We seek to empower youth to make a positive impact on their lives and the world around them through the pursuit of their interests and talents.

  • We are curious.
  • We are inclusive.
  • We are collaborative.
  • We persevere.
  • We are authentic.
  • We are courageous.
  • We are creative.
  • We are kind.
  • We share responsibility for our future.


Starts With Us is based on the founding principles of the values we hope to share with children and teens. We are made up of published children’s and teen book authors, illustrators, aspiring creatives, and media professionals from the U.S. and abroad who share those values.  If you would like to collaborate with Starts With Us, please see our Code 7 Challenge.


  • We are actively seeking content with pro-social themes. The following are examples: curiosity, inclusion, collaboration, care, perseverance, authenticity, courage, creativity, kindness, advocacy, and social responsibility.
  • We seek content that is often overlooked as not being “strong enough for the market,” but where we feel deeply that an audience exists. Wherever fiscally possible, we will publish quality stories of empowerment, regardless of market trend.
  • We believe in the long view instead of a pub-and-dump model; we believe in working hard, learning through revision, getting creative, and using an all-hands-on-deck philosophy to get the job done, with our creatives, not without them.
  • We are also unafraid to resurrect stories of empowerment that have been previously published where you, like us, believe it can still be successful. We do believe in second chances.