Several months ago I was asked by Carrie Jones to write an essay for an anthology she was editing with Megan Kelly Hall. The book was to be a collection of essays by authors discussing bullies. I thought it was a nice gesture for Carrie to invite me to submit, and I kind of felt sorry that she’d have to send me a rejection letter somewhere down the road.

I wrote about an early experience I had with a bully named Kevin. I was in the second grade at the time, and in my essay I touched on how that experience affected me for many years after. Unlike most essays I write, I spent a fair amount of time on this one, trying to pull off a bit of literary time travel.

Well, Carrie didn’t reject it. In fact, the essay somehow survived the cut of hundreds of submissions and made the table of contents. It is one of 70 such essays you’ll soon be able to read in Dear Bully, due out August 23 from HarperTeen. Here’s a link where you can get more information.

Want to see a picture of the cover? Sure you do! dear bully cvr_catalogIt’s a nice cover. If you look closely you can read the names of most of the authors. I’m so blown away to be included with the likes of R.L. Stine and Ellen Hopkins, among so many others.

If you want, you can already pre-order the book from your favorite retailer. Here’s an Amazon.com link. Proceeds from the sales go to help those affected by bullying.

This one meant even more than usual this year because many of my best current and some past students worked through Upward Bound last summer to form Stand for the Silent, a group dedicated to putting an end to bullying. The book and the group aren’t connected, other than sharing the same goal, but it was serendipitous that the two things would happen at the same time, I think.

I hope you’ll consider buying the book and helping the cause. I know I’m looking forward to reading those other 69 essays.

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