Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Website Kickoff: Featuring the Founder's Round Table

The long days (and nights!) of preparation and marketing have paid off.

To celebrate National Book Lover's Day, the #RebelliousWriting movement, now two months old, has a shiny new home. And thank heavens - being spread over ten blogs was a mess to keep up with!

You may be wondering - how did this movement get started in the first place?

While we could redirect you to thirty different posts, or even to this video, we believe no one is more qualified to answer this question than our founder, Gray Marie Cox.

So, Gray....just how did Rebellious Writing get it's start? And may we be introduced to the team?

Gray Marie Cox:

Believe it or not, this whole movement started with a small rant of only 882 words that I posted June second, little did I know that the small outpouring of my emotions and anger towards today's YA standards would soon lead to many other bloggers to do similar posts, spread the word, fight against low standards for teenage writers and readers, and eventually lead up to this amazing blog. I didn't even expect a lot of people to agree with me, or sympathize with my frustration towards the normal standards towards us young adults. But it did, and that's all that really matters, isn’t it?

We're all here. Us, the teenage readers, writers, and fighters against vile content and low expectations.

I am Gray Marie Cox, and I am a rebellious writer and reader, and I'd like you to meet the rest of our rebel team…

Anna C. S. :

Hello! I am Anna C. S. and as a writer and avid reader, Gray’s post really hit home for me. It seemed like I had read almost every good book in my tiny library, and I was greatly disappointed at the titles that lined the shelf. They were all pulp reads, or glorified things that should never be glorified. It was really hard getting out of the children’s section and finding clean reads for myself as a young adult was tough. I read through classics galore but I was eager to look for more, I was and still am convinced...the good writers didn’t just live in the past, they live now and they live in the future, so why wasn’t I finding any?
What started as a rant started blooming into a movement and EVERYONE was commenting their support. The amount of views we all got on our #RebelliousWriting posts was incredible, and I knew we had hit something golden. So one day, in all my inadequacy (I was a little too excited!), I emailed Gray to propose a website and blog. Long story short, of course I couldn’t do it...but I wasn’t alone, there were so many people that jumped in and made it possible. I love Rebellious Writing because it isn’t just a movement, it’s also a community. It’s a place where you can share, where your voice is heard, and where light wins over the darkness.

Catherine Hawthorn:

Hello all! I’m Catherine Hawthorn. My entrance into the world of YA literature began in my sophomore year of college - which I got my Kindle. Searching through the free section of the Kindle bookstore, I finally found books that reflected my reading level, but there were some books that I got what I paid for. I’ve been told that as an adult (I’m in my early 20’s, but still a teenager at heart) I can handle adult content in books. The thing is, I don’t WANT to handle adult content in books!!! I want stories that make me strive higher, give me hope, and send me flying off to distant lands; not ones that drag me down into darkness.

Which was why I was super excited to hear about the Rebellious Writing movement. Flamed with zeal after seeing the beginning posts, I not only made a post of my own (memes and all) but also offered my services to Gray and Anna after hearing discussion about a potential website. Anna and I very quickly realized that we needed much more help, especially when it came to social media. So, I got in touch with several of my favorite blogging buddies, including Faith, Audrey, Melissa, Clare, and Lila. After all, what’s a rebellion without friends???

Faith Thompson:

Hi! I’m Faith. I’ve spent my whole life cringing at content in books and being forced to set books that appeared promising down when my mom said that there was too much bad stuff in them. The quest for good, clean reads is what led me here-- to Rebellious Writing, a movement that seems to really have taken off. I’m thrilled to see so many people working towards the goal of changing moral standards in young adult and maybe even adult literature, getting rid of the evil and gross stuff in most of today’s bestsellers and making it easier to find books that I’d be willing to pass the (for me) ultimate test: being recommended to one of my younger sisters.

That’s the biggest goal for me in Rebellious Writing: to pass off better books to the next generation.

Audrey Caylin:

Hello! I’m Audrey Caylin, and I’ve been devouring books ever since I can remember. I always ran out of clean reads, which actually led me to writing, where I could weave my own stories with good content. Since then, I’ve been searching for other authors who have the same idea of writing clean YA books.

Needless to say, when I first heard of Rebellious Writing, I was excited… and surprised -- surprised that other teens wanted clean reads just like I did and were rising up against the dark, gritty content of YA. Being such an avid reader and taking pains to avoid the explicit side of YA, this cause is really close to my heart and I jumped on board to post about Rebellious Writing right away.

And now… a blog. Social media. The momentum started by this movement hasn’t died -- it’s kept going, and I hope we’re on our way to making a difference and bringing good, clean reads to the YA genre.

Clare A.:

Hello Everybody! I’m Clare A. and ever since I learned how to read I haven’t been able to stop. I used to think that all books were wonderful, all the ones I read brought such hope and joy into the world, then I entered the YA section of our library. Why were bad things happening in my beautiful books? I had to move back into classics and middle grade fiction, which are nice, but it would be nice to be able to relate to characters who are my age.

One day I stumbled on a blog post where the author was angry at all the bad things happening in YA books. I was nodding my head in agreement all the way. I wrote up a post explaining how I agreed that those things need to be stopped.

About a week later I got an invite from Catherine to be part of a blog dedicated to spreading clean books and stopping the bad. “Game on!” I thought. Now after all that work we are finally here, making our voices known.

Melissa Gravitis:

Hi everyone! I’m Melissa, and I’m quite horrible at introductions. If there’s one thing you should know about me though, it’s that I’ve always had a heart for imagination. Creating worlds, stories, gives me such a thrill and joy. So needless to say, I’m a writer. And I believe that words can be used to shine light in a world of darkness. They’re so powerful. But that power has often been misused to promote darkness in YA, and that saddens me. So when I first heard about the movement, I wholeheartedly agreed with it! But did I immediately jump onto my blog and pump out a post? No. And it might not be for the reason you think; I doubted myself. I thought there was no way my words could be as inspiring of those of other bloggers speaking about this movement.

But I eventually swallowed my doubt, and wrote the post. I was so thankful for the great response, and was contacted by Catherine to join. Of course I did! My point is, don’t feel shy to share your words about Rebellious Writing! Everyone has their own talents and voice, and we would love to have you!

Lila Red:

Hey, there!

I'm Lila, and I have a passion for reading and writing. As a very young reader, I never had much of a problem with bad books (naturally), but as I got older and moved from chapter books to Middle Grade to YA, the issue appeared and has only grown. It's almost always a risk to pick a book off one of those shelves - a problem beyond irritating. It's painful. So as a writer, it is my dream and goal to put my own wholesome stories out there, as a light among the excessive edginess and constant filthiness so much YA consists of.

I knew I wasn't alone, of course, but when I discovered the #RebelliousWriting movement, I realized that many writers and aspiring authors feel the same way. After joining the cause with my own post, Gray and Catherine invited me to be more involved.  I grabbed the opportunity, and now here I am, writing for this amazing website! With a team of fellow rebels surrounding me and God by our side, I strive to make a difference.  This is my chance to speak out. And I encourage you to add your voice to the mix!

Well....will you?

This movement is not just for the Young Adult writers, but also for the Young Adult readers.
We would love to have you be involved!

Young Adult readers - be sure to check out Catherine's post in a few days for more information on the Book Scout Patrol!

Happy National Book Lover's Day!


  1. First, lol.
    OHMYGOSH!!!!!! This is awesome! I love it!
    Y'all did such an amazing job making this a reality. I'm blown away. This is just so beautiful. Y'all rock.
    Happy National Book Lover's Day!

    God bless y'all. <3 <3

    1. Thank you Ivie! It's an amazing day for us & Happy National Book Lover's Day to you!

      Anna @

  2. Fist pump! This site is completely awesome, and I am loving it! Y'all have done an incredible job with it. Onward and upward!

    1. Thank you for your support, and Happy Book Lovers Day!

    2. Definitely Hamlette! It's only just the beginning!

      Anna @

  3. Whoo-hoo!!!! It is here!!

    Happy National Book Lovers Day!!!

    1. Thank you for all your hard work, it wouldn't be here without you!

  4. Replies
    1. Same here, Faith! Thank you for all your work!!

  5. YASSS! I'm so happy that the website is up! I'm so excited to see the movement officially begun!
    BTW, the website is awesome. :)

    1. Me too! Thanks for being here with us!!!

      You can thank the amazing Abigail Lennah @ for designing it!



    1. We're so happy to have you here Liv !!!

      Anna @

  7. This is so great and I look forward to many more posts! I found y'all through Movie Critic. I am so glad and grateful that you ladies are taking a stand and promoting good, true, and beautiful literature! God bless you!

    I'm definitely interested in being a book scout and I hope to do a blog post with #RebelliousWriting :D

    1. We're always happy for a new recruit, Sarah! Thanks for stopping by!!!

  8. This is really cool. I'm not a Christian, but I believe in good books and support this movement.
    #RebelliousWriting #AmRebelling

    1. Welcome to the rebellion, Lora! We definitely need better books! Thank you so much for your support XD

  9. I'm no longer young, but I am a retired bookseller. When I see what's on the young adult shelves at the public library, I'm appalled. It was almost as bad 40 years ago when I had children at home. My adopted teen preteen daughter had a lot of emotional baggage from her birth parents, since she didn't go into the system until she was seven. Her birth father had molested her. On those occasions when we went to the library, she passed over all the wholesome books and went straight for the dark ones that were not healthy for her.

    After my nest was empty and I started selling books at school book fairs and online, I received a lot of publisher samples. I was appalled at what I received that was targeted for teen from major publishing houses by Harper-Collins. Some of those books seemed to have no point except that drugs and promiscuous sex were just part of the teen life. Needless to say, I never purchased any of these to sell.

    Yet there are some very good books that remain for young adults. Many were written decades ago, and some are relatively recent. Although my own book review sites do include some books written for adults that I wouldn't recommend to teens, I am rethinking that policy. It's unfortunate that most of the best mystery and thriller writers for adults put things in their books I often skip over or find offensive -- especially the language and sexual scenes that go beyond being suggestive. I've had to face the fact that most adults today expect police and detectives to use foul language. When I review such books I do mention the parts I could have done without.

    But more quality literature for young people and "young adults" needs to be written and marketed. I personally have recommended many books published by Bethany House intended for adults that are quite appropriate for teens. These are some I have reviewed: Ann Tatlock's A Room of My Own (set during the Depression), Return to Harmony by Janette Oke, and Janette Oke's series that begins with The Tender Years -- one of my favorites. Bethany House was very generous in sending me review copies, and I read almost all of them. I chose to stock most of them.

    I'm behind your rebellion 100% and hope more young adults will pick up your attitudes and standards.

    1. Wow Barbara, your story is incredible.

      Thank you so much for the support and example, it can be easy to think that this is just a cultural slice of certain teenagers rebelling but more and more we see the older generation commenting on our posts and sending us emails with stories and praise...and it means a lot to us and encourages us to keep moving, keep fighting against the glorification of evil things in our literature.