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Our Stories, Our Voices

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Our Stories, Our Voices: 21 YA Authors Get Real About Injustice, Empowerment, and Growing Up Female in America is a collection of essays from major YA authors—including award-winning and bestselling writers— that touches on a powerful range of topics related to growing up female in today’s America, and their intersection with race, religion, and ethnicity. Sure to inspire hope and solidarity in anyone who reads it, Our Stories, Our Voices belongs on every young woman’s shelf.

Main Street Books is excited to host a panel of five of the contributors to Our Stories, Our Voices: Amy Reed, Amber Smith, Alexandra Duncan, Jaye Robin Brown, and Tracy Walker.


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Amy Reed was born and raised in and around Seattle. After a brief stint at Reed College (no relation), she moved to San Francisco and spent the next several years serving coffee and getting into trouble. She eventually graduated from film school, promptly decided she wanted nothing to do with filmmaking, returned to her original and impractical love of writing, and earned her MFA from New College of California. 

Her short work has been published in journals such as Kitchen Sink, Contrary, Fiction, and Mission at Tenth. She is the author of the gritty, contemporary Young Adult novels Invincible, Unforgivable, Beautiful, Clean, Crazy, Over You, and Damaged. Her new novel, The Nowhere Girls, is about three misfit girls who start an underground movement to avenge the rape of their classmate and overthrow the misogynist culture at their school.


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 Amber Smith is the New York Times bestselling author of the young adult novels, The Way I Used to Be and The Last to Let Go

Her debut, The Way I Used to Be, was selected for the American Library Association’s Amelia Bloomer List of Feminist Literature, it was named a Bank Street Best Book of the Year, and nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award in YA Fiction. Her latest novel, The Last to Let Go, has received starred reviews from Booklist and VOYA, and has been named a most-anticipated book by B&N Teen Blog, Elite Daily, and Bookish. An advocate for increased awareness of gendered violence, including sexual assault and domestic or intimate partner abuse, as well as LGBTQ equality, Amber writes in the hope that her books can help to foster change and spark dialogue surrounding these issues.


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Alexandra Duncan is an author and librarian. She has two YA sci-fi novels, Salvage and Sound. Her short fiction has appeared in several Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy anthologies and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. She loves anything that gets her hands dirty – pie-baking, leatherworking, gardening, drawing, and rolling sushi.                              


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Jaye Robin Brown has been many things in her life--jeweler, mediator, high school art teacher--but is now living the full-time writer life. She is the author of No Place to Fall, Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit, and The Meaning of Birds

Her debut young adult novel, No Place to Fall, is a story of dreams, singing, friendship, love, betrayal, family, and mistakes. It's also a love song to small town girls and mountain music. Her sophomore novel, Georgia Peaches and Other Fruit, is the story of Jo Gordon, the out lesbian daughter of a moderate evangelical minister and what happens when he marries for the third time and they move from Atlanta to small-town Northern Georgia. It's a love story and a look at the sometimes conundrum of having faith and being queer. The Meaning of Birds, releases in April 2019, and is a story about loss, love, and the healing power of art.


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Tracy Walker is a North Carolina-based author, scholar, and geektivist fueled by caffeine and a passion for storytelling. After Tracy’s YA essay about growing up Black, female, and geeky is published in Our Stories, Our Voices, her debut YA contemporary fantasy series, Descendants, will release in the summer of 2020. A life-long fangirl, Tracy is a champion for diversity and representation in science-fiction and fantasy literature and media.

Earlier Event: September 26
Story Time with Leslie
Later Event: October 3
Story Time with Leslie