2015 marks the fifth year that Tu Books has been an imprint of Lee & Low Books. One of our primary missions is to discover new writers of color as we publish diverse genre fiction for young readers—fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and other adventurous genres. As we say on our website,
At Tu Books, we don’t believe that the worlds within books should be any less rich or diverse than the world we live in. Our stories are inspired by many cultures from around the world, to reach the “you” in every reader.
Tu Books was created for a specific reason. The present and the future belong to everyone and to limit this reality is a fantasy. Adventure, excitement, and who gets the girl (or boy) are not limited to one race or species. The role of hero is up for grabs, and we mean to take our shot.
To support that mission, we established the New Visions Award in 2012 to discover and develop new writers—writers who have not yet found an agent, writers who have never been published before in the middle grade or young adult categories (even as self-published authors).
In 2013, we announced our first New Visions Award winner, Valynne Maetani (@valynnemaetani on Twitter), for her YA mystery manuscript. That manuscript, which is now titled Ink and Ashes, is being published this June! (Check with your local or online bookseller for pre-ordering options!)
Earlier this year, we opened again for New Visions submissions, and now we are so happy to announce the six finalists in our second New Visions Award. The finalists (in alphabetical order by title) are:
The Amaterasu Project by Axie Oh, Las Vegas, NV
• YA science fiction/action novel set in Korea about a former gangster who is recruited into the military over a secret prototype weapons project—which turns out to be a genetically modified girl
• @axieoh on Twitter
Eco-Agent Owen Chang: The Missing Murder by Andrea Wang, Sudbury, MA
• MG science fiction/spy novel about a 12-year-old eco-agent for an environmental agency, investigating the disappearance of crows
• @AndreaYWang on Twitter
Fallen Branches by Shilpa Kamat, Sebastopol, CA
• YA mystery about a biracial teen from a two-mother household in Northern California, attempting to reconcile her town’s historic and current cultural and racial tensions as she solves parallel mysteries with a new friend
On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Méndez, Alpine, UT
• MG magical realism about three sisters whose mother’s disappearance they must hide if they want to stay together
• @YamileSMendez on Twitter
Pure Descent by Grace Rowe, Los Angeles, CA
• YA science fiction exploring the future of race, about an adoptee who must deny her adoptive parents to win a racial “purity” contest
• @1gracerowe on Twitter
Seraphim by Rishonda Anthony, Richmond, VA
• YA paranormal about a teen who was once a child prodigy who had a psychotic breakdown at the age of 12, who sees angels and demons in the woods outside her college—and they might be real this time
• @rishonda_writes on Twitter
We’ll be reading the full manuscripts in the next couple of months, and deliberating on a winner to be announced in April. We can’t wait!
And if you missed this round of the New Visions Award, be sure to keep working on your manuscript for the next round. We’ll open for submissions in June 2015.