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Field Trip Friday: July 19, 2013


J.K. Rowling was outed as the real author of adult crime novel The Cuckoo's Calling. The book became an instant hit, with sales jumping 158,000%, but Rowling's camp insists the leak came from her attorney's wife's best friend, not a publicity stunt. Many immediately crowed (or kvetched) about the book's initial low sales, but Laura Lam points out that it had an a normal publishing experience, which The Guardian says is "a sad indictment of publishing" -- but not as sad as the editors who passed on the manuscript. Time says the situations sheds light on the rewards — and complications — of literary fame, while Stephanie Sinkhorn takes a stab at why Rowling went with a male pseudonym.

Meanwhile, in the US, George Zimmerman was found not guilty of murdering teenager Trayvon Martin. Soon after, news broke that "Juror B37" had a book deal in the works -- followed by news that said book deal was actually just a proposal, which was subsequently dropped thanks in part to social media protests. Our own Stephanie Kuehn wrote a great post back in March about the link between cases like this and YA covers. (Also, just a reminder: No matter what your Facebook dash says, neither you nor I are Trayvon Martin.)


- Sure, you're working hard at the writing thing, but are you really? Jenna Black has some tough love for aspiring writers. (E.C. Myers agrees that writing is hard -- but is it Nintendo hard?)

- Oh no, literature is dead! At least according to white, straight dudes.

- Love this post from Melissa Marr on writing with a baby and being a feminist mom.

- Chuck Wendig presents new authors with a guide for what to expect after debut (something Kari Luna says is a lot like playing in a garage band).

- Dave King explains how to use "the obsessions and blind spots that define an era" to add authenticity to your historical fiction writing.

- Two great posts on fear this week:
- More great posts from the Disabilities in KidLit blog: Maggie Desmond-O’Brien looks at mental illness medications in YA and why they matter, Jennifer Castle discusses chronic illness and the friend factor, Jacqueline Koyanagi describes how portrayals of disability can be empowering to teens, and much more.


- This week's award for admirable patience goes to Kelly Jensen, whose BookRiot post "What are Grown-Ups Afraid Of In YA Books?" gathered the comment thread from hell.

- Why do kids' books matter? A New York Public Library exhibit displays the answers. (via Michelle Andelman)

- PolicyMic lists the 6 most influential women writers you've never heard of.

- "Let's not criticize teenagers, book characters or in real life, for being teenagers and all of the complexities that entails," says Laura M. of Clear Eyes, Full Shelves.

- If you're really ambitious in your book planning, check out PW's Spring 2014 sneak preview!

- "[T]here are always more books about people of color than there are by people of color. But it may surprise you to know just how many," and the Cooperative Children's Book Center has the numbers.

- Vintage/Anchor Books will be publishing a series of novels set after the forthcoming Veronica Mars movie.

- Take a quiz at the Oxford Dictionary to find out which Jane Austen character you are.

- MTV visited the set of Divergent this week, just days before exclusive content premiered at ComicCon -- and the news that Allegiant is written from both Tris and Four's points of view!


- "[M]any of the articles that have recently (or not so recently) come out about the lack of diversity in children’s books talk about the 'hole in the middle of the doughnut' without acknowledging the great work that is already out there, so readers can find it." Lee and Low Publishers share key points from an ALA discussion of multicultural publishing; Malinda Lo also has some important commentary.

- Rachelle Gardner advises writers to let their agents be the bad guys.

- The Lucky 13s break down their submission stats, including how long it took from sub to sale.

- Legendary children's editor Frances Foster retires after 55 years in the industry.

- A media company is suing Goodreads for $150,000 over a boy band pic.

- NPR looks at the unique ways Scholastic reaches generations of new readers.


- And so it has come to pass: After their purchase by Yahoo, Tumblr is hiding all the porn.

- Pennsylvania teen Temar Boggs saved an abducted 5-year-old girl.

- The Boy Scouts decided it was a good idea to ban fat kids from camp this year.

- The FBI has filed a warrant for the arrest of a cyber stalker that's targeted well-known Harry Potter expert Melissa Anelli.

- The internet was all about Chris Brecheen's account of "changing the creepy guy narrative."


"Hi! Remember me? From college? Pretty BABAY!" A couple en route to a Dave Matthews concert picks up a hitchhiker... that turns out to be Dave Matthews. (Second favorite comment: "They were lucky they didn't crash into him.")

What if birth control history was taught through a line of American Girl dolls? at The Rumpus

We're getting a Calvin and Hobbes documentary!!1!

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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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: July 19, 2013 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart