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Field Trip Friday: January 24, 2014


- Lots of posts this week about the challenges of a writing career. Kameron Hurley "On Persistence" is a sobering look at the realities of the business, and Saundra Mitchell's response "This is Not the End, It's the Middle" is similarly honest. Alyssa Day shares her experiences as a writer with depression, Kaye M. is starting a site specifically for writers dealing with depression and anxiety, and Sarah McCarry kicks off her writers and depression series with a stellar conversation between herself and Mairead Case.

- BuzzFeed has two surprisingly good articles about writing this week: Rafe Posey explains how to write about transgender people, while Daniel José Older lists 12 fundamentals of writing "the other."

- Vanessa Willoughby is at The Toast with "Writing While Black and Female."

- Well-rounded Asian characters matter -- Estelle Tang at Salon examines a few examples (and a few failures).

- Maya Rock has tips for writers switching from adult to YA.

- Researchers say the Jahai language names odors with the same specificity English reserves for colors. (via Holly Black)

- "Thanks for the fan service, but what about the story?" asks Kelly Lawler at NPR.


- True story: Steinbeck used Sanora Babb's notes to write The Grapes of Wrath -- which killed the publication of her own novel on the subject .

- Youth Services Corner rounds up the results of all the Mock Printz events.

- Dahlia Adler is over at the Barnes and Noble blog, recommending 7 great YA travel books (including titles by two Highwayers!).

- Teen Vogue picks the 15 YA novels they're most excited about this year.

- Choire Sicha argues that the internet kills -- and saves -- book culture.

- Book Riot shares the results of their "Favorite Authors of Color" poll.

- Congrats to the winners of YA Books Central's Choice Awards and Epic Reads' Book Shimmy Awards, as well to Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman, whose book These Broken Stars is going to television!

- LA's Skylight Books is hosting a tribute to late author Ned Vizzini (via Alessandra Balzar).


- Agent Emily Keyes warns that you should always keep your (contract) options open.

- A survey reveals most authors earn less than $1000 per year.

- Harriet Power sent us her post that takes issue with Bookcareers' contention that writers shouldn't work in publishing.

- Erin Bowman helps you make the most of social networking, and Jemi Frasier offers tips for Twitter etiquette (via Sara Megibow).


- High school junior Marion Mayer is taking a stand against her school's dress code.

- Turns out a 17-year-old was behind the Target and Neiman Marcus credit card hacks. But hey, keep arguing that a teen character could never take down a government. I'm sure you'll never be proven wrong.

- Ottawa officials were forced to turn over reports of electric chair use at a Native boarding school that was open until 1976. (via Lauren Chief Elk)

- Tori Jane reveals 6 shocking realities of "troubled teen" camps.

- I cannot gather words to describe this link regarding the Justice Department's investigation of Missoula, MT, the "rape capital' of the country.

- Styleite rounds up the 8 best responses to the "nontroversy" of Jezebel and Lena Dunham's Vogue shoot, and The Wire explains why the issue was ridiculous in the first place (via Ashlie Atkinson).

- In academia, as in publishing, the odds are never in your favor. (Also, it could be worse. You could have cat pee on your manuscript and no copy machines. Or bleach, for that matter.)

- I know I linked to some articles last week about Lisa Bonchek Adams and criticism of her tweeting about having cancer, but Linda Holmes pretty well knocks it out of the park:
Traditional publishing applies a sort of Presumption Of Importance to personal writing. It presumes you would not write about your experiences unless you wanted to advocate for your way as the right way, because in traditional publishing, the ideal is that space is limited, so editorial judgment filters only the most important and most special experiences into personal essays. Thus, it's very difficult for traditional publishers to believe that you might tweet about your experience simply for the benefit of those who may find it useful without particularly believing in your own exceptionalism.


Buzzfeed is apparently expanding from lists to quizzes, which means this week you can find out what fictional city you should live in (I got Rivendell). which college you should have gone to (Northwestern), which decade you belong in (90s), which Hogwarts house you belong to (Gryffindor), how good you are at recognizing the opening lines of novels (12/17), and a number of other questions that I'm not so sure you need the answers to.

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: January 24, 2014 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart