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Field Trip Friday: August 2, 2013


- Writers always joke about the FBI watching their browser searches, but um... turns out it's not a joke.

- The incomparable Courtney Summers has combined all of her writing advice into a master post for your convenience.

- Anakana Schofield asks "why the media are so interested in herself, not her book, and why can't she be paid?"

- Jenny Bent talks about being on both ends of rejection. And hey, keep your head up: a debut novel rejected 47 times made the Booker Prize longlist.

- Kat Stoeffel at NYMag announces that the Manic Pixie Dream Girl has died. She was allegedly 6 years old.

- The BFF sent this article to me with the comment, "In other words, it is because of science that we are super self indulgent when writing or working hard, and probably trying to resist the snacks would be a waste of precious energy (that last part I made up, but whatever, it sounds true)."

- "It’s helped me cut through the static in a lot of cases—finding the core of a scene or chapter quicker and with more ease," says playwright Stephen Spotswood of taking a look at the quantity, not quality, of his work.

- JJ at Pub(lishing) Crawl discusses the importance of womance.

- I'm just going to plunk down this entire Sarah McCarry quote and trust you to click over for the rest.
"We don’t make those demands of 'literary' writers or 'adult' writers—nobody is like, 'I am concerned that middle-aged middle-class white men who read Freedom will en masse become really unlikeable philanderers'—and marketing categories don’t necessarily reflect the actual readership of books. Even if they did, I think it’s doing teenagers (teenage girls in particular) a serious disservice to assume they are malleable enough to fall under the sway of any media they absorb until some magical and indeterminate cutoff age, when they can safely read books for grownups without being irrevocably damaged."


- In honor of JK Rowling's birthday, Buzzfeed put together 28 things that happened after Harry Potter ended and shut up I'm not crying it's raining on my face. (It's the Fred and Angelina picture, okay? NOT OKAY.)

- Related: JKR is donating the profits from The Cuckoo's Calling to charity. Her legal firm will also be contributing.

- Buzzfeed also has a list of 25 YA books for adults who don't read YA, and 19 book cover cliches (compare to the 15 most over-used movie poster cliches, created by this guy). Also, check out this collection of comps that finally led to Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone cover.

- Forever Young Adult makes their picks for the Literary Mysterious Loner Dude Hall of Fame.

- An extremely awkward interview on Fox News has greatly helped sales of Reza Aslan's biography of Jesus.

- Kimberly Francisco at Stacked looks at Finnikin of the Rock and people who like it because it's "not real fantasy."

- "What is it about YA that makes this particular type of character—one surrounded by bad attitudes, working to see past them, very real, very embodied—so untenable?" asks Dustin Kurtz at Melville House.

- “A book is like sausage,” says Laurie Halse Anderson in a NYT article about meeting literary heroes. “You love the end product, but you don’t really want to know how it’s made.”

- Next time someone trash talks YA, make them take this quiz: "Can you tell when authors are writing for children?" (via Miriam Newman)

- The London Fire Brigade reports an increase in handcuff rescue calls, and thinks 50 Shades is to blame.


- How do you get back in the query trenches after splitting with your agent? Dahlia Adler has tips.

- Lydia Sharp shares 3 things agents ask during "the call" -- and 3 things they don't.

- Afraid you're too shy to do book events? Nova Ren Suma gives tips for overcoming your fear of public speaking.

- YA may be perceived as female-dominated, but its movie adaptations are almost exclusively directed by men.

- BoingBoing reports that Penguin's policy on electronic galleys for authors is "insane."

- Indie publishing has a major problem with plagiarism, of other indies as well as traditionally published and fanfic writers.

- Susan Denard has a delightfully snarky plea to readers: Please stop pirating books.

- There was some kerfuffle about Amazon "declaring war" on publishing, but it turns out it was Overstock's fault and Twitter was weirdly gleeful that Shelf Awareness was embarrassed. At least that's what appeared to be happening. IDK. But Futurebook points out that Amazon wages war on everybody, not just publishing.


- Lindy West says it's time to stop ignoring the trolls and start feeding them until they explode.

- Ever wonder what those spammy-looking ads actually link to? Slate finds out.

- How do you get verified on Twitter? Is it somehow virtuous to turn it down?

- NPR's Scott Simon used Twitter to chronicle his mother's last days, and it is a fantastic reminder of the good that social media can serve.

- PR LOSE: Gawker vs Black Twitter. (Bonus example.)

- PR WIN: The Chicago Tribune editors that accidentally posted a test cat.


- Apparently Smurfs 2 is even worse than expected -- which is saying a lot.

- More than 20 teachers and administrators in Clarksville, Arkansas school will be carrying concealed weapons this year.

- Kendra James at Racialicious shares five things she learned at ComicCon (and did you know there's an assistance program to help POC attend SFF cons?) Meanwhile The Mary Sue wants to know: Where exactly is ComicCon's anti-harassment policy?

- Mallory Ortberg is on fire lately, examining "Which Girl Is Not Like The Rest?" in rock songs, and "What the Posters In Your First Apartment Say About You."

- British police arrested a man for making rape threats on Twitter, since Twitter won't do anything about it. (Also from England: A big blue cock has been erected in Trafalgar Square. Take that, historical phallic symbols.)

- Heart-wrenching post at xoJane: Kara Carano, a 34-year-old woman, just found out she's actually a man.

- A couple of interesting posts about daughters this week: Catherine Newman does not want her daughter to be nice, and Sarah Koppelkam discussed how to talk to daughters about their bodies, which is important since by age 13, 53% of girls dislike their bodies.

- Should you marry a Disney prince? Chelsea Fagan breaks down your options.


Aubrey Plaza as Daria. Please let this become a real thing.

I'm pretty sure this stands without comment from me. (Except for fierce. My comment is: "Fierce.")

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. Wow, love all these links!

    The tumblr link to strong YA books made into movies directed by white men--definitely something to consider as a whole. Though I know that The Giver, while directed by a while male, the production company that optioned the film rights is ToniK Productions which is run by two women (one of whom is Spike Lee's wife, who is a woman of color). The have several YA and MG products in progress with diverse characters and actors. I think diversity in Hollywood is still miles behind where it should be, but sometimes lists like this overlook aspects like production which may have a more diverse component.

    I've heard there was controversy with the Twilight films, rumors that Catherine Hardwicke was replaced for New Moon against her wishes, but I have no idea if that's true. It would have been cool if a woman directed that whole series, but even Harry Potter changed directors several times. The fact that Catherine Hardwicke is only of the only female directors I can pull out of my brain in an instant is pretty sad. I mean, Penny Marshall isn't directing anymore...

    1. Breaking down all those other aspects re. YA movies would make a really interesting infographic. It'd especially be interesting, I think, to see how many female-penned books were screenwritten by males.

  2. Another fantastic collection! Thank you for working so hard to make sure we have such great links to read! I've just added many of them to my reading list and am about to go make my way through them. Better hurry, though, since it's almost Friday again.


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: August 2, 2013 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart