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Field Trip Friday: June 7, 2013


Not a fun week to be one of those dreaded lady writers -- or the president of the SFWA. Scalzi is taking full responsibility for the controversy, but most don't hold him responsible: it's other dudes who don't get it. Ann Aguirre will not sit down (though she will share the hate mail it's earning her), and Delilah Dawson just can't imagine why women have been scared to speak up (that's sarcasm). E. Cathering Tobler has a straightforward breakdown of why she's leaving the organization, and Jim C. Hines has what's essentially a master list of discussion on the topic.

Meanwhile, Rachel Skukert had a Jezebel piece this week about "How to Write a Feminist YA Novel." However, Maureen Johnson was unimpressed (scroll back to June 2 in MJ's Twitter feed), as were friends 'o the blog Kelly Jensen and Liz Burns; another friend 'o the blog, Lindsey Roth Culli, has some criticism of the criticism in general, with interesting conversation in the comments as well.

Maureen Johnson also discussed gendered covers with Radio New Zealand, and The Guardian gave an overview of that and several related issues, while Jennifer Lynn Barnes posted a thorough follow-up examination of the way gender effects book success. But hey, at least it's not just publishing, amirite? I mean so long as we have gender-specific books titled Nice and Pretty versus Brave and Smart, what's to complain about?


- Janice Hardy helps you figure out if your novel has too many characters.

- Stuck in the middle? Malinda Lo is here to help.

- Our girl Veronica Roth talks with Leigh Bardugo about badass heroines at EW.

- "'Real life' is just as important as the writing life," says Manjula Martin at VQR.

- Christa Desir reveals the things they don't tell you about writing.

- "In the quest to push for more diverse depiction of romantic relationships, we must also remember that there are other kinds of relationships that are getting short-shrift." S.E. Smith on the curious case of YA friendships (via Sarah McCarry).

- Cory Jackson lists tips to help you avoid filtering, in order to achieve more show and less tell.

- Maggie Stiefvater looks at the difference between knowing and feeling a character or setting.

- Would your characters call it Coke, pop, or soda? Check out 22 maps that illustrate the differences in American vocabulary.

- C.J. Harper presents "The Lazy Author’s Guide to Maintaining a Work Life Balance in Ten Easy Steps."

- How to know you're a writer, in gif form, from Nathan Bransford.

- Jess Silverstein has writing tips from the Rochester Teen Book Festival (and a giveaway!).

- Authors debate the wisdom of including pop culture references in books, but is it even legal in the first place?

- Daniel Ehrenhaft considers the difference between authentic and offensive.


- Debbie Reese has an update from Curtis Acosta regarding the shut-down of TUSD's Mexican American Studies program.

- Katy Upperman puts out the call for all of us to help with "book propping."

- A round up of round ups: Forever Young Adult started a new weekly round up of YA movie news; Bitch Media put together a short list of great resources for racial diversity in YA sci fi, and CBC Diversity is compiling a weekly "Diversity in the News" feature -- check them out!

- Congrats to Benjamin Alire Saenz, author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and winner of this year's Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Children's/Young Adult Fiction!


- What does it take to start a new children’s book publisher these days? Michelle Schusterman at KidLit Network interviews Marissa Moss, Editor-in-Chief of Creston Books.

- Chuck Wendig has "25+ Things You Should Know About Young Adult Fiction."

- Barbara Poelle answers 14 questions you're afraid to ask literary agents.

- Digitial Book World reports that young adult book discovery start-up Evoke wins the first Publishing Hackathon.

- Sarah Dessen and editor Regina Hayes discuss their editorial process at Slate.

- Forbes contributor Suw Charman-Anderson says publishers should invest in authors, not just books.

- "The language we use to describe literary agents inherently has problems in it. When we stop referring to people as people, they become objects. And when someone becomes an object, not only can they be acted on without their consent, but a whole host of behavior is opened up that would be otherwise unacceptable," says Charley Vale at From the Write Angle.

- Editor Heather Alexander writes this week's hilarious "It Happened to Me" at xoJane: "I Cut Donna Tartt."

- Did you miss BEA? It was all about the readers, according to PW, but Kelly Jensen at Stacked was none too impressed with the blogger part of the conference (and gets a very interesting comment from one of the organizers, too). Veronica BAMF Roth gave the well-received keynote speech, and our girl Sarah Enni rounded up some other highlights here and on her own site.


- Remember the guy who broke open the Steubenville case? The FBI raided his house and legal action against him is underway. But hey, I mean, that's not going to discourage other people from telling the truth, right? Because it's not like the government can just access your email and phone calls or.... oh. Right.

- "Today, thanks in part to Cube's in-your-face look, it's not unusual to see male actors of all shapes and sizes in both comedic and dramatic roles." What if music mags wrote about male rappers the way they write about... well, all female artists? (via Dessa)

- Were you traumatized by Game of Thrones this week? Don't worry -- the Smithsonian says that's perfectly normal. And you can't argue with SCIENCE. (Link is spoiler-free.)

- Ann Friedman explains why powerful women make the greatest friends.

- If you want to be successful, look at what the losers did wrong, not what the winners did right, says David McRaney (via Rachel Hartman).

- NY high school votes a pair of dudes "cutest couple" in the yearbook; drama DOESN'T ensue. Halleluah.


- Go see Zoë Marriott for the third and FINAL Mega-Exclusive The Night Itself Giveaway!

- Quirk Books is having a "Looking For Love" fiction contest -- grand prize is $10K and publication!


Sign the petition! Only you can make a change! By which obviously I mean the very important political issue of getting Robert Pattinson to play a vampire killer in Supernatural 2.

Buzzfeed has 27 stunning works of art you won't believe aren't photographs.

Seattle Public Library topples world record domino book chain:

And you can blame thank Steph for this one:

Have a good 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. Awesome links. And BOOK DOMINOES! Cool! :D

  2. This was an excellent Field Trip Friday-great way to kick off June. I loved pretty much every link!


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: June 7, 2013 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart