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Field Trip Friday: September 26, 2014


Wow. Another great and crappy week to be a woman on the internet.

Edward Champion, a book blogger with a less than stellar reputation for harassing female writers, got his Twitter account suspended last night after threatening a woman who deleted one of his Facebook comments. The Daily Dot has a summary, as does The Daily Beast.

Articles at SLJ and the NYT spurred some great reaction pieces.  "While I suspect that rumors of the decline in influence of the straight white male have been greatly exaggerated, I personally cannot imagine any subject less interesting for a work of art," says Sarah McCarry, and Anne Ursu knocks it out of the park with her essay "On Poisoned Apples, the 'Great YA Debate,' and the Death of the Patriarchy." Damien Walter at the Guardian says, "Young adult fiction is loved because it speaks to us all – unlike adult stories." Kate Messner reaffirms that there are many ways to tell a story, and Kurtis Scaletta encourages us to abandon terms like "spunky" and "feisty," in favor of "just let[ting] these girls exist in their stories and accept them on their own terms."

Not in reaction, but thematically related: Karen Abbott and Alexis Coe look at the ways white male reviewers often fail novels written by women, Linda Holmes explains the importance of "little stories" about beauty, and Robin Wasserman reviews two novels that "remind us that judgment and expectation are slyly effective ways to discipline and punish — that we don’t need locked doors and chains to coax girls into silence."

Meanwhile PW's annual survey reveals that women are still making way less than men in publishing, despite accounting for 74% of the workforce, and 39% of publishing denies or is ambivalent about the industry's diversity issues. So that's ... great. (If you need cheering up, I recommend Sarah Marshall's "How to Tell You're in a MFA Workshop Story" or the "Guy In Your MFA" twitter feed.)


- ABA shares A. S. King's lovely speech about writing, independent booksellers, and community.

- Nicole Baart discusses the importance of learning to take a compliment well.

- Everybody has their lofty goals, but Mark Manson says the questions "What pain do you want in your life?" and "What are you willing to struggle for?" are more important. (via Tess Jordan)

- Zoë Marriott examines the ways films fail their female characters.

- Claire Kirch profiles the close-knit community of YA authors in Utah. (via Sara Zarr)

- A study says serif fonts make your writing more persuasive.

- Amtrack announced the winners of its Writers Residency contest.

- "I think we’re better served by telling true stories of women and trusting men and women to see the humanity in them than to write stories about Wonder Woman or to pedestal-ize or romanticize the female condition." Dessa Darling on storytelling and strong women.


- It's Banned Books Week once again. The Fault In Our Stars has been removed from a California school district; John is pretty broken up about his lost opportunity to crush dreams. Kelly Jensen argues against the idea of "celebrating" the week, pointing out that "[T]here’s a fine line between celebrating banned books week and marketing books because they’ve been censored," and this shouldn't be "a week about profits or how to sell these banned books." Meanwhile Julia Pugachevsky wonders what banned books would look like if they were made "appropriate" (complete with cool cover slidey action) and the HuffPo maps which states see the most book challenges. (via Sarah Harian)

- Research says your e-reader brain and your paper-reader brain are not the same. (via Vicki Lame)

- Teen Librarian Toolbox looks at consent, coercion, and when yes doesn't really mean yes in YA.

- "The first gay person I ever met was a character in a book," says I. W. Gregorio in her PEN piece about the need for diverse LGBTQI books.

- Nicole Brinkley puts together a master list of YA book blogs on Tumblr.

- "10 Lessons From Real-Life Revolutions That Fictional Dystopias Ignore," from Esther Inglis-Arkell.

- BookLust hosts #Diversiverse, a "linkstravaganza" of diverse book reviews.

- Valerie Strauss says Common Core's recommended books are failing children of color.

- Elizabeth Bluemle rounds up "The Stars So Far," listing which books have received at least one starred review from a major outlet. (I spy our girl Steph Kuehn!)

- Lyn Miller-Lachmann explains the Cybils Awards and how you can get involved.

- Random House suggests seven literary Halloween costumes.

- Who said it, Katniss or Hermione? Also, is this Christian Harry Potter fanfic for real?


- Universal and Penguin Random House sign a two-year first look agreement. (via Bridget Smith)

- YA sales are up another 30% this year. (via Annie Stone)

- Nathan W. Pyle dissects how his Reddit post became a NYT bestseller. (via Amy Rosenbaum)

- Great insights into marketing and social media for writers in Rachel Fershleiser's First Draft podcast interview with Sarah Enni.

- PW looks at the borderline genius meta-marketing for (and within) Rebecca Serle's new series.


- This week in continued "wow isn't it great to be female":

- Feminism's future is not up to white women, says Salon's Brittney Cooper.

- An unarmed 14-year-old boy was shot and killed by a Louisiana deputy this week; the Feds plan to investigate the killing of John Crawford III after a grand jury's decision not to indict the officers involved, and things are heating up again in Ferguson -- Alderman Antonio French's feed is a good place to start.

- Big week for #ChangeTheName proponents: The Daily Show's piece about Washington fans and Native activists aired Thursday, after a delay caused by the pro-team guests (covered... oddly, at best, by the press, though Ryan RedCorn of the 1491s did get a nice write up in the Kansan about using humor to change minds.) Law professor John Banzhaf III is taking a new approach by appealing straight to the FCC, and the WaPo spoke out in defense of Neshaminy High School students who have been punished for refusing to use the R-word. Meanwhile Elissa Washuta wrote a killer essay at Buzzfeed, reminding everyone that "Just because you’re curious about my ancestry, my beliefs, and my experiences doesn’t mean I owe you answers."

- A mother reflects on a stolen video of her daughter going viral. (via Kate Spencer)

- The Booklist Reader is hosting the 31 horror films in 31 days challenge.

- io9 has a guide to getting more diversity in your pop culture.

- What is Ello and should you even bother? Gizmodo has answers. (And several Highwayers have invites, if you feel the need.)


- Denver area students staged walkouts in protest of a school board proposal requiring history curricula to "present positive aspects of the nation and its heritage."

- Brazilian shoolboys wore skirts in protest after a trans girl was fined for wearing a female uniform.

- An Indian teen invented a device that can convert breath to speech. (via Alec)

- Texas football player Apollos Hester makes the motivational speech of the year.


This "Review in Doodle" for Nova Ren Suma's upcoming The Walls Around Us is amazing. (See also her review of Harry Potter.)

Josh Funk celebrates Band Books Week. Wait...

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: September 26, 2014 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart