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Sandy Spring Friends School visit, April 2019

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of returning to my high school, Sandy Spring Friends School, meeting with several groups of middle-grade and high school students, talking about writing fiction, and taking questions.

For a cantankerous old hermit like me, it was quite an adventure. However, everyone treated me gently, and the experience was very enjoyable. I meant to take selfies with the students, but the moment never seemed quite right, and I thank Sharon Kathryn Yntema for providing this one, by someone else.

My thanks to Ariel Voorhees, Mimi Youmans, Kiki Vargas, Lisa Penkowsky, Sara Jameson and Lauren Mossman, who made this trip possible and held the fort together.

Award Eligibility Post for 2018

It’s that time of the year.

Half-Witch is my only publication this year, but one I’m very happy with. I believe it is eligible for the Nebula, Hugo, Andre Norton, World Fantasy, British Fantasy, Mythopoeic, and Shirley Jackson awards, at least. My Campbell eligibility has long since expired. Half-Witch is being marketed as Middle Grade, but seems to have been read widely by adults, and might qualify in either YA or Adult novel categories

Kirkus starred review: “Readers who appreciate powerful female friendships and sui generis whimsy will cherish it.”

Amal El-Mohtar, The Best New Fantasy Novels, in the New York Times: “Half-Witch is a marvel of storytelling, balancing humor, terror and grace. Lizbet… and Strix are a perfect double act, and the shape and texture of the friendship they build is a joy to discover.”

NPR’s Best Books of 2018: “A marvelous blend of whimsy, terror and deep feeling.”

Colleen Mondor in Locus: “There is something deeply satisfying about a traditional fantasy with plucky protagonists, nefarious villains, hungry goblins, tricky witches, and a dangerous and difficult quest… Everything you expect to find is present, plus a lot of unlikely twists and turns that make this adventure a classic read.”

A Junior Library Guild Selection.

Half-Witch is available from its publisher Small Beer Press, from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or your local bookseller.

Great review of HALF-WITCH in New York Times

Glowing review of Half-Witch in the Times, by Amal El-Mohtar, herself a fine SFF writer.

“Half-Witch” is a marvel of storytelling, balancing humor, terror and grace. Lizbet is so earnestly good, in a way that I think has fallen out of fashion but that I loved reading. She and Strix are a perfect double act, and the shape and texture of the friendship they build is a joy to discover.

Amazing review. I couldn’t hope for better. Read the full review all here.

By the way, at the top of the review is C.L. Polk’s Witchmark, which has received lots of praise this year. Chelsea is an old acquaintance from the OWW writing workshop, and I’m delighted to see her debut novel having fantastic success.

Great review of HALF-WITCH in August Locus

The August issue of Locus, just out, has a very positive review of HALF-WITCH, by Colleen Mondor. It’s behind a paywall (unless you subscribe to the on-line version of Locus), but here’s a sample:

“There is something deeply satisfying about a traditional fantasy with plucky protagonists, nefarious villains, hungry goblins, tricky witches, and a dangerous and difficult quest. In John Schoffstall’s Half-Witch, everything you expect to find is present, plus a lot of unlikely twists and turns that make this adventure a classic read… Lisbet and Strix become the very definition of plucky, and it is hard not cheer them on.”

Amazon link

 

AN AUTHOR’S PRAYER

Bless my sainted parents in Heaven.

Lead the human race to world peace, an end to hunger, and brotherhood between all faiths and nations.

Please let the Westboro Baptist Church picket my book-signing today.

Amen.