if it’s too difficult for grown-ups, write for children

Congrats to Carrie Allen!

I’m so thrilled to share the news of the sale of Carrie Allen’s amazing MICHIGAN VS. THE BOYS to KCP Loft! I have long wanted a great teen athlete story, and (to mix a metaphor) Carrie knocked it out of the park. You can read the short pitch below, but I wanted to share something a little extra. In this time of #MeToo, girls in many sports still have to fight to be heard, to be treated as equals to boys they surpass on almost every level. When we took this manuscript out on submission, I asked Carrie to write a short author’s note that I could include with the manuscript, to speak to the timeliness of the story. This is what I got, and I’m thrilled to share it with you:

My agent Kate has asked that I write an Author’s Note to explain why I wrote MICHIGAN VS. THE BOYS and why this story is timely.

Timely?? My own stories that inspired scenes in the book feel like ancient history. Twenty years ago, my bra was stolen out of the locker room that I had to share with my all-male rec team, because there was no place else for me to change. Eighteen years ago, I was flashed by a male teammate from the shower room, dared by his buddies, of course. Fifteen years ago, at the USA Hockey referee certification seminar, a teenage boy followed me into the parking lot and asked me to flash him. Twelve years ago, a youth coach was kicked out of a tournament for grabbing his crotch at me while I officiated his team’s game.

They never managed to chase me off.

This is not a memoir; my stories are different from Michigan’s. But every girl in hockey has those stories. Olympians from the women’s national team have changed in the rink’s broom closet, same as the rest of us. We’ve all endured slurs on the ice. Hilary Knight, arguably the best in the women’s game right now, took hell from the parents — the PARENTS — of her male teammates when she was an adolescent.

I wrote this book because, twenty-five years after my own hockey experiences began, the stories are still the same.

There were 12,000 girls and women registered with USA Hockey when I began playing in 1994. There will be approximately 70,000 this season. Last spring, WNT leveraged their World Championship participation to gain better support for the women’s programs, including grass-roots opportunities for girls. They won.

Previously, it was the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team fighting in court for equal pay. Currently, it is Denmark’s Women’s National Soccer Team, battling their own country for equality.

Billie Jean King’s story is being told through a movie as I write this. The Battle of the Sexes happened before I was born and is still timely. King’s legacy, Title IX, which just celebrated its 45th birthday, is under fire as legislators attempt to slash sexual assault protections on college campuses. In my sport alone, there are 70,000 girls walking into broom closets every day, steeling themselves against the insults that will come this season.

Women’s equality and opportunity in sports is always timely.

MICHIGAN is for this girl, and countless like her, and I can’t wait to share it with you in Fall 2019.

Please join me in congratulating Carrie on Twitter at @CarrieSAllen!