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Field Trip Friday: August 23, 2013


Barnes & Noble and Simon & Schuster finally reached an agreement, hurrah!

Elmore Leonard passed away on Tuesday, a week after having a stroke. Lots of sites reposted his well-known list of writing advice, which The Onion used masterfully in their obituary.

Lots of talk about the pros and cons of working with a small press. It started with a Reddit post from Beth Revis (which clearly says "First and foremost: not all small presses are bad" at the beginning), but there was a flurry of Twitter talk about it, not all friendly. Elsewhere, Foreword Literary listed several of their favorite small presses, and Agent Michelle Witte did the same, while Author Terri Bruce shared her litigious dispute with Eternal Press. Jennifer Armentrout wrote about the stigma attached to even legitimate small presses, and agent Jennifer Laughran rounded out the discussion by pointing out: there is no perfect publisher.


- Editor Cheryl Klein offers a straightforward technique to make your writing more immediate and effective.

- "I was so excited…right up until I wasn’t." Jessica Spotswood on shiny new ideas and how not to kill them.

- Cameron Pierce lists 9 ways to improve your author bio.

- "You possess the power to ignore the things that hurt you or confuse you or break you. You really, really do." Dahlia Adler with good advice for winning headgames.

- Carolyn Kaufman helps you protect yourself from plagiarism.

- Fear is normal and necessary for writing, says Malinda Lo.

- Screenwriter Michael Weber talks about writing realistic teenagers.

- Some great YA inspiration in this photo series: "Capturing the Human Drama at County Fairs" (via Gwenda Bond)

- Our Lady of Perpetual Awesome, Sarah Enni, has started a new "My Book in a Bar" Tumblr, and she wants your submissions!


- "[T]here are a lot of fantastic writers of all genders sneaking groundbreaking and weird and subversive and gorgeous and brilliant stuff in under the label of YA, and I do think readers and savvy reviewers are noticing," says Sarah McCarry in an xoJane interview. (Beware the comment section, which appears to be full of not-so-savvy readers and reviewers.)

- I quit covering Goodreads drama here awhile ago, but if you're interested, Slate has the latest. (It's okay, I had to look too.)

- Epic Reads lists their 15 most anticipated reads of September.

- The Guardian breaks down the origins of fanfiction, pointing out that even the Gospels meet the criteria. (Bible AU -- drama/angst, all human, canon pairings, incomplete.)

- Can you match the quote to the title? The Christian Science Monitor has a pretty solid quiz for YA fans.

- Scientific American has a response to last week's popular "I Hate Strong Female Characters" post.

- Ack, LitReactor has 7 horrifying ailments named after literary characters.


- "Teenage-ness is a phenomenon. Asking ‘what do teens like to read?’ is a fool’s errand; it’s like asking ‘what do adults like to read?’" says Carolrhoda Editorial Director Andrew Karre. In a follow up, he expands on his comments regarding genre with "Do I even need to say that the market doesn’t give a shit what I think about how YA works as art or rhetoric?"

- Summer Heacock has your guide to connecting with agents (hint: don't buy them candy) and Jenny Bent gives tips on successful conference schmoozing.

- Sweetwater Books, a division of Cedar Fort Publishing & Media, cancels publication of a YA novel rather than let an author acknowledge his partner in his bio.

- "Whether or not you have an agent, you should know how your business works," says Joanna Volpe, who kicks off "The Importance of Educating Yourself" series with a guide to reading your royalty statement.

- It's hard to publish a book, but A. S. King says your most important job is to know the rules of the game before you start.

- Barnes and Noble continues to gather trainwreck speed this week and Jane Litte has a good summary.

- Alex Croley at PW asks, "Why are we still not bundling e-books?"

- Amazon Publishing secured a license for Vonnegut fanfiction. Nothing in that sentence is wrong and yet it is.

- Big business this week: Jill Corcoran announces the opening of her eponymous literary agency, and authors Veronica Rossi and Lorin Oberweger launch their new "literary development studio." Congrats, ladies!


- Trailers galore: Check out The Book Thief, The Spectacular Now, How I Live Now, and get a first look at Divergent on the MTV Video Music Awards this weekend!

- The Mortal Instruments opens this week, and Vulture has your guide.

- Kara Taylor, author of Prep School Confidential, is teaming up with Rashida Jones to write a TV series!

- Congrats to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries for their Interactive Media Emmy!


- The Class of 2K14 is having a Back-to-School Giveaway for teachers and librarians: a 20-minute Skype session with one of their authors for your classroom or book group!

- Last day to enter our giant anniversary giveaway!


- Two teens in my grandparents' Oklahoma town gunned down a college student "because they were bored."

- Toronto police won't investigate the mysterious deaths of 3 Native women.

- Mashable hosted an op-ed from Ruby Karp: "I'm 13 and None of My Friends Use Facebook."

- Which celebrity personality matches yours? (I got Hermione, shockingly.) (via Christina McTighe)


People, can we NOT: Dentist seeks to clone John Lennon using DNA from the Beatles member's tooth.

Jessica Saia puts the "dude" in updo: Guys with Fancy Lady Hair.

Which state is the drunkest? Ugliest? Should get kicked out? Business Insider maps the important data.

Ben Affleck is the new BatmanThe internet was not pleased.

And just in case you missed it: the most badass librarians ever.

Happy Friday!

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: August 23, 2013 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart