About WeRead



Publishing Info

Important Dates



Information for Prospective Authors and Illustrators 

WE READ is looking for campus writers and artists to create children's books for kids in Detroit! If you are a freshman, sophomore or junior, fill out this application to be considered for our program and paired with author or illustrator. Authors write stories during the fall term, illustrators create artwork during the winter term (some sketching and storyboarding is done in the fall), and the books compete for professional publication before the end of the academic year.

In April, English, art and education faculty select one book to be published through Ann Arbor's MANA Press with funding from other organizations. Five hundred copies are printed, most of which are distributed at no cost to Detroit fourth and fifth graders. During following year, the winning author and illustrator visit Detroit classrooms to talk about the writing and illustrating processes, read their book and sign student copies. The remaining books are sold on the MANA Press website, marketingnewauthors.com, and proceeds go to the publication of future books. In six years, WE READ has published four titles: The Rainy Day Discovery, Maya's Magic Carpet, The Adventures of Gross Jerome and the Gooey Green Goblins, and Sweet Dreams, Dakota. Our upcoming title, Malia, the Garden Guardian, is scheduled for distribution this winter. Winning books have been displayed at book conventions worldwide such as BookExpo and the Bologna Children's Book Fair in Bologna, Italy.

WE READ also produces a quality printed and bound copy of every book created for each author and illustrator. All books are also printed in an annual anthology that WE READ donates to Westside Multicultural Academy. Authors and illustrators can visit Westside Multicultural Academy with the BEAR group to read their story.

Though most of the work for authors and illustrators is done individually, authors and illustrators may need to meet with each other and a small group editor occasionally. Graduating seniors may not participate as authors and illustrators because contest winners must participate in the "Book Tour" to distribute their book to Detroit fourth and fifth graders. However, seniors may send an e-mail to wrsubmissions@umich.edu to learn about other opportunities.