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Field Trip Friday: January 13, 2012


Hey, remember on that chart a few weeks ago, where I had "media discovering articles snarking on YA = best. linkbait. EVER"? Guess we'll be recycling that slice of pie this year: Alexander Nazaryan at the NY Daily News thinks the books written by our new National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, Walter Dean Myers, are "insipid" and "painfully mundane, with simple moral lessons built into predictable situations." And so on and so forth.

In addition to the many fine links collected at the School Library Journal, Stephanie Sinkhorn gives these comments the sideye, Alissa Grosso says literature is meant to be enjoyed, and Phoebe North links the accusations to criticisms of the recent dystopian trend.


internet trap - Love this post from author Juliette Wade, examining not just how the internet is a productivity trap, but why, with solutions tailored to those reasons

- Ready to query? Check out Martina Boone's Pre-Flight Checklist for manuscripts.

- This post about "don't miss a moment" parenting is also applicable to writing: "Don't Carpe Diem."

- Author Malinda Lo wrote a thoughtful piece about being conscious about gender.

- How not to write about rape, from Jim C. Hines at Apex Magazine.

- Are acknowledgements insincere? Very interesting look at their development, at The Millions.

- Author Maggie Stiefvater posted a massive comparison of her rough and final drafts, with tips for authors.

- How just six words from a high school teacher gave author Dave Eggers "the moment that changed everything."

- Author Zoe Marriott on the roller coaster of drafting.

- Jealousy is a bad thing... sometimes. The lovely Gretchen McNeil vlogs about the importance of knowing your audience when bitching. (warning: video auto-starts.)

- You have fans! They love you! They want to know... all your identifying information? Author Charles Benoit with some words of caution.

- Author Allison Brennan on spearing the doubt monster.

- Beyond orcs and elves: Editor Stacy Whitman (who we also interviewed this week!) talks benefits and risks of writing cross-culturally.

- Get your best swoony scenes ready-- Oasis For YA is hosting the "That's YAmore" blogfest, just in time for Valentine's Day!


jim c. hines wins the internet - Maybe the greatest thing ever: Author Jim C. Hines risks life and vertebrae to recreate the ridiculous poses of women on book covers.

- Lots of "best of" polls still in full swing: Be sure to vote on the YA Book Genre Battle at Most Important Letter, the Best of 2011 Debuts at The Story Siren, and check out the Morning News Tournament of Books.

- Why are love triangles so popular right now? Author Sarah Rees Brennan has the answer... starting with the 6th century.

- What the Occupy movement can learn from The Hunger Games, at Salon.

- The folks at Storycasting asked us to tell you about their book-casting community. Looks like fun.

- Was your copy of TFIOS unsigned? John Green tells you what to do.

- Oprah, being the BAMF she generally is, welcomed Beyonce and Jay-Z's new baby with a trunk full of children's books.


After last week's kerfuffles and drama, there was no shortage of perspective pieces regarding book reviews and authors. Agent Natalie Lakasil reminded everyone that these disputes are neither specific to YA nor anything new. Authors Julie Kagawa, Courtney Summers, and Highwayer Veronica Roth advised authors and reviewers to be cool; Elizabeth S. Craig and Highwayer Phoebe North both posted their own codes of conduct for author/reviewer interactions.

Kelly Jensen at Stacked draws a distinction between critical and negative reviews, and points out that "class never goes out of style." Dear Author has a great discussion in the comments of their (also great) post, "The Reader Author Paradigm." Author Lindsey Roth Culli suggests you "be better than the nasty," Sarah Fine points out that friends don't whip friends into a frothy meringue, Stacia Kane says, "Just cut it out," and Lynne Kelly says, "It's Not You, It's Your Book. Wait, Now It's You."

Also relevant: Twenty ways to get good karma; Meghan Daum on internet haterade culture (via Lazy Self-Indulgent Book Reviews); and  Amanda Palmer's reaction to the "I Hate Amanda" thread on her own fan forum (tl;dr: she turned the negativity into art).

Sick of it all? Well, you can see which reviews are up for "Hatchet Job of the Year" (though none of them are as bad as this 2000 review: "Everyone has a book inside them - sadly James Thackara's escaped"). You could also check out these awesome parody reviews, or see your favorite TV characters as lit bloggers. And of course here is my extremely helpful take on the subject, courtesy of Amy Poehler:

amy poehler says everyone just make out with each other


- Charts! American "Copy Culture" in a graphical look at digital piracy.

- Author Jody Hedlund gives advice on making friends without making them feel used.

- What if you get an offer from a publisher, and you've been rejected by every agent around? Jessica Faust at BookEnds gives advice.

- Hey, we need more Latino books! And Asian books! And... Mitali Perkins breaks down the numbers.

- Agent Rachelle Gardner reveals how long it takes for editors to respond to submissions.

- Should you use a pseudonym? Ask agent Kate Testerman... aka Daphne Unfeasible.

- Author Gayle Forman on choosing not to be bitter when her career took an unwanted turn.

- The NYT's "Why Authors Tweet" article was popular this week. The Guardian posted something similar a few days later.

- Publishers Weekly reports that Entangled Publishing is upping its print capability.

- Yes, yes, self-publishing benefits the author, but what about the reader? Chuck Wendig challenges self-pubbers to step up.

- Author Natalie Whipple explains the pros and cons of the option book.

- Sincerely? Yours? How do you close an email like a query letter?!? The Hairpin has some general guidance.

- 5 crazy ways to get book publicity, including tying tags to flies and tattooing sports figures with your name (via Sterling Books).


- How "Sh*t White Girls Say To Black Girls" blew up the internet, at Colorlines.

- The Frisky has 5 ways to get more culture (via the internet) this year.

- Google's newest search additions have other companies crying "unfair" (via Jenny Schwartz).

- Suuure, you can get a verified Twitter account... for the low, low price of $15,000. (Want to double your followers? Buffer has "7 Twitter Habits to Adopt.")

- Agent Sarah LaPolla separates the sitcom men from the girls.

- Highwayer Kody Keplinger posted at Poptimal this week, about the clichés of blind characters.

- "I know that there are a few things nobody talked me through, and that I want to talk through with you." Sady at Rookie extends a hand to rape and sexual assault survivors.


- Wanderlove! Get a copy of Kirsten Hubbard's fantastic sophomore novel over at Goodreads.

- The lovely Debra Driza is giving away a copy of Dawn Rae Miller's Larkstorm!

- YAtopia is hosting a pitch contest with Entangled Publishing!

~*~*Congratulations to Highwayer Kaitlin Ward, who is now represented by agent Sarah LaPolla!!*~*~


allie brosh credit card

Fontface poster at Typographical Warfare
font face

And lo, the internets did fold unto themselves, and the world's worst fanfictions
were created. And it was not good.

Everyone and their dog retweeted this video this week, with good reason. I am now hoping the books in my living room get up to similar hijinks at night.

Cuteness overload: Baby sloths get a bath.

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. Checking these posts at the end of the week has become a ritual for me. Thanks for the great information :D

  2. Rewatched the sloth video. SO CUTE.

  3. I loved that video about the books. Such fun...makes me want to take a look at my books to see what they're up to after I've called it a night.

    1. I suspect swing dancing and possibly butter sculpture, personally.


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: January 13, 2012 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart