( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Children’s Writers and Publishing Professionals Used Auction to Support Organizations that Fight Anti-Asian Racism
ENSPIRE Contributor: Abby Ladner
In the past year, anti-Asian rhetoric and violence have had a horrifying increase. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian American and Pacific Islander community have faced racism and xenophobia, which have escalated to physical attacks in many instances. A recent report by the New York Police Department states that anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 1,900% in New York City in 2020. Outraged by these conditions, the Kidlit community, made up of children’s literature writers and publishing professionals, banded together to fight anti-Asian racism with their Kidlit Against Anti-AAPI Racism Fundraiser.
The fundraiser was started by young adult authors Kat Cho and Stacey Lee and was hosted by Asian Author Alliance, an organization founded by Cho that supports and celebrates Asian Kidlit. Donations were collected from bestselling and award-winning authors and publishing professionals that were then auctioned off to support the organization Stop AAPI Hate and Hate is a Virus. The auction, which took place from the 26th to the 28th of February, raised over $50,000 for the two organizations, with many people also promising to match donations.
The auction included 450 items, encompassing a wide range of categories. Some items appealed to aspiring authors, such as critiques from editors and literary agents or passes for writing workshops. Others were meant for fans, who could bid for a phone call with an author, signed copies of books, or the opportunity to name a character in an upcoming book. Many authors also put the chance to have them visit classrooms, book clubs, and writing groups up for auction. The highest bidding item of the auction, which raised $2,010, was a picture book mentorship with Melissa Manlove, the senior editor at Chronicle Books. Other popular items included an advanced copy of Lee’s upcoming novel, “Luck of the Titanic” and a manuscript critique from novelist and children’s writer Anne Ursu, whose 2013 book was long-listed for the National Book Award.
To learn more about the Kidlit Against Anti-AAPI Racism Fundraiser and see the full list of auction items, visit the fundraising page here. The auction is currently closed, but visit the websites for Stop AAPI Hate and Hate is a Virus to make a donation or to learn more about fighting anti-Asian racism.