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Field Trip Friday: July 6, 2012


- Inspiration gets you the mountain's base, but not its top. Wisdom from Justin McRoberts (via Sara Zarr).

- Don't write in a vacuum: Colleen Lindsay on the importance of community to writers.

- Middle grade writers: new blog Middle Grade Mania wants to know who you are and what you want!

- Author Kelly Fiore describes her "Extreme Makoever: MS Edition."

- Two interesting posts about reviewers getting it wrong:
- Everybody's new favorite writing blog: Title To Come ("Inspired by 'What Should We Call Me' but you know... for writers").


- Our girl Kelly Jensen was the center of some heated debate this week with her post "The ARC Stops Here," a discussion of ARC ethics and availability that began with her feelings on a 22-minute video of 2 bloggers' ALA book haul. Michelle Witte rounded up some of the Twitter conversation and the bloggers in question posted a classy explanation in response, but drama continued up through Thursday's "Conference Decorum: Where ARC Thou?" at Publisher's Weekly.

- Your e-reader is reading you-- and reveals that "Nook users who buy the first book in a popular series like 'Fifty Shades of Grey' or 'Divergent,' a young-adult series by Veronica Roth, tend to tear through all the books in the series, almost as if they were reading a single novel."

- Check out this cool library in McAllen, Texas, made from a converted Walmart.

- USA Today reports on the Nerdfighter Book Club's reading of Fahrenheit 451.

- A new edition of A Farewell to Arms will include Hemingway's alternate (rejected) endings.

- The ladies at Forever Young Adult mixed up some Hunger Games-inspired cocktails. Hilarity ensued.

- Did you love Nina LaCour's Hold Still? You can help fund the film version at Kickstarter!


- Why does it take so long for books to reach stores? Cassandra Clare breaks down her publishing schedule.

- Comic Con is coming up and agent Kate Testerman has some concerns about their publishing panels.

- What the realities of publishing and rejection have taught author Meredith McCardle, guest posting at Pub(lishing) Crawl (which is definitely one of my favorite blogs lately).

- John Wiley and Sons wins $7000 in a suit against a BitTorrent user (who pirated a copy of WordPress All-in-One for Dummies, of all things).

- Jennifer Weiner gives social media tips and talks controversial issues with Galleycat.

- Agent Janet Reid is offering individual query responses on a limited time basis.

- How not to get a job at a bookstore, from Bookshelvers Anonymous.


- Cleolinda Jones brings the funny in another m15m installment: "The Avengers In 15 Minutes."

- Also via Cleolinda: the debut of the poster for "Oz The Great and Powerful." I am on board with Mila Kunis as the Wicked Witch of the West. I think.

- Brain Pickings has 5 commencement speeches that teach you to define your own worth.

- Seventeen Magazine releases the "Body Peace Treaty," agreeing to "show girls as they really are" as requested by teenager Julia Bluhm's wildly popular petition.

- I think I was the only person on the planet surprised to hear that Anderson Cooper is gay-- but certainly not the only one impressed by his decision to come out.


- Win Throne of Glass and Time Between Us from Kara Taylor!

- If you hurry, and if I have my time zone conversions right, there's still time for you to win one of 20 books from The Lucky 13s!

- YAtopia is hosting a New Adult pitch contest with agent Sara Megibow and editor Heather Howland from Entangled Publishing!

THIS WEEK IN a special request for your help. :)

I'm working on a GIANT project for YA Highway -- a road map to publishing. Can you help me? I will repay you with my undying love and gratitude.
  1. Am I missing any categories? (see below) I feel like I'm especially lacking in the "reading" department.
  2. What posts are must-haves for an overview of publishing? Assume if it's from the majors (Nathan Bransford, Rachelle Gardner, Janet Reid, etc), I already have it-- hit me with your lesser-known sources of wisdom, including yourself. 
The Categories: 


General Resources
Genre and Word Count
Manuscript Formatting
Punctuation and Grammar
Tense and Point of View
Word Choice and Sentence Structure
Plot and Structure
Theme, Voice, and Tone
Setting and World Building
Archetypes, Tropes, and Cliches
Writing Sequels
Writing Process and Tools
Time Management
Writer's Block
Inspiration and Motivation
Dealing with Jealousy
Critiques and Betas (including how to critique and how to find partners)
Hot Topics in YA (including diversity, sex, LGBTQ, disability, race and ethnicity, feminism, assault, religion, and censorship)


Intro to Publishing (including traditional vs self-publishing, ways to break in)
Writing Queries (including synopses, proposals, etc.)
Researching and Choosing Agents (including etiquette, revisions, and FAQs) 
Agent/Author Relationships
How Book Deals Work (including submissions, contracts, and money)
Publishing Process
Writing Careers (including dealing w/ reviews, author life, and career choices and challenges)
Marketing, Networking, and Social Media
Conferences and Industry Events
Publishing Careers (and internships)

Reading and Book Blogging

Getting Started
Finding Books
Writing Reviews
Dealing with ARCs
Author/Reviewer Relationships
Authors As Reviewers


Very cool illustrations of rarely spoken words by illustrators James and Michael Fizgarald  (via Michelle Schusterman). This one is "Harmartia—The character flaw or error of a tragic hero."


Poor Hufflepuffs. They can't help it. They were sorted this way.

Watch a man have a conversation with his 12-year-old self. Weird. (via Jezebel)

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. Thanks for the link, lady <3

    I love this post by Beth Revis on dealing with bad reviews:

    Also Caroline Richmond's "After the Call" series:

  2. Well, firstly, thanks for another fantastic round-up. I love getting all these links every Friday. :)

    Secondly, at least at the moment, the Avengers link links to the Hunger Games cocktail site (unless I somehow managed to just hit the wrong link twice, which I suppose is a possibility).

    As for writing posts, The Bookshelf Muse is a gold mine for posts on Setting/World Building and Characterization. I also run a writing blog and I've written sarcastic "How (Not) to..." posts on query letter writing, characterization and writing novels in general. I could give you the links if you're interested.

    Best of luck with your giant YA Highway project! :)

    1. Oops, thanks for the heads up, and the suggestions! I'd love to have your personal link.

    2. No problem! I'm excited to read the Avengers in 15 minutes link now. :)

      Here are the links to some of my How (Not) to posts:

      How (Not) to Write the Perfect Query Letter.

      How (Not) to Write Great Characters.

      How (Not) to Write a Novel

      How (Not) to Write Amazing Villains.

      Best of luck with your search!

  3. I've written a few posts on my blog about setting and characterization. I'll post the urls here, and you can decide whether to use them or not:

    Setting as Place
    Setting as Time

    Questioning Your Characters
    An Ode to Ambiguous Characters

    Other posts I've found helpful:
    Caitlin R. O'Connell's post on love triangles is really interesting.

    I have undying love for Tracey Neithercott's outlining tips for pantsers. (No, seriously. I started turning into a plotter after this.)

    Marie Lu's post on secondary characters over at Pub(lishing) Crawl is excellent.

  4. Great round-up as always, Kate. :)In April, Quita and I participated in the A-Z Challenge on our blog, where we discussed a controversial topic on YA each day. Maybe that could be something for your hot issues topic? Here's the link:

  5. Not sure how major/minor my sources are, but here's what I have...

    WRITING - Hot topics:
    -The New Adult category (or lack thereof)

    -Bookstore vs. Amazon

    WRITING - Punctuation/Grammar
    -Nutty non-rules

    WRITING - Plot and structure
    -Plotting via plot board

    WRITING - Genre and word count
    -Genre fiction rules

    WRITING - Characterization
    - How a plot-first writer builds characters
    -Creating characters with personality
    -Bag o'tricks

    WRITING - Setting and world-building
    -World-building questions to ask

    BLOGGING - Getting started:
    -Blog designs (helpful hints and links)

    PUBLISHING - Publishing careers
    -Want to be an editor?

    Hope at least a few are useful!

  6. Each May (or late April) The Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis hosts a fantastic weekend-long Children's and Young Adult Literature Conference, as well as other courses, conferences and events throughout the year. The Center and their website are great resources in general as well and writers meet up there from all over the Twin Cities, the state, the region, and beyond.


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: July 6, 2012 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart