order of oddfish cover order of oddfish cover

The Order of Oddfish


Screening dates for the ELEVENTH ANNUAL 90-Second Newbery Film Festival! (Plus: A “Stranger Things”-style movie of Doll Bones)

December 9, 2021

We rely on your support to keep the 90-Second Newbery going. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to us here, through our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.

Next year will be the HUNDREDTH ANNIVERSARY of the Newbery awards! That means our eleventh annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival will surely be magic. The 90-Second Newbery is an annual video contest I founded in which young filmmakers create short movies that tell the entire stories of Newbery-winning books—preferably with a fun twist.

For instance, check out the movie above, based on Holly Black’s spooky 2014 Newbery Honor Winner Doll Bones . . . but retold in the style of the Netflix show Stranger Things!

Okay, I know the movie is a bit long for a “90-Second” film festival. I’ve grown more flexible on that rule over the years (but if your movie runs long, it had better be good). And full disclosure, the actors are my daughters Lucy and Ingrid and their friends. Since they made Stranger Things costumes for Halloween, we figured, why not take advantage? You may also recognize this troupe from their D&D-style Black Cauldron in 2019, their “Les Miserables”-style Tale of Despereaux in 2018, or their movie of My Father’s Dragon in 2017.

There’s still time to make your own movie for the 90-Second Newbery! It’s open to young filmmakers up to 18 years old, and adult help is allowed. I’ve extended the deadlines. The GENERAL DEADLINE for most movies has been extended to February 25, 2022. Making a movie for the Brooklyn screening on February 12? The special early NEW YORK DEADLINE is February 1, 2022.

(Need technical help and moviemaking advice? Check out our video resources and how-to guides.)

Last year all of our screenings were virtual, but in 2022 we hope to bring back our live, free, in-person screenings in eight cities (with possibly more to be added). I’ll put up links to make your reservations in January. For now, save these dates:

Tuesday, February 1, 2022
Friday, February 25, 2022
The GENERAL DEADLINE deadline for submitting movies for the eleventh annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. (The Brooklyn screening has been canceled because of Covid but we are still welcoming entries from New York City.)

Sunday, March 6, 2022
The CHICAGO screening, hosted by me and author Keir Graff (The Tiny Mansion). At the Chicago Public Library – Harold Washington Library Center in the Pritzker Auditorium. More details to come.

Saturday, March 12, 2022
The BOSTON screening, hosted by me and another co-host TBA. This will be a virtual event at 3 pm EST. More details to come.

Saturday, March 19, 2022
The TACOMA, WA screening, hosted by me and Tacoma’s own Doug Mackey. In the auditorium of Mount Tahoma High School Auditorium (4634 S 74th St, Tacoma, WA). 3-4:30 pm.

Sunday, March 27, 2022
The ROCHESTER, NY screening, hosted by me and author Bruce Coville (My Teacher is an Alien and much more). At the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman Museum (900 East Ave). 2 pm.

Saturday, April 2, 2022
The SAN ANTONIO, TX screening, hosted by me and author Carolyn Flores. At the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts Will Naylor Smith Riverwalk Plaza. Made possible by partners at Bexar County Digital Library Bibliotech and the Hidalgo Foundation through the generosity of H-E-B Texas Grocery. 2 pm.

Saturday, April 9, 2022
The BOULDER, CO screening, hosted by me and author Lija Fisher (The Cryptid Catcher, The Cryptid Keeper). More details to come.

Saturday, April 30, 2022
The TRENTON, NJ screening, hosted by me and another co-host TBA. More details to come.

I hope the pandemic abates enough such that we are able to do these screenings. These events are usually lots of fun, consistently drawing big enthusiastic audiences! Thanks so much to my talented and generous co-hosts for being part of this.

Want to bring the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival to your town? Every year we expand into more cities, and I’d love to come to yours! Drop me a line at james@90secondnewbery.com.

Now go out and make your own 90-Second Newbery movies! Remember, the general deadline is February 25, 2022 (with a New York deadline of February 1, 2022). I can’t wait to see what you create!

(Want to ensure I can pull off this weird operation for another year? Please donate to us here, through our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. All donations are tax-deductible.)