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Results 26 - 50 of 124,583
26. Patrick (H) Willems Shoots an X-Men Parody Video

What would have happened if Wes Anderson took the helm on an X-Men film adaptation? Patrick Willems decided to find out by creating a short video.

The parody piece embedded above has drawn more than 19,000 views on YouTube—what do you think? Click here to access a behind-the-scenes video. (via The Hollywood Reporter)

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27. Editor Stacy Whitman of Tu Books Discusses Diversity in YA, What She's Searching For, and Her Favorite Books

I am thrilled to introduce Stacy Whitman who has provided us with an incredible interview.

Stacy Whitman is the founder and publisher of Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books that publishes diverse fantasy, science fiction, and mystery for children and young adults. Books she has edited include Joseph Bruchac’s AILA YA Award and Top Ten Quick Picks titleKiller of Enemies, and Summer of the Mariposas by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, which received a starred review from School Library Journaland has been placed on numerous lists, including the Amelia Bloomer Project, School Library Journal’s Best of 2012 List, and the Lone Star Reading List. Stacy holds a master’s degree in children’s literature from Simmons College.



1. What drew you to publishing? Why specifically diverse books?
I’ve always been a big reader, but I didn’t know that publishing was possible for me as a kid. I spent most of my after-school time at the library or up a tree, reading a book. Or riding a book on the back of a horse. Getting my first job in children’s books was a long, winding road. I actually grew up poor, on a farm, and was an animal science pre-vet major my freshman year in college. No one I knew worked in publishing—I had no idea it was a viable career choice. When you come from where I come from, practical majors in agribusiness or engineering are generally what you’re encouraged to study. 
And even in college when I started seeing writing and editing as a viable path, I didn’t realize books were a possibility for me until much further down the road. It took me almost 8 years within my undergrad journey (I took time off to work several times during my undergrad years) until I came to the point of realizing that working in children’s books was something I could and would want to do. By that time, I nearly had a bachelor’s in child development, and a really great teacher helped me realize that all those part-time and full-time jobs I’d been holding down just to pay the bills because office jobs were easier than shoveling manure at the college dairy farm—working for the local paper, transcribing overland trails journals for the college library special collections department, typesetting college textbooks, and proofreading phone books for a living (yes, I used to edit the phone book)—would combine with my degree to give me the chance to do something I actually wanted to do: create books for children and teens, the kinds of books that made such a difference for me as a kid.
As far as diversity in the books I publish, part of that was personal experience with all the college roommates I had along the way (many of whom were American POCs or from other countries), who taught me how to see the world from a different perspective, combined with a desire to learn about the world through books and seeing a glaring gap in the stories I was reading—I started noticing the stories I *wasn’t* reading. At Mirrorstone, which is the imprint of Wizards of the Coast I worked at right out of my master’s in children’s lit—my first editorial job in children’s books—my senior editor emphasized that she wanted to see diverse characters in the books I acquired because librarians were always asking what we had in the way of diversity at library conferences. It felt natural to seek diversity, but I was pretty clueless at first about white privilege and centering the stories of people of color. The more I’ve learned over the years, the more I’ve been passionate about diversity in the books I publish. 
Starting Tu Books was a natural extension of that learning process, borne out of a desire to use the power I have as an editor for good, to help make fantasy and science fiction, in particular, a more welcoming place for readers of color. We’ve expanded out to other genres since starting in 2010.


2. What do you look for in a submission? 
I look for good writing first and foremost—strong voice, in particular. I also want to see strong worldbuilding, characters I want to root for (which is not the same as “relatable,” which I don’t want to use—sometimes characters aren’t relatable, but you still care what happens to them, and root for them to succeed). I like culturally specific content, as appropriate to the story being told—whether the book is “about race” or “about culture” doesn’t matter so much that what content there is is specific and accurate. So whether there’s a lot of cultural content (such as the Slovak content in VODNIK by Bryce Moore, which is about a boy who can see characters from Slovak folklore, one of which is trying to drown him and save his soul in a teacup) or really not that much (such as the Chinese and Nordic content in CAT GIRL’S DAY OFF by Kimberly Pauley, which mentions the main character’s heritage very briefly and moves right along with the rest of the story about a girl who can talk to cats saving a celebrity blogger from kidnapping), as long as it works for the story, that’s what matters.

3. Do you feel that representation of diversity in YA is gaining ground? Is there a particular group that is more often ignored, misrepresented, or avoided?
That’s a hard question to answer right now. It’s definitely a hopeful sign that the CCBC numbers that just came out indicate a nice boost to certain groups’ numbers, as far as characters who are being written about. But the gains in authorship by people of color aren’t nearly as big. (And, note, those numbers are all children’s books—picture books, chapter books, middle grade, and YA, so it’s hard to pin down exactly how we’re doing in YA.) 
So as far as representation of authors, we have a long, long way to go. I’m very happy that white authors are just as excited these days about We Need Diverse Books as authors of color, but I think it’s also important for me and my fellow editors to be seeking authors of color and publishing them. And we in publishing—from the marketing and sales staffs to the booksellers on the other end—need to be promoting a wide variety of voices so that new voices of color aren’t lost in the shuffle. We’re nowhere near equity yet.
As far as groups you rarely hear from in YA, I am seeking Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander voices in particular because we don’t see much of them out there even in comparison to other groups. In addition, Native American representation is often hard to find, and even today, much of what you find in new books relies on stereotypes. So I seek to change that in the books I publish.


4. How do you feel about authors writing characters of different ethnicities and backgrounds?
If the writing is great, awesome!—with a few caveats. I have no problem publishing a wonderful book by a writer who is not from the background they’re writing about, as long as the author has done the necessary research, and done a good job. We evaluate that not just in the quality of the writing and of any sources the writer depended upon, but also by sending manuscripts out to expert readers from those communities, who give us critical feedback.
However, I also feel very strongly that should center the voices of marginalized writers. In fantasy and science fiction, that can be a challenge, so I reach out to those communities and share calls for submissions, and I’ve started a writing contest, the New Visions Award, to seek new writers of color. We just announced our most recent finalists, and will be picking this year’s winner in April. Debut authors of color who missed this last year should be working on their manuscripts for when we open again in June.

5. What do you recommend for authors nervous about writing a diverse character because of a fear of not being able to do her justice or accidentally misrepresenting something in a different culture?
First of all, no one should be writing diversity if they don’t feel qualified. The first step for writing cross-culturally is to *get* qualified, whatever that looks like for you. I’ve forgotten who said it, but someone said that you shouldn’t feel qualified to write about a community until you’ve “held their babies.” Sometimes that’s not possible in a literal sense—especially when you’re talking about writing about history; your research might involve more library time than holding literal or metaphorical babies—but the principle of spending time in the community you want to write about, really coming to understand people from the inside rather than from an outsider’s perspective, is hugely important.
A great place to start when thinking about writing from a cultural perspective not your own is Nisi Shawl’s excellent essays, “Appropriate Cultural Appropriation” and “Transracial Writing for the Sincere." In an ideal world, you want to be at a “guest” status—and not an imagined one. I’ve known a few white writers who have trampled on cultures they consider themselves a part of, who say that the people in the culture are fine with what they do, when in fact the culture is not known for telling someone to their face that they’re being offensive. No one wants to be in that position. No one wants to be the person who has committed a microaggression or outright aggression—few people go into writing about another culture intending to cause offense or pain, but it happens. So understanding power dynamics, understanding what microaggressions are and how not to culturally appropriate, and how to politely learn about a culture not your own—these are all really important before you start writing. 
Don’t let fear of blundering hold you back, either—accept that you will likely blunder, and that to err is human. We all make blunders, but learning how to apologize and do better next time is also very important. Learn to listen and respond politely to feedback before you publish, and to change what needs to change. And learn that even after doing all you can, you will make mistakes. Learn from them and move on to do better next time. 
I recently presented on this topic at New York Winter SCBWI, and blogged a recap of my session over at the Lee & Low blog. Check that out for further links & reading.


