The fundraiser benefits nonprofits seeking racial justice and features one-of-a-kind offerings from writers Jessica Knoll, Kevin Kwan, Emma Straub and more

By Benjamin VanHoose
August 03, 2020 02:36 PM
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You (2018)
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A number of bestselling authors have aligned for a good cause.

On Monday, the Authors for Black Voices collective launched its first-ever online silent auction to fundraise for causes that support racial justice, specifically nonprofits that work to fight racism in publishing and education.

Ranging from one-on-one sessions with big-name writers and editors to special unreleased original content, the auction features all sorts of exclusives — including a deleted scene from Caroline Kepnes' 2016 novel Hidden Bodies, the basis for season 2 of Netflix's hit thriller You.

Fans can also bid on a hand-annotated copy of Jessica Knoll's hit 2015 debut Luckiest Girl Alive, a one-of-a-kind signed photographic print from Crazy Rich Asians author Kevin Kwan, and the opportunity to name a character in Alex Segura's next mystery.

All Adults Here author Emma Straub is also auctioning, along with a signed edition of the novel, a virtual or in-person shopping session at her New York City bookstore Books Are Magic.

"The idea was to use this moment of heightened awareness about racism to do some good in our own industry," Andrea Bartz, author of The Herd and one of the auction organizers, tells PEOPLE. "We found some amazing nonprofits with a long history of doing the work and centering voices that need to be heard."

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A few of the other authors participating include Benjamin Dreyer, Susan Orlean, Zakiya Dalila Harris, Janelle Brown, Caroline Leavitt and more.

"We're beyond grateful to the amazing authors and publishing professionals donating their time and treasures, and to the amazing nonprofits fighting to dismantle white supremacy and create a more just society," says Bartz, who is auctioning signed copies of her two thriller novels, plus alternate endings for each.

All proceeds generated from the auction — which ends August 31 — benefit 10 selected nonprofits that focus on amplifying Black voices and increasing racial justice in education, publishing, literacy and creative storytelling on a national or multi-state level. 

Two of the organizations include Barbershop Books, which helps Black boys ages 4 to 8 identify as readers by stocking barbershops with fun books, and Facing History and Ourselves, which educates students about hatred and bigotry so they can stop them from happening in the future.

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Bartz, who established Authors for Black Voices with Jennifer Keishin Armstrong in June, says the idea stemmed from a discussion they had about "trying to figure out a way to target systemic racism in our industry using our own connections and privilege."

"Calling representatives and going to rallies is so important, but we also wanted to see progress in publishing, education and creative storytelling," she says. "Inclusion is key, and the voices we read can shape culture and change the way we see the world."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make the government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help Black youth succeed in college and beyond.