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Field Trip Friday and Contest Time-- Time to Vote!

Field Trip Friday is a weekly trip around the field of YA with stops at the most helpful, funny, interesting or otherwise entertaining news.

Have a suggestion for a link? Leave it in the comments or email us at yahighway at gmail dot com with the subject line "Field Trip Friday." We can't use every submission but we'd love to look at your links. Also, be sure to check out the end of this post to vote on the entries in our First Lines contest!

This week on the interwebz:
Most important? Haiti. YA Highway bloggers Kirsten and Michelle put together this post with ways you can help.

In writing news you can use:
- Writer's Relief Blog offers straightforward adivce on how to write a book blurb for your query.

- advises you on what to do after that magical moment of getting an offer.

- Oh! Did someone get an offer? That's right, my girl Cory is now officially represented by Laura Bradford at Bradford Literary Agency. Congrats Cory! Keep an eye on her blog for the story of Laura torturing her (and us following along) on Twitter.

- Also, our teen contributor Kody is one of 7 authors vlogging about publishing, reading, and being rebellious. Be sure to follow the YA Rebels on YouTube!

Elana Roth at the Caren Johnson Literary Agency offers a post about personal reactions to books, with the suggestion that both books and horoscopes survive by striking "exactly the right balance of general and specific that anyone can superimpose themselves onto the situation." She also sent a helpful tweet about the importance of every book standing alone, regardless of series status.

Marelisa Fábrega at Abundance Blog posted a great compilation of advice for writers by writers, including this quote:
“If I waited for perfection, I would never write a word.” — Margaret Atwood

In addition to Thursday's #agentsday on Twitter (hint: don't pitch your book during these events!), there were tons of good marketing info this week.

From Janet Reid: "If you think twitter is all about what people are eating for breakfast, you're not paying attention." Lisa Schroeder also discussed how Twitter has become an essential tool for authors. (Need to dress up that Twitter page? Check out the cool backgrounds here, via How About Orange.)

Twice recently we've warned about using caution when posting online. Agents, publishers, editors and authors that you mention today--on forums, blogs, Twitter-- might be your colleagues tomorrow. Agent Kate McKean points out that your snarky post about a form rejection is going to be seen because of a little thing called Google alerts. You might just be blowing off steam... or you might be ruining your career. Don't think you can post it and delete it later, either-- sites like the Way Back Machine ensure that on the internet, at least, your words never truly die.

Pimp My Novel suggests, however, that negative book reviews do have their time and place-- as long as the review is about the book and not about the author, and explains why the reviewer didn't like the book. (Even so, as a newbie? I'd think long and hard about that negative post.) Meanwhile Gabriel Novo at Cuban Nomad shows you ways to feature your best blog content, negative or otherwise.

Blogging not your thing? That's okay, says agent and guru Nathan Bransford: Just do what you're best at (and while you're at it? One inch margins, people, one inch margins).

Pam Bachorz echoes a similar sentiment, but applied more broadly to writing in general, with a beautiful post inspired by a quote from Henry Van Dyke:
“Use what talents you possess. The woods soul be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.”

And finally, because I have a not-so-secret desire to participate in a flash mob someday: Hammer Time. In gold pants. (But keep scrolling-- we have a contest at the end of this post!)


Contest Entries: Vote For Your Favorite First Line!
Rules: Voting ends Thursday January 21 at 5:00 pm CST. Comments are welcome but votes placed there will not be counted. 
Please note: Entry #10 should finish "his soon-to-be new home." Sorry author!

Kate Hart

Kate is the author of After the Fall, coming January 24, 2017 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. A former teacher and grant writer, she now owns a treehouse-building business in the Ozarks and hosts the Badass Ladies You Should Know interview series.

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  1. Oh dear! that video made me laugh, i love things like that.

  2. Yay! AWESOME round-up! *has 6 tabs to go through*

  3. Lots of great first lines. It was hard to choose.

  4. Some of those are hilarious! Good luck to everyone!

    Thanks for all the links. I've been following the YA Rebels ever since Gretchen McNeil shamelessly promoted it back in Nov/Dec.


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday and Contest Time-- Time to Vote! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart