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Field Trip Friday: The Big News of 2014

Take a scroll down memory lane and check out some of this year's biggest stories
(or take a trip further back to 2013, 2012, 2011, or 2010!)


- Kelly Jensen's revisiting of "The Reductive Approach to Contemporary YA" led to lots of interesting conversation, including a Twitter exchange with John Green.

- In YA Highway news: YA Highway joined Instagram; Sarah Enni was in attendance at ALA to cheer our girl Stephanie Kuehn, who won the William C. Morris Debut Award with her debut, Charm and Strange!


- Amtrak announced a residency program for writers.

- Susan Hanks, Debbie Reese, Teresa Runnels, and Tim Tingle collaborated on a list of the top 100 books by indigenous writers.

- Kate Brauning started the #YALoveStories hashtag.

- In the news: A study showed that diversity makes more money for Hollywood; Dylan Farrow shared her harrowing story of childhood abuse by Woody Allen; Philip Seymore Hoffman's drug overdose stunned the world.

- In YA Highway news: Kate, Kirsten, and former Highwayer Michelle Schusterman started the #sensibleYA hashtag, inspired by Carrie Mesrobian's post about separating authors from their characters; we celebrated the release of Lee (Lanie) Bross's YA debut, Fates, and Stephanie Kuehn was named to the Carnegie Medal longlist!


- Foz Meadows handily shredded one of the first anti-YA clickbait articles of the year.

- Christopher Myers looked at "The Apartheid of Children's Literature."

- Stacked hosted a fabulous "About the Girls" series, and Karen Jensen of Teen Librarian Toolbox launched the Sexual Violence in YA Literature project.

- Bloomsbury consolidated its children's imprints.

- The "Life in Publishing" Tumblr was deleted after its anonymous author was threatened with exposure for his/her pointed criticism.

Veronica Roth at the premiere of
Divergent; Debra Driza, Amy Lukavics,
Stephanie Kuehn, Kate Hart, Sarah
Enni, Kirsten Hubbard and Sumayyah
Daud in San Diego
- In the news: Sexual abuse allegations in the YouTube community spurred discussions about power dynamics and convention policies; debate also raged about the use of trigger warnings online and in the classroom; Jennifer Lawrence backlash led to examinations of "the cool girl" and manufactured rivalries.

- In YA Highway news: Kirsten Hubbard was one of Epic Reads's "19 YA Authors to Follow on Instagram;" we celebrated the sale of Stephanie Kuehn's third novel, Delicate Monsters; and seven of us gathered in San Diego for the release of Highwayer Veronica Roth's blockbuster Divergent!! We did some serious shrieking when she appeared onscreen for her cameo -- and when we found out it was the #1 movie in America!


- The announcement of an all-white, all-male BookCon panel galvanized calls for diversity and representation in kidlit and publishing. Check out "The Big News" from April 1117 and 25 for all the links.

- The VIDA count found it still pays to be male in children's literature.

- John Green was one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People.

- In the news: 200 school girls were kidnapped in Nigeria; the Heartbleed bug terrified techies; the #CancelColbert hashtag happened; we survived another April Fool's Day on the internet.

- In YA Highway news: We were named one of Writer's Digest's 101 Best Websites for Writers; Sarah Enni hung out with former Highwayer Michelle Schusterman in New York; Stephanie Kuehn appeared at the LA Times Festival of Books; we celebrated the sale of Kirsten Hubbard's next YA, Cloudforest!


- The We Need Diverse Books campaign kicked off on May 1 with a 3 day call to action.

- Kirkus announced the creation of three new literary prizes.

- Amazon and Hachette started making public comments about their lengthy standoff; Amazon and Twitter debuted AmazonCart, allowing people to buy via tweet.

Sarah Enni and Veronica Roth
in New York
- In one of many brilliant pieces this year, Anne Ursu destroyed the NYT's coining of the phrase "Greenlit" and all it implies.

- First Book pledged to buy diverse books for distribution to low-income families.

- In the news: Friend 'o the blog Kaye founded the #yesallwomen hashtag; Michael Sam became the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL; Gabourey Sidibe gave an inspirational speech at the Ms. Foundation Gala; Federal investigators released a list of 55 schools being examined for failing to handle reported cases of sexual abuse appropriately.

- In YA Highway news: Veronica Roth moderated a BookCon panel about dystopian sci fi and spoke at Romantic Times in New Orleans; we celebrated the release of Debra Driza's Renegadethe sale of Kaitlin Ward's Bleeding Earth, and the reveal of Lee (Lanie) Bross's Chaos cover!

- In the news: The US Patent Office cancelled the Washington R*****ns' trademark; protesters in Bangkok used the Hunger Games salute in their anti-coup flash mobs.

- In YA Highway news: We celebrated the release of Stephanie Kuehn's Complicit and Veronica Roth's Four, and we were happy to recognize excellent in the YA online community with our first ever YA Web Awards! Vee was named to Forbes's "100 Most Powerful Celebrities" list -- which explains why we were sad but understanding about losing her to probably-permanent hiatus. She's forever a Highwayer in our hearts!


- Amazon rolled out its Kindle Unlimited program.

- The kidlit world mourned the loss of Walter Dean Myers.

- Rather than deal with a challenge to emily danforth's The Miseducation of Cameron Post, a Delaware school board decided to kill the entire summer reading list.

- The Man Booker Prize longlist included Americans for the first time.

TR to BL: Sarah and Kate, Steph and
Phoebe, Veronica and Kirsten, Kaitlin and
Sarah, Steph and Sarah, former Highwayer
Michelle Schusterman and Sarah
- Aisha Saeed launched #RamadanReads, promoting titles with Muslim themes and encouraging the gifting of books on Eid-al-Fitr.

- World Book Night suspended full operations.

- In the news: Emma Watson became the new UN Goodwill Ambassador; the women members of the Supreme Court issued a searing dissent in the Hobby Lobby contraceptives case;

- In YA Highway news: We celebrated the sale of my book, After the Fall, to FSG; Veronica Roth made an appearance at Comic Con and wrapped up her Four Tour with former Highwayer Phoebe North in Lansing; Phoebe also got together with Stephanie Kuehn at a Hudson Valley YA Society event; we were happy to reclaim Kristin Otts as a contributor; and Sarah Enni launched her amazing podcast, First Draft with Sarah Enni!


- Malorie Blackman, the UK Children's Laureate, faced an outpouring of abuse after advocating for more diverse kidlit, while We Need Diverse Books incorporated as an official nonprofit.

- Amazon asked its KDP authors to get involved in the Hachette dispute, while 900 authors took out a full-page anti-Amazon ad in the NYT; Amazon also announced a digital imprint partnership with Alloy Entertainment.

- JK Rowling sent a letter "from Dumbledore" to the survivor of a Texas shooting, and a new study showed that kids who read Harry Potter "are more likely to show tolerance towards gay people, immigrants, and refugees."

TL to BR: Sarah and Deb at CA panel;
Sarah, Amy, and Kirsten in Arizona;
Kirsten and Sarah at the Grand Canyon;
Sarah and Deb in San Diego; Sarah and
Steph at Raiders vs Seahawks; Kristin
Otts and new husband Bryson!
- Gayle Forman's If I Stay enjoyed a $16.4 million opening weekend.

- GISHWHES irritated a lot of writers.

- In the news:  Feminist Frequency's Anita Sarkeesian was run out of her home by threats from critics outraged by her critiques of video games; after the death of Robin Williams, trolls ran his daughter off of Twitter; one of the Steubenville rapists was allowed to rejoin the high school football team; the Spurs hired Becky Hammon as the first female assistant coach in the NBA; the federal government found Rikers Island has systematically violated the civil rights of teenage boys held there; Ferguson, Missouri police killed an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, sparking protests and conflicts that continued for the rest of the year.

- In YA Highway news: Sarah Enni's epic road trip took her to the hometowns of more Highwayers and a moderating gig at a panel including Debra Driza; Kristin Otts got married!


- Not the greatest month to be a woman on the internet. Check out the Big News from September 26 and October 3 for details.

- A PW survey revealed women still make far less than men in publishing.

- Banned Books Week came with the usual banning attempts, and Kelly Jensen made the case for why "celebrating" is the wrong approach while Malinda Lo's analysis showed that "diverse books are disproportionately targeted for book challenges and censorship."

- YA sales were up 30%.

- The NYT "revamped" its bestseller lists.

- Margaret Atwood announced her next book won't be available for 100 years.

- In the news: Emma Watson delivered a fabulous pro-feminism speech at the UN; a Texas Appeals Court said upskirt photos are legal under the First Amendment; the NYT called Shonda Rhimes an "angry black woman;" nude photographs of Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and other female celebrities were stolen and circulated; Tumblr, Netflix, and more staged internet slowdowns to support net neutrality; high school students were punished for refusing to use a racial slur; a grand jury failed to indict the police officers who killed John Crawford III, an unarmed black man; a black cosplayer was killed by police because he was carrying a sword, and GamerGate happened.

Sarah Enni and Kristin Halbrook enjoy a Sounders game in Seattle.
- In YA Highway news: We were happy to announce the sale of Lee Bross's debut New Adult, Wish Right Now, and to reveal the cover of Kirsten Hubbard's upcoming Middle Grade, Watch the Sky!


- Author Kathleen Hale admitted to stalking a Goodreads critic.

- Egmont Publishing announced it will be selling its US branch.

- John Grisham made some reprehensible comments about child p0rnography, sparking this brilliant response from Anne Ursu.

- A tourist got locked inside Waterstones and escaped with the help of Twitter.

- We Need Diverse Books announced a new grant and award program, The Walter Dean Myers Award.

- The kidlit community was unimpressed with the so-called "Percy Jackson Problem" (handily disemboweled here by Laura Ruby).

- Stephenie Meyer used her clout to support the careers of aspiring female filmmakers, partnering with Facebook, Lionsgate, and a whole host of notable women for 5 short films in the Twilight universe.

Steph with other panel members in Boston and Vegas
- Romance publisher Ellora's Cave sued the Dear Author blog for defamation, which in turn drew more attention to accusations that the press is not paying its authors.

- In the news: White people rioted over pumpkins and Twitter, of course, turned it into an amazing hashtag; GamerGate continued to threaten women and forced the cancellation of public appearances; California passed the first "Yes Means Yes" bill; Ebola came to Texas;

- In YA Highway news: Stephanie Kuehn was busy with the Boston Book FestivalVegas Valley Book Festival, and Kid Lit Con, and we were excited to reveal the covers of Kristin Halbrook's upcoming YA, Every Last Promise and Lee Bross's upcoming Tangled Webs!


Kirsten, Vee, Kristin H., Amy, Kate, and Kaitlin
at Hawksbill Crag, Arkansas; other retreat
shenanigans; Stephanie with fellow YALSA
panelists; Veronica and Sarah at YALLFEST
- Jacqueline Woodson won the National Book Award!

- Amazon and Hachette finally reached an agreement.

- Daniel Handler donated $110,000 to the We Need Diverse Books campaign after making a racist comment at the National Book Awards ceremony.

- In the news: Republicans took control of the senate in midterm elections; South Carolina became the 35th state to allow gay marriage; a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri failed to indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown, sparking national and worldwide protests.

- In YA Highway news: The trailer for the big screen adaptation of former Highwayer Kody Keplinger's The DUFF was released; Sarah Enni put together another amazing set of Carpool Lane emails for NaNoWriMo; Stephanie Kuehn was part of YALSA's Young Adult Literature Symposium in Austin; and Sarah and Veronica Roth had a great time at YALLFEST after joining five more of us for an Ozark writing retreat in Arkansas.


- ReedPOP and WeNeedDiverseBooks announced they are teaming up for two fantastic BookCon panels.

- The makers of YALLFEST announced a West Coast sister event called YALLWEST.

- Ron Charles looked at the complex value of "Best Books" lists in the wake of one excluded author's rant.

- In the news: Rolling Stone reported on rape culture at UVA, then rescinded the article and blamed a rape victim for their mistakes; rape allegations against Bill Cosby reemerged; days after the police shooting of 12-yr-old Tamir Rice, an 18-month-long DOJ investigation revealed Cleveland police have engaged in a pattern of “unreasonable and unnecessary use of force;” a GOP staffer resigned after making shitty comments about Malia and Sasha Obama; "I Can't Breathe" joined "Hands Up Don't Shoot" as a protest chant in the wake of a grand jury's failure to indict a policeman in the choking death of Eric Garner; professional and college athletes wore protests shirts to sporting events.

Sarah Enni and Kristin Halbrook with Claire Legrand
- In YA Highway news: Veronica Roth partnered with First Book for the #AbnegationDonation campaign; Kate Hart launched the "Badass Ladies You Should Know" series; we celebrated our inclusion in School Library Journal's "12 Blogs of 2014" list, the release of Kristin Halbrook's New Adult debut, Surfacing and the reveals of covers for Kaitlin Ward's Bleeding Earth and Stephanie Kuehn's Delicate Monsters!


Dr. Maya Angelou, author, actress, and poet
Amiri Baraka, poet
Norman Bridwell, author
Nancy Garden, author
Philip Seymore Hoffman, actor
Elizabeth Jane Howard, author
Daniel Keyes, author
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, author
Peter Matthiessen, author
Walter Dean Myers, author
Pete Seeger, musician and author
Zilpha Keatley Snyder, author
Ned Vizzini, YA author
Robin Williams, actor and comedian


As determined by me.


For ALL the lists: Largehearted Boy; Penguin RandomHouse
For ALL THE KIDLIT lists: Chicken Spaghetti


Year End Round Ups and Analysis

Other Lists of Interest:


Tumblr kept track, but here are a few highlights:

The Selfie Olympics kicked off the year.

Fangirl Quest's did some awesome "Screenframing."

Ladies Against Humanity made Cards Against Humanity even better.

A 4-year-old and her mom put all our wardrobes to shame.

One Star Book Reviews made us feel better, and Life on the Midlist said what we were all thinking.

Everyone got an extra hour in the ball pit.

Tim Howard saved (almost) everything.

And then there's this.

Weird Al sang about Word Crimes (and later apologized for committing one of his own).

Mallory Ortberg did a live reading of "Male Novelist Jokes."

The Ice Bucket Challenge took over the world.

And Bad Lip Reading continued to be hilarious.

And finally: If you're an adult who reads YA, congrats! You saved publishing this year.

Thus concludes my very last Field Trip Friday! Thank you so much for five fabulous years, and I hope you'll stick around in 2015 for Field Trips hosted by Stephanie, Sarah, Kristin H., and Kaitlin -- and for the Road Trip Wednesdays I'll be taking over. 

Happy New Year!

*Photo credits: Sarah Enni, Stephanie Kuehn, Kirsten Hubbard, Kate Hart, Kristin Otts, Veronica RothFirst Draft podcast, and our own Instagram account.

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: The Big News of 2014 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart