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Field Trip Friday: October 14, 2011


national book award medal The National Book Awards announced their five -- wait, six! what?-- finalists in the "Young People's Literature" category, but a mistake left Chime by Frannie Billingsley off the list until hours later. Some sources make it sound like a mixup; the BBC says outright that Lauren Myracle's Shine wasn't supposed to make the list. Agent Kate Testerman calls bullshit (that's a direct quote) and points out that someone Myracle said the NBA called her a week ago with the news.

Want to judge for yourself? GalleyCat has free samples of most of the nominated works. Of course, Laura Miller at Salon doesn't care-- she says the NBA has made itself irrelevant anyway. Agent Jessica Papin calls those accusations not just unfair, but absurd.


- Agent Sarah Davies explains how to avoid the saggy baggies in your book.

- Two great posts from Cheryl Reif: How to give your characters unique paranormal powers, and ten ways to make magic real (via @elizabethscraig).

- Two posts on writer's block: Ten types of writer's block and how to overcome them from io9 and 7 types of creative block from the 99%.

- Mary at Anxirium asks why writers write contemporary YA.

- Author Natalie Whipple on hope.

- Proofreading tips (and mistakes) from the NYT.

- YA Confidential hosts Copil Yáñez, who tells you how to write like a man.

- How multitasking doesn't work, from author Gwen Hayes.

- Obsessed with your blog stats or sales numbers? Try watching your book on an actual bookshelf for a week.

- Two posts on the editing process: Author Erin Jade talks line edits, and author Jodi Meadows explains why she likes being edited


keep calm and read some actual YA - Blah blah YA is dark blah blah won't someone think of the children blah the past is so idyllic blah says the NYT.

- In a completely different flavor of clueless, Brian McGreevy at Salon says kids should read adult books because YA isn't violent and sexual enough.

- Put down the iPad and let your children see you reading books, says KJ Dellantonia. Not convinced? Watch this video of a toddler who can't understand why magazines don't work like an Apple product.

- From Byronic to Moronic: Lots of snickering this week about how Twilight is Jane Austen's fault. Or something like that. I wonder if this article will make it into the new Twilight Time Capsule.

- Speaking of love triangles, the lovely Malinda Lo looks at the different forms they can take, and which one she likes best.

- Scholastic wants to know which characters you'd draft for Fantasy Football!

- The closing of Borders is projected to "stunt" next year's children's/YA market.

- There's still time to nominate your favorite titles for the Cybils! The Happy Nappy Bookseller has a list of worthy and as-of-yet unnominated books.

- "Diversifying Books For Teens: #YesGayYA and Beyond" from Andrew J. Peters at La Bloga.

- After DC's exclusive deal with Kindle Fire, Barnes and Noble removes their comics from its shelves.

- The New Yorker on fifty years of The Phantom Tollbooth.

- What makes YA so hot? A virtual panel discussion with librarians on Jonathan Maberry's blog.

- Cracked gives six reasons we're "in another 'book-burning' period in history." Librarians on MetaFilter beg to differ.

- Very cool: Razorbill lets Beth Revis thank every single one of her Facebook fans in the paperback version of Across the Universe.

- Author Seanan McGuire makes me want to stand up and slow clap with "The Misuse of Mary Sue."
(via @moonrat)


- Apparently there was a small flap this week about whether or not writers should blog. Roni Loren outlines the discussion here; Jami Gold adds a note about the small street team that Bree Despain put together-- a move that landed her on the bestseller list.

- Great interview from That Cover Girl with cover designer Christian Fuenfhausen, who is responsible for such iconic covers as Will Grayson Will Grayson and the Vlad Tod series.

- The HuffPo takes a look at two new services: Pubslush and Inkubate.

- News from Frankfurt: Agents warn of e-book "reckoning."

- Agent Mary Kole warns against querying in your character's voice.

- How to make any good blog great, from ProBlogger.

- Agent Natalie Lakosil gives tips on marketing your novel (including a shout out to YA Highway!).

- If your query's not working, the issue may be your book, says agent Jessica Faust.


- Salon reports on the myth of monoculture, which I think is extremely interesting when considered in light of "historical" 80s YA and the like. (via Cleolinda Jones)

 - New blog alert: Erin Murphy Literary's blog launched this week, and The Lucky 13s set up shop over here.

- A New Hampshire politician tries to save money by cutting interlibrary loan down to one van... from a whopping total of four... because the service works too well. Yeah. You read all that right.

- Urban Outfitters is under fire not just for its ridiculous misuse of Native prints and designs, but for violating copyrights held by The Navajo Nation. On a similar topic, Native Appropriations calls out the Occupy Wall Street et al protesters for their misuse of Native imagery and peoples.

- How our brains turn women into objects, at Scientific American (via @JennReese)

- Klout named the ten most influential colleges in social media.

- Colleen Lindsay has etiquette tips for fans, pros, and exhibitors at Comic Con and other events.

- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report 1 in 4 teen girls has an STD. Again, I repeat: This is why there's sex in young adult literature. Because there's sex in young adult life.

- I am just going to tell you: I'm inordinately proud of the 91% I got on this Kern Type game.


- Next week, Claire Dawn will be hosting INSANITY!! with chances to win 2 or more books every day!

- Write It Sideways is looking for paid contributors!

- The Rejectionist is hosting auctions to benefit the construction of a medical clinic in Nepal!


Instead of asking for Field Trip links late on Thursday nights, I've created a submission form to let you drop your links off at any point during the week-- just go to our contact page.

A few notes:
  • Contests and giveaways are always welcome. Leaving a direct link helps tremendously.
  • Other posts are also welcome, but some weeks are crazier than others, and sometimes I have to build the post before Thursday night. If your item gets overlooked, please don't take offense.
  • We try to curate a diverse list, so if you've been featured the week before, please don't be offended if your next submission is skipped.
Thank you for being understanding!


pooh with gun Preparing for the zombie apocolypse? Don't worry, says Cracked: "7 Scientific Reasons a Zombie Outbreak Would Fail Quickly" (via Veronique Pettingill). Of course, if it happens anyway, we have these children's book characters all set to protect us.

Sarah Enni brought me this fantastic hivemind map of Nerdy Day Trips.

This is how my brain works. Thank you, The Oatmeal.

The Ohio University Marching Band dances as well as it plays. (via my sister. <3)

This seven-year-old can play "Sweet Child of Mine," 
which makes her more accomplished than a lot of adults I know.

Have a great weekend!

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. Thanks for The Lucky 13s shout out! I'm excited to be a part of the group! :)

  2. No matter the cock-up the National Book Award peeps made, I'm thrilled that Chime and Shine both made the list. Chime is amazing. And Shine lets us enjoy an old fashioned mystery while tucked in the confines of YA...

  3. Thanks for the link! I'm off to check some of the other great-looking links now. :)

  4. Ohio University is my alma mater! I love the 110!

  5. Just in case you're interested, I posted an "Open Letter to Brian McGreevy" on my blog. You're right about "another flavor of clueless." Stop by and let me know what you think.

  6. Ya know, I've always been bothered by the "1 in 4 teen girls have an STD" statistic. Mostly because I have NEVER hear "x out of y teen BOYS have and STD". Am I just reading the wrong things, or has anyone else noticed that? It's like we're shaming teenage girls for having sex.


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: October 14, 2011 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart