Thursday, August 29, 2013

Two (or three or one) Faces of Scholastic, Inc.

In Spring 2012, my YA author stalker buddy and I went to our favorite local bookstore, Book People, in Austin, Texas, to see three YA authors and their editor, and, of course, we wound up with a lot of lovely, signed books. Now, I think they were using the big names, Maggie Stiefvater (author), who didn't have a new book at that time, and David Levithan (the editor), to promote two lesser-known YA authors, Elizabeth Eulberg and Siobhan Vivian. But I'm okay with that. I got David and Maggie to sign stuff, just as Elizabeth and Siobhan did, and, between us, Stalker Buddy and I went home with five or six new books.

What made me cranky was that, once I was home and reading, I encountered interesting stories with interesting characters, but sloppy writing and poor editing. And I LOVE David and don't want to dis him advertently or otherwise, but really, especially in literature for younger readers, we should adhere to a high standard of both writing and editing. Use the language well and effectively as well colloquially, and readers see how it's done!

Beyond that crankiness, though . . .

Elizabeth Eulberg's Prom and Prejudice (2011) is, of course, a cute and sweet modern retelling of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, that, nonetheless, falls a little flat. I would say more about that, but Stalker Buddy has that one currently. I just remember finding it deeply predictable, but with somewhat progressive ideologies about gender and class, so that I liked. Eulberg's Take a Bow (2012), on the other hand, offers readers more narrative complexity, as it's narrated through four first-person points of view, and takes the characters through their senior year at the New York City High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CPA). The novel balances arts with personalities with relationships with self-realization, and allows readers to focalize through characters they'll like, characters they may not understand, and characters they will come to dislike.

Siobhan Vivian's Not That Kind of a Girl (2010) plays with the titular moralistic truism: Natalie is focused, feminist, college-bound, not boy-crazy, not putting up with immature high-school crap. She is also not interested in boys, sex, love, or relationships. Except. Except when she finds herself attracted to someone she thinks she "ought" not be interested in, someone whom she likes and is attracted to, someone she hides from her friends. Before Natalie can come to terms with Connor, however, she has to come to terms with herself, to give herself permission to be a teenager. Her journey, with her friends, her boy, and mostly with herself, is occasionally maddening ("Oh, Natalie, just get OVER yourself!") but ultimately rewarding.

Vivian's 2012 offering, The List, however, offers a different sort of high school story. Narrated in third-person present tense through eight different points of view, The List recounts one day in the life of eight high school girls, two from each class, each of whom has been named prettiest or ugliest in her grade. The personal, emotional, and social repercussions of appearing on The List are central to the novel's development, but so are the questions behind The List itself: who makes it? Why? What are the criteria? Where did it come from? It is complex and challenging, offers no easy answers, and leaves readers wondering - "what if . . .?"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Shadows, by Robin McKinley

This is the book that distracted McKinley from her Pegasus series. I've been hearing/reading about it on McKinley's blog for several years now, and am VERY excited that it's on the way. September 26, y'all!  Here's a link:
Or look for it at your favorite local bookseller.

Friday, April 19, 2013

For Writers of Fantasy

I’m contacting you regard our new literary magazine entitled The Dragon & The Wolf.  We are currently seeking submissions for our premier issue and expect there may be a number of students in your program who are pursuing a MFA in Creative Writing and may want to submit.   I would greatly appreciate it if you would pass our information along to those students who might be interested.

Our website is

Additionally, we are listed on Duotrope.

David Francis
Editor and Chief, The Dragon & The Wolf

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Publishing opportunity

From Meredith Rich at Bloomsbury USA:

Here at Bloomsbury we are launching a new digital fiction imprint called Bloomsbury Spark that will be targeted to teens and crossover adult readers. The imprint is due to launch later this year, and we are holding an open call for submissions. I was hoping you would be willing to spread the word to your MA and MFA students and others that might be interested.

The criteria for manuscript consideration is:

·         25,000-60,000 words (English language only)
·         Word document or pdf format only
·         Target age: 14+
·         Genres: All FICTION categories including but not limited to romance, mystery, thriller, paranormal, dystopian, historical, contemporary, fantasy

Submissions can be emailed to:
More information can be found:

If we are interested in acquiring a manuscript, we will be in touch with the author. All Bloomsbury Spark books would be contracted for digital rights, with a first option for print editions.

I’d be happy to walk you through more specifics of the imprint if you’re interested. Many thanks!

Best wishes,
Meredith Rich

Meredith Rich
Digital Editor
Bloomsbury Spark
175 Fifth Ave, NY, NY  10010

Please note: Bloomsbury Publishing Inc. is moving as of April 29:
1385 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10018

Visit us on Facebook!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Writing Prize Opportunity

From Sarah Davies at the Greenhouse Literary Agency--part of the prize is an offer of representation by the agency, so GO FOR IT!!
Here's the information:

This year we are opening our GHL Funny Prize to North Americans too! So exciting.

Sarah Davies
The Greenhouse Literary Agency
Sarah's blog:
Facebook: follow all our news at
Twitter:  @SarahGreenhouse - and follow our writing tips at #GHLtips

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Library school scholarship AND opportunity for writing

Below is a link to a scholarship for library school, for any of you in school or considering it.

 following request comes from a graduate of the Hollins University MA in Children's Lit program (they also have a certificate in children's book illustration--here are links: and )

Anyhow, if you are interested in a writing project, see the request below:

A few weeks ago, Amanda put out a call for interested volunteers to help with a Peace Corps volunteer project in Ethiopia. I'm happy to say that project is underway. We have more than twenty Hollins volunteer writers who will each be writing an approximately 500-word creative story to be illustrated by Ethiopian artists and published in various regions of Ethiopia to help supplement the English language instruction of children in grades four through eight.

The coordinator in Ethiopia, Amanda Sutker, has asked for Peace Corps volunteers there to help us write these stories by supplying us with knowledge of the regions and the people they've encountered. Thirty people (and an occasional married couple) have expressed an interest in working with us on these stories.

We have enough writers, including several who've volunteered to write two stories, to cover almost all of the Peace Corps volunteers Amanda recruited. But we still need three more writers to make a perfect match between numbers of Hollins volunteers and Peace Corps volunteers.

Would any of you be interested in taking on this project? You'd be shooting for a draft by the end of March and a final story by the end of April. You would keep all rights to your own story, but with the stipulation that you'd allow it to be illustrated and published in Ethiopia for the express purpose of helping students there with learning English. The idea is to get good, creative short stories into the hands of students who have very little exposure to English literature to help them learn the language. Their current materials are very "textbook" in nature - not the ideal way to learn any language.

I'll be happy to match the first three people to respond with the eagerly awaiting Peace Corps volunteers in Africa. From everything I've seen so far, this should be a fulfilling, worthwhile project, and a chance for you to explore some writing outside of what might be your normal range. You'll have the help you need to write a good story that meets the needs of these children.

Thanks for considering it. You can contact me directly with questions or to sign on.

Adeana Lopez