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Field Trip Friday: May 4, 2012


- Author Sarah Ockler weighs in on race and YA with "Wake Up and Smell the Coffee-Colored Skin, White Authors!"

- "I'm working on my web presence: I have spent approximately ten thousand hours looking at other authors' web presences and despairing of ever being as popular, friendly, good-looking or sociable as they are." The Intern translates what authors say into what they mean.

- Author Walter Mosely makes the case for genre on the Tor/Forge blog. 

- Need some motivation? Zoe Marriott is hosting "International Creative Writing May," encouraging you to check in weekly with word counts from any kind of writing-- stories, poetry, synopses, blog posts, anything.

- Agent Jennifer Laughran gives advice on writing series and sequels before signing with an agent.

- Tech18 has 4 cool inforgraphics with tips for beating writer's block (via Kami Garcia). 

- Author CJ Omolulu says stop the parenticide in YA!

- Kissing! Malinda Lo has tips. On writing it, I mean. Not actual kissing. I mean, maybe it applies too... just go read it.


- Mark Flowers at YALSA's The Hub is taking on a "completist" project, where he'll be reading the complete works of some favorite YA authors, starting this week with an interesting look at Laurie Halse Anderson's career.

- Garth Nix recommends three non-fiction inspirations for fantasy writers.

- In a pretty genius move, Warner Brothers announced it will be making iconic scripts like "Ben-Hur" and "Casablanca" available as e-books.

- How can you get kids to read? Take Judy Blume's advice.

- "If one was to dress in a cloak and wand and pretend to be a wizard, short of poking an eye out there is a limited amount of danger that could occur. If a young woman with no experience of BDSM was to make her way into the community and play with an older man when she herself was unaware of her own limits, very terrible things can happen." A member of the BDSM community speaks out against Fifty Shades of Gray's portrayal of "extremely unsafe D/s practices."

- PW has your list of galleys to grab at this year's BEA!

- Big week for our girl Veronica Roth and the release of Insurgent-- check her out on Windy City Live, and interviewing with The Dark Lord himself!


- Target says, "Screw you Amazon, sell your own Kindles." (I'm paraphrasing.)

- "Just because I'm not doing as well as the Beatles does not mean I'm doing badly." Self-publishing darling Amanda Hocking reports on how she's doing with her traditional publisher contracts.

- Sarah Bennett Wealer asks, "Should authors talk politics?" with the noteworthy point that putting a contentious topic out there is an invitation to engage-- which takes time.

- Publishers in China are looking to ads on book covers to help with revenue.

- Headed to BEA? Summer SCBWI? Nervous about talking to pros? Check out this article on how to talk to strangers at professional events (via Colleen Lindsay, I think).

- Consumers don't realize that e-books aren't much cheaper to produce than paper copies, says Digital Book World.

- Author David Lubar buys back his book from Marshall Cavendish after their deal with Amazon.

- I missed this when it was posted last month, but here's the answer to "What should writers do on Tumblr?" (via Rachel Fershleiser).


- "Cipher characters aren't inherently sexist or evil, and characters who aren't particularly complex can still serve an important purpose. They only become problematic when they're all women." Whither the Manic Pixie Dream Guy? at Verve (via Cheryl Klein).

- The Chronicle of Higher Education is getting lots of traffic, if not respect, for publishing an article called "The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies? Just Read the Dissertations." I do believe I will link to this rebuttal instead. (via Adrienne K)

- Stephen King says, "Tax me, for f@%&'s sake!"

- A Walla Walla high school reduced suspensions by 85% with a new approach to discipline (via Carolina Valdez Miller).

- Racialicious calls out Jezebel for their "hipster racism" piece (something I linked here last week-- sorry).

- Awesome teens making things happen:

- After a popular AMA on Reddit last week, in which she revealed her secret to staying young is to "drink the blood of Kristen Stewart," Molly Ringwald revealed the cover of her upcoming book on Twitter.


- In gratitude for all the early support Hemlock has received, the lovely and talented Kathleen Peacock is holding an "Early Bird Contest," where you can win an annotated copy of the book + much more!

- The Apocalypsies kicked off their YAmazing Race with MGnificent Prizes!

- The ladies at new blog NA Alley, "bridging the gap between young adult and adult fiction," are celebrating their launch with a seven prize giveaway!

- Are you a funny UK/Irish writer? You could win representation from Greenhouse Literary!

- Angelica R. Jackson tells us the Pens for Paws Auction starts Monday, May 7th, and they have crits from agents and pubbed authors, signed books, ARCs, unique jewelry and artworks. You can help the cats of Fat Kitty City, and get yourself some swag, or a critique would be a great gift for a writing mom for Mother's Day.


I am made of "tea, erasers, and Mother Nature. With a dash of T-REX." What about you? (via Rick Lipman

Since 2006, 1 out of every 17 novels sold in the US has been written or co-written by James Patterson (via Iris Blasi) but he still doesn't make the list of top 10 most read books in the world (via Bookish).
top 10 books in world infographic 


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. Love your rundown of reading and writing!

  2. Thanks for the Pens for Paws shoutout! And I want to thank the entire writer, agent, and artist community for stepping up to help the kitties--what started out as a small idea has grown into a big deal!

  3. Thanks for the NA Alley shout out! We're super excited about the blog!

    1. No problem-- can't wait to see what you guys put together. :)

  4. Terrific round up! I especially liked Sarah Ockler's post on race. Be sure to check out the discussion in the comments too.

    1. I need to go back and check those out, thanks Sarah.

  5. This is consistently the best link summary I read each week. Thanks for all the effort you put into it.

  6. Is an article about BDSM really appropriate for a website that probably enjoys a large teen following? I'm as Santorum-sucks-you-were-born-this-way-baby QLGBT-friendly as the next college liberal... but don't we have limits? That sort of crosses my rarely-even-approached line... fourteen-year-olds reading an interview with a member of the "BDSM community."

    1. It's not a how-to guide to BDSM practices or an interview with a fan. It's a warning to readers who don't understand that in the actual BDSM community, there are safety rules that Fifty Shades of Gray ignores.

      If FSOG were just a bestseller, I'd likely leave it out, but because it's a bestseller AND based on Twilight fan fiction, I think our young readers are likely to hear about it regardless-- in which case I'd like them to have resources available to help them parse the media discussion, if not the book itself.

    2. Fair enough. I'm just as old-fashioned as someone who calls themselves "progressive" can be, honestly. Kids, be you straight, gay, or trans, there are certain things that are best saved for your college years. Trust me.

      Or maybe I'm just bitter that "Twilight" fanfiction is at the top of the NYT Bestseller List. Because seriously, "Twilight" fanfiction is at the top of the NYT Bestseller List. Doesn't that make you want to punch something? :-)


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: May 4, 2012 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart