Road Trip Wednesday

This week's topic: What book universe do you wish you could live in?

Share your answer via comments, your own blog, tumblr, twitter (hashtag #roadtripwednesday), wherever you'd like!

First Draft With Sarah Enni

With last week's Road Trip Wednesday, I mentioned wonderful co-blogger Sarah Enni's new podcast, but all of us here at YA Highway are pretty proud of her and excited about this podcast series, so it deserved a longer post.

As she says on the podcast's tumblr page, Sarah is taking an epic road trip to visit authors and talk to them about writing, books, and so much more! All the interviews she's done so far are available here. You can also see pictures, playlists and more on the podcast's twitter and instagram feeds.

So head on over and check it out! Following her on her journey across the United States is pretty fun.

Field Trip Friday: June 18, 2014


- Robin LaFevers's latest, "The Crushing Weight of Expectations," is fantastic as always.

- Jessica Spotswood speaks candidly about managing anxiety and a writing career, and Katrina Leno shows how depression can affect even happy occasions like release day. (via Sarah LaPolla)

- What makes an editor stop reading your manuscript? Former Egmont/S&S/Penguin editor Elizabeth Law has a list.

- Dan Koboldt shares 10 things writers usually get wrong about the woods. (The answer to his unidentified crying baby noise is probably "coyote.") (via Elsie Chapman)

- Disability in KidLit is highlighting some of their popular posts from the past, including this one on warning flags and turn offs.

- "Nobody owes you a damn thing." Kait Nolan is unimpressed with entitlement in writer culture.

- Ally Carter revisits her great "Letter to Baby Author Me."

- This is an older post, but "First Drafting: Now 96% Faster!" by Tara Dairman is worth a read, as well as its links to the aforementioned Robin LaFevers.

- Kameron Hurley has encouragement in "On Public Speaking While Fat." (via Ysabeau Wilce)

- This week First Draft with Sarah Enni posted an interview with Caroline Tung Richmond, discussing perseverance, sci fi love, writing while parenting, and more!


- Flavorwire rounds up the internet's most influential writers.

- Nathan Rabin is sorry for coining the phrase "manic pixie dream girl." (via Melissa Faulner)

- I know you're TFIOS-ed out, but Briallen Hooper has a review of the book and movie that also illustrates beautifully the value of YA.

- YA Interrobang has moved to a daily format, and the site looks great!

- The UK’s first Young Adult Literature Convention debates gender, sex, and strong heroines.

- MTV rounds up 17 music-themed YA books. (via Sean Beaudoin)  Related: check out these 8th grade metal heads who just got a 7-figure record deal.



- The NYT examines both sides of the Hachette vs Amazon fight, and Laura Hazard Owen investigates how the issues has taken on the vocabulary of class warfare. (via Chuck Wendig) Meanwhile Amazon rolled out their "Kindle Unlimited" service this morning, which is kind of like Netflix for books.

- Carly Watters has 6 things you shouldn't expect from your agent. (via Julia Weber)

- Victoria Strauss of Writer Beware did an AMA this week, discussing scams, harassment, and more.

- Janet Reid suggests when you should attend conferences, and Beth Phelan discusses how everyone is nervous there - including her.


- Rebecca Traister's article on male metrics for success made an Amy Poehler quote this week's battle cry: "I don't f*cking care if you like it." (George R. R. Martin has a similar message for his fans.)

- Vulture examines what summer blockbusters still get wrong about women. (They also have great moments in dystopian knitwear.)

- "The word BALANCE has tilted dangerously close, I fear, to the word PERFECT — another word that women use as weapons against themselves and each other," says Elizabeth Gilbert.

- A new study shows that women are penalized for fostering diversity in the workplace.

- Another study shows binge drinkers are most likely to be popular during young adulthood.

- The casting call for Straight Outta Compton is crazy racist. (via Shveta Thakrar)

- "While Writing For 'Orange Is The New Black,' I Realized I Was Gay," by Lauren Morelli

- The Malaysian plane shot down over the Ukraine this week was carrying an as-of-yet unverified number of AIDS researchers.

- I can't even with this.


Unless you were on internet hiatus, you probably saw Weird Al's "Blurred Lines" parody, "Word Crimes."

and you probably saw this woman kicking ass on American Ninja

And you probably saw hundreds of ball pit jokes (even Denny's got in on it), which Jezebel explained Monday morning for those of us out of the loop.

But did you see Kristen Stewart and Anne Hathaway in drag? Thank goodness Mallory Ortberg did.

Road Trip Wednesday

This week's topic: In honor of YA Highway blogger Sarah Enni's new (and awesome) podcast series, this week we're asking: what's your favorite podcast? (Doesn't have to be writing-related!)

Answer via comments, your own blog, tumblr, twitter (hashtag #roadtripwednesday), anywhere you'd like!

Field Trip Friday: July 11, 2014


- The kidlit world mourns the loss of Walter Dean Myers, the award-winning author who served as the 2012 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature who worked tirelessly to promote literacy, and "wrote about children who needed a voice and their stories told." He was 76.

- HarperCollins started selling books directly to readers as Amazon and Hatchette continue to butt heads. Said dispute is causing lots of internet slap fighting between Team Amazon and Team Traditional and Team OMG Please Get Some Perspective, spurring Chuck Wendig to remind us that publishing is not a religious war. (One winner in the conflict? Edan Lepucki, whose unexpected Colbert-bump made her number one on the NYT list.)



- Our girl Sarah Enni launched First Draft, a new podcast series featuring interviews with writers met on her summer road trip across the country, including this week's guests Robin Talley and our own Sumayyah Daud. (Check out her Instagram for a sneak peek at upcoming authors -- I spy Veronica Roth, Tumblr's Rachel Fershleiser, and more!)

- Lots of relevant articles in the NYT: Six people weigh in on whether children's books should be political; writers Anna Holmes and Leslie Jamison share the things they did starting out that they now regret; and Richard Friedman explains why teenagers act crazy.

- Courtney Summers interviews Sarah McCarry about daring to write unlikable, unflinching girls.

- "Ten Reasons To Keep Your Eyes On Your Own Paper," from Gwenda Bond.

- JJ shares the secret to writing a bestseller.

- Bustle rounds up 13 of the most annoying writers you'll meet. (via Jessi Kirby)


- "And please don't think, for one second, that I'm advocating for you to ban--sorry, censor--oh, sorry--remove all of those books as well. That would be a fucking travesty." emily m. danforth drops the hammer on the school board that removed her book from a summer reading list. She's also giving away the entire list (ending today!).

- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (yes for real) recommends 5 YA contemporaries that adults should read, in the LA Register. (via Jessica Love)

- So sad to see Kelly Jensen stepping down from the Printz committee due to YALSA's new social media policies.

- "The 'C' in ARC does not stand for 'contract,'" says Janet at Dear Author.

- Aisha Saeed launches #RamadanReads, promoting titles with Muslim themes and encouraging the gifting of books on Eid-al-Fitr.

- MIT is developing an audio reading device that give vision-impaired people affordable and immediate access to printed words. (via Paper Lantern Lit)

- An editorial in the Oakland Local looks at diversity (or lack thereof) in children's books, and Teen Vogue covers the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign, complete with book recommendations.

- Epic Reads picks 25 YA books for Game of Thrones fans.

- The Bront√ęs made teeny tiny books when they were young.


- Emma Watson, the newest UN Goodwill Ambassador, is producing and starring in the film adaptation of Erika Johansen's The Queen Of The Tearling. (via Forever Young Adult)

- Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment has picked up rights to Jenny Han's To All The Boys I've Loved Before.

- Syfy has greenlighted a pilot for Lev Grossman's The Magicians.

- Vulture looks at the age-discrimination faced by female actresses, gender-flipping their roles with actors of the same age (for example, the male equivalent of Tammy would be 34-year-old Jason Segel starring with his father played by 48-year-old Ben Stiller and his grandpa played by 57-year-old Tom Hanks).

- The baby from Labyrinth, whose parents were behind The Dark Crystal, is all grown up and making his own movies in collaboration with Jim Henson's daughter, Heather.


- Bernice McFadden and Lauren Francis-Sharma discuss the blatant racism they've faced in publishing.

- World Book Night is suspending full operations.

- Mediabistro features an infographic showing who's stealing books. (via Sara Sargent)

- Dahlia Adler has a three-part guide to being a debut author; another debut novelist "experiments with radical honesty" at Slate, and Elizabeth Otto turns off her verbal filter to talk money and the new author. Further down the career path, agent Jenny Bent asks, "Does it ever get easier?"

- A Penguin imprint is experimenting with releasing one debut novel with two covers. (via Kelly Jensen)

- PW lists the best-selling books of 2014 so far.

- Thinking of self-publishing? Bree Bridges has part one of a guide to turning your manuscript into HTML -- a future installment will explain how to turn that into an epub.

- This week in marketing: Interesting conversation at the YA Writers Reddit about what works in marketing; agent Jennifer Laughran explains how not to tweet, and Beth Revis breaks down the price tag for author events.


- "She’s only a senior in high school and she’s already infuriating men to the point that they’ve called for her resignation. [T]his! This is varsity-level Frightening White Men; I was barely on the frosh/soph roster." A Student Body President is forced to resign after giving her white male classmates a taste of their own medicine.

- A 16-year-old girl finds out about her own rape via pictures and a hashtag on Twitter; the alleged rapist continued to joke about the accusations at least as late as Wednesday.

- Jezebel passes over long-time deputy editor (and WOC) Dodai Smith to hire Jessica Coen as editor-in-chief.

- 63 of the women and girls abducted by Boko Haram escaped this week.

- Politico looks at the way women's magazines demean powerful women, even when they're trying not to. (I haven't finished reading this yet, just for full disclosure.)

- The female US Supreme Court Justices are not amused.

- Apparently we are psychological research fodder for Facebook, because you know, marketing research fodder wasn't enough.

- Other stuff you should read:


"Turn Down For What": A Guide.

Things Tim Howard Could Save (spoiler: everything)

I don't even watch "Hannibal" and I'm pretty sure Cleolinda has it right with "Edward Lecter Cullen."

New Mockingjay teaser!

Things Non-Writers Say to YA Writers

You're a writer, right? Then without a doubt, you've been on the receiving end of a few (countless) cringe-inducing comments about writing, books, or publishing. Be it from a family member, friend, or an overly friendly guy on our plane, some are well-meaning, while others are just mean. Some are simply clueless, while others are downright offensive. Many are amusing -- looking back at them, anyway, as opposed to in the actual moment we're battling a colossal eye-roll.

I asked a bunch of YA writers about the most awkward/insulting/tone-deaf thing a non-writer has ever said to them. Prepare your shoulders: here comes the cringing!

"Do you think you'll write anything for adults?"  
-- Carrie Mesrobian, Sex & Violence, Perfectly Good White Boy

I got a digital deal and constantly get asked when it's going to be a 'real book.  
-- Sarah Harian, The Wicked We Have Done

I went to a famous artist colony after I had sold my novel IMAGINARY GIRLS but before it had come out. When I arrived on my first night, I introduced myself in the common room before dinner as a YA writer. A male novelist said with disdain, “Vampires or werewolves?” and a bunch of other artists laughed. I blushed. (No one laughed, though, weeks later, when I did a reading from IMAGINARY GIRLS.)  
-- Nova Ren Suma, Imaginary Girls, 17 & Gone

"So, um, you write that teen stuff? Like Twilight?"
-- Kaye

After doing a workshop with other writers, one of them said to me, "it must be so freeing to write YA." I gave her a look. She added, "Because, you know, your characters don't have to deal with the emotional issues that come with adult fiction." 
-- Lydia Kang, Control

