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Field Trip Friday: 11/11/11!


Congratulations to YA Highway's Veronica Roth, whose debut novel Divergent was named
one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of 2011 and one of Amazon's Best Young Adult Books of 2011!


- Unexpected betrayal is not so unexpected. Author Janice Hardy explains how to bring the surprise back.

- Sequels are hard to write, especially that awkward "welcome back" part at the beginning. Editor Stacy Whitman Grimoire has helpful tips for reintroducing your characters.

- Important post from our girl Kody Keplinger about writing and disability.

- Author Junot Díaz gives young writers advice for creating a strong voice.

- This year's requisite anti-NaNoWriMo posts: Author Alan Baxter calls the event "a circus of short-term back-slapping and pointless goals, far removed from what’s really needed to be a writer;" agent Scott Eagan sees "more negative elements than positive." (Remember last year, Laura Miller called it "a waste of time and energy," and Maggie Stiefvater reposted last year's post saying, "You're a bad concept, Nano. You suck.")

- Author Annie Neugebauer discusses five choices that may be hurting your writing.

- The beta phase of Scrivener for Windows is over! Nano winners get a discount on the newly released program.

- Author Kat Howard explains why there are no men in her story.

- The Intern is making Scandalous Revelations all week, but takes a break to wrestle a viper. (No really, the viper thing is relevant and great.)

- Author Holly Schindler talks about the grand delusion of writing and all the people it takes to support that dream.

- The best post I've seen in ages: Sara Zarr on being inspired by failure.
Without risking failure, maybe even running headlong into it, there’s no chance for discovering something new and beautiful. Without wandering off the trail that the rest of the world is trudging on, we don’t know where we can go, what we can do, what’s out there beyond our current vision.

I’m reminded that the point of creating isn’t control.
The point isn’t saving yourself from embarrassment.
The point isn’t preserving an image of yourself dear to you, and/or dear to others, or earning out your advance or gritting your teeth as you check to see if your ranking, wherever, is ticking up.

The point isn’t avoiding failure.


the effects of expunging ron weasley
- The Awl looks at what would have happened if J.K. Rowling had killed Ron, and the possible consequences of some other literary deaths.

- Diversity in YA kicks off Native American History Month with some suggested reading by Native writers.

- Bookstore Politics and Prose in DC debuts its print-on-demand book machine-- no more "we can order that for you"!

- Laura Miller at Salon wonders, "What if Tolkien were black?"

- Resident genius Phoebe North calls BS on all the hand-wringing about the state of genre in YA.

- Rachael at the Social Justice League explains how to be a fan of problematic things.

- "The Books We Pretend To Have Read," by Nathan Ihara at Melville House. They also explain why old books smell good.

- Nina LaCour's Hold Still gets pulled from library shelves in Blue Springs, Missouri.

- This week, I saw lots of people mention that we're drowning in a sea of "girl in pretty dress" covers, and Alex Bracken rounded up a bunch just from Harper Teen

- A debut Little, Brown spy novel was pulled this week for extensive plagiarism. Reluctant Habits has a look at some of the copied passages, and author Jeremy Duns explains how his blurb for the book became a hurried call to the publisher asking them to withdraw the book completely

- Author Sarah Belliston explains the concept of metafiction.

- S. Jae-Jones at St. Martin's is worried about the plague of perfect boys. (Not to be confused with "It's Raining Men.") 

- Flavorwire put together a literary mixtape for Nancy Drew.

- Ten reasons non-readers don't read and how to change their mind, from Scholastic.

- Author Mitali Perkins says teens do judge books by their covers-- and the best way to get them ready "multicultural" books is to take faces off the fronts. On a related note, less Photoshop is a start, but "Julia Roberts, flaws and all... is still Julia Roberts." Why we need more model diversity in magazines (and book covers!). (via Lee and Low)

- Guardian Teen Books has partnered with Random House for a new interactive, serialised story called Root, with content directly influenced by readers’ contributions, and behind-the-scenes updates featured on Twitter and Facebook, as well as onsite quizzes and photo puzzles on Flickr.


Photobucket - The rules regarding Australian publishing and imports changed... None of that link made sense to me but luckily agent Ginger Clark explained it on Twitter.

- Amazon's new Kindle lending program has been "causing a stir" this week, since Amazon apparently decided to include books from publishing houses that had declined to participate. If you subscribe to Publishers Marketplace, be sure to check out their extensive coverage of the issue. Simon Lipskar at AARdvark argues that even if publishers wanted to agree to this model, they don't have the legal right.

- Author Marissa Meyer is doing "National Novel Publicity Month" (NaNoPubMo) at her blog, experimenting with a different self-promotion technique every day in November in the run up to her debut.

- "True 'do-it-yourself' publishing success stories will probably become rare," says Mike Shatzkin at The Idea Logical Company.

- The website Big Think debuted "Pub Crawl," their new blog about publishing for young readers.

- Agent Jessica Faust has two helpful posts this week: She updated the agency's "Submissions 101" post, and gives a quick explanation of steps in the editing process.

- Author Steph Sinkhorn explains why writers' fears of having work stolen are unfounded.

- Book piracy is a major problem, and agent Rachelle Gardner has advice for authors about how to deal with it.

- Author Tobias Buckell explains that self-publishing doesn't mean you have to be a raging f*ckwad

- Agent Natalie Lakosil explains when she gives up on a book (it happens) and when she gives up on a writer (never).

- After some extended discussion on Twitter, editor Andrew Karre at Carolrhoda Books explains how to format a manuscript so as to not drive production insane

- At the HuffPo: Moments that shaped Christopher Paolini into a bestseller.

- SCBWI posted an open letter to the industry regarding "no-response" agents.

- Author Jodi Hedlund has five ways to take the ickiness out of self-promotion.

- Tu Books is looking for YA and MG speculative fiction featuring people of color set in worlds inspired by non-Western folklore or culture. They are especially interested in Asian steampunk, any African culture, contemporary African-American stories, Latino/a stories, First Nations/Native American/Aboriginal fantasy or science fiction written by tribal members, original postapocalyptic worlds, historical fantasy or mystery set in a non-Western setting, and they strongly welcome GLBTQ characters as well. You can find their submission guidelines here.


- The trailer for "Snow White and The Huntsman" came out this week and looks... surprisingly good? I notice they didn't let KStew speak, though.

- Resident genius Sarah Enni explains what your favorite Harry Potter movie says about you.

- Lions Gate is counting on The Hunger Games movies to save them in the arena.

- 13 movie poster trends and what they say about their movies-- interesting to look for book cover parallels!


is it old? - Are you always the last person on the internet to see this week's viral post? Afraid your jokes are "old meme"? Well, Is It Old has you covered (via How About Orange).

- The AP outlined this week how journalists should format retweets to avoid the appearance of endorsing what's in the tweet. Media Bistro suggests their solution, the "NT," or "neutral tweet," is ridiculous because retweets are inherently neutral. (I think this is a weird argument, and that choosing to RT something implies its inherent importance; it's up to the user to clarify their reason for choosing it, and lack of dissent, to me, implies approval.)

- Very cool post via Molly O'Neill: "A Brief Rant on the Future of Interactive Design."

- Acceptable Parity rewrites a Harvard Business Review blog article with "Four ways men unintentionally stunt women's careers."

- At Flavorwire, ten "really inappropriate" coloring books that actually exist.

- An anonymous mom shows what it means to support a LGTBQ kid from a young age.

- Lee and Low hosts a discussion about racial slurs and how to respond to them.

- Michigan lawmakers completely miss the point of anti-bullying law, adding a last-minute stipulation that makes it okay, so long as the bully has a good reason. Yeah.

- The horrifying allegations out of Penn State this week prompted author John Scalzi to compare the situation to the classic sci-fi story of Omelas. Kevin Powell (remember him, from the original season of "The Real World"?) wants men to use debacles like Penn State and the allegations against Herman Cain as an opportunity "to grow, and to grow up," and "be allies to women and girls, allies to all children, and be much louder, visible, and outspoken about sexual harassment, rape, domestic violence, sexual abuse and molestation."


- Malinda Lo has a lovely new website, and she's giving away 16 signed books to celebrate! She also has a new Tumblr you should check out. :)

- Kris Atkins is giving away a signed and famous copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone!

- My new agent-mate Steph Sinkhorn has a big celebratory giveaway going!


- The bar was walked into by the passive voice (and other grammar and punctuation jokes at McSweeney's). Multiple people sent this to me this week. I'll let you decide what that means about me.

Sleep Talkin' Man, thanks to Steph.

- Some Tumblr highlights for you, thanks to Sarah:

the kitten covers highlights

hey girl

Louis vs. Rick: The Story Of A Man Who Taught His Cat To Use Instant Messaging

LouisTheCat: RICK
RickDickens77: WHAT
RickDickens77: Well, it's not really.. I mean, you can use it for certain things, but usually people don't use it because it looks like yelling.
RickDickens77: Well keep it to yourself, I'm trying to get things done so I can bring you dinner.

qwantz comic 2079

I.... look, blame Kirsten, she sent me this.

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. Does it make me really old that I remember the first season of The Real World?

  2. Thanks Kate. Sara Zarr's post really hit home. Thanks for sharing, and have a great weekend!


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: 11/11/11! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart