Thursday, November 20, 2014

Spillworthy Sale Starts Today

The SPILLWORTHY sale starts today!  The ebook is just 99 cents through November 26th.  At the stroke of midnight, we start celebrating Thanksgiving and the sale is done.

Read the book and love it?  This is a great opportunity to release the book to someone else.

Sending the ebook to 20 people with a short note of Thanksgiving? That's a fairly inexpensive gift of love.  You can gift the book right from your Amazon account.

Also? The audiobook version is coming soon! I'm so excited with the way Mark Blowers performs this book. I know you'll love it. I'm hoping it will be ready to buy on December 1st.  :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Spillworthy Featured in National Press Release!

Contact: Jim Barnes, Awards Director

Lifelong Reading, from the Womb Onward

(Traverse City, MI - Oct. 7, 2014)  The Moonbeam Awards program is dedicated to reading at all levels and to children of all nationalities, races and faiths. Now in its eighth year, the contest is known for its diversity and inclusiveness, and this year's medalists range from a book for pregnant mothers to read to their unborn babies, to a young adult novel dealing with homelessness and human trafficking.

The Moonbeam Awards are designed to bring increased recognition to the year's best children's books. The winners are chosen for their commitment to children, literacy and lifelong reading. Judging panels of book reviewers, librarians, teachers, and students chose 166 medalists from over 1,300 entries, and medals will go to books representing 37 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, five Canadian provinces, and Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, Scotland and Spain.

See the complete 2014 Moonbeam Awards results here:

This year's gold medalist in the Board Book category is Can't Wait to Show You (Preliteracy Partners), and this charming book is not only meant to be read to babies in utero, it's shaped to fit the curve of a mother's pregnant belly! Alas, not everyone receives the gift of reading: My Dad Couldn't Read (See a Book Take a Look) explains how a reading disorder turned into adult illiteracy -- but through tutoring and perseverance father and daughter learned together and earned their high school diplomas together.

Probably the ultimate example of courage and perseverance in this new millennium is the story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who in 2012 survived an attempted assassination by the Taliban for speaking out about girls' rights to education. Out in Front (Morgan Reynolds) is author David Aretha's stirring biography of Yousafzai, the "girl who wouldn't be silenced," whose dream is for "every child to go to school," and who someday wants to become the prime minister of Pakistan.

The Religion category gold medalist is another example of girl-power, inspired when author David R. Weiss's daughter asked him to tell her a story about When God Was a Little Girl  (Beaver's Pond Press). He explained how Creation was like one of her art projects, done with joy and love, and even with all the different colors, shapes, and sizes, it looked "just right."

Spillworthy, the self-published gold medalist in the Mature Issues fiction category, not only deals with homelessness and human trafficking, but gives voice to the young victims who rise above their trials through the powerful magic of words. Idaho-based author Johanna Harness proves that reading, writing and communication truly does heal and can save souls -- and books like hers, along with the rest of this year's Moonbeam winners -- can change the world.

* * * * *

The Moonbeam Awards were created in 2007 by northern Michigan-based book marketing firm Jenkins Group, and the winners represent the best books published for children and young adults during the previous year. Jenkins Group has been involved in book packaging, marketing and distribution since 1988, and the growing influence of their children's and grandchildren's love of books inspired them to launch the Moonbeam Awards and the Traverse City Children’s Book Festival.

Learn more about the Moonbeam Awards at
Learn more about the book festival at
For more information about the Moonbeam Awards and the winning books, or to interview their creators, contact Awards Director Jim Barnes at 1-800-644-0133 x 1011 or

Saturday, October 4, 2014

A Moonbeam Gold!

Spillworthy won a Moonbeam Children's Book Award! And it's a gold!

I'm so excited and honored. I still don't quite know how to process this. It's amazing.

I look at the Moonbeam books and realize that this is exactly the kind of list that made me want to start writing, and it's exactly the kind of list that made me fall in love with independent publishing.

Pre-Internet, these were the books I would search for in catalogs and on pilgrimages to huge, urban booksellers. Today these books can be just as difficult to find because they get lost in the noise of publishing.

It's difficult to describe the feeling I get from these books. 

Have you ever savored a magazine with images selected because they did NOT look like stock photography? An old Mothering magazine? Or an old New Moon Girls?  I'm not talking about sloppy or unprofessional. I'm talking about real.

That's the feeling I look for in independently-published books. I'm looking for ideas that aren't changed to fit a preconceived idea of what an audience wants--the literary version of photoshopping.  I'm looking for stories and ideas that certainly could have been changed to make them more marketable, but they were tumbled into something organic and real instead.  They include a variety of characters, like those who actually exist in the world, without slimming or whitewashing or idealizing of dominant culture.  And the covers reflect the guts of the novels! They are beautiful not in spite of being real, but because they are real.

I already have a huge reading list shaped from Moonbeam lists from multiple years.  Now I must talk to librarians about getting more of these books on the shelves because my budget is too small and my list is too big.

Thank you, Moonbeam, not just for this award, but also for your dedication in bringing independent books to the attention of serious readers. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Spillworthy Writing Workshops

In Spillworthy, Ulysses takes his best writing and transfers it to pizza boxes to display in his neighborhood.  For this Hermit Festival workshop, I chose a smaller form--playing cards repurposed as trading cards.  Spillworthy says a medium pizza box is about the right size for a short essay.  For our group, the trading card turned out to be a great size for micro-poetry.

Kids created all their cards around Hermit Fest observations. If their cards referenced anyone in attendance at the festival, they could go get signatures on the cards.  The performers and vendors responded to the kids with such joy.  It was a gorgeous thing to see.

We're heading back to Indian Creek Winery for a second workshop day today, starting at 12:40 by the stump stage.  Any kids who can't make it to the stage on time, can find me and I'll set them up with a notebook and blank trading cards.  

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

Author Reading and Signing

I'm so happy to announce that I'll be doing an author reading and signing on June 12, 2014 at Caldwell Public Library in Caldwell, Idaho.

We'll start at 7:00pm.

I hope some of you will be in town on that summer evening and you'll come see me. I'd love to see you.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Catch & Release

If you find a tagged book, please leave a comment!

If the book you find isn't here yet, please check back! It will be here soon. :)

In SPILLWORTHY, the main characters release words into the world to be read by others. In that spirit, we're having a Catch & Release Party to celebrate the release of this book into the world.

Starting May 1st, tagged copies of the book will be released into the wild at various places around the world.

Tagged Book #001, Released by Zehra, 

May 2, 2014, Horniman Gardens, London

Number #1 of @johannaharness 's book Spillworthy has been released 
& can be found near the Extreme exhibition in the @hornimanmuseumgardens ! Happy reading!

Tagged Book #002, Released by Linnie, May 11, 2014,

on the train from Groningen to The Hague.

Released on the train from Groningen to The Hague, wagon 9545, first class upstairs.

Tagged Book #003, Released by Mariam, May 2, 2014, Germany

"I gave my copy to my best friend's daughter Connie, 
who is a Middle Grade English teacher, because I think that 
Spillworthy belongs in every school library, and in classrooms."

Book Released by Johanna, May 5, 2014, Florence, Oregon

Copy of Spillworthy released at Periwinkle Station in Florence, Oregon. Ask for it at the counter! 

Tagged Book #005, Released by April, May 11, 2014, Kentucky

My thoughts for my releasable copy of Spillworthy were for a special neighbor.
As for the young neighbor, she is enjoying the novel, 
and looking forward to finishing it and sharing it with friends.

Tagged Book #006, Released by MaryBeth, May 6, 2014, Howell, New Jersey

Book 006 has been released at a Starbucks in Howell, NJ!

Book Released by Ezzie, May 4, 2014, Cambridge, Massachusetts

"SPILLWORTHY by @johannaharness instills hope.  
Released in front of Cambridge City Hall. #homeless #youth"  --Ezzie

Tagged Book #007, Released by James, May 4, 2014, Atlanta, GA

This Spillworthy was released in Atlanta, Georgia. This is at Pinckneyville Sports Park. 

From +James Huskins: "That would be #Spillworthy numbered release 007 :D 
Props to +Johanna Harness  for the spy grooviness !! My name is Worthy, Spillworthy." 

"Look for the MG'ers playing baseball near the flag pole. #Spillworthy007. It won't last long." 

Tagged Book #008, Released by Carla, May 2, 2014, Helena, Montana

Tagged Book #009, Released by Kristina, May 1, 2014, Jamaica

Tagged Book #009
"Your copy is in the possession of our lovely bartender, Amay. 

She started reading it but is giving it to her niece, Janeesa. 

It may never leave the island, but it will be passed to many, many Jamaicans."  ~Kristina

Tagged Book #010, Released by Kristina, May 2, 2014, Atlanta, Georgia

"Due to a change in itineraries, book 10 was released not in Brooklyn, NY, but the Atlanta, GA airport. 
So who knows exactly where Spillworthy #10 will land?"  --Kristina

Tagged Book #011, Released by John, May 5, 2014, Beaverton, Oregon

Spillworthy #11, released to the info kiosk inside Cedar Hills Crossing, in Beaverton, Oregon, near Powell's Bookstore.

Tagged Book #012, Released by Taylor, May 9, 2014, Texas

Spillworthy #12 released in Texas, to Taylor’s favorite teacher, Mrs. Elkins.  Awesome.

Tagged Book #14, Released by Elizabeth, May 5, 2014, Wilmington, North Carolina

Released along the Riverwalk in downtown Wilmington, NC--near the Best Western!

Tagged Book #016, Released by Sara, May 5, 2014, Ithaca, New York

"#16 released into the cultivated wilds of Ithaca, NY. 
After I took this photo, I tucked the book between Virginia Woolf and Annie Proulx."  --Sara 

Tagged Book #017, Released by Angie, May 10, 2014, Reading, PA

Spillworthy #17 has been released! It's at the Goggleworks community art center in Reading, PA.

Tagged Book #018, Released by Linda, May 7, 2014, Rochester, MI

As a participant in the "Catch and Release" project, I released my copy of SPILLWORTHY in the RARA recreational center in Rochester, MI. The Rochester Avon Recreational Authority is a hub of activity for adults, teens and children. The building is home to the main office and the dance studios, and has two rooms with tables for students (and their siblings) to do homework while waiting for dance classes. They are teeming with kids just about every day. While I was taking this photo, there was a young lady watching me with great curiosity, and I have a feeling that, the moment I walked away, she would be checking out the book I left behind. I hope that she, or whoever takes the book home, will log in to and report that it's been caught!

Tagged Book #019, Released by Marty, May 6, 2014, Snellville, Georgia

Emory Eastside Medical Center, Snellville, GA.

Tagged Book #21, Released on behalf of Shari, May 11, 2014, Stonehenge, U.K.

At Stonehedge. Spillworthy Released In coffee shop.

Tagged Book #22, Released by Johanna, May 1, 2014, Boise, Idaho

This copy was left by the statue I affectionately call, "The Big Lincoln."

We left it there around 7pm and I tweeted, sent a message on Facebook, and also posted on G+.  

When we returned two hours later, it was gone.

This is so much fun!  Happy reading!

Tagged Book #23, Released by Johanna, May 2, 2014, Bend, Oregon

Today is the first day of the Spillworthy road trip.  

I consulted my twitter followers and we decided Bend, Oregon was the right place.

Book Released by Johanna, May 4, 2014, Newport, Oregon

Book #25 Released by Johanna, May 5, 2014, Newport, Oregon

This book was released at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon.

The finder of this book checked in on g+.  She will re-release. Yay!

Book #26 Released by Johanna, May 7, 2014, Newport, Oregon

Released copy of #Spillworthy at Yaquina Head Visitor Center. It was gone before I could get this posted. Awesome because a middle grade kid took it to a ranger not even a minute after we'd left the room. I heard the ranger's explanation: "It's a way of sharing books! Kind of like a geocache." Parent and daughter were both happy. Me too.