A few years ago, I'd just gotten a call that CBS Films had signed on to make THE DUFF. My friend was like "Tell my mom your news!" So I did. She goes, "Ugh. I mean, that's great for you, but I hated that book." (By that book she meant MY book). She proceeded to tell me how she wouldn't be seeing a movie based on it. To top it off, she follows this up by saying, "By the way, I want to write a cookbook. Does your agent represent those? Could you ask her?'" 
-- Kody Keplinger, The DUFF, The Swift Boys & Me, etc

"I saw piles of JK Rowling's books in a bookshop the other day… Why don't they do that for your books?"  
-- Cat Clarke, Entangled, Torn, etc.

"Oh, YA is so big right now - you're lucky. It must be so much easier for you to get published." 
-- Kelly Fiore, Just Like the Movies, The People vs. Cecilia Price

"When is it going to be a movie?" followed by "so when are you writing a real book?" Like for adults?" (To the last one, I reply that my debut is actually a NA/adult romance and they go, "oh I mean, like, not romance either." 
-- Katherine Locke, Serenade

Always, always, "How are the books doing? Are they successful? How many copies have you sold??" Recently I joked how the money's decent as long as I don't break it down into an hourly wage. Family member's (well-meaning, I know) comment: "You just have to think of it as a hobby you get paid for!!!" 
-- Kirsten Hubbard, Like Mandarin, Wanderlove, Watch the Sky, etc

I love when people tell me I should self-pub my books because I'll make tons of money like XYZ did. My books are all self-pubbed in the US. 
-- Dawn Rae Miller, Larkstorm, Nightingale, Phoenix

"Why did you put self-harm in? Kids don't need to read about that."  
-- Deirdre Sullivan, Prim Improper, Improper Order, Primperfect

Early in our relationship, my husband (then-boyfriend) was watching me revise over and over again and said, "why don't you just write it right the first time?" 
-- Stephanie Sinkhorn

I've had a TON of people ask how I know my agent/editor/crit partners/etc won't steal my work and sell it as their own. 
 -- Kaitlin Ward, Bleeding Earth

My dad STILL tries to argue with me that "That ain't right!" when I explain how publishing works. "Sounds like they're cheating you!" and "Have you talked to a lawyer about this?"  
-- Kody Keplinger

The worst thing a person said to me was "You know you should really change all the oriental names in your book. They are way too difficult to deal with." To which I responded "And yet you are a Lord of the rings fan, strange how you have no problem with that made up language shit."  
-- Ellen Oh, Prophecy, Warrior, King

"You wrote a book? I should get my wife to write one." Like it's just something you do in an afternoon. 
-- Lori Lee

The day after my second book deal was announced my well meaning mother in law sent me a congratulatory email along with a list of local job openings.  
-- Julie Murphy, Side Effects May Vary

Before my first book came out, a lady asked if bookstores everywhere would be having midnight parties like Harry Potter for my book. I said no. The lady said, "Of course bookstores will be having midnight parties for you! Everybody knows they do that for all books." 
-- Miranda Kenneally, Catching Jordan, Stealing Parker

I had someone tell me to my face: "I've spent so much money on books I've earned the right to download whatever I want for free." 
-- Michelle Krys, Hexed, Dead Girls Society

I once had a friend offer to orchestrate banning my book so that I could "get more sales."  
-- Christa Desir, Fault Line, Bleed Like Me

"You write for teens? Do they even read anymore?" (I'm a librarian who works with teens. That's personally insulting to me! My teens definitely read!)  
-- Lauren Gibaldi Mathur, The Night We Said Yes

What's the most awkward thing a non-writer has said to you?

Field Trip Friday: July 4, 2014

Field Trip Friday will be back next week -- Happy Independence Day!

(Or Happy... Friday. Depending on where you live.)