News, Social Distancing

These YA Authors are Keeping Us Together in the Time of Social Distancing


These YA Authors are Keeping Us Together in the Time of Social Distancing

These YA Authors are Keeping Us Together in the Time of Social Distancing

Social distancing is tough, y’all. We’re in uncertain times, and uncertainty is scary! But, as always, there are silver linings.

Over the past few weeks, publishers and authors alike have been working hard to keep us together in the time of social distancing. We over here at Epic Reads are bringing you virtual content every Wednesday and Friday featuring some of our *epic* authors.

Even better? YA authors have been absolutely killing it, and we couldn’t be more proud and grateful for such a wonderful bookish community. See below for some amazing things these authors have done, and more on what’s to come!


Amie Kaufman launches #KidLitGoesViral

  • This Twitter chat is an hour long each Monday for the next few weeks and will feature Q&As and giveaways of the featured authors’ new releases.
  • Diana Urban introduced her new book, All Your Twisted Secrets, by explaining that it’s perfect for fans of ClueOne of Us Is Lying, and escape room games, while Lexa Hillyer compared the feeling of isolation that comes from silencing our own truths (AKA, the burden her characters bear) to the kinder lens of what the world is going through right now.
  • Keep checking #KidLitGoesViral for more!


Sabaa Tahir and Victoria Aveyard (and more!) are amplifying their fellow authors on social media

  • It’s definitely a stressful time to have a book releasing into the wild, but Sabaa Tahir is here to help!
  • She (and some other truly wonderful authors) are using their platforms to shout out books coming out in the next few months. Some highlighted books include Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, about a transgender teen grappling with identity and self-discovery while falling in love for the first time, The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala, set in a world inspired by ancient Indian history and Hindu mythology, and A Song of Wraiths & Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown, pitched as “Jasmine and Aladdin if they had to kill each other.”


Kelly Yang is offering FREE (yeah, that’s right) writing classes for teens

  • Ever wanted to take writing classes from a New York Times bestselling author? Kelly Yang has got your back.
  • Kelly wants to help kids who are stuck at home to get some learning in their days, teaching them “how to write with power and emotion.” Class One? Writing characters and their arcs (heck. yes.) Head over to her Instagram and her website every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for these epic writing tips!


Lamar Giles hosted an Instagram Live to chat with readers about his book (stay tuned for more!)

  • The one and only Lamar Giles went live on Instagram to connect with readers and it was truly such a treat.
  • After taking to Twitter to see if this would help “keep readers sane,” there was a tooooon of support from the Twitterverse. (Seriously, most of the replies can be summed up with “YES. PLEASE.” and we find that to be v relatable.)


Intisar Khanani celebrated her release by going live!

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With the cancellation of Thorn's book launch party, I've decided to do an Instagram livestream tomorrow (Tuesday) evening to celebrate the release! Come join me for a short reading from Thorn (about ten minutes) followed by a Q&A. This is the first time I've tried Instagram Live. Come join me – I have NO CLUE what I'm doing and don't want to be alone. 🙃I'm pretty sure it will be a good laugh, and I'll definitely pull together a giveaway! Also, I'm not sure yet how well I'll be able to check the question feed in real time, so tell me your questions below (please?) and 🎉JOIN ME 🎉 tomorrow at 8 PM EST 😉💙 #newrelease #thornnovel #bookbirthday #goosegirl #fairytale #youngadultbooks #youngadultfantasy #fantasybooks #harperteen #epicreads #diversebooks #yalit #hotkeybooks #instagramlive

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  • Who doesn’t love a live reading and a Q&A?
  • Thorn is a bold fairytale retelling, filled with court intrigue, false identities, and dark secrets. Readers sent in questions like “What came first for you, the characters or the world?” and “Who was your favorite character to write?” and we were so here for this inside look at this epic new fantasy.


Speaking of readalouds, check out Jacqueline West‘s website!

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(Not actually a video! Just a screenshot! Don't bother pushing that button!) Hey there, everybody. ❤️ While we're all shut in our homes, I'll be posting some videos of me reading aloud from my books and sharing related writing prompts/activities (and making weird faces, because I can't seem to help myself). They're "Unlisted" on YouTube, but you can find them on the homepage of my site: The first two, for The Collectors and Digging Up Danger, are already up. More to come! 🖋️ Teachers, parents, librarians — please feel free to share with your young readers and writers. And thanks for everything you're doing already. Hang in there. ❤️ #covid_19reading #covid_19reads #authorvideo #readaloud #thecollectors #writingpromptsforkids #middlegrade

A post shared by Jacqueline West (@jacqueline.west.writes) on

  • Readers, rejoice! An author of both YA and Middle Grade, Jacqueline West is reading passages from some of her books and posting activities on her website!
  • As she says, “While we’re all shut in our homes, I’ll be posting some videos of me reading aloud from my books and sharing related writing prompts/activities (and making weird faces, because I can’t seem to help myself*).”
    • *Mood.
  • One of her first prompts is to find a small object in your home (can be anything!) and craft a story around it. What is this? Where did it come from? Why is it special?


Story writing challenge? Oh hell yeah, Tomi Adeyemi!

  • New York Times bestselling author and all-around stellar human Tomi Adeyemi wants to keep us occupied while we practice social distance (and thank GOD).
  • People are really excited, and are jumping in to share the genre they’re planning to write (from contemporary to fantasy and everything in between) and even some folks who are totally branching out into a brand-new space. We’re anxiously awaiting the day these stories are shared!


We’ll be keeping this updated with more author initiatives, so stay tuned book nerds!

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