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Field Trip Friday: March 14, 2014


- Soooo much good discussion this week about unlikable characters (oh my heart, it attempts a cold, lifeless flutter). Sarah McCarry kicks off Stacked's "About the Girls" series with "The Unlikable Female Protagonist: A Field Guide to Identification in the Wild," followed by Justina Ireland's "I love 'unlikable,' I write 'unlikable,' and I am 'unlikable,'" while on Tumblr, Lauren Bates reflects on "The Difference between Unlikable Characters and Characters You Just Don’t Like."

- Fantastic post from Victoria Marini on developing secondary characters. (via Sarah LaPolla)

- The Amtrak residency is turning out to be kind of a bummer.

- "We share the highlight reel, not the reality." Kat Howard on the hard stuff and gratitude. (via Le R, I think)

- Alison Cherry has great suggestions for relationships that show something besides "happily ever after."

- "Voldemort, Mordor, Moriarty" — James Harbeck explores "literature's most sinister syllable."

- Justina Ireland says writing about diversity is harder than she expected.

- "How will you find the time?" Victoria Schwab on making time and complicating life on purpose.

- Characters with disabilities don't need a cure, magical or otherwise. Marieke Nijkamp helps you avoid this trope.

- "That would be the greatest legacy I could possibly stamp upon this earth, if people just read my books and remembered them, and really didn’t care what I looked like or how funny I was on twitter." Lauren DeStefano discusses the author's urge to wipe one's existence off the internet.

- Having trouble writing? Coleson Whitehead has the solution: the LitMode 100.


- Nicholas Schiller has a message for his fellow white librarians, regarding ALA's refusal to move their annual conference out of Florida and the Black Caucus of the American Library Association's protest.

- Karen Jensen explains how you can participate in the Sexual Violence in YA Lit (#SVYALit) project.

- Shae M. sent us her post analyzing recent fantasy and sci fi attitudes toward race and civil rights, and Beth Revis looks at ways sci fi can fight xenophobia.

- Ellen Grafton shares how a John Green signing helped her get over a breakup. Meanwhile, a Colorado teacher is fighting to keep two of his books from being banned in her class.

Anne Rice is writing another Lestat novelKeith Richards is writing a children's book. Up is down. Left is right. Cats and dogs, living together. IDEK.

- It's allllmost Divergent time and there's lots of fun stuff to get you through the final stretch. The soundtrack is now streaming online. Shailene Woodley said Veronica Roth makes her proud (us too!). The actress also made headlines for hugging people (?) and weighing in on Twilight (so I think the entire world has now officially shared their opinion can we talk about something else), Theo James surprised fans in Austin, and the cast shared their personal fear landscapes. Apparently the franchise (plus books by Marie Lu, Lisa McMann, Pierce Brown, and god forbid we not mention Suzanne Collins in a Divergent article) are "turning standardized tests into villains," and ThinkProgress has "three lessons YA series can learn from Divergent" (with more Twilight comparisons b/c twilight twilight twilight hunger twigamesliiiiiiiiiight).


- Ellen Oh discusses lady-on-lady sexism in the publishing world (with more discussion in the comments).

- If we want diversity, we need to include multicultural authors in our conferences -- and go to those sessions, says Meg Medina.

A leading children’s publisher insists gender-specific children's books are easier to sell (with no apparent awareness of why that is or how we can change it).

- Sarah Pinneo says non-Amazon ebook markers are growing, and authors need to be linking to them.

- Want to be an agent's dream client? Chuch Sambuchino has tips.

- David Gaughran says Publishers Weekly is ignoring the real scandal at the LA Times Festival of Books.

- Suzie Townsend walks you through the submission process from an agent's perspective.

- Editors do a lot more than just fixing typos, at The Guardian. (Stretch reptile warnings are a service I provide for the BFF, just in case she's reading, so please be advised: There is also a giant snake picture in the margin.)


- io9 defends those of us who "talk funny," and Slate has your back if you can't even.

- Many are protesting the casting of a white actress as Tiger Lily in the new Peter Pan movie, which is particularly exhausting on the tails of Christina Fallin, daughter of Oklahoma governor Mary Fallin, donning a headdress and titling it "Appropriate Culturation."

- Andromeda Turre has a PSA: "'What are you?' Is Not an Icebreaker." (via Faye Mong)

- I can't remember who tweeted this essay (sorry!), which is worth a read: "You are a 14-year-old Arab chick who just moved to Texas."

- Teen Librarian Toolbox explains why talking about the age of consent matters.

- A 15-year-old African-American student was suspended for holding up 3 fingers -- 3 being his jersey number.

- A clothing company decided to use female PhDs instead of professional models.

- Talon Ducheneaux explains how Native-themed mascots and disrespect toward her culture counteracts her university's commitment to students' mental health. (via Adrienne Keene) Also university-related: a Dartmouth student was assaulted after a website "rape guide" targeted her. (via Christa Desir)

- Kamreon Hurley lays it down in "Rage Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum, or: Understanding the Complex Continuum of Internet Butt-Hurt*."

- Jennifer Lawrence took her best friend to the Oscars and it was about as weird as you'd expect.


Life on the Midlist. No explanation needed.

If you're feeling particularly masochistic, check out this collection of ridiculously sexist vintage ads.

Best headline of the week: "Vicious Pet Cat Traps Oregon Couple, Who Call 911."

Turns out you can put Benny Hill over anything (here: ravers dancing) and it's hilarious.

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: March 14, 2014 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart