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Field Trip Friday: June 6, 2014


Someone at Slate wrote something asinine about how we should all feel guilty for reading YA (wow, how original and groundbreaking), then straight up trolled from her own Twitter account like the very mature adult I'm sure she is. Lauren DeStefano managed to get a #PromoteAYAInstead hashtag trending in response (see also: shots fired).  I'm sure Slate is grateful for the traffic and won't write another crappy article about YA for at least... 24 hours, because The Fault In Our Stars is setting records for ticket sales and we wouldn't want to pass up a cash cow of Nerdfighter hits, now would we?

Meanwhile we also learned this week that female authors depend on their husbands for success (and "journalism" depends on clickbait). (Link does not give the site traffic but the comments are amazing.) 

TL;DR: Bless Linda Holmes for her piece about the Book Girls that will inherit the earth, and don't apologize for things you like.

Sherman Alexie and Stephen Colbert joined forces to #CutDownTheAmazon this week, as the company's dispute with Hachette continues. Alexie isn't the only big name author condemning Amazon -- John Green spoke out (despite being published with Penguin), as did James Patterson and Malcolm Gladwell, and Malinda Lo has a list of alternate store options. Bob Kohn at the NYT says "[U]nless Amazon backs down... publishers will have no choice but to employ their own nuclear option: pull all their books from Amazon." But this week's round of layoffs at Hachette are said to be unrelated.


- Business Insider has 6 subtle ways you can be more productive. (via Sarah LaPolla)

- Rejection is part of the writing life, and Kelly Ford shares some coping rituals. (via Nova Ren Suma)

- "We don’t have to choose between good stories and social, moral engagement," says Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew. (via Mitali Perkins)

- "The storytelling process ends up feeling to me like swimming from buoy to buoy, with each 'buoy' being a story beat I have to reach." YALSA asks Laini Taylor about writing, life, and what advice she would give her teenage self.


- Judy Blume says parents worry too much about what kids read, while Brain Pickings has part 2 of their feature on the book Letters to Judy, this time focusing on questions she received about masturbation.

- George R. R. Martin's editor hints there will be an eighth book in the series.

- Teen Librarian Toolbox has a defense of Reading Rainbow and complex thinking; Levar Burton himself calls some of the criticisms of the program's reboot "bullshit. That's right. I said it. Bullshit."

- Paula Stokes asks readers to think before they steal books.

- It's hard to define, but the ladies at Stacked have a collection of YA magical realism.

- "Many kids grew up with Harry Potter; I grew up because of him," says Jessica Khoury.

- "How Not to Review Women's Writing," courtesy of Mallory Ortberg (who also wrote about how to talk gender theory with babies. I cackled).

- Check out the periodic table of Epic Reads!

- Hey remember how YA is vapid and we should be embarrassed and blah blah: I guess someone forgot to tell protesters in Bangkok, who have adopted the 'Hunger Games' salute in their anti-coup flash mobs.

- Congratulations to this year's winners of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards!


Highwayers Sarah Enni
and Veronica Roth take
a break during BEA.
BEA came and went for another year, with a successful panel for the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign (which announced several future initiatives, including a Children’s Literature Diversity Festival, to be held in D.C. in 2016). You can listen to their panel on Soundcloud; Veronica Roth's conversation with Alex London and her panel with authors Alaya Dawn Johnson, Danielle Paige, and Marie Lu are available on YouTube, and YA Interrobang has an overview of the entire event.

Plans are already in the works for next year's Expo: "Upon learning that BEA/BookCon will run from Thursday to Sunday, a publicist said, 'my head is going to explode.'” (via Rachel Stark) But don't worry: Forever Young Adult has a survival guide for newbies.

- Janet Reid explains how to handle a complicated publishing history when querying a new agent.

- Do men receive bigger advances than women? Jane Friedman investigates.

- M. C. Rogerson sent us Elizabeth Wein's account of her first "stock signing tour."

- "If you’re looking for someone to tell you that publishing is easy, that everyone is publishable, or that your manuscript is great exactly how it is, you can stop reading now." Author and editor Jennifer Adams offers advice about publishing a children's book.

- FastCompany profiles In This Together Media, whose mission is "offering more diverse, realistic, unwhitewashed representations of kids, especially girls, in YA and middle-grade literature."

- Usborne Books will officially stop producing books with "for girls" or "for boys" in the title.

- What's an R&R? Is revise and resubmit worth it? Jennifer Laughran has the answers.


- 3 people were injured and 1 killed in Thursday's school shooting at Seattle Pacific University.

- "Your music has been uplifting across all cultures around the world – but there is nothing uplifting about your cover with Elle," says Megan Red Shirt-Shaw, in her open letter to Pharrell.

- Three Georgia high school athletes were immediately investigated and will likely face rape charges after a post-prom party. As noted in the comments, it's ridiculous that an assault being handled well is noteworthy, but here we are.

- A couple of lovely pieces about relationships: "Erotic Friendship" by Christa Desir, and "You and I Are a Miracle" by Brytani (via Katherine Locke).

- The rumors are true! Lupita Nyong'o has been cast in Star Wars Episode VII, alongside Gwendoline Christie.

- This 23-year-old woman is making the NYT crossword puzzle cool. (via Vicki Lame)


Courtesy of your friend and mine, Rick Lipman:

You guys are subscribed to Epic Reads, right? Right??

I kept seeing this "Michael Jackson on beer bottles" link and assumed it meant his image was being used on labels and we should all lament capitalism's lack of respect for the dead. Turns out I was needlessly cynical. In this case, anyway.

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. I suspect I won't be the only 47 year-old man crying in a movie theatre this weekend. Though I was probalby the only one crying on I-75 in SE Michigan yesterday when my audio version of Moon Over Manifest hit the end. I'm sorry, I thought YA was a genre, not an Easy Reader category. I suspect the writer of that column is always certain to have the latest award winning literary novels gracing her coffee table. Nothing against literary, I read a couple a year, but sometimes I like a plot and an ending, preferably a satisfactory one. Andohbytheway, since when are all YA endings "neat." What was neat and tidy about the end of TFIOS? Satisfactory, yes, which (shockingly) most readers of any genre prefer. If I want to be left hanging with nothing but loose ends, I'll watch C-span. Hmm...maybe my post is too long for YA readers and writers to comprehend. Let me sum it up: Don't be a book snob. I'll put the talent of YA writers and intelligence of YA readers up against the best of any genre any day.

    End rant.


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: June 6, 2014 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart