Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Giving Back

Did I mention how grateful I am to be here?

Parched is releasing in a few short months. I have a great editor and publishing house. I have a wonderful agent and a supportive writing community. Coworkers and friends and complete strangers have begun to preorder copies of my book.

Most authors write with a reader in mind. We dream of the day when kids will pluck our books off the shelf and dive in to the worlds we have created. And most writers can name that book—the one that first connected with them and opened wide the world of stories.

But what about the kids who haven't found that book yet? Maybe he doesn't have access to a good library. Maybe she can't afford the sticker price.

So this spring, I'm boxing up dozens of books and sending them out to kids who need them. My writing community is not only supportive, they are also incredibly generous. One friend tutors kids in reading. Another sends books to public school kids in NYC. Bloggers are arranging book drives and authors are scheduling skype visits with at-risk schools for free. It's our way to pay it forward for all the good fortune that got us here.

I'm going to keep it local by sending my books to The BookTrain, a charity that gives books to foster kids in my area whose unstable lives often mean that they never have a book of their own.

(if you know of a book-related charity in your area, please share in the comments...)

And if you're so inclined, join me!

Author of PARCHED (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 2013) Melanie Crowder holds an MFA from Vermont College. Visit her online at!


  1. UK readers, here is a link to a good cause in your area:

  2. The UPS store by my house accepts books year round. Every few months they deliver to a charity that houses women and children escaping domestic violence. I try to donate there whenever I can. I go to a lot of yard sales and buy books for cheap, then it's super easy to give them away. :)

  3. That is awesome! I've been thinking about doing something similar for an upcoming blog-o-versary as a way to give back.

  4. That was going to be my question, how do you find which places to donate? (Obvs the internet is a resource, but I wondered how you found where you would donate to).

    1. And you can always go through First Book :

  5. Mostly word of mouth ... book train was founded by an agency friend of mine, and several bloggers have contacted me about donations. I think seeking out women's shelters or foster care liaisons would be a good place to start!

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