6. What are you looking for currently?
We’re still relatively new (we are 5 years old in March), so if a writer wants to know what we’d be interested in, take a look at the list of books we’ve published so far  and make sure that your submission isn’t *too* close to what we’ve already published. And be aware of trends that are waning. For example, I’m not terribly interested in dystopias right now—we’ve published a 3-book dystopian series and an anthology centered on dystopian stories, and right now, with so many dystopias out there, it’s just not something I’m interested in right now. 
I am looking in particular for books with a strong adventurous streak, whatever the genre, and possibly a strong romance storyline. We’re open to science fiction, fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction—and I love genre mash-ups. I love, for example, historical fiction set in a real-world setting but with a magical or steampunk twist. I’d love to see a steampunk set in colonial India or Hong Kong, addressing colonialism from a native worldview. I’d love to see more African American and African diaspora stories of all stripes, particularly futuristic (not dystopian—perhaps set in space!) or a contemporary fantasy drawing upon Gullah or Creole cultures and folklores. There’s such a wide variety of possibilities.
Most of all, I am looking for writers who are people of color themselves. While I welcome writers of all backgrounds who write well cross-culturally, I want to boost the voices of marginalized communities.

7. What are some of your favorite books and why?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer, because I have SO MANY. Can’t pin them all down! Growing up and through college, I loved Diana Wynne Jones, Robin McKinley, Robert Jordan, and other high fantasy authors of their ilk. One of the biggest reasons is the folkloric connection in high fantasy. I used to reread Franny Billingsley’s THE FOLK KEEPER in college because I just LOVED the connection to Irish folklore. My own ancestry includes Swedish, Irish, Scottish, English, Prussian, and German roots, along with—I discovered later—a very tiny connection to Cherokee and Choctaw people (though those ancestors could well have been lying about their deceased mother’s ancestry to gain land in Indian Country, so I don’t *identify* as that). I tell you that because I am a family historian and I loved to read books connected to the culture of the people I come from. But reading that high fantasy voraciously also brought out to me just how little I know about the folklore of other places in the world, and how much I’d love to read fantasy set in those cultures.
So, more recently, one of my favorites is Cindy Pon’s SILVER PHOENIX, which opens that kind of world to me in a Chinese-related setting. 
On the science fiction side, a recent favorite is Shannon Hale’s DANGEROUS, which stars a Latina character who also has a disability who saves the world from aliens. I’m all about superheroes! On my list up next is Gene Luen Yang’s THE SHADOW HERO for that reason.

8. What book/author are you most proud of working with?
It’s really hard to pick any one particular book! I am very proud of the recognition that KILLER OF ENEMIES by Joseph Bruchac has gotten in the last couple of years—it was a QuickPicks Top Ten title, as well as winning the American Indian Youth Literature Award for YA book—as well as the starred review and multiple lists that SUMMER OF THE MARIPOSAS by Guadalupe Garcia McCall has been recognized with. These accolades are great because many of them are showing a connection to the readers themselves, at how these books have been hitting a gap our teens need filled.
I am also very excited about our new spring title, INK AND ASHES by Valynne Maetani, which is our first mystery title and the winner of our first New Visions Award contest. It’s already receiving wonderful blurbs from other authors, and is a Junior Library Guild selection.
But as far as an author I’m most proud of working with, they’re all important. They have each made excellent books, no matter the accolades received.

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28. 2015 SCBWI Europolitan Con: Agent Brooks Sherman

By Elisabeth Norton
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations 

Brooks Sherman is an agent with The Bent Agency.

He represents picture books, fiction for young adult and middle-grade-readers, select literary and commercial adult fiction, and nonfiction in the areas of humor, pop culture, and narrative nonfiction.

He was interviewed by Elisabeth Norton for the SCBWI Europolitan Conference.

You'll be presenting in Amsterdam about using social media effectively. This is a topic most creators wrestle with at some point in their career.

ON SOCIAL MEDIA...

Does a writer have to be on social media these days?

No. It could be argued that it is more essential for nonfiction writers than for those who write fiction, as nonfiction usually requires author platform.

Here’s the thing: Social media can be useful to a writer, if they are good at it. If you are uncomfortable communicating via social media, it will show, and it will actually have a negative effect. So, if you absolutely loathe using Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, don’t do it!

That said, if you do want to learn how to use it, it can be an invaluable tool for following industry news and trends, as well as networking with other writers and industry professionals.

Do you think the target reader age influences whether a writer needs to be on social media? Is it more important for a writer of young adult fiction to be on social media than say, someone who illustrates picture books?

Again, I don’t think anyone needs to be on social media. I will say that the young adult reading and publishing communities are quite active on social media, so it’s certainly worth considering if you write in that area.

Also, I found my first picture book client, Sam Garton, on Twitter; he had created a Twitter profile for his character Otter that included a link to his website.

Once I clicked onto his site and saw his wonderful humor and amazing artwork, I decided to reach out to him to see if he was working on any picture books.

So if you are an illustrator, keep in mind that social media can be a great way to advertise your artwork and online portfolio.

What's your advice to the writer who has no social media presence at the moment?

I would encourage every writer to at least explore a few social media platforms, to see if any of them hold appeal. Twitter is a different experience from Facebook, as are Instagram, Pinterest, etc.

Try them out before you decide you don’t want to use them.

Before I got into publishing, I thought Twitter was a useless, narcissistic tool. Since I’ve become an agent, I’ve found it incredibly useful for keeping up with world news, publishing news, promoting my clients’ work, and building my own professional reputation.

Is there such a thing as too much social media presence?

I think so. While I think it’s great if writers and publishing professionals are active on social media, if you are too active, it can become exhausting for those who are following you, and you might turn people off.

Also, keep in mind that social media should be a tool, not a goal; if you are using it nonstop every day, when are you going to find the time for your real work? (Or your family, friends, and health?)

What are some of the biggest mistakes you see by writers/illustrators using social media?

The biggest mistake I see people make on social media is forgetting that everything they do is public.

Again, social media is a tool; don’t use it when your emotions are running high, or say, after you’ve had a few glasses of wine. Social media is an excellent way to build a public persona, but it is not you — it is the you that you want to share publicly.

Also, no need to overshare: you don’t need to share every single thought that pops into your head!

ON GRIPPING OPENINGS...

Can you give a couple of examples of what you think are gripping openings, and tell us why they work?



Certainly. Here is the opening line from my client Emma Trevayne’s middle-grade fantasy Flights and Chimes and Mysterious Times:

“There are doorways, and there are doorways.” 

Right away, this sentence establishes atmosphere and style. There is a classic feel to this narration, and it compels you to keep reading.



There is also the opening line from my client Heidi Schulz’s middle-grade adventure Hook’s Revenge:

“There have always been pirates. Why, even as far back as Eve, on the day she was considering whether or not to eat that apple, a pirate was most certainly planning to sail in and take it from her.” 

Again, atmosphere and style are immediately apparent. There is some wonderfully wry humor here, and really, who doesn’t love reading about pirates?



The opening lines from my client Becky Albertalli’s young adult contemporary novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda:

"It’s a weirdly subtle conversation. I almost don’t notice I’m being blackmailed.” 

Here is an example of the story starting right away — as a reader, I definitely want to know what’s happening, because my interest has been piqued with the word “blackmailed.”

Who is blackmailing our narrator, and why?

In the submissions you see, what percentage would you say grab you with their openings?

I receive somewhere between 50 to 100 queries (with opening pages) during an average week. Of these, I would say perhaps 10 percent of these intrigue me enough to request the full manuscript.

Do any of those stories with gripping openings lose you later?

Learn more!
Unfortunately, this does happen.

Sometimes it is simply a case of my loving the story’s premise but not connecting with the way the story is told.

Other times, it feels like the writer has worked very hard on the opening pages, but not as much on the rest of the manuscript.

While it is important for you to have a gripping opening, don’t forget to give the same attention to the rest of your story! Make sure your story is as tight and strong as possible before you query agents and editors; you want to put your best foot forward.

Thank you, Brooks. See you in Amsterdam.

Cynsational Notes


Learn more!
Elisabeth Norton was first published at age 16 when she had no idea what an “unsolicited submission” was. Seeing her byline on the subsequently published magazine article ignited her desire for a career as an author.

Once she realized she wanted to write for children, she joined SCBWI and now serves as Regional Advisor for the Swiss region.

Originally from Alaska, she now lives in Switzerland between the Alps and the Jura and writes for middle graders.

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29. Maude Leads the Self-Published Bestsellers List

Maude by Donna Mabry returns to the top of the Self-Published Bestsellers List this week.

To help GalleyCat readers discover self-published authors, we compile weekly lists of the top eBooks in three major marketplaces for self-published digital books: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. You can read all the lists below, complete with links to each book.

If you want more resources as an author, try our Free Sites to Promote Your eBook post, How To Sell Your Self-Published Book in Bookstores post and our How to Pitch Your Book to Online Outlets post.

If you are an independent author looking for support, check out our free directory of people looking for writers groups.

Amazon Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of March 4, 2015

1.  Maude by Donna Mabry: “In 1906, I was barely over fourteen years old, and it was my wedding day. My older sister, Helen, came to my room, took me by the hand, and sat me down on the bed. She opened her mouth to say something, but then her face flushed, and she turned her head to look out the window. After a second, she squeezed my hand and looked back in my eyes.”

2. Falling for My Best Friend’s Brother by J.S. Cooper: “He’s devastatingly handsome, sexy, arrogant and he’s out of reach.
He’s my best friend’s brother and the one man I can’t have.
However, now that my best friend Liv is getting married, I’m seeing him more than ever.”

3.  Trace Trace Part Three by Deborah Bladon: “Vanessa Meyer has overcome the struggles of her past to build a life that she can be proud of. She’s a nurse in the ER and her relationship with attorney Garrett Ryan fulfills her in a way that nothing else can. She has accepted the fact that her mother held damaging secrets but she’s ready to move on and start a new life.”

4. Their Stepsister by Alexa Riley: “Sweet, innocent, virginal Sarah had never once stopped thinking about her stepbrothers since she left for college. Identical in looks but opposites in personality, the twins were everything Sarah wanted in a lover.”

5. Boxed Set: Destined For Love Series by Janelle Denison: “The Millionaire’s Proposal . . . Grace Holbrook believed she couldn’t have children, but now she was pregnant after just one night with sexy, bad boy Ford McCabe. She was delighted by the news, but not so thrilled when Ford insists they get married, especially when his recent return to Whitaker Falls after eleven years away is shrouded in secrets.”

6. Beneath This Ink by Meghan March: “I’ve always known she was too good for me, but that never stopped me from wanting her. And then I finally had her for one night. A night I don’t remember. I figured I’d blown my shot.”

7. The Deal by Elle Kennedy: “Hannah Wells has finally found someone who turns her on. But while she might be confident in every other area of her life, she’s carting around a full set of baggage when it comes to sex and seduction. If she wants to get her crush’s attention, she’ll have to step out of her comfort zone and make him take notice…even if it means tutoring the annoying, childish, cocky captain of the hockey team in exchange for a pretend date.”

8. Departure by A.G. Riddle: “Harper Lane has problems. In a few hours, she’ll have to make a decision that will change her life forever. But when her flight from New York to London crash-lands in the English countryside, she discovers that she’s made of tougher stuff than she ever imagined.”

9. The Hurricane by R.J. Prescott: “Emily McCarthy is living in fear of a dark and dangerous past. A gifted mathematician, she is little more than a hollow, broken shell, trying desperately to make ends meet long enough to finish her degree.”

10. Prick: A Stepbrother Romance by Sabrina Paige: “Caulter Sterling is a prick. A filthy-mouthed, womanizing, crude, spoiled, arrogant prick. The tattooed, pierced, panty-melting-hot son of a celebrity.”

Smashwords Self-Published Bestsellers for the Week of March 4, 2015

1. Sixty Words or Phrases Commonly Misused by ESL/EFL Students Preparing for Universities By Kenneth Cranker

2. Communications for ICT: The Essential Guide By David Tuffley

3.  English Grammar and Essay Writing, Workbook 2 By Maggie Sokolik

4. Job Searching in Student Affairs: Strategies to Land the Position YOU Want By Patrick Love

5. Negotiating for Success: Essential Strategies and Skills By George J. Siedel

6. Neuropsychopharmacology By Nicoladie Tam, Ph.D.

7. Health Promotion Pathways: Applied Activities for the Collegiate Classroom By Jennifer J. Edwards, Ph.D.

7. This Time Is Divine: A Tribute To Black Tusk’s Jonathan Athon By Stereo Embers Books

8. Principles of Biology: Animal Systems By Nicoladie Tam, Ph.D.

9. The Key To Your Car By Dominic Vinci

10. Throwing Like a Girl By Robin Bourjaily

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30. Grammar Help: INFOGRAPHIC

big starKeeping track of all the rules of grammar can be tough. To lend a hand, the team at Big Star Copywriting has developed an infographic called “10 Grammar Mistakes Every Writer