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Field Trip Friday: April 25, 2014


Conversations about diversity and representation continued this week, spurred in part by the announcement that John Green would be joining the very white BookCon lineup, as well as Rachel Renee Russell's tweets that BookCon offered her a spot on the "kidlit rock star" panel  -- but only as a pre-scripted moderator. Book Riot's Rebecca Joines Schinsky says that readers deserve better than BookCon, and Minh Le put together her dream kidlit panel in response.

Readers were less than impressed with a Slate article about the romance novels women "should" be reading, as well as a Times of London article claiming boys don't read because the publishing industry is dominated by female gatekeepers. Roxane Gay addresses the problem with those lists existing at all, and librarian Tasha Saecker has no patience for boys, reading, and misogynistic crap.

Elsewhere, editor Yolanda Scott shared some of the embarrassing mistakes she's made editing books by POC, and Strange Horizons hosts a roundtable on inclusive reviewing.  Malinda Lo discussed white writers writing POC and wanting the blessing of the same. Our own Sumayyah Daud explained that underrepresented groups don't need to be spoken for, and Preeti Chhibber says representation is important, but so is authenticity. And in explanation of why mascots matter, Migizi Pensoneau discusses how the internet has made it possible that "Native Americans can, for the first time ever, tell authentic, diverse stories to a global audience without being vetted, tampered with, or Indianed up."


- Corinne Duyvis examines the ways we define disability, in literature and in life.

- In an AMA, Gillian Flynn reveals she treats writing like a 9-5 job -- including the requisite time wasting.

- Jane Lebak talks about the incremental efforts required to build a craft, a book, and a career.

- Slate has a fascinating look at an editing letter sent to Laura Ingalls Wilder by her daughter and collaborator, Rose Wilder Lane.

- Joanna Volpe shares her top three "awesome manuscript indicators."

- Her website has long been a great writing resource, but now Beth Revis is offering an e-book version on Wattpad!


- Brain Pickings features Letters to Judy, a collection of letters from readers to Judy Blume.

- Gabriel Garcia Marquez left behind an unpublished manuscript that may or may not be released.

- Modesto schools plan to cut most of their elementary school librarians, replacing "library instruction time" with "computer technical instruction from a credentialed teacher" -- so that kids can succeed in standardized testing.

- Maggie Stiefvater released the title and cover of the next book in the Raven Boys series.

- If you're going to do a Harry Potter-themed wedding, you might as well go all out.

- Movie news: There will be a third Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie, Stephenie Meyers's production company has optioned Mindy McGinnis's Not a Drop to Drink for film, and Jem and the Holograms is going to be a live action movie with Aubrey Peeples as star. You might need this Jem fashion guide while you wait.

- Congratulations to Sara Farizan, who won the Edmund White Prize for Debut Fiction and the Ferro–Grumley Award (via Sara Zarr) and to Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the 2014 Empire State Award!


- "[R]emember that every time we open a manuscript, we are full of hope that we will fall in love," says editor Jordan Hamessley London.

- Result Source Inc., the company that helps authors buy their way onto the NYT list, is quietly disappearing from the internet. (via Mallory Ortberg)

- Sarah Nicolas explains how to host a Facebook party while using a pseudonym.

- Almost 70 agents and editors turned up for the League of Assistant Editors "speed dating" event.

- Congratulations to John Green for his inclusion in the TIME's 100 Most Influential People list! The announcement has not been without controversy, as Shailene Woodley's description called John a "prophet," which didn't go over well with a lot of folks. (For his part, John says he is no prophet... but he is the guy that recently tried to wax his chin.)


- After her book was placed on a "slut shelf" at Goodreads, Alexandra Duncan decided to hold a Slutshelf Giveaway, with books to be won and donations going to the Freedom to Read foundation. eta: There is also discussion about whether Speak should have been included and the reclamation of hurtful words.

- Stacked is celebrating their 5 year anniversary with a 14 book giveaway!


Lupita Nyong'o graces the cover of People's 50 Most Beautiful People, but Laverne Cox didn't get the spot she deserved in TIME's 100 list.

- As if it's not bad enough that Game of Thrones changed a consensual sex scene into an onscreen rape, it turns out they didn't even know that's what they'd done. (It definitely didn't follow this "leaked original" script.)

- Brown University is letting a rapist re-enroll after a one semester suspension.

The new Kitestring app hopes to prevent assaults.

- Mallory Ortberg presents "Suffragettes Who Sucked," an important historical reminder about the intersection of feminism and white supremacy. Meanwhile Code Switch rounded up this 1972 McDonald's advertising campaign, in which McD's is "deeply concerned with black folks getting down. (Excuse us: gettin' down.)"

- The Quileute Tribe is suing a manufacturer over Twilight merchandise branded with their name, and an Emory University study shows that (surprise) having a "Native" mascot costs an organization money(via Adrienne Keene)

- In the wake of the murder of a Canadian teen with autism, Zita Dube-Lockhart points out how the media normalizes violence toward people with disabilities and dangerously erases them from their own stories.

- The WaPo interviews a professional internet troll.

- Actor Daniel Franzese wrote an amazing coming out letter to his character in "Mean Girls."

- Which university has the highest graduation rate in your state? (via my alma mater, which wins Arkansas, dubious though the honor may be at just 72%.)

- This week in rad teens:

- Just read this: High School Is Forever, by Sara Benincasa (via Stephanie Perkins)


Avery Monson combines weird Vines with weird emojis.

Finally, the Buzzfeed quiz we've all been waiting for: How much do you hate people? (I got... a lot.)

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: April 25, 2014 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart