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Field Trip Friday: December 12 2014


Well, it's not that big, but: Today will be my last regular Field Trip Friday. :(  I've loved writing the feature, but after five years, it's time for me to pass the torch. I'll be back for the big Year End Round Up, but otherwise future Field Trips will alternate between the capable hands of Sarah Enni, Kaitlin Ward, Kristin Halbrook, and Stephanie Kuehn (who's also filling in here next week while I'm out of town).

However, I'm not leaving the Highway! Starting in January, I'll be taking over Road Trip Wednesday, writing occasional posts of my own, and of course sharing all sorts of ridiculousness on our Tumblr Scenic Route. I'll also be working on a personal project called Badass Ladies You Should Know, which kicked off this week with a profile of the woman who inspired it, fellow Highwayer Sarah Enni, and, of course, writing books.

But for now, the news!


- "I wanted to put Ugly and Hurt and Scared and “Wrong” and Angry and Not Okay in my books because I wanted someone feeling that way to be able to read it and think me too, and to maybe feel less alone in it themselves." Beautiful post from Courtney Summers on writing, depression, and gratitude.

- Stylist lists 10 authors who wrote their bestsellers in six weeks or less.

- Ilona Andrews discusses author branding and when to use a pseudonym. (via Gwenda Bond)

- "Messages are poison to fiction," says Katherine Paterson.

- E. K. Anderson shares A Creative’s Guide to Surviving the Winter Months Without Completely Spiralling into that Dark Place that None of Us Want to Talk About.

- To be more productive, try writing daily lists of successes.

- "My life has been a series of leaps like this: chasing dreams, chasing better situations, falling flat on my face, getting up again, thinking I would regret it more if I didn’t try." Nova Ren Suma reflects on life five years after taking a big leap.


- Awesome infographics alert! Malinda Lo crunches the 2014 numbers for LGBT YA, and Kelly Jensen breaks down the year's "Best of" lists.

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

- "If Vonnegut could see through myths about war, why couldn’t he transcend myths about sexual violence?" Kathleen Founds considers what to do when your favorite writer lets you down.

- Karen Jensen looks at what really happens when girls come forward with rape allegations, and discusses titles that facilitate conversation on that topic.

- A new study says children's literature may be the answer to implicit racism.

- Gene Luen Yang discusses (in comic form) a mistake he made in The Shadow Hero.

- JK Rowling is giving us a new HP-related story, and this one's about Draco.

- Rainbow Rowell's next book is also about Draco. Sort of.

- YALLWEST, the West Coast sister event to YALLFEST, is happening April 2015 with a stellar So-Cal lineup.

- It's time for YA Superlatives again! Join Katy Upperman, Tracey Neithercott, Alison Miller, and Jessica Love in their annual blogfest celebrating the best YA of the year.

- "Best of" lists:


- "Dear Book World," says Book Riot's Amanda Nelson, "Stop making excuses for your race problem."

- Julie Mata has the introvert's guide to marketing your book.

- After criticism for confusing use of pseudonyms, and some backpedaling from her publisher, Lena Dunham explains why she spoke out about having been sexually assaulted.

- Mark your calendar for Tuesday's "Pub Talk TV," an interactive hour with 2 authors and 3 agents.


- The NYT examines how school discipline differs for girls by "race and hue." (via Amy Rosenbaum)

- "Girl In a Country Song," written by two teens, is hitting number one -- but the bros it mocks aren't laughing. (via Bridget Smith)

- It's official: Instagram is bigger than Twitter.

- Rolling Stone clarifies its apology on the UVA story, and the victim's roommate writes in her defense.

- A 12 yr old boy committed suicide after being bullied for joining the cheerleading squad.

- An Oklahoma City area school board voted unanimously to get rid of their Redsk!ns mascot. (via Tim Tingle)

- Congressional staffers staged a Hands Up walkout in DC.

- Black faculty sign a love letter of support to black students.

- Unsure what this will mean, but apparently federal courts have granted Ferguson protesters a retraining order against the STL PD. Related: If you're out protesting, Slate has your guide to knowing your cellphone rights.

- USA Today profiles 5 young women who are changing the world, and Buzzfeed features 18 badass women you probably didn't hear about in 2014.

- Essays you should read this week:


I really wanted my final random to be something amazing. Something to cap off 5 fabulous years. And then the pressure started to get to me and I decided shrieking owl and dude would suffice.

Thank you for field tripping me with for five years' worth of Fridays!

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. Thanks for all your Field Trip Fridays, Kate - I've really enjoyed them. :o)

  2. Thanks for the 5 years! I've enjoyed reading them!

  3. Aww, we'll keep an honorary seat for you in the car! Thanks for all the great road trips over the years!

  4. :,( crying here...I love the Kate touch on the field trips!

    1. Aw, Sajidah! Your kind words actually kept me doing the feature for an extra year. {{{hugs}}}

  5. And thank YOU so much for that extra year. {{{squishy-hug back}}} :)


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Item Reviewed: Field Trip Friday: December 12 2014 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kate Hart