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Field Trip Friday: February 3, 2012


scbwi logo - SCBWI's Winter Conference concluded on Sunday, and even if you weren't able to attend, you can pick up loads of information at their conference live blog.

- There's no one right way to write, but author Kimberly Derting shares the tips she's picked up along the way.

- Author Malinda Lo has a great post on writing about lesbians when you aren't one.

- "There will always be people around to beat me down, set my expectations, explain 'the brutal reality' to me. But, you know – I don’t need to be one of them." Author Kameron Hurley on avoiding self-sabotage.

- Author Zoe Marriott tells you how to kill cliches.

- How letter writing can change your life: Join author Mary Robinette Kowal for the "Month of Letters Challenge."

- Mike at Big Sur Fiction Writing Workshop asked us to let you know that there is still time to sign up for the March 2-4 workshop!

- Should you be writing? Check this handy flowchart from The Writer's Den.

- Jeff at Boys Don't Read says, "[I]n fiction, being realistic just isn't that important." See also: Iconic writers on truth versus fiction (via Cleolinda Jones).


- Debbie Reese continues to be a force of nature in covering the Tucson situation. Not sure why it matters? Read this amazing post by our friend Samantha Mabry, who also pointed out the Librotraficante effort, which they're describing as "Wet Books: Smuggling Banned Books Back Into Arizona." Sherman Alexie, one of the authors banned, says, "In the effort to vanish our books, Arizona has actually given them enormous power. Arizona has made our books sacred documents now."

- Lisa Asanuma wants you to share the love this Valentine's Day by buying books!

- Cynthia Leitich Smith reports on the Dolly Gray Children's Book Award, given to excellent portrayals of individuals with disabilities.

- Can bells and whistles save the book? Dubious Laura Miller is dubious. 

- Lots of Hunger Games news this week, including a game that's "Oregon Trail minus the dysentery, plus murder," 9 "untold secrets" of the cast, and of course, a new trailer!

- In other movie news, Beautiful Creatures announced its first casting decision!

- The Story Siren announces the results of her "Best of 2011 Debuts" voting (yay Divergent!).


- Blogger and librarian Kelly Jensen has a nuanced assessment of ARCs, ethics, and speaking up. Librarian Jennie at Biblio File is horrified by the behavior of a few bad apples, and author Colleen Mondor says, "[W]hat about reading thoughtfully and writing well and, I don't know, supporting our damn libraries?"

- Interesting account of the evolving roles of agents and editors: Former editor Rebecca Carter makes the move to agenting in order to be more "involved in the flow of ideas and working on the text." (via @drydenbks)

- The Intern has an eye-opening look at the reality of negotiating a book contract without an agent.

- Agent Rachelle Gardner cautions that book contracts are not always about the money.

- A book proposal? For fiction? Sometimes you have to write one, but don't be scared-- our girl Marquita Hockaday has you covered.

- Sometimes editors are wrong: check out the real-life rejections received by a book now racking up accolades

- Barnes and Noble announced it will not stock books published by Amazon.

- The Nelson Agency announces their solution to agenting in the e-book landscape.

- BEA is adding a day for children's books this year!


- How old does Google think you are? The Washington Post has more explanation.

- A study finds blogging is actually therapeutic for teenagers.

- Jonah Lehrer at Wired considers the inconsistency of genius (oh Bono, Spiderman?) and how we identify good ideas (via Sarah Enni, via Molly O'Neill). 

- Researchers claim to have discovered the most annoying tweet in the world, but they forgot the "buy my book!" part.

- Must-read article from Rolling Stone: "One Town's War on Gay Teens." (Trigger warning for cutting and suicide.)


- Query critiques, books, gift cards and more from S. M. Johnston!

- Win a custom cutie from S. B. Rodgers!

- Melodie Wright needs your help spreading the word about a pitch contest with agent Tricia Lawrence!


You knew it was coming: The Inevitable Sh*t Agents and Editors Say

And of course Kristin Bell's sloth meltdown was everywhere this week, but YA Highway has a well-documented love affair with sloths, so we have to include it.

Have a great Superbowl weekend-- and if you're not a football fan,
you can always go behind the scenes at Puppy Bowl. :)

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. I love reading these every week. Thanks for putting them together I know how much work these round ups can take!

  2. Fantastic update as always. The Rolling Stone article is ... yeah ... I didn't know I could feel so many emotions at once. Awful awful awful.

  3. Thank you so much for including my little effort to support brick-and-mortar stores here!

  4. LOL

    And this is why we love Kristen Bell.

    Don't ever stop doing these posts! They're my favorite part of Fridays!

  5. Okay, I had to comment on the Google link. As a 36-year-old female writing from a YA male pov right now, I'm delighted to find out that's exactly what Google thinks I am! (the ya male, that is) :)


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: February 3, 2012 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart