- How does author Cassandra Clare battle writer's block? She copies the technique of Dr. House.
- When it comes to big revisions, "it’s those writers who have the guts to start over in a piece that usually reap the biggest rewards," says agent Mary Kole.
- "If you’re a member of a majority group, you don’t get any say in what is and isn’t okay. You don’t get any say in what is and isn’t hurtful, because the edge of the blade is pointed away from you. That sword is never, ever going to stab you." Author Corinne Duyvis on shutting out your audience with problematic language.
- Editor Stacy Whitman cautions you against the "magical negro" trope.
- Both Judy Hedlund and Tahereh Mafi talk about the inevitable identity crisis that follows publication and what it means to be a real writer.
- "Writers who have never experienced rejection are no different than children who get awards for everything they do: they have already found themselves tap-dancing at the top of the 'I’m-So-Special' mountain, never having to climb through snow and karate chop leopards to get there," says Chuck Wendig in "25 Things Writers Should Know About Rejection"
- Need to kill a character? Use the random death generator. (via Jay Kristoff)
- My favorite post of the week: "Pathetic Email" from Sean Ferrell
"After completing a book you won't be the person you were before trying to write it, not if you've done it right. There's real fear in that, and we're all small before that task, to clear out enough of yourself so they can move in, and to do it not with accolades or rewards but for the honest truth that it has to be done and who else will do it. You're supposed to be scared."
THIS WEEK IN READING
- Dolls are for kids... if your kid is reading Phillis Wheatley, Edna St. Vincent Millay, or Sylvia Plath. (via Vintage & Anchor)
- Congratulations to this year's Morris YA Debut Award nominees!
- Agent-sister Steph Sinkhorn examines the symbolism of women's hair and also put together a great list of YA sci-fi cliches.
- Having an existential crisis? Bibliotherapy might be the cure.
- What kind of reader are you? (It appears I am a "book snob." Well then.)
- Author Sarah Rees Brennan is tired of people criticizing female characters.
- It's finals time, and lots of people are hating the classics right now. Including these kids.
- Grandma reads YA. I mean, what other explanation do you need?
- Chicken Spaghetti has whittled down the "best of lists" and compiled just the kid lit-related.
- Love this gift list from Kelly Jensen at Stacked-- YA books for artistic types, broken down into dance, theater and music categories.
- Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has a hysterical look at virginity cliches. Best. closing. line. ever.
THIS WEEK IN PUBLISHING
- Backlash continued to build against Amazon, as pointed out by Publishers Weekly and the NYT. Richard Russo called Amazon's tactics "jungle logic," and Bookavore didn''t want to point out to Amazon all the ways it could fix this mess and still keep stomping indies. Tim Carmody at Wired said Amazon didn't happen to your local bookstore-- America did, and then Farhad Manjoo at Slate writes "Don't Support Your Local Bookseller." Well, that went over like a ton of bricks. The Towering Irrelevance dismantled his argument piece by piece, and Sarah LaPolla points out that Slate is like a popular jock (oh and also an Amazon affiliate).
Meanwhile parents are complaining that the Kindle Fire lacks the necessary controls to block children from viewing and/or buying questionable material, and bookseller Josie Leavitt lists a few things she wants authors to know.
- Overstock.com and Barnes and Noble are teaming up for an eBook storefront.
- What editor Stacy Abrams learned from a decade in publishing.
- Agent Natalie Lakosil has pointers on surviving the wait at all stages of publishing.
- Author Zoe Marriott demystifies the process of working with an editor.
- Author Darcie Chan became a self-published bestseller, but still hopes a publisher will pick her up; Chuck Wendig talks at length about the perils of self-publishing and challenges the community to openly work together toward fixes.
- Find out what editor Alvina Ling of Little, Brown thinks about the state of diversity in kid lit.
- Does your website pass the radio test? Author Tech Tips has more.
- Facebook is rolling out its timeline for profiles this week, and GalleyCat has some pointers.
- The New York Observer looks at book deals from Twitter and Tumblr (with the genius title "Sh*t My Agent Sells").
- Highwayer Phoebe North's upcoming Starglass was named one of The Hollywood Reporter's book deals of the week!
- Everybody has deadlines, but how do agents handle them? Check out Joanna Volpe's crazy daily schedule and then... I don't know, take a nap or something.
THIS WEEK IN MOVIES AND TV
- The NYT has a pretty fascinating look at how fictional languages are created for television and movies.
- Author Yael Itamar takes issue with the whitewashing of the upcoming movie "Arabian Nights."
- "(M)aybe there is a solid connection to current YA. When you hear the phrase 'young adult' maybe you expect something light and fluffy. And then you get hit between the eyes with something quite unexpected. Like this movie." Author Maureen Johnson reviews the new movie "Young Adult."
- Two of our contributors, Sarah and Phoebe, are part of Erica O'Rourke's 13 Days of Dr. Who blog series.
- Universal Pictures acquired the rights to Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Sweeeet.
- Marketers for the movie version of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo are worried they're alienating female viewers.
- Looks like the Hunger Games nail polishes are going ahead after all, but with slightly different names.
- Here at the Highway, we were pretty psyched to see that the screenplay based on Kody Keplinger's The DUFF made "The Black List" and several others like it. (We pretended not to see "Dirty Grandpa" on there.)
THIS WEEK IN OTHER STUFF
- Dr. Nerdlove breaks down male privilege for nerds, and comes back with a "Don't Be a Creeper" guide. Comments are less repugnant than most, on the latter at least, though there's definitely some of NPR's 20 unhappiest people you meet in the comments hanging around. (Or you could just check out the Gender Bent Justice League.)
- Which quote comes from a men's magazine, and which one is from a rapist? "Well this is upsetting," says Jezebel. Yes. Upsetting. That's the word I would use.
- 30 things to stop doing to yourself (via Michelle Schusterman).
- Christopher Hitchens passed away at the age of 62 on Thursday.
THIS WEEK IN CONTESTS
- Angelica R. Jackson is celebrating a milestone and giving you the prizes!
- Alexa Barry is doing a Christmas Countdown and giving away two of her favorite books from 2011!
- The Book Wish Foundation is sponsoring an essay contest-- you can win partial critiques from several well-known authors and agents (including Ann M. Martin! Baby Sitters Club FTW!)
- World Book Night is coming and you can sign up to be a giver!
- Worldbuilders is hosting a lottery and auction to benefit one of my favorite causes, Heifer International.
THIS WEEK IN THE RANDOM
(links via Janet Reid, Rachel Fershleiser, and Kiersten White)
And if that doesn't work, there's Swagrid.
Or check out how Ryan Gosling took over publishing this week,
first with the aptly-titled "Ryan Gosling Works in Publishing"...
Have a great weekend!
~ Kate Hart