Jacqueline West, Writer

Bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere and Dreamers Often Lie

Happy book birthday to A STORM OF WISHES (Collectors 2)

October 22, 2019    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

Today marks the release of my tenth book. TENTH. That number feels totally unreal (…like my age, and the dwindling number of days before Baby #2 arrives). But mostly it makes me feel aware of how lucky I am. To everybody who has ever read one of my books, or who has shared them with other readers: thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you times ten.

(The cover!! Thank you, Diana Sudyka!)

If you’re in/near Minnesota, you could come and celebrate with me in person: Tonight — October 22 — at 6:30, I’ll be at Red Balloon Bookshop in St. Paul for the official release party. And on Saturday, Oct. 26, at 1:00pm, the Red Wing Public Library is hosting me for a hometown book celebration, complete with cookies, a book raffle, and make-your-own bottled wishes. Other than a few last school and Skype visits, this is it before baby hibernation begins. Whew.

If you can’t join me at a real-life party, you can drop in on the Book Birthday Bash hosted by fellow Spooky MG author Samantha M. Clark. Hear where I’d host the perfect imaginary party for A STORM OF WISHES, what party favors would be provided, and enter a giveaway for a signed copy!

More news to come. For now, thank you again. And again and again.


Book News Pileup: UntitledTown Book Festival, New Poetry Collection, and ARCs!

April 7, 2018    Tags: , , , , , , , ,   

First things first.

In two weeks, I get to be part of something incredibly cool: UntitledTown Book and Author Festival, a four-day literary event held annually (this year, it will be April 19 – 22) in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This year, the lineup of guests includes R.L. Stine, Christopher Moore, and ROXANE GAY (!!!!), among others. Including me. Oh–and the whole amazing thing is FREE.

My schedule, if you’re in the area (or if you’ve been planning a trip to Packerland and feel like dropping in on a lit festival while you’re at it), looks like this:

Saturday, April 21:
12:00 – Creating Characters: Writing Workshop for Kids (and adults!), Brown County Library
2:00 – Kid Lit Panel: How to Write for a Young Audience, KI Convention Center Room 6AB

Sunday, April 22:
10:00 – Dark Magic (Panel): Writing Fantasy for YA and Adults, St. Brendan’s Inn, Waterford Room
2:00 – Wisconsin Writers Invitational (Group Reading), Brown County Library Auditorium

Here’s a very handy FAQ page that will help you register for my (and other instructors’) writing workshop:

And here’s the entire schedule. You can sign up/bookmark favorites (although you don’t need to) that you’d like to attend and sync them to your phone, if you’re techy like that.


Next, a moment of poetry promotion:

It’s National Poetry Month! And my brand new poetry collection, Candle and Pins: Poems on Superstitions, is now available from Alban Lake Publishing for only $1.99 in e-book format and $6.00 in paperback. Bargain, right? You can also find/order signed copies at my lovely local bookshops, Rivertown Comics and Games and Fair Trade Books of Red Wing, MN.

A little description: The poems of “Candle and Pins” are inspired by familiar—and some unfamiliar—superstitions, ranging from love charms to burial practices, parsley seeds to the evil eye. Like superstitions themselves, these poems explore the terrain where magic and everyday life intertwine, and where beauty, horror, fear, and belief combine in ways both new and ageless.

I’ve been at work on this collection for what seems like ages. Some of the poems appeared in fantasy/horror/scifi journals like Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, and Mythic Delirium almost ten years ago, and one was nominated for a Rhysling Award, but most of them had never ventured out in public until now. Having all of these pieces, new and old, published and unpublished, finally put together behind this gorgeous cover with art by Marge Simon is the coolest feeling.

So if you’re into dark magic and creepy poetry — or poetry in general — you could make me super-happy by reading it.

If all of this wasn’t great enough, I also just received my box of ARCs (advance reading copies) of The Collectors.

(Photographic proof!!!)

Stay tuned for a giveaway of a special sneak peek copy or two… Not sure yet if I’ll use this blog, Instagram (where you’ll find me most frequently these days), Facebook, or all of the above, but I’ll do my best to spread the word everywhere.

See you in Green Bay. 🙂



March 27, 2018    Tags: , , ,   


Coming from Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins on 10/9/18.


Even the smallest wish can be dangerous.

Look closely.

Do you see that marble in the grass? The tiny astronaut with one arm raised? The old-fashioned key in the gutter?

Van sees them. Van notices all sorts of things. But usually no one notices Van. He’s small, and always the new kid, easy to overlook. But one day he watches a mysterious girl and a silver squirrel dive into a fountain to steal a coin.

And—even more strange—they notice Van.

Suddenly, the world changes for Van. It becomes a place where wishes are real. A place where wishes can be collected, just like his little treasures. A place where wishes can come true.

But that’s not always a good thing.

Not all wishes are good, you see, and even good wishes can have unintended consequences.

And Van is about to find out just how big those consequences can be.



My first middle-grade fantasy in four years (four years!?!) will be released by Greenwillow Books this fall, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

To all the BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE readers who have been patiently waiting for me to write something in same fantasy/mystery/adventure/eccentric-talking-animal ballpark: Thank you. To everyone who has asked me what I’ve been working on over the past few years and oohed at my sheepish description: Thank you. And to everyone at GWB/HC who is making this story into a real paper book at last: Thank you.

I can’t wait to introduce you to Van and his world this October. In the meantime, look look LOOK at this gorgeous cover! Swirling mist! Sparkling stars! Mystery and magic! Who could ask for anything more?!


Old News and New News

June 28, 2017    Tags: , , , , , , ,   

To start with the biggest and OLDEST news (and yes, it’s the same giant news I was waiting to share back in February, when I last posted here):

My next middle-grade series has a title, a publisher, and a (vague) release date!!! THE COLLECTORS is forthcoming from Greenwillow/HarperCollins, and you should be able to find it in a bookstore or library near you in Fall 2018.

Here’s the super-official Publishers Weekly announcement:

If you enjoyed THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE, then I think this new series is for you. It’s a very different setting and a very different main character, who of course has a whole new set of problems to surmount and mysteries to uncover…but THE COLLECTORS lives in the same quirky-creepy world as THE BOOKS OF ELSEWHERE, and I hope, hope, hope all the middle grade readers who have been asking me for more stories will feel like it’s what they’ve been waiting for. (Plus, it has a talking squirrel. His name is Barnavelt. And I am very fond of him.)

Now, because I’ve procrastinated for so long, I have a double serving of gigantic news to share. Fall 2018 will bring not one but TWO middle grade novels from yours truly.

Last year, the Story Pirates–the New York-based, nationally-loved performance organization dedicated to bringing kids’ stories to life–held a contest asking kids to submit ideas that could inspire a full-length novel, to be written by bestselling author Geoff Rodkey. THE STORY PIRATES PRESENT: STUCK IN THE STONE AGE BY GEOFF RODKEY, AND ILLUSTRATED BY HATEM ALY, BASED ON AN IDEA BY VINCE BOBERSKI, AGE 11 will be released by Rodale Books in March 2018.

Now the Story Pirates are getting ready for a second book — a mystery — which will be written by ME, and which will be released in Fall 2018. So, that’s New News Item #1. New News Item #2 is that the Story Pirates is hosting a second contest right now to gather ideas for a potential mystery book!

The contest is open until July 21. The winner gets $500, ten copies of the book, their name on the cover, and other cool bonuses. If you know any kids between the ages of 6 and 12 who love creating stories (kids need a parent/guardian’s help submitting), check out, and submit your wonderful, creepy, utterly unique ideas. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Between these two projects (and some other, still-secret ones!), the rest of my summer will be pretty busy — but if you’re a young writer in the eastern Minnesota/western Wisconsin area, you can catch me at a couple of writing workshops. On July 20 and 27, you’ll find me at Scott County Libraries — Jordan, New Prague, Prior Lake, and Savage, specifically — talking about descriptive writing and character creation. Sign up is now open! Here’s the link to the Scott County Library Summer Reading page; just click on the events calendar link to find more info and enroll.

And in early August, I’ll be teaching at the Summer Writing Intensive at The Shire in beautiful Stillwater, MN. Each week of this two-week intensive features a great menu of genres: fiction, poetry, graphic novels, screenplays and drama, editing, nonfiction — truly something for everyone. If you’re between 6th and 12th grade and in the area, check it out:

Thanks for your patience, everybody.

Happy summer!



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