Lesléa Newman ~ writer ~

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Biography

Lesléa Newmann

Lesléa (pronounced "Lez-LEE-uh") Newman is the author of 60 books including A Letter to Harvey Milk, Nobody's Mother, Hachiko Waits, Write from the Heart, The Boy Who Cried Fabulous, The Best Cat in the World, and Heather Has Two Mommies.
 
She has received many literary awards including Poetry Fellowships from the Massachusetts Artists Fellowship Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, the Highlights for Children Fiction Writing Award, the James Baldwin Award for Cultural Achievement, and three Pushcart Prize Nominations. Nine of her books have been Lambda Literary Award finalists.
 
Ms. Newman wrote Heather Has Two Mommies, the first children's book to portray lesbian families in a positive way, and has followed up this pioneering work with several more children's books on lesbian and gay families: Felicia's Favorite Story, Too Far Away to Touch, Saturday Is Pattyday, Mommy, Mama, and Me, and Daddy, Papa, and Me.


She is also the author of many books for adults that deal with lesbian identity, Jewish identity and the intersection and collision between the two. Other topics Ms. Newman explores include AIDS, eating disorders, butch/femme relationships and sexual abuse. Her award-winning short story, A Letter To Harvey Milk has been made into a film and adapted for the stage.
 
In addition to being an author, Ms. Newman is a popular guest lecturer, and has spoken on college campuses across the country including Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Oregon, Bryn Mawr College, Smith College and the University of Judaism. From 2005-2009, Lesléa was on the faculty of the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine. From 2008-2010, she served as the Poet Laureate of Northampton, MA. She has taught fiction writing at Clark University and currently she is a faculty mentor at Spalding University's brief residency MFA in Writing program [www.spalding.edu/mfa].
 
Recent projects include October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard, a cycle of 68 poems that explores the imapct of Matthew Shepard's murder upon the world (Candlewick Press, 2012); A Sweet Passover, a picture book that stars a little girl named Miriam who, by the last day of Passover is "sick, sick, sick of matzo" (Abrams, 2012); I Remember: Hachiko Speaks, a chapbook of poems written from the point of view of Japan's famous Akita who waited ten years for his master's return (Finishing Line Press, 2012); and A Kiss on the Keppie, a picture book about a little boy who gets kisses from all family members (including his puppy, Dreidel) all day long (Amazon Children's Publishing, 2012).


Contact Info Lesléa Newman
Email: leslea@lesleakids.com

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Awards

Texas Library Association TAYSHAS High School Readling List, 2014
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Top Fifty Poem, Provincetown Outermost Poetry Contest, 2013
Teen Angels

Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book of the Year List, 2013
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Nominee, Missouri Association of School Librarians Gateway Readers Award, 2014-2015
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Finalist, Eliot Rosewater Indiana High School Award, 2014-2015

Winner, Florida Council of Teachers of English Joan F. Kaywell Award, 2014
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Finalist, New York State Reading Association Charlotte Book Award, 2014
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Winner, International Reading Association Young Adults' Choices Reading List, 2013
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Massachusetts Book Awards "Must-Read" Book, 2013
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Young Adult Library Services Association Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults, 2013
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Audie Award, Multiple-Voice Performance Category, 2013
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Finalist, Martin Luther King "Living the Dream" Book Award, 2013
Donovan's Big Day

Finalist, Provincetown Outermost Cape Poetry Contest, 2013
Teen Angels

American Library Association Stonewall Honor Book, 2013
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

American Library Association LGBT Round Table Rainbow Book, 2013
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, 2013
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Young Adult Library Services Association Best Fiction for Young Adults Book, 2013
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Nominee, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Reader's Choice List, 2013
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Sydney Taylor Honor Book, 2013
A Sweet Passover

Campus Book-in Common Selection, Spalding University, 2012-2013
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Nerdy Book Club Poetry Award, 2012
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Poetry Foundation Children's Poet Laureate Pick November 2012
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Starred Review, Booklist, September 15, 2012
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard

Audiofile Earphones Award, 2012
October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard (audiobook)

Finalist, Dog Writers Association Maxwell Medallion Award, 2012
I Remember: Hachiko Speaks

Winner, Voices of Youth Award (VOYA) Skokie Public Library, Skokie, IL 2011
"Hachiko Waits"

Winner, Bluestem Illinois Readers Choice Award, 2011
"Hachiko Waits"

Second Runner Up, Solstice Literary Journal Poetry Prize, 2010
"Poem for Two Dogs Hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, 1692"

Finalist, ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year, General Fiction Category, 2010
"The Reluctant Daughter"

Hachamat Lev Award, 2010
Awarded by Keshet Foundation "For enduring commitment to justice and full inclusion for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the Jewish community and beyond".

Certificate of Excellence, Cat Writers of America, 2009
"Old Girl"

Muse Medallion, Cat Writers of American 2009
"Old Girl"

Certificate of Excellence, Dog Writers Association of America
"Mon Ami"

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Gold Seal Best Book Award, 2009
"Mommy, Mama, and Me", "Daddy, Papa, and Me"

American Library Association Notable Children’s Books 2010
"Mommy, Mama, and Me"

American Library Association Stonewall Book Awards 2010
Honor Books: "Mommy, Mama, and Me", "Daddy, Papa, and Me"

American Library Association Rainbow List of GLBT Books for Children and Teens
"Mommy, Mama, and Me", "Daddy, Papa, and Me"

Cooperative Children's Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2010
"Mommy, Mama, and Me", "Daddy, Papa, and Me"

Burning Bush Poetry Award, 2009
"What the Angel Really Said"

Quill and Ink Poetry Award, 2009
Awarded by the Florence Poets Society, Florence, MA

Poet Laureate of Northampton, Massachusetts, 2008

Finalist, Sow Ear's Poetry Review Competition, 2007
"Jewish Tradition"

Semi-Finalist, Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, Nimrod: An International Journal of Poetry and Prose, 2007
"The Woodgatherer Speaks"

Semi-Finalist,, National Literary Awards, Salem College Women's Center, Winston-Salem, NC, 2007
"Mother"

Nominee, West Virginia Children's Book Award, 2006-2007
Hachiko Waits

Continuing the Legacy of Stonewall Award, presented by the University of Massachusetts Stonewall Center, 2006

Nominee, Young Hoosier Book Award, Intermediate Category, 2007-2008
Hachiko Waits

Nominee, Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Book Award, 2007
Hachiko Waits

Winner, Emphasis on Reading Alabama's Children's Choice Book Award Program, 2005-2006
Hachiko Waits

ALA Amelia Bloomer List of Feminist Titles for Young Readers, 2006
A Fire Engine for Ruthie

Finalist, Reader/Selector List for Show Me Readers Award (Missouri Association of School Librarians), 2006
The Best Cat in the World

Nomination, Best Book for Young Adults, 2006
Jailbait

Kiriyama Prize Notable Book, 2005
Hachiko Waits

Volunteer State Book Award Master List, 2006-2007
Hachiko Waits

Nomination, Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2006
Jailbait

Nomination, Great Lakes' Great Book Award, 2006
Hachiko Waits

Bank Street College of Education, Best Children's Books of the Year 2005
Hachiko Waits

Kansas State Reading Circle Recommended Reading List, 2005
Hachiko Waits

ASPCA Henry Bergh Honor Book, 2005
Hachiko Waits

Children's Book Council & International Reading Assoc. Children's Choices List, 2005
The Best Cat in the World

Muse Medallion, Cat Writers Association, 2004
The Best Cat in the World

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Best Book, Gold Seal Award, 2005
A Fire Engine for Ruthie

Booksense Pick of the List, fall 2004
Hachiko Waits

Certificate of Excellence, Cat Writers Association, 2004
The Best Cat in the World

Booksense Pick of the List, Spring/Summer 2004
The Boy Who Cried Fabulous
 
Seal of Approval, National Parenting Center, 2004
The Boy Who Cried Fabulous
 
Finalist, Sue Saniel Elkind Poetry Contest, 2003
The Last Word
 
Nomination, Pushcart Prize, 2003
Nominated by the poet, Antler
 
Honorable Mention, The Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation, 2003
A Letter to Harvey Milk
 
Association of Jewish Libraries Notable Book for Young Readers, 2002
Runaway Dreidel!
 
Finalist, Lambda Literary Awards, Romance Category, 2002
She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not
 
Finalist, Lambda Literary Awards, Anthology Category, 2002
Bedroom Eyes: Stories of Lesbians in the Boudoir
 
Finalist, Lambda Literary Awards, Children's Book Category, 2002
Felicia's Favorite Story
 
American Booksellers Association Pick of the Lists, Picture Books, 2001
Cats, Cats, Cats!
 
Finalist, Lambda Literary Award, Lesbian Poetry Category, 2000
Signs of Love
 
Grant Recipient, Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund, Inc., 2000
Awarded on the basis of the short story, "Keeping a Breast"

Winner, Americus Review Poetry Contest, 2000
"The Politics of Buddy"

Nomination, Pushcart Prize, 2000
Nominated by the poet, Antler

First Place Winner, Vice Versa Awards for Excellence in the Gay and Lesbian Press, Humor Category, 1999
"Cher Heaven"

Induction, Jericho High School Hall of Fame, 1999

Finalist, Lambda Literary Awards, Poetry Category, 1998
The Little Butch Book

Finalist, Small Press Book Awards, 1998
Out of the Closet and Nothing to Wear

Nomination, Pushcart Prize, 1998
Nominated by the poet, Antler, for poems from Still Life with Buddy

Finalist, Iowa Teen Award, 1997-1998
Fat Chance

Poetry Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts, 1997
Awarded on the basis of a selection from Still Life with Buddy

Books for the Teen Age, 1996
A Loving Testimony: Remembering Loved Ones Lost to AIDS
Selected by Office of Young Adult Services, The New York Public Library

Community Services Award, 1995
Presented by the Massachusetts Lesbian and Gay Political Caucus

Finalist, Lambda Literary Award, Anthology Category, 1995
A Loving Testimony: Remembering Loved Ones Lost to AIDS

Gemini Award, Best Short Drama 1995
Spoken Word: "A Letter to Harvey Milk"
Presented by The Canadian Academy of Film and Television

Finalist, Lambda Literary Award, Children's Book Category, 1994
Saturday Is Pattyday

Silver Award, The Parents' Choice Foundation, 1994
Fat Chance

James Baldwin Award For Cultural Achievement, 1993
awarded by The Greater Boston Area Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance

Winner, Highlights For Children Fiction Writing Contest, 1992
Remember That

Author of the Month: Highlights For Children, December 1992
Remember That

Finalist, Lambda Literary Award, Children's Book Category, 1992
Gloria Goes To Gay Pride

Winner, Best Narrative Film, Ann Arbor Film Festival, 1990
"A Letter to Harvey Milk", Produced by Yariv Cohen

Finalist, Lambda Literary Award, Children's Book Category, 1990
Heather Has Two Mommies

Poetry Fellowship, Massachusetts Artist Foundation, 1989
awarded on the basis of a selection of poems

Commendation, National Poetry Competition, 1988
sponsored by the Chester H. Jones Foundation: "What Good"

Second Place Finalist, 1987 Raymond Carver Short Story Competition, 1987
"Something to Pass the Time"

Honorable Mention, Urban Arts in Transit Competition 1987
"Songs for Ten Scallops"

Runner Up, American Poetry Association Love Poem Competition, 1987
"Love after love after love after love and finally"


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