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Field Trip Friday: April 20, 2012


And the 2012 Pulitzer for Fiction goes to... no one! "[I]n allowing the selection process to become hamstrung, the Pulitzer jury and board have denied laurels to a novelist, something there are already too few of these days," says Bethanne Patrick at BookRiot; judge Maureen Corrigan shared her anger at the WaPo, and Ann Pratchett feels "disappointment as a writer and indignation as a reader," but manages "to get all the way to rage as a bookseller."


- Josi S. Kilpack talks about the rejections that writers face from people they care about.

- Advice can only take you so far, says author Steph Bowe-- don't be afraid to fail.

- "With sculpting, you can acquire the clay that you’re sculpting by buying it. With writing, you have to make the clay first." Malinda Lo talks first drafts and revisions.

- A professor shares the fiction-writing process books he used to unlearn his "worst academic habits."

- Rachelle Gardner shares tips on how to title your book.

- The latest installment of "BACK UP YOUR WORK" warning articles: Author loses 5,000 book library + his current WIP in garden shed fire. (via Sarah Weinman)


- Look, I know this is going to be upsetting to some of you, but Frost was joking about the importance of the road less traveled. I found that out from a professor who gleefully made fun of our freshman optimism, but you can take a less annoying route: see that and nine more of the "most misunderstood lines" in literary history (via Kate Testerman).

- The Atlantic Wire has kicked off a new "YA for Grownups" series with Jen Doll's list of the greatest girl YA characters. (You might also check out "What Does Young Adult Mean," for help answering that irritating "you mean like Twilight?" question.)

- If Goodreads is not your thing, you might try Curated Children's Books for reading suggestions-- or sign up to be a curator yourself.

- Bookshelvers Anonymous wonders if classics are a lost cause.

- Our friend Capillya Uptergrove says, "Teens deserve good cover design too!"


- Spamazon. Mockbusters. Pick your favorite pun, but double check that title before you buy books from Amazon.

- The Justice Department's case against publishing is "the modern equivalent of taking on Standard Oil but breaking up Ed’s Gas ’N’ Groceries on Route 19 instead," says the NYT.

- Concerned about all these lawsuits and piracy and end of publishing predictions? Chuck Wendig has your guide to preparing for the end.

- I don't understand how this works, but Audible opened a $20m fund that will reward authors for using social media. (via Rachel Stark)

- Author Kim Strickland is mad because PW's "scathing" reviews of self-published books are so well-written that authors can't even manipulate a pull quote into something positive... which is somehow unfair.

- Market smarter, not harder, says author Elana Johnson, in her newest installment of marketing tips.

- Author Liz Coley saves you from death by taxes.

- Editor Diana Gill, agent Ginger Clark, and Publicity Director Pamela Spengler-Jaffee did an AMA at Reddit this week. (You can practically see Diana blushing through the screen when "weinerjuicer" gave her a "marry, boff, kill" question.)

- Announcements you might want to check out:


- Francis Lawrence, who most recently helmed Like Water For Elephants, has been offered the job of directing Catching Fire.

- It's tornado season in my neck of the woods. Jim McDonald has a great post about shelter safety (which might also be helpful if your story involves storms).

- Long but interesting post about email and online security at The Atlantic (tl;dr: turn on your Google 2-step verification and don't use a stupid password). 

- "There is nothing worse than being a girl. I’m not saying this as a former girl- I quite liked being a girl. I’m saying this from the POV of the entire rest of the world." Mur Lafferty's fantastic letter to her daughter (via Liz Czukas)

- Emily Asher-Perrin at Tor exhorts movie poster makers (and I'm assuming, by extension, cover designers) to please stop taking this picture.

- Lots of interesting discussion centered around TV this week. "The Bachelor" is getting sued for racial discrimination, since they've managed to air TWENTY THREE seasons without a bachelor/ette of color. Dodai Stewart at Jezebel says we need to keep talking about the white girls on HBO's new series "Girls;" while "Girls" writer Lesley Arfin learned there's no such thing as ironic racism, and creator Lena Durham talked trash about "airport chick lit."


- Win a copy of Kody Keplinger's upcoming A Midsummer's Nightmare!

- Elana Johnson is giving away ARCs of Surrender!

- Get a signed copy of Shatter Me plus swag from the NaNo store and a donation to your choice of teachers' projects from Reading on the F Train!

- Check out Kathleen Peacock's interview with agent Emmanuelle Morgen and win a query critique!


Want to win a major literary award? Easy-- just use one of these themes, handily presented in chart form thanks to Johanna Kamradt (via Regal Literary).

plot lines chart

Awkward Merit Badges. Collect them all! I mean, if you want. Or something. Um. *falls down*
awkward merit badges

All the characters in the world and who do I share a birthday with?

kate shares a bday with patrick from spongebob. yay.

Go find your match-- I hope yours is better!

Kate Hart

Kate is the author of After the Fall, coming winter 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. Thanks for another fantastic roundup! The Awkward Merit Badges are particularly amusing. :)

    1. "Called someone wrong name" is like my superpower.

  2. Kate! Funny typo alert!! I believe there is a novel/film called Like Water for Chocolate and another called Water For Elephants -- though I would be interested seeing in a Latino family drama circus mash-up!

    1. I am leaving it, just for that mental image.

  3. Thanks for sharing my link! My awkward superpowers are myriad, including "rehearsed food order in your head" and "pretending to text". That's an awesome graphic.

  4. Oh crud. I share a birthday with Voldemort. ;)


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