May 03 2010

I'm going to be published!!!

Yes, that warrants three exclamation marks.

You may or may not have heard of the book The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas. It was released in the UK last year to raise money for the Terrence Higgins Trust, a UK HIV charity. Here’s a little summary of the book from Amazon:

42 atheist celebrities, comedians, scientists and writers give their funny and serious tips for enjoying the Christmas season. Last year, Guardian journalist Ariane Sherine launched the Atheist Bus Campaign and ended up raising over GBP150,000, enough to place the advert ‘There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life’ on 800 UK buses in January 2009. Now Ariane and dozens of other atheist writers, comedians and scientists are joining together to raise money for a very different cause. The Atheist’s Guide to Christmas is a funny, thoughtful handbook all about enjoying Christmas, from 42 of the world’s most entertaining atheists. It features everything from an atheist Christmas miracle to a guide to the best Christmas pop hits.

Well, it turns out HarperCollins is developing a US edition, and they wanted to add a couple American authors to make it more appealing to this side of the pond. And because of all the boobquake media attention, one of their editors stumbled upon my blog and said they loved my writing and sense of humor. I was asked to do a longer humor piece on atheist toys, based off of my Atheist Barbie joke! Excuse the caps lock, but:


It’s been a goal of mine to get my creative work published ever since I was a little kid. I’ve been writing fiction stories since second grade, have a novel fairly far in progress (and other ideas that are less developed), have taken creative writing classes whenever I can, and absolutely love writing (which hopefully you can tell from my blog). I always said I wanted to be published before I graduated college, and there was that nagging cynical voice in the back of my head that said it wouldn’t happen. But now due to the bizarre circumstances of an offhanded joke becoming internationally popular, my dream is literally coming true.

I can’t believe I’m going to be published in the same book as fabulous writers that I deeply respect, like Richard Dawkins, Simon Singh, AC Grayling, Phil Plait, and Ariane Sherine. And not only that, but the editor reacted so positively to my piece (which is the top secret project I’ve been working on the last week), that this will probably open a lot of doors for me.

The US edition will be released on November 2, 2010 (my birthday! What are the odds?). The Amazon page for it is a little sparse now, but you can preorder it here. If you order the editions of it that are already released, they won’t have me in it.

I didn’t think anything could top the Colbert Report…but fulfilling this dream at age 22 kind of wins.


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  1. 1

    FIRST…. to wish you a hearty CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!

  2. 2

    Congratulations! I almost bought the UK version several times last year but never got around to it…now I’m glad I didn’t!

  3. 3

    Very awesome! Big congrats from the entire AmoebaMike team, by which I mean myself and the amoeba I ride.

  4. 4
    Zachary Cole


  5. 5
    Joé McKen

    So, you’re just writing a piece for the book, rather than getting a whole novel published.That means I could still beat you to the finish line! *write write write*… Also, a (second) hearty congrats. Wicked cool.

  6. 6
    Robyn M

    CONGRATULATIONS! XD Man, life’s been a whirlwind for you lately, it’s amazing!

  7. 7

    Cream rises to the top, Jen. Gratz. :)

  8. 8

    It’s official: You need an agent!

  9. 9


  10. 10
    Mike Brownstein

    Great Job!!

  11. 11
    The naked atheist

    Flippin’ blimey Jen, I’m so happy for you, well done! So when are you doing a book signing in the UK?http://www.facebook.com/photo….Me with Ariane Sherine at a book signing, I later went to a presentation by Ariane at Aston University in Birmingham, UK.Ariane is a wonderfully witty lady, and thoroughly charming, as I’ve no doubt you are Jen.

  12. 12

    Congrats! but you know what Terry Pratchett says about multiple exclamation points….”‘Multiple exclamation marks,’ he went on, shaking his head, ‘are a sure sign of a diseased mind.’ “

  13. 13
    Mick Green

    Oh congrats!

  14. 14
    Geoffrey D. Wessel

    As someone currently working on breaking in professionally as a writer, congratulations.

  15. 15
    The Mad Dreamer

    From one writer to another, congratulations. I’ll keep an eye out for the book and I look forward to your piece.

  16. 16

    Congrats! I have already pre-ordered my copy. And thanks to the provided pre-order link, my critical-thinking-inspired spending spree required no actual thought. How’s that for irony?

  17. 17
    Hugo Grinebiter

    Yay! Green-Eyed Monster (no relation to His Noodliness).

  18. 18

    CONGRATS!Count me as a book sale!

  19. 19

    Three cheers, Jen! I’m thrilled for you!

  20. 20

    That’s wonderful! My hearty congratulations. You deserve it!

  21. 21

    Congrats Jen!

  22. 22
    Philip Pangrac

    As jealous as I often am of another’s success, I will man up and throw in my congratulations as well. The Atheist Barbie thing was funny (and, speaking personally, I thought it was a lot more clever than boobquake was).Almost assured I won’t buy the book, but maybe I’ll skim to your article when in a bookstore at some point.

  23. 23

    “my birthday! What are the odds?”0.27%Also, You go girl!

  24. 24

    zomg. Congrats!!!You have a good sense of humor, as your posts about the Creation Museum and the anti-porn rally show.

  25. 25

    Jen, I’m so happy for you! This is so exciting! Now that I’ve seen what you’ve done, maybe I should start my one feminist atheist blog.

  26. 26

    Awesome news. Hopefully this is a sign (sort of speak) of more notoriety and respect that you deserve. Congratulations!

  27. 27

    This is why I love my readers.Though technically it would probably be higher, since this book would be released in the span before Christmas… …never mind =P

  28. 28

    “The US edition will be released on November 2, 2010 (my birthday! What are the odds?). “About 1 in 365.

  29. 29
    Andrew R Sather

    Congratulations! Looking forward to reading your entry (as well as the rest of the book :-)

  30. 30

    I’m glad to see HarperCollins taking note of such an expert wordsmith! My jealousy knows no bounds. :) I’m preordering now!

  31. 31

    Congratulations! It couldn’t happen to a nicer heathen.

  32. 32

    Holy shit! I bought this last year, and it’s gone missing amongst all of my boxes of crap from moving. Looks like I’ll have to buy this new one…oh, darn…

  33. 33

    Squeeee! Thank you for sharing your overwhelming joy with us. It makes me feel such happiness for you and your dreams. :)

  34. 34

    Very cool! Congrats!

  35. 35

    Cool, just cool.

  36. 36

    Well done. Look forward to reading it.

  37. 37

    I think you’d be forgiven a string of exclamation points for this news! Had to delurk (been following your blog for almost a year now, I think – came over from lurking at Friendly Atheist) just to add my voice to the many saying congratulations! And I will be buying, of course. Don’t go abandoning all your adoring online followers now that you’re going to be sold in hard copy. ;)

  38. 38

    Oh yeah! I guessed it! (sort of…)

  39. 39
    Keely Chaisson

    I’m so crazy excited for you.Maybe a little bit jealous too. Or a lot.But that’s okay, because it’s actually pretty fucking amazing to watch someone who really deserves it have their dreams come true. And I know this happened because of a runaway internet joke, but though the immediate precipitating event may have been a bit of crazy luck, on the whole you couldn’t be more deserving. And of course, it is always fun, as someone starts telling me about boobquake/your blog/you, to feel the smile spread across my face as I interrupt them to say “Yeah! I know her! Isn’t she fucking awesome!?!”

  40. 40


  41. 41

    Also, new books tend to drop on Tuesdays, so that’s another point in your favor, since the 2nd is a Tuesday. :D

  42. 42

    You go girl! If the book is shipped to my remote corner of the world I’d like to buy it, but most of all I’m looking forward to reading the scientific books that I guess you will publish in the future. Wonderful writers like Dawkins and Sagan (how I miss him) need some competition. Congratulations and warm regards from an old lady in Sweden. <3

  43. 43

    Wow! That’s awesome! Congrats!I had put the forthcoming US edition of the book on my Amazon wishlist but had pondered getting the UK edition sooner. Now I will surely wait to get YOUR edition!!! ;-)You and Richard Dawkins in the same book??? Fellow contributing geniuses??? YOU SHOULD BE SO VERY, VERY PROUD!!!!!! :-)

  44. 44

    I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.Lucyhttp://dataentryjob-s.com

  45. 45

    WOOOOOOO awesome! You’ve earned it :)

  46. 46

    That’s so cool! Congratulations!!!

  47. 47

    wow, I totally missed this earlier. congratu-bloody-lations!!

  48. 48

    Yay! You continuously do stuff that makes you even more awesome! I’m so glad to hear that people are really taking notice of you and your writing, and that it’s getting pretty serious. :)

  49. 49
    Andrew S.

    That’s awesome, Jen. You’re like…going places. I’m jealous :3

  50. 50
    Andrew S.

    That’s awesome, Jen. You’re like…going places. I’m jealous :3

  51. 51
    John Sherman

    Congratulations, Jen. I first came to your site through a link at PZ Myers’s blog (which I can never spell or pronounce: Famergooglia?) about a week before Boobquake. I’m looking forward to this book as I am often asked about celebrating Christmas while an atheist. I usually just say, “Booze? Presents? The Grinch? What’s not to celebrate?”

  52. 52

    Congratulations! That’s quite the book to get into… I’d been thinking about getting a copy earlier but now I’ll definitely wait for this version.

  53. 53


  54. 54

    I can’t think of an athiest equivalent of ‘bless!’, so I’ll stick with ‘congratulations’ as well.Use as many exclamation marks as you like – I would, in your shoes.

  55. 55

    Great jeorb!

  56. 56

    I am so happy for you! Been lurking and loving this blog for a while now, and just ordered the book. Kim-also stuck in Indiana

  57. 57

    fantastic, congratulations! i am definitely putting it on my wish list!!

  58. 58
    Something She Dated

    Congrats…I’m preordering right away!!

  59. 59


  60. 60

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.Lucyhttp://dataentryjob-s.com

  61. 61
    John Sherman


  62. 62

    That is so AWESOME!!!!! SUPER-CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. 63

    I want to pre-order it, but I don’t know where I’m going to be living in November. I don’t know where it would have to be shipped to at that time.

  64. 64

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.Lucyhttp://dataentryjob-s.com

  65. 65
    Anthony McCloskey

    Congratulations! I remember when I first got published I was just as excited. It’s a major milestone. Additionally, I think you are a fine representation of those of us who prefer reason to superstition.

  66. 66

    That is so wonderful, need to put something else in your bucket list.

  67. 67

    Flagged for spam.

  68. 68

    Wow! I don’t even know you, but I’m so happy for you!

  69. 69
    Joel Klinepeter

    Awesome! I’d heard about the book on a podcast (I can’t remember if it was SGU or Point of Inquiry) and was thinking I’d probably pick up the US edition when it came out, now it’s a must have. Any chance I could get you to sign it some time?For the record, I’ve bragged to friends about having had lunch with someone who’s been talked about on The Colbert Report. Sadly, with my work schedule, I likely won’t be able to make the SSA conference this year.

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