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Field Trip Friday: January 20, 2012


You'll never guess what happened this week: People continued to argue on the internet! I know, right? Are you totally blown away by this completely unexpected development?

Yeah, me neither. So here. Guardian. PW. Stiefvater. St. Crow. Spotswood. Jones. Um... hilarious. Draw your own conclusions. And unless President Obama, Tina Fey, or God comments on reviewer/author relationships in the near future, we're done here, because in the meantime, Arizona school districts are closing Mexican-American Studies programs.

banned in Tucson That means they're boxing up books by Sherman Alexie, Isabel Allende, N. Scott Momaday, Sandra Cisneros, Matt de la Peña, Jane Yolen, Howard Zinn, and even some guy named William Shakespeare. Oh wait, no, you can still teach The Tempest-- you just can't mention race, oppression, or "Natives."

Thank goodness for Debbie Reese, who has followed this issue closely; Elizabeth Burns at SLJ also has more links, Stacy Whitman has an honorary book list, and Democracy Now has a debate on the subject.

Meanwhile, Toni Morrison was pulled from an AP Literature class, and of course there were massive online protests against ill-advised censorship legislation. The NYT and CDT both have more; you can also get the simpler version at The Oatmeal, see whether your representatives support the bill, look at copyright violations committed by the bills' supporters, and check out Herpderpedia.


manuscript surgery
credit here and here
- First, do no harm: Rebecca Behrens writes a Hippocratic oath for revisions and rewrites.

- Author Janice Hardy explains how to use query writing as a plotting tool.

- Adam Heine looks at the difference between not screwing up a query and it being awesome (via Jodi Meadows).

- On the writing journey: Stephanie Sinkhorn gives you permission to feel your feelings, Sean Ferrell talks about the writer who never shows up, Harvard Business Review says to find happiness, forget about passion; Lindsey Roth Culli suggests you get out yer yardstick, and Delilah Dawson says the creative cycle will kill you-- but only if you let it.

- Francisco X. Stork wrote a moving "letter to a young author."

- Get a look at Saundra Mitchell's first draft and final pages from The Vespertine.

- "I identify with all of my characters. A writer has to do so if she wants her readers to identify with them as well." Judy Blume in Smithsonian magazine

- Has Word affected the way we work? Interesting article at the Guardian.

- Melissa Marr on "shelf hopping" between adult and YA.

- What's the first thing you should do when you open your computer? Advice from Seth Godin (via Livia Blackburne, whose name I'm pretty sure I've misspelled for about a year-- sorry, Livia!).


Photobucket - Does writing your name in your books count as a prenup? "How to Say 'I Do' to Shared Bookshelves," at BookRiot.

- "I suspect that people who can't respect young adult lit also don't respect young adults. I suspect that people who belittle children's literature don't think much of children." Shannon Hale sticks her tongue out at last week's YA link bait article.

- Should publishers build apps for cars? If it works for NPR...

- Author Jennifer Weiner finds the gender balance in NYT reviews still leaves much to be desired. There was a response article at Salon, and rather than link it, I will send you to John Scalzi's assessment.

- Interesting conversation in this YA Speculative Fiction panel.

- "Some people sneer at me for reading so much YA, and I sneer right back at them, because they are caught in the artificial divide between 'children’s' and 'adult' literature." Why S.E. Smith loves YA, at xoJane.

- It's almost Printz time! SLJ has their mock competition up for votes.

- Congratulations to this year's Edgar Award nominees!

- YALSA launched "YALSA Academy" this week, a channel for librarians and library staff that focuses on teen services issues.


tina photobombing amy - To survive publishing (or life), you need a Tina Fey to your Amy Poehler. (via Rachel Hawkins)

- Don't waste precious space telling me you're a mammal, says agent Janet Reid.

- Jessica Faust says yes, do mention if you've been previously agented.

- Sex and the Magic Secrets to Getting Published, from Torre DeRoche (via Jess Regel)

- Agent Victoria Marini has a helpful post: "All About Revision Requests."

- PW profiles self-published author Brittany Geragoteli's road to success, which started at Wattpad.

- Author A. C. Gaughen offers a debut checklist for new authors.

- Amazon's huge plagiarism problem

- Very interesting legal questions being raised by the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, an erotica series that began as a Twilight fanfiction called "Master of the Universe."  (also, relevant comic is relevant.) (also also, you guys totally owe me for not posting the gif I found on image search for this one.) (I know you're totally searching for it now.)

- Speaking of fanfic, Nicole Cliffe at The Awl just read Clan of the Cave Bear for the first time and calls it "totally totally a legitimate description of a bangin' Cro-Magnon blonde successfully infiltrating a group of fugly Neanderthals and being all Katniss Everdeen." (See how we totally brought that back to YA? RELEVANT.)

- This week's requisite "Amazon will kill us all" article is at Pandodaily.

- Did you know Tumblr has an official book envoy? Okay, I made up her title. But Rachel Fershleiser is available to help authors, publishers, and other literary-type people.

- Your career's not over until you say it's over, at EvilReads.

- Jacket Copy reports Apple will announce a "Garage Band for ebooks."

- "Write faster" is just the tip of the iceberg: Veronica Roth gives you a glimpse into the reality of a publishing timeline.

- Are you going to ALA Midwinter this weekend? (The jealousy. It burnnns.) Samantha Mabry has your guide to downtown Dallas, and the lovely ladies at Stacked are hosting another ALA blogger meetup-- don't miss it!

- YA Fusion interviews Dandy Conway, a district sales manager for Random House Children's Books.

- Writer Unboxed has three ways to use Pinterest for book publicity (although I would check their TOS first).

- New blog alert: Let the Words Flow has transformed into the shiny new site Pub(lishing) Crawl; indie MG/YA authors band together over at The Indelibles

- The trick to success, even in publishing, is developing relationships (at Forbes, via Jane Friedman).


lionsgate eating summit - Lionsgate is acquiring Summit Entertainment, which means double the massive YA franchises for them. (Speaking of, Broadway World has exclusive photos from Twilight the Musical, there are rumors that the Twilight franchise will continue beyond the films, and a still of Katniss and Peeta before the Opening Ceremonies was released this week!)

- Daniel Radcliffe hosted SNL last weekend, including a skit revealing Hogwarts, ten years later.

- 20 heroic librarians who save the world, at io9 (via Alison Weiss).

- How sharing passwords is sort of like second-and-a-half base for teens, at the NYT.

- Latoya Peterson at Racelicious digs deeper into the social significance of the "Sh*t People Say" memes.

- "The Netherlands has done everything humanly possible to make teen sex and drugs seem dull." Why American teens should go Dutch, at FT Magazine.

- On America, Islam, and the Signing Line, from John Green.


- The YAmazing Race with MGnificient prizes, from The Apocalypsies!

- Win a spot on the Something Strange and Deadly blog tour!

- Win a copy of Caged Moon!

- The Write Dreams auction is raising money to help Donna's Dream House, a holiday home for children and teenagers with life-threatening or terminal illnesses that was recently burned by arsonists. Stop by and check out how you can help.


ya highway scenic route logo Want more YA-related random? YA Highway is now on Tumblr!
I'm hoping to share links throughout the week to keep these posts more manageable, because they have gotten crazy long.

It's crazy how many of these are right: Predictions about 2011 from a 1911 newspaper.

Ever wonder what Lincoln looked like in color? Find out at Flavorwire.

via Neatorama (via Kaitlin Ward): Fotoshop by Adobé

I want to hug these Nerdfighters. (via Hank)

Have a good 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. Love these links! Thanks so much for sharing this round-up every week. Now I have plenty of fantastic posts to read. :)

  2. I'm also a big fan of your weekly updates. Thanks for continuing to do the hard work so we don't have to!

  3. Thanks for linking to my post, YA Hwy! Also thanks for giving me so much weekend reading. :)

  4. Thanks for sharing my link and all the other info., Kate! This is where I go to catch up over the weekend!

  5. Thanks to all of you as well! <3

    Also, just wanted to note that my snark at the beginning isn't annoyance at the posts linked-- I actually think several of them are worth reading. It's just exhaustion with the subject over all.

  6. Thanks for covering the book banning and shuttering of the Mexican American Studies (MAS) program in Tucson. It is astounding... for years and years we've been asking for and promoting multicultural literature that provided students with reflections of themselves. The MAS program started giving students in the program (not just Mexican American students) precisely what we've been asking for... The student grades, school attendance, graduation rate... all of that improved!

    It is a politically volatile situation. The teachers in that program... their day to day lives as teachers right now is so risky. If they use books they used before, they will be held responsible for violating the law, and the school will lose millions of state dollars. Can you imagine being one of those teachers?! One said that he would not teach from a Mexican American perspective, but, he asked, what should he do when one of his students asks a question rooted in a Mexican American perspective?! No clear guidance to teachers.... It is a nightmare.

  7. Thanks for the shout out, Kate! As always, awesome breakdown of the YA news this week. These posts are amazing.

  8. Oh my goodness, what an awesome collection of links! Thank you for posting -- I'll be sitting here for a while clicking through them all I'm sure:)


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: January 20, 2012 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart