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Field Trip Friday: July 29, 2011


don't speak by ~uaguilar
Credit uaguilar at Deviantart
- Keep Speaking Loudly: Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak survived the Scroggins challenge in Missouri, but Twenty Boy Summer and Slaughterhouse Five did not-- despite the fact that some of the voters didn't even read the books. On a related note, Vicky Smith at Kirkus explains her opposition to a kid's books rating system.

- Controversy over agents-as-publishers continues: BookEnds, LLC's Jessica Faust announces Beyond the Page Publishing. Associate agent Meredith Barnes with Lowenstein and Associates has some words of advice for authors considering these new ventures; author Courtney Milan has two arguments about their ethical ramifications.


writers' learning curve - Beth Revis has an inspirational post about writers and the learning curve.

- Agent Mary Kole has fantastic advice: If your first line could be the opening to any book, it's not good enough.

- Author Robert Jackson Bennett draws a distinction between cinematic books and actual novels.

- Imagine sitting down to work on your MS, only to find that the words have become gibberish. It happened to author Esmerelda Santiago, who has since relearned her native Spanish as well as the English she writes in.

- Should writers also be critics? Author Lev Grossman changes his tune.

- Need to do research? Switch houses with another writer!

- How terrible writers get on the bestseller list, from Be Kind, Rewrite.

- NPR interviews a law professor about her efforts to legally protect fanfiction.

- GalleyCat rounds up helpful advice on writing villians; they missed a great post by Kathleen Peacock over at The Nightstand.

- Barbara O'Neal at Writer Unboxed has tips for unplugging. "This is not me being superior," she says (which is what rubs me the wrong way about most posts like this). "This is me saying I hate doing it, but it works." (via @4kidlit)


- EW presents a first look at the big three from The Hunger Games.

- Fantastic post by librarian Gretchen Kolderup about why YA lit is worth reading. (via Gretchen McNeil)

- Author Tracey Neithercott has a handy rubric for deciding whether a book is worth recommending.

- Author Jessica Lawlor wants to know where the books are for 20-somethings are.

- The Booker Prize longlist is out, as is the Bulwer-Lytton prize for bad writing.

- In a follow up to last week's popular post, Sady Doyle has "The Further Adventures of Hermione Granger."

- Publishers Weekly presents the United States of Writers, with fifty representatives and the requisite regional jabs.


- The cruel hoax we mentioned last week, in which a writer was tricked into thinking she'd signed with a major agent and publisher, is explained in detail at Writer Beware. I admit, I was one who thought it was a publicity stunt at first. Maybe I need to re-read "6 Ways to Bring Civility Online."

- Editor Alvina Ling has a run down of what to expect during your first few years in editorial.

- Why bad reviews rock, from author Mike Mullin.

- Weronika Janczuk says, "Listen to your gut, and don't be afraid to have expectations of your agent."

- On a related note, agent Rachelle Gardner says, "Use email to communicate with your agent."

- The five biggest mistakes writers make on their website, at the Creative Penn (via @colleenlindsay).

- "What is a blogger's role in responding to comments?" asks author Jodi Hedlund. (Not your usual "respond to every single thing" advice.)

- Two from author Sarah Ockler this week: A great guest post about getting lost on the road to publication, and

- Who foots the bill for swag? Author Saundra Mitchell talks author-book blogger relations.

- As YA writers, we talk a lot about attitudes against teen writers, but what about ageism against older writers?

- Writers don't get no respect, says Chuck Wendig.
"...Maybe what we need is to go so far down respect’s throat we come out the other side, surfing an effluent tide of flaming typewriters, LSD habits, and public badassery. We need literary rock star heroes to swoop in and save publishing. And here's how we get 'em."


- Cake Wrecks did two posts full of awesome Harry Potter cakes... and some of the not-so-awesome, too.

- Lifetime's JK Rowling biopic, on the other hand, belongs in that "not-so-awesome" category. But you can watch it online! (via A Fuse 8 Production and @casey_mccormick)

- Omnivore Books live-tweets an in-store marriage proposal. ADORABLE.

- Interesting post in the NYT about teen sex and sleepovers.

- Totally unrelated except that the pictures made me cry and I couldn't believe that with all the time I spend online, this was the first I'd seen of it: Famine in east Africa. Donation links at the bottom of the page.


- Pam and Quita are giving away a copy of Ashes Ashes!

- Taryn has a giveaway of Shatter Me!

- Chelsey Blair has a copy of My Most Excellent Year!

- Jessica Love is giving away signed copies of Anna and the French Kiss, Supernaturally, and Nightshade!


"How's the novel coming?" yeah.

Adorable picture that's been making the rounds: This kid lost his dad at Comic Con, so he asked The Flash for help. (via @cleolinda)

help from The Flash

The Oatmeal explains "The State of the Web: Summer 2011."

state of the web

Oreo cameos. (Cameoreos?)

carve oreo cameo

Sesame Street. It's full of beast(ie boy)s.

Have a good weekend!
~ Kate Hart
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. That picture of the little boy with the Flash is so cute!

  2. Yay! Thanks for the link!

    And OMG I die at that pic of the little boy with the Flash!

  3. So bummed to hear about Slaughterhouse Five and Twenty Boy Summer. Thanks for directing us to Ockler's awesome response!

    Personally, I think every school library should act as the most expansive, inclusive resource possible (maybe adding a Restricted Section a la Harry Potter in relevant cases).

  4. Thanks for the linkage! It's much appreciated.

  5. Wow, great tips in so many of these links! And those Oreos rule.

  6. Thanks for the awesome links! :)


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: July 29, 2011 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart