Children’s book professionals are raising some serious cash for flood-damaged Nashville through a creative auction organized by three enterprising writers: Victoria Schwab, Amanda Morgan, and Myra McEntire. Not content with the inadequate coverage of a natural disaster that has leveled neighborhoods—no excuse for the oversight even though the oil spill and car bomb were simultaneous stories—these three women have drawn attention and monetary relief to the problem by auctioning off valuable goods and services donated by industry folks, including publishers, editors, agents, authors and illustrators.
I’m a little late in discovering this amazing effort; the auction is already in its fifth round. Items in the current grouping (bidding goes for three days) include manuscript critiques from agents, editors, and one publisher; a book-marketing package including one piece of “marketing swag,” such as a postcard or bookmark; autographed books and totes and goodies; five days at a Montana ranch; three pieces of laundry handwashing done in Manhattan (!); an author Skype visit for a school or to talk about publishing; and—wait for it—a Dolly Parton clothespin doll. (I’m not linking to these examples individually because there are 16 items in this round, and each one deserves checking out. But I will start you off on Round 5, Item 1, and you can browse from there.)
This auction is an incredibly generous effort; the organizers have not only gathered the donations and partnered with a Tennessee Flood Relief organization (readers, you can donate directly if you’re not bidding on items), but have spent countless hours sorting out the organization of the rounds, answering emails, and smoothing out bumps in the process. Anyone who’s ever done this kind of thing knows the sheer amount of time it all takes.
As someone with a family member in Nashville affected by the flood, I am particularly appreciative of Do the Write Thing for Nashville. I love the children’s book world, and this is one of the reasons why: because people in our field are a helpful breed in general, and are better than most at making good on good intentions. Brava, DTWTN, and thank you.