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A couple of weeks ago, some very exciting news went out in the publishing world: HarperCollins Children’s is starting a Native-focused imprint, Heartdrum, helmed by VP & Editorial Director Rosemary Brosnan in consultation with the inestimable Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek Nation), who is a generous supporter of all things children’s publishing and groundbreaking Native writer herself.

One of the many writers Cyn has mentored is EMLA’s own Dawn Quigley (Turtle Mountain Band Ojibwe Nation). When Cyn suggested that Dawn consider writing a chapter book series about a Native child, the manuscript that resulted completely delighted me with its spot-on kid viewpoint, humor, and loads of heart. We’ve been waiting to tell the world about it, but the world needed to know about Heartdrum first!

Rosemary signed three books about Jo Jo, a first grader living on a fictional Ojibwe reservation, with the first (which Dawn finished drafting at the 2019 EMLA retreat!) to publish in summer 2021. 

I couldn’t be more excited. Congratulations, Dawn!