All the winning bids have been donated, and the grand total of funds raised during two rounds of auctions for the KidLit Cares Superstorm Sandy Relief Effort came to $60,038, which has been given to Red Cross Sandy Relief.

In the wake of the devastating October 29 storm, author Kate Messner organized a vibrant line-up of talent auctions featuring services donated by the children’s literature community, ranging from authors and illustrators to agents and editors. Messner oversaw the first round of 41 auctions, which brought in $36,756. She then handed the reins to fellow author Joanne Levy, who ran 81 additional auctions through November, netting $23,282 for Round Two.

“It went great,” said Levy. “It was chaos, but it was amazing. It was awesome to see so many people coming together.” The item receiving the highest bid in Round Two was a manuscript critique and call with publishing director Wendy Lamb from Random House, which went for $1500.

For Levy, the experience was gratifying in several ways and “worth more than the sum of its parts.” As the auctions rolled on, she was finally able to meet Messner – with whom she had previously worked on projects only virtually – in person at the recent National Council of Teachers of English annual convention in Las Vegas. The two, both Bloomsbury authors, were seated together at a publisher dinner. “She was taller than I expected,” Levy joked. “You never know when you have only met someone online.”

Levy’s fundraising energy was still at full tilt during the convention as she prepped one final auction package: two books, one by Levy, one by Messner, signed by as many authors and illustrators as she could corral at NCTE. “I got so many people to sign when I went around and told them what I was doing,” she says. “I was able to meet authors that I would not have otherwise.” After she had the autographed books in tow, ready to list for KidLit Cares, Levy says she admitted to her mother, “I wish I could keep them!” The confession paid off: Levy’s mother bid on the books and won them for her daughter.

There are no plans for additional KidLit Cares auctions; Levy suggests that those who wish to donate to ongoing relief efforts consider the YA for NJ and Publishing Gives Back initiatives.