Saturday, March 31, 2018

Another Exciting Wyatt-MacKenzie Fall 2018 Acquisition!


We’re ecstatic to announce Wyatt-MacKenzie’s acquisition of WE: AN ADOPTION AND A MEMOIR by Ben Barnz for a Fall 2018 release.

Ben Barnz is an independent film producer, and business partner with his life partner filmmaker Daniel Barnz. Together they formed We’re Not Brothers Productions and produced the feature films Cake (starring Jennifer Aniston, Sam Worthington, Anna Kendrick, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman) and Phoebe in Wonderland (starring Elle Fanning, Patricia Clarkson, Bill Pullman and Felicity Huffman). We’re Not Brothers Productions has most recently teamed up with Plan B’s Brad Pitt to take Ryan Wash’s story, of an openly gay black debate champion, to the big screen.

WE: AN ADOPTION AND A MEMOIR is universally relevant in its examination of family and belonging.

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On September 8th my adopted daughter was born.
On September 11th two planes flew into the Twin Towers.
On September 12th my daughter’s biological father legally contested the adoption.
WE tells the story of the harrowing six-month litigation that followed my daughter’s birth, but it’s also a memoir.  
WE is about growing up in the eighties during the height of AIDS, when to be gay felt like a death sentence, and when the concept of same-sex families didn’t exist. It is about auditioning for my future husband’s film in Los Angeles and eventually falling in love. It is about our commitment ceremony because marriage was not an option. It is about the day we met a terrified mid-Western girl who was seven months pregnant and carrying our daughter. It is about coming up against my own moral center and having to do what is right when what I wanted to do was wrong. 
 
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Every year, over two million children are adopted in the United States alone.

WE is one story about creating a family, and about how much has changed in thirty years. In the 1980s, gay fathers were invisible; in 2000, eight percent of same–sex couples were raising adopted children; in 2009 it was over twenty percent and “the trend line for same-sex couples in particular is absolutely straight up.” (Adam Pertman, E.D. Adoption Institute)





Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Wyatt-MacKenzie Fall Acquisition & Cover Reveal


Proud to announce this fall acquisition and share a cover reveal...



LIVING OFF THE EDGE ~ a memoir by Tom Weise
~ Coming in October 2018 ~

The heated immigration debate, alienating government reforms, and a shift in social structure provide the ideal platform for Tom Weise’s memoir. His fascinating life story was portrayed in the critically-acclaimed feature documentary The Good American, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival.

Weise is a political scientist with a degree from the Free University of Berlin. He studied at the most famous political institute in Europe, the Otto-Suhr-Institute, where his teachers included a former secretary of state, a former attorney general, and a former presidential candidate. He lived in Berlin and Sydney, Australia, in the early ’90s and from 1994-1995 worked as an intern for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour in New York City.

After four years in Paris, where he and his partner Keith were one of the first same-sex couples to legally marry, and almost two years in Barcelona, Spain, the author moved to Cusco, Peru, near Machu Picchu, where he lived a self-imposed spiritual exile in the mountains. He most recently moved to a remote beach village in Costa Rica where he works for change in discriminatory immigration laws and wonders if he’ll ever be able to legally return to the United States.

Weise has reached a worldwide community, well-known in NYC for his community work and initiatives—helping over 20 charities, comforting children with HIV, co-founding a gay homeless youth shelter, and assisting undocumented asylum seekers—as well as within the adult industry where Weise created an escort support group assisting with health care, legal issues, finances, future planning, and other serious life circumstances.

From growing up in postwar Germany, through a festering estrangement from his own abusive family, to the comprehension and denial of an HIV diagnosis, Weise led a double-life for fear that his lifestyle would conflict with his life of advocacy—his memoir opens every door, leading the way for immigration reform and LGBTQ equality and empowerment.


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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Happy Birthday, Louis Braille!


PRESS RELEASE

Happy Louis Braille Day! 
Today we are releasing the digital editions of OUTSIDE MYSELF by Kristen Witucki.

OUTSIDE MYSELF illuminates blindness to the sighted world, and will feed a hungry reading market of young blind readers—at no cost—through audiobooks and braille distributed by Bookshare and Learning ALLY; Kirkus Reviews calls it “A human, humane, and uplifting story.”

Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author reviews OUTSIDE MYSELF: “It is so refreshing to encounter people with disabilities in a story who are not merely heroic. Ultimately, these are heroic individuals as agents in their own lives, but they are not ‘brave blind people.’”

JANUARY 4, 2018 — Deadwood, OR — OUTSIDE MYSELF is a YA novel that focuses on Tallie, a teen girl struggling to adjust to her blindness, and Benjamin, an older gentleman who works in a library for the blind; each has a compelling story about negotiating the sighted world.
            Told from two perspectives, this book provides insight on life for blind individuals before and after the ADA. The National Federation of the Blind states that over seven million Americans have visual disabilities; this novel presents some of their unique experiences while bridging the reader to the feelings of isolation and interconnection of humanity without resorting to miracles or pity. Currently there are a half-million print-disabled students reached by Learning ALLY and Bookshare who will receive access to this novel. 
            Suzanne Kamata, author of the empowering disability-centric GADGET GIRL reviews, “Rich in sensory detail, this story offers rare and authentic insight into navigating the world without sight, but it’s really about loneliness and making connections and being human.” Anna Swenson, author of BEGINNING WITH BRAILLE reviews, “OUTSIDE MYSELF is a powerful narrative about adolescent angst and the ability of a mentor to change lives, including his own.” Nicole Haroutunian, author of SPEED DREAMING and advocate for young girls, reviews,“... experience blindness—and its confluence with race, religion, education, illness, friendship, and family—in separate, yet intersecting ways.” 
            Author Kristen Witucki has been totally blind since birth. She earned a BA in English from Vassar College in 2004 with a minor in German and certification to teach students in grades 7-12. She followed it with three Masters degrees: an MA in teaching gifted students from Teachers College, Columbia University, (2006); an MFA in the creative writing of fiction from Sarah Lawrence College, (2008); and an Ed.M in teaching students who are blind or visually impaired from Dominican College, (2011). While in school, Witucki earned her living at Learning Ally, where she helped people with visual impairments, dyslexia, and other disabilities to access technology related to reading audio books.  Kristen acted as a writer and editor for Learning Ally’s College Success Curriculum for students who are blind or have visual impairments. Learn more at kristenwitucki.com.
            Accessible editions will be made available to over 500,000 students with print disabilities through Learning ALLY and Bookshare. The National Library Service has libraries in every region of the country for people who are blind and hosts worldwide Book Clubs—OUTSIDE MYSELF has discussion questions for book club members, and aims to be part of the NLS program “That ALL May Read” providing braille and audiobook copies to the library system, with outreach through Ability Magazine, National Federation of the Blind, the American Council of the Blind, and Exceptional Parent magazine—to provide rich content for parents of blind children, educators, writers for state affiliates of national organizations, as well as state agencies for the blind, caregivers, physicians, therapists, nurses, and virtually every professional society and lay organization serving persons with print disabilities.

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OUTSIDE MYSELF by Kristen Witucki, ISBN: 978-1-942545-97-2 $25 Library Edition Hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-942545-99-6 $15 Softcover Edition, Available in multiple ebook formats, audiobook and braille (Bookshare), 232 pages, Pub Date: March 6, 2018; YA06000/YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Books & Libraries, YAF037000/ YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Loners & Outcasts, YAF058070/ YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Social Themes/Disabilities & Special Needs, YAF058150/YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Social Themes/ New Experience, YAF058220/YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Social Themes/Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance; Distributed by Ingram, Follett, Coutts, Bertrams, and Gardners. Wyatt-MacKenzie in Deadwood, Oregon celebrates 20 years of indie publishing in 2018.