THE BIG NEWS THIS WEEK
The Department of Justice is suing Big 6 publishers over e-books, and some are settling but some aren't and... here, go see Nathan Bransford, Shelf Awareness, and Maureen Johnson. They'll explain. It sounds like maybe John Sargent at Macmillian is kind of a BAMF? I'm not sure.
eta: The HuffPo has an interactive debate on the subject.
A not-big thing this week:
Usually I add an image to each category, but lately it seems visually chaotic to me, plus it takes a really long time. So I left them out this week. Do you like it better without? Or do you want silly pictures to come back? Let me know in the comments!
THIS WEEK IN WRITING
- Must-read post from author Robin LaFevers about how her career got a second chance-- and a third.
- McSweeney's has "The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Usually Do."
- Nathan Bransford presents the Ten Commandments of Editing Someone Else's Work.
- 25 reasons author Chuck Wendig hates your main character.
- How long is too long for a manuscript? Author Maggie Stiefvater helps you solve for X.
Paolo Bacigalupi has my favorite quote of the week in "Straight-Laced Dystopias"at Kirkus:
"The more I write stories for young people, and the more young readers I meet, the more I'm struck by how much kids long to see themselves in stories. To see their identities and perspectives—their avatars—on the page. Not as issues to be addressed or as icons for social commentary, but simply as people who get to do cool things in amazing worlds. Yes, all the 'issue' books are great and have a place in literature, but it's a different and wildly joyous gift to find yourself on the pages of an entertainment, experiencing the thrills and chills of a world more adventurous than our own.
And when you see that as a writer, you quickly realize that you don't want to be the jerk who says to a young reader, 'Sorry, kid. You don't get to exist in story; you're too different.' You don't want to be part of our present dystopia that tells kids that if they just stopped being who they are they could have a story written about them, too. That's the role of the bad guy in the dystopian stories, right? Given a choice, I'd rather be the storyteller who says every kid can have a chance to star."
THIS WEEK IN READING
- Grace Lin takes a closer look at a childhood favorite in "Rethinking Tikki Tikki Timbo."
- Alma Katsu at Tor asks, "Is fan fiction ready to go mainstream?"
- Little, Brown released the title and blurb for JK Rowling's new book.
- YALSA's Teens' Top Ten nominations include our girl Veronica Roth!
- School Library Journal featured a Liberty, MO library, which has created a boys "reading cave" within its stacks. Librarian Kelly Jensen at Stacked finds the cave problematic and takes a long look at the issue; Lizzy Burns has relevant links, and author Heather Petty calls it a "BAD IDEA." Maureen Johnson simply tweeted a link to her 2010 post "Sell The Girls," and though not in direct response, Seanan McGuire suggests everyone read without regard to gender of main character.
- On a semi-related note, our own Phoebe North has a thought-provoking post about romance in dysopian literature, and Roxanne Gay says in "The Measure of Men":
"The time for outrage over things we already know is over. The call and response of this debate has grown tightly choreographed and tedious. A woman dares to acknowledge the gender problem. Some people say, 'Yes, you’re right,' but do nothing to change the status quo. Some people say, 'I’m not part of the problem,' and offer up some tired example as to why this is all no big deal, why this is all being blown out of proportion. Some people offer up submission queue ratios and other excuses as if that absolves responsibility. Some people say, 'Give me more proof,' or, 'I want more numbers,' or, 'Things are so much better,' or, 'You are wrong.' Some people say, 'Stop complaining. Some people say, 'Enough talking about the problem. Let’s talk about solutions.' Another woman dares to acknowledge this gender problem. Rinse. Repeat."
THIS WEEK IN PUBLISHING
- The Intern examines what writers give up with indie vs Big 6 publishing. (Complete with balance! Nuance! No name calling or anything!)
- Going to a conference and scared to talk to agents? Meredith Barnes has tips.
- Some Big 6 publishers are refusing to sign new contracts with Amazon.
- Nine writers tell all about book tours, at The Awl.
- Listen: if you are one of those authors who immediately direct message new followers asking for Facebook likes, then please "How to get more likes on Facebook" at The Oatmeal. Please. (via Myra McEntire)
- Agent Jessica Faust discusses publishers taking risks. Sadly, she also reported this week that Book Ends is closing their blog. Be sure to go tell them thanks for years of great info!
THIS WEEK IN THE HUNGER GAMES
- Gary Ross has declined to direct "Catching Fire." Lionsgate claims to be as shocked as we are.
- Slate talks to the teens who tweeted racist comments about the movie.
- Let the Hunger Games-inspired baby names begin.
- Roxane Gay has a heart-rending piece about darkness in YA, rape, strength, and what Katniss means to her (via Cleolinda Jones).
- Katniss Barbie. I... yeah.
THIS WEEK IN OTHER STUFF
- Ashley Judd strikes back at media speculation about her face. The comments section, as usual, makes me want to punch a puppy.
- Surprise, Twitter users: the Titanic was an actual ship, not just a movie plot.
THIS WEEK IN CONTESTS
- Forever Young Adult has an Insurgent giveaway that, and I quote, "You might stab someone's eye out" to win.
- The Fug Girls held an amazing contest this week. Sadly, it is too late to win an ARC of Messy, but you should still go read the haiku entries, because they are fantastic.
- Kody Keplinger is giving away three swag packs with books and other fun prizes!
- Seriously awesome event going on: for the next three months (!), you can bid on critiques from authors, agents, and editors in a variety of genres at Crits for Water. Your donation will help provide clean water around the world.