From 2016 to 2017

At by Kathleen Jennings
At by Kathleen Jennings

We have arrived at the end of another calendar year. Every year I look back on what I did and look forward to what comes next; these posts are tagged annual review if you want to see where I’ve come from.

Things Published in 2016

The only thing I had published this year was Episode 12 of Tremontaine Season 1, “A Tale of Two Ladies”, way back in January. But it’s still my favorite of the three Tremontaine episodes I wrote!

And while this isn’t publishing exactly, I was also a guest on The Horn Book Podcast right around Thanksgiving. We talked about a bunch of things including book reviews, representation, and my holiday sweater. You can take a listen here or wherever you get your podcasts.

What I Wrote in 2016

I spent all of 2016 writing and revising my next young adult novel, A Line in the Dark, which is a contemporary thriller. This has been a fascinating book to write with lots of challenges for me as a writer, and I’m really happy with the outcome. I’ve really enjoyed working with a new editor, Andrew Karre, who has made this book so much more than I initially thought it would be. I’m excited to share it with you soon!

I’ve also written two short stories that I did not think I’d be writing when the year started. One will be in the upcoming We Need Diverse Books anthology Lift Off edited by Lamar Giles, published by Crown Books. This is a fun contemporary story that I brainstormed on vacation, and it was just as fun to write as it was to imagine it.

The other story will be in the anthology All Out edited by Saundra Mitchell, published by Harlequin Teen. All Out will be an anthology of historical fiction featuring LGBTQ+ characters, and my story takes place in 1950s San Francisco. I totally over-researched this story, but I love research so it was also a lot of fun. Both anthologies are due out in 2018.

I’ve also been continuing to work on a collaborative nonfiction project that I anticipate spending a lot more time on in the next year. Speaking of which …

Writing Workshops in 2017

In addition to writing my own stuff, I’ll be teaching at two writing conferences/workshops in 2017.

First up is the Desert Nights, Rising Stars Conference from Feb. 16–18 at Arizona State University. I’ll be teaching workshops on world-building and on writing diversity. Early registration ends Dec. 31, so if you want the discount go now! Otherwise, I believe the conference is open to all who are interested.

In August, I’ll be teaching the YA workshop at the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Writers Retreat for Emerging LGBTQ Voices in Los Angeles. I have taught at this workshop before, and two of the writers from that retreat had fabulous YA novels published this year, M-E Girard and Audrey Coulthurst. We workshopped early drafts of those novels at the Lambda retreat. If you are an LGBTQ writer of YA lit who wants to benefit from a weeklong immersion with other LGBTQ writers (and it’s a pretty special experience), please consider applying! The deadline is January 30. I will be reading your applications, and only 12 writers will be selected.

If you want to apply to the Lambda retreat but are concerned about funding, there are scholarships available. Please don’t let money (or the lack of it) prevent you from applying. Good luck! I can’t wait to read your writing.

Things That Will Be Published in 2017

I have a lot coming up in 2017.


First up on January 3, my essay “A Sort of Fairy Tale” will be coming out in the anthology Scratch: Writers, Money, and the Art of Making a Living edited by Manjula Martin, published by Simon & Schuster. My essay is all about that dreaded unmentionable topic: money and success and writing. The anthology also contains some other writers you might’ve heard of, you know, like Cheryl Strayed and Roxane Gay and Alexander Chee, no big deal. I’m sure they haven’t read my essay. But you can!

You can get Scratch at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, or iBooks.


Next, coming out on January 24, my essay “Forever Feminist” will be published in the anthology Here We Are: Feminism for the Real World, edited by Kelly Jensen, published by Algonquin. This anthology has received four starred reviews, folks! It features essays and lists and art from amazing folks including Roxane Gay (again! she and I must be destined to be together in anthologies!), Wendy Davis, Nova Ren Suma, Wendy Xu, and many more.

You can pre-order Here We Are at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, or iBooks (but I do recommend the paper version because the scrapbook design is so cool).

Then on May 2, you’ll be able to buy the collected print edition of Tremontaine Season 1 from Saga Press. This hefty volume includes all thirteen episodes in one place, so if you prefer print over ebooks, this is for you! Also, how awesome is it to have all those episodes collected together? Very awesome. Plus, it has a fabulous cover:


You can preorder Tremontaine at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound.

Last but not least, my novel A Line in the Dark will be published … sometime in fall/winter 2017! Stay tuned for more details on the release date. This will be my first published contemporary realistic novel. This will be my first published novel with a Chinese American queer girl as a main character. And no, it probably won’t be what you expect. Yes, I’m a little nervous about its reception, but even more than that, I cannot wait to see how people react.

More Personally

I had a goal of writing more nonfiction essays in 2016, but the majority of my time that wasn’t spent on A Line in the Dark went to house hunting. After a four-month search my partner and I bought a house outside of Boston, which we both love. We moved in at the end of the summer. Now I’m about to begin building a library in my attic (well, a professional cabinetmaker will do the actual building), which is a fantasy I’ve had since my childhood when I read Little Women, in which Jo eats apples and scribbles masterpieces in her garret! Once my attic library is built, I anticipate never leaving the house again, which will surely make me extremely productive in terms of writing books.

I’m going to leave you with some gorgeous fan art of my characters that a most excellent reader commissioned from the talented artist Yutaan.

Here are Ash and Kaisa:


And here are Kaede and Taisin:


Onward to 2017.