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The Order of Oddfish


Overwhelmed! (and congratulations, Shimmy!)

January 20, 2011

The energetic, talented Katie Davis has just released an interview with me on her podcast, Brain Burps About Books. We talk about the 90-Second Newbery, Audrey Niffenegger, Odd-Fish, and much else. Plus: my partner-in-crime Betsy Bird reviews the new Francesca Lia Block.

Also: I’ll be chatting tonight (1/20) at 7:30 pm EST at Eve’s Fan Garden in honor of their one-year anniversary. Drop on by!

Wow, I never expected that our announcement of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival would spread so far, so quickly!

A week after we released it into the world, our inaugural film (A Wrinkle in Time in 90 seconds) has been viewed over 70,000 times. The mind reels!

Thanks to everyone who blogged and tweeted about it. I really loved reading the comments:

Boing Boing: “Wow. These kids transformed Madeleine L’Engle into Philip K. Dick so effortlessly!”

io9: “It’s amazing that a bunch of kids with a video camera and no budget can do more in 90 seconds than most of Hollywood can do with months and millions.”

Jezebel: “This is the only thing that has ever made me want to have children.”

Metafilter: “Those same kids should do the entire Dark Tower series in 90 seconds. Somebody get my agent on the phone.”

The Daily What: “Yeah that was like 95 seconds. Better luck next time.”

Thanks also to Time Out Chicago, Booklist, the Onion AV Club, the “GeekDad” blog on, GalleyCat, Buzzfeed, the SCBWI national blog, ChicagoNow, Vulture, and too many other bloggers and tweeters to name. With enthusiasm about this contest now spread far and wide (even to New Zealand) I’m sure we’ll have an avalanche of fantastic films.

Even Newbery winners are getting in on the act! Medalist Neil Gaiman graciously tweeted about it (and offered a signed copy of The Graveyard Book for the best 90-second version of it) and Grace Lin rallied her fans to make a 90-second version of her Newbery Honor winner, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

“Wait a second,” you’re saying. “What 90-Second Newbery contest?” Well, if you don’t know about it, you can catch up here.

Speaking of award winners: a couple weeks ago I served as an honorary judge for a fantasy writing contest for the schools of South Bend, Indiana. The grand prize winner? Shimmy Lindow of the Hebrew Day School. I had the privilege of reading an excerpt for this novel-in-progress, War For Defiers, and I loved it. I went to South Bend to meet Shimmy, his classmates, and his parents at his school. You can learn more about Shimmy and his writing at the Michiana Writers Center website. The details of his victory (and the names of the other winners, who also did great work) was also featured in this article in the South Bend Tribune. Congratulations, all! And thank you to Kathy Higgs-Coulthard at the Michiana Writers Center for setting it up, and for taking me out for a delightful lunch with April Pulley Sayre.

It’s shaping up to be a good year!