The #PubforPR auction, launched by members of the publishing industry last month in response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, has announced the final tally for its fundraising efforts. The online talent auction raised more than $200,000—more than twice the initial $100,000 goal. All proceeds will be directed to local charity organizations, Unidos por Puerto Rico and ConPRmetidos.
The #PubforPR initiative began to coalesce on Twitter on September 24, when a group of five children’s authors and publishing professionals shared their desire to assist Puerto Ricans hit by the storm. Nova Ren Suma, Patrice Caldwell, Mara Delgado, Carrie DiRisio, and Kara Thomas were soon joined by other authors, editors, and literary agents. Thomas told PW, “Once we reached out, the response was enormous.”
The core group of volunteers consisted of Dahlia Adler, Patrice Caldwell, Mara Delgado, Carrie DiRisio, Sierra Elmore, Dana Alison Levy, Lily Meade, Jim McCarthy, Joy McCullough, Yamile Saied Méndez, Claribel Ortega, Emily X.R. Pan, Elana Roth Parker, Kara Thomas, Nova Ren Suma, Mekisha Telfer, and Marietta B. Zacker.
The auction, which took place October 2–5, brought in more than 4,500 bids for 331 individual items. The highest single bid was for an item contributed by author Laurie Halse Anderson, who said in a statement, “I am still in shock that my manuscript critique generated a $10,000 donation. I’m honored that I could be a part of #PubforPR. It is proof that creativity can unite kindred spirits and help us repair the broken world.”
In all, 65 agents, 53 editors, 180 authors and illustrators, and other members of the publishing industry lent their support. Author and #PubforPR co-founder Nova Ren Suma said in a statement, “Our hearts are full, and we’re so grateful for this community and their willingness to come together.”
Meanwhile, another group of publishers has formed #USVIPubFund, an online auction in support of the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Kheryn Callender, associate editor at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, got the ball rolling on Twitter on October 2, and was soon joined by Lauren Abramo, Beth Phelan, Lauren Spieller, Alison Weiss, Brooks Sherman, Joy McCullough-Carranza, and Dahlia Adler (the latter two having also helped with #PubforPR).
Callender, who was born and raised in St. Thomas, told PW, “Just as #PubforPR grew out of inspiration from Kidlit Cares for Hurricane Harvey, I was really inspired by the way the publishing community came together for Puerto Rico. But, I also initially had an element of hopelessness, knowing that my own home islands were devastated, and wishing that I could do something to help the U.S. Virgin Islands as well.”
The #USVIPubFund auction will be held October 17–19. To date, more than 300 items have been donated by individuals across the children’s and adult publishing industry.