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Field Trip Friday: Write Like Chuck Norris

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

This week: On Writing

  • Cailtin Kittredge says you are not a special snowflake, so quit pretending your muse has special needs. In other words, "Write Here, Write Now."
  • Of course, some of us don't know when to stop writing. *whistling, not looking at self in mirror...* IndieDebut has some help: When to stop revising.
  • Don't have a local crit group? Uncomfortable posting your work online? Jill Corcoran explains how she uses Google groups in various ways. Here at YA Highway, we use our Google group for everything: Query and scene crits, brainstorming posts, contest planning, discussing books, shooting the sh*t, scheduling posts, keeping track of passwords and even remembering each others' birthdays.

On Getting Published:

  • Step One: Toughen Up. "Growing A Thicker Skin" at
    (The potential for awesome publishing-related Chuck Norris jokes seems huge. Post 'em if you got 'em!)

  • That thick skin will help when you get published, because as author and editor Cherie Priest points out, there are lots of things that authors just can't control
  • Pimp My Novel has a guide to mentioning awards and credentials in query letters. As the resident Newbie McNoobenson, I was surprised to hear that no one cares where you earned your degree, undergrad, masters or otherwise.
  • Have you ever wondered if rhetorical query questions are bad? Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Hilarious, at The Rejectionist.
  • Elana Roth at Caren Johnson Literary Agency posted advice for pitching your book, with examples of "longer," "short" and "very short" pitches. The agency's pitch contest is over, but the advice still applies: "Boil it down and sum it up," says she. 
  • Query or MS out with no reply? When to (wink wink nudge) nudge an agent by Suzette Saxton at

Finally, if you're feeling down and tired of hearing FAIL all the time, try SUCCEED. Guaranteed to cheer you up or at least distract you for a really long time. My personal favorites include:

Creative uses for trash

The world's most awesome tea infuser

Very Literal Windows Help

and Breakdance Bowling.

Did you see something awesome or write your own fantastic blog post this week? Leave a link 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 suggestions (and also your Chuck Norris jokes)!
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. Wow, so many good links here! I so need the when to stop revising one. Off to look at that!

  2. The paperclip guy. . .there were so many times I wanted to strangle that little man!!!
    Awesome round-up, Kate! Hope the ice turns to fluffy snow soon :)

  3. OK, I can't believe that nobody posted one. C'mon you guys!

    Chuck Norris doesn't query. He just tells literary agents how it's gonna be.

  4. Chuck Norris doesn't read hardbacks. He IS a hardback.


    Chuck Norris doesn't "kill his darlings." They take one look at him and kill themselves.

    Y'all can't possibly do worse than that! LOL

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Chuck Norris doesn't send an SASE when he queries, because no agent would be foolish enough to reject him.

  7. Chuck Norris doesn't write books; he stares words down until they get in line.

    The only spot on the Bestseller lists higher than #1 is Chuck Norris.

    Chuck Norris doesn't read action and adventure; action and adventure reads Chuck Norris.

    omg these are so bad. fail, lol.


  8. Great links you guys! Thanks! I'll have a good way to distract myself while my database chugs away today! Woohoo!


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: Write Like Chuck Norris Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart