult novelists Ellen Oh and Lamar Giles sat together on a panel at a Virginia teen literature conference in early 2014, Oh relished the rare experience of sharing the stage with another author of color. She had already been thinking about an initiative to expand diversity in children’s literature, and that day she wondered: “Why can’t it be like this all the time?”

Both Oh and Giles had grown fatigued with the diversity discussion that repeatedly arose in the children’s and YA books (or “kidlit,” as it’s called) community, only to fizzle out again. Debriefing with Giles after the panel, Oh remembers telling him of her plan: “We have to do something, and we have to do something big.” She asked him, “Are you in?”

A few weeks later We Need Diverse Books, the social media movement that has grown into a well-regarded nonprofit in a matter of months, was born. The founders had already started planning their campaign when, not for the last time, an incident of industry racism gave them momentum. In April, BookCon — a subsidiary of New York-based publishing mega-conference BookExpo — announced a panel of superstar children’s authors that consisted of all white men, while the overall conference lineup was all white people, aside from Grumpy Cat.

Suddenly, the response hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks overran online discussion of the conference. Eventually, the WNDB activists were granted time and space at the June conference to stage counter-programming. In the meantime, they had waged a major social media campaign, utilizing tweets, user-submitted photos on Tumblr (images with signs explaining why diverse books matter), and more. “Now is the time to raise our voices into a roar that can’t be ignored,” they implored followers.

Some participants and observers in the social media storm were encouraged to throw in their lot with WNDB, even beyond the web. “I was on board from the start, but I was kind of tired. I thought, ‘It will blow up on Twitter, a few people will write angry blog posts, and then it will disappear,’” says Corinne Duyvis, a disability-in-literature advocate who joined up when she realized the extent of the group’s commitment. “People are responding because we have concrete ideas and plans,” she says. In June, Oh used the hastily convened BookCon panel to announce WNDB’s initiatives. Their actions items begin with BookCon itself. In 2015, the conference is partnering with WNDB on two panels, one featuring Jacqueline Woodson and Sherman Alexie, and another on diversity in science fiction and fantasy. This doesn’t mean the convention’s diversity issues have been fixed, but it’s an example of the kind of change WNDB has effected in a short time.

WNDB incorporated in July. Then, in October, the organization launched a successful Indiegogo campaign to fund the expansion of its programs, which are already underway. The organization’s seven-person executive committee, three officers, and a 31-person WNDB “team” who meet virtually have just begun accepting submissions for The Walter Dean Myers Award and Grants, the former known as “The Walter,” which will honor diverse books each year. They are also developing an internship program to help diversify publishing from the inside out. And on top of all this, they’re compiling resources for teachers and librarians — with help from the NEA, First Books, An Open Book Children’s Literacy Foundation, and School Library Journal, exploring technology to match readers with books — and mounting a conference of their own in 2016, The Children’s Literature Diversity Festival in Washington, DC.

Giles, who serves as VP of Communications for the organization, describes the workload involved with WNDB as being “like having a very demanding part-time job in which nobody gets paid.” And their voluntary labor extends beyond critiquing “pale male” panels at conferences, because the problem they face goes far deeper. While it’s a nice gesture that bookstores and libraries may be displaying diverse books around this time of year for February’s Black History Month, the numbers tell a less encouraging story.

In 2013, the Cooperative Children’s Book Center in Wisconsin cataloged 3,200 children’s books, constituting a majority of all children’s books published that year. Of these, only 68 – about two percent – had black authors. A slightly larger number, 93, had black protagonists. The numbers are either comparable or worse for Asian Americans, Latinos, and American Indians, and show stagnant or regressive movement. “The population in the US is growing increasingly diverse,” says CCBC’s K. T. Horning. “You would never know that from children’s books.” She calls it a glass ceiling, one that resembles the glass ceilings in the book industry itself. In 2014, Publishers Weekly expanded its salary survey to include questions about race. The results, released last September, were dismal: “89 percent described themselves as white/Caucasian.” Three percent were Asian, three percent Hispanic, and one percent African American.

Yet WNDB’s strategy goes far beyond the publishing industry to include parents, teachers, booksellers, and readers in an all-hands-on-deck effort, sweeping characters with disabilities and LGBT characters into their fold. It’s natural to wonder whether this kind of feel-good, “everyone’s involved and everyone’s responsible” initiative can alter the notoriously glacial pace of publishing. Yet publishing professionals at least claim to share the group’s values — only 11 percent of PW’s surveyed members said diversity was not a problem in their field — which makes the industry positively pliable compared to WNDB’s bigger obstacle. That, of course, would be entrenched American prejudice, the force that leads parents and teachers to dismiss books with characters who don’t superficially resemble their kids.

The way this kind of everyday racism bleeds into the kidlit world was made evident after the National Book Awards. At that November ceremony, Lemony Snicket’s Daniel Handler made, in his own words, a “monstrously” racist comment about author Jacqueline Woodson (his friend), who won in the children’s books category for her verse memoir Brown Girl Dreaming. Handler apologized soon thereafter and agreed to match donations to WNDB up to $100,000. “It would be heartbreaking for the #NBAwards conversation to focus on my behavior instead of great books,” Handler tweeted. WDNB agreed to receive the donations, but members wanted the social media focus turned back to Woodson’s book rather than the incident, and thus, they and Handler used the Twitter hashtag #CelebrateJackie. With that crucial decision, they’d further cemented themselves as the go-to group for anti-discrimination advocacy in the kidlit world. One hundred thousand dollars from supporters, including a boost from Dork Diaries author Rachel Renée Russell, and $110,000 from Handler later, WNDB had a small windfall.

Still, compared to the budgets of publishing houses, these monetary resources are negligible. And the problem is entrenched: similar racial disparity persists, frustratingly, in other creative fields, like publishing writ large, Hollywood, and journalism. Yet there’s something poetically fitting about WNDB — a plucky band of activists courageously facing down insidious social structures and insurmountable odds. It almost sounds like the plot of a children’s book.

Article writen by Sarah Seltzer

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