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Field Trip Friday: October 21, 2011


shine The National Book Award erroneously nominated Lauren Myracle's Shine for their Young People's Literature category... then asked her to recuse herself from the running "to maintain the integrity of the award." As you might imagine, everyone had something to say on this topic: Publishers Lunch, Publishers Weekly, The Huffington Post, and NPR, for starters. Author Libba Bray pulled no punches with her post taking the NBA to task:
"You f*cked up, NBA. You f*cked up in such a colossal, tone-deaf, insulting, humiliating way that I almost wish there were a National F*ck-Up Awards Foundation so we could give you the gold. Bravo. Take a f*cking bow. And then, maybe you could take a moment to reflect upon how much “preserving the integrity” of your award cost you.

I can only hope that when you dictate the amount of that check to the Matthew Shepherd Foundation, you don’t do it over the phone."
At Vanity Fair, Myracle described feeling "gutted and ashamed" by the mistake, and at the HuffPo, she reminds us "not to be so invested in validation from outside sources." Meanwhile, Agent Janet Reid suggested you show, don't tell, your support for Shine, Greg Pincus extended his personal thanks to the NBA, and Erica S. Pearl reported that the NBA added three additional titles! (It's a joke. Or is it?) (It is. But it's funny.)


- All author Claire Legrand needs to know about writing, she learned from skee-ball

- Author Lisa Schroeder on "the little book that could."

- Author Sarah Billington submitted this guest post about maximizing your word choice.

- "Why I Write Young Adult Fiction," from author Malinda Lo.

- Our girl Sarah Enni shows you how to use the target word count function in Scrivener.

- "Rules For A Loving Couple Who Write At Home," from GC Cunningham at McSweeney's.

- What are edits really like? Author Cory Jackson gives an honest look at the process, complete with pink highlighters.


BSC - Find out why The Baby Sitters Club is the scariest book Courtney Summers ever read, plus lots more guest posts on the topic, at Nova Ren Suma's blog.

- Penguin and John Green announced this week that Nerdfighters will have the chance to design the paperback cover of An Abundance of Katherines!

- The Boston Globe has a collection of cool bookplates.

- Congrats to YALSA's Teens' Top Ten picks!

- Julian Barnes wins this year's Man Booker Prize.

- Trying to decide on an e-reader? Dear Author has a handy chart comparing the Kobo Vox, Kindle Fire, and Nook Color.

- Does knowing too much about an author ruin the book for you? Roni Loren hosts a discussion.

- If you're camping out for the Breaking Dawn premier, you have to follow the rules

- "It would be great if there was something like Netflix, but for books!" THERE IS. It's like "Let me Google that for you," but for the bookish.


YA Mad Libs - The Rejectionist presents: A YA Op-Ed Mad Lib For Your Editorial-Writing Convenience.

- Brittany Harrison has a late but brilliant response to the Darkness in YA kerfuffle. Step back, y'all, she's about to use SCIENCE.

- Agent Sarah LaPolla talks "putting the A in YA."

- Lots of talk this week about the New York Times, starting with their post about how Amazon is "changing the rules of publishing." The article focused especially on Kiana Davenport, who is currently in a contact dispute with Penguin. Reaction to her story was not terribly sympathetic, and the NYT expressed surprise at the response. Then they suggested that Simon and Schuster's new "author portal" was created in response to Amazon. Agent Simon Lipskar responds here; Brian DeFiore is unimpressed here.  

- Jane Dystel at DGLM laments publishers' turn toward only the "sure thing."

- How agent Holly Root got her job.

- Go ahead and judge a book by its cover, says Rachel Stark-- publishers do.

- A "no" from one really does mean a "no" from all, says agent Jennifer Laughran.

- Author Lenore Appelhans has a recap of the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair and explanation of what exactly happens there.

- Beyond the failures in the YA category, NBA judge Victor LaValle responds to last week's criticisms of the award by Laura Miller.

- Agent Janet Reid passed on two books this week-- and not for the reasons you'd think.

- "The Zuccotti Literatti: Slumbering Prolixariat Awakes" wins best headline of the week, with its article on writers joining the Occupy Wall Street movement. (via Rachel Fershleiser) What percent are you? Find out at the WSJ.

- This week in other cluster^@#!$: The saga of Aspen Mountain Press's disintegration (via @moirarogersbree).


edges & you are my only - "Try to find anything that expresses—in numbers—your salability as an author," says agent Rachelle Gardner. It's necessary in this day and age, and don't blame publishing for it, she adds the next day.

- Pam at Bookalicious relates the rally that changed author Beth Kephart's reduced run into a second printing; author Léna Roy hopes a similar effort will change the situation for her book, Edges, and its proposed companion.

- Jane Friedman warns of 3 blunders that can kill your author platform.

- ProBlogger lists 65 ways to drive traffic to your blog.

- The Story Siren explains how to promote without spamming.

- 32 blog tweaks you can do in 10 minutes or less, from Marian Schembari. 

- Author Saundra Mitchell gives authors tips for Skype tours.


- What will you be for Halloween? Forever Young Adult has a great list of literary costumes, but they forgot "Sexy Virginia Woolf" from the Hairpin (via Rachel Fershleiser, who I'm apparently following around the internet this week).

- Kaleb Nation gets a TV reality show deal, with YA writer Kami Garcia signed on as an executive producer. 

- Stop with the self-deprecation! Steph Bowe on luck vs hard work and "recognising your awesome."

- Jezebel presents the unspoken rules for women. It'd be funnier if it weren't so true.

- Young Women For Change needs book donations for girls in Afghanistan, and the Appalachian Prison Book Project has lost its funding and needs donations as well.

- It looks like Herman Cain's campaign paid his company to buy his books.

- Google decides to allow pseudonyms and "generally chillax." (via Cleolinda Jones)

- Emmy Laybourne contacted us this week with the following:
"Flylit Press is an start-up ePublisher connected to a new eReader mobile web app (to be released in December, 2011). We are searching for new YA titles to feature in our launch. We will pay a modest advance ($15000 for a novel $250 for a short story) and a percentage beyond the advance. Please submit asap! No Works In Progress, please. We're looking for shiny, polished material."


- One of my most favorite people on the planet, Emilia Plater, is giving away two gift cards and an ARC of Shatter Me!

- Jodi Meadows is giving away a pair of her internet-famous fingerless mitts!

- Rachele Alpine is giving away a whole bunch of goodies!

- Lori M. Lee is giving away a pre-order of either Shatter Me or Legend!

- Agent Kate Testerman is offering a box of books to someone in need, and a bunch of other agents have volunteered to donate too. If you're a teacher, librarian, or know of a group who could use the donation, head on over!


You can thank Kirsten for this one: Teenage Mutant Ninja Noses.

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Prepare for tears: The "When Harry Left Hogwarts" documentary will be available November 11.

Have a great 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. Thanks for putting these together YA Highway (and specifically Kate Hart). And thank you so much for listing my guest post!

  2. Jeez, that trailer just about did me in. How will I be able to watch the whole documentary?

  3. OK, I could literally spend all day looking at these links. What an amazing resource. Thank you!

  4. That trailer really sells it, and by sells it I mean: 'ow, my poor tugged heartstrings'. Definitely going to be watching it.

  5. Oh gosh... I will not survive if I watch the whole documentary. It's too sad.


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: October 21, 2011 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart