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A dragon shows up at Ada's door, starting an adventure of magic and coding.  A pre-teen fantasy novel featuring a female programmer.
A dragon shows up at Ada's door, starting an adventure of magic and coding. A pre-teen fantasy novel featuring a female programmer.
375 backers pledged $8,389 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$8,389

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Thank you all so much! We're thrilled to have reached our publishing goal.  But it's not done yet!

Stretch goals:

$2000 -- Reached!
If we can get here, we can fund cover art and sketches for chapter headers inside the book. We will also be able to increase our outreach to middle-schools and get Ada's story into the hands of more kids!

$5000 -- Reached! 
We want to publish this book at a reduced price in India (and eventually other countries too), where it can have an impact on even more girls who are smart, motivated, and might benefit from Ada's story.  We're currently doing research as to how to make this possible, but hopefully, with your help, we'll be able to make it there!

$10,000

Fund outreach to middle school librarians, teachers, and student groups around the country.

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Interview with Gurl Geek Diaries

Blog post on Women2.0

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What is The Code Witch?

The Code Witch is a book about a girl who codes. A regular girl, whose life is interrupted by the arrival of a frightened dragon at her doorstep. It's full of magical creatures, nefarious plots, and evil henchmen, but in the end, it's about a girl using her wits, her bravery, and her programming skills to save her friends, and change the world.

Written for middle-school kids, we hope that The Code Witch will be the kind of book kids read just for fun, but that Ada will be the kind of hero who lingers in their imaginations. Kids will see computers and programming used in familiar ways, and in ways they have never imagined.

The Code Witch is not a how-to book, and it's not meant to convince everyone to learn to codeWhat The Code Witch will do is spark the imagination in new directions, and help build a foundation for girls to envision a place in computer science.

The Code Witch Teaser

Find an excerpt from the book here:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/the-code-witch/first-look-excerpt-from-chapter-3/459316414151569

Enjoy!

Why are we writing a book?

The role models kids see in media help shape how they see the world.  If no one in Computer Science looks like you, how do you start to imagine yourself entering that field? But there aren’t many books out there where girls see people like them creating technology, or using programming to change their world.  So we’re writing that book.

We hope that down the road, the kids who read The Code Witch will think of programming as a useful, fun skill.  We hope that when they see a Computer Science class in high school, or run across a programming challenge, maybe they’ll think, “Hey, I could try that.”

Why women in Computer Science?

In college, fewer than 20% of CS degrees go to women, despite the increasing need for more computer science talent in industry.  As early as middle-school, alienating gender stereotypes and media messages surrounding computer science push girls away from a field that is incredibly dynamic, exciting, creative, and rewarding.

CS is a fascinating field, a growing industry, and a lot of fun for people who like logical reasoning and building things.  We want to see a world where anyone feels welcome and capable of entering that field.


Why us?

For five months, we've been meeting with kids, talking about their interests, perspectives on technology, and insights on storytelling.  We've taught CS to students from middle-school to college, and are very familiar with its difficulties, joys, and the technical and educational aspects of computer science. We've been writing fiction since we were in middle school (and doesn't that seem a long time ago?), and have published in the Stanford Arts Review.

We're coming from both the computer science side and the writing side, so what you'll see is a compelling, character-driven book with real computer science in it -- no techno-babble.  We're here to tell a good story and inspire real engagement with CS.

Who is this book for?

Well, partly it's for my younger cousin, who listens to my stories.  I want her to be able to imagine a future in technology.

And it's for your younger cousin, or your daughter.  It's for your child's middle-school library, or the neighborhood's girl scout troop.  For you too -- despite growing up, we definitely still love reading kids' books that take a step forwards in how we want to see the world.

So help us get the message out; help us get The Code Witch into the hands of kids!

Thanks for your support!

Risks and challenges

We want this book to be the best it possibly can be. To get there, we're going to edit and polish the manuscript until we're proud to share it with middle-schoolers everywhere. Our schedule is pointed to publish in September 2013, but there is always the chance that further editing might delay release. This book is a deeply meaningful personal project for us, and we're committed to doing it right!

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    Our eternal gratitude! Every bit helps, and we're thrilled you support the mission!

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    Get an early copy of the Code Witch ebook -- Kindle or PDF.

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    Get an early paperback copy of the Code Witch.

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    Get a signed early paperback copy of the Code Witch!

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    Get a signed early paperback copy of the Code Witch, along with a digital copy of the ebook in your preferred format (Kindle, EPUB, PDF).

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    A signed paperback book with a personalized note to a girl you'd like to encourage about the wonders of CS, handwritten by the author in the front cover of the book.

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    Cameo appearance in the novel! (fair warning, you'll probably end up as an evil henchman)
    Also, a signed paperback copy.

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    Videochat with Sarah and Elise about writing, Computer Science, and/or being a woman in tech. Great for school groups! Also, a signed paperback copy + ebook.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Local only: have the authors give a talk at your school or event! Inspire young girls to pursue their dreams with this fun event about writing, computer science, and/or being a woman in tech.

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Funding period

- (30 days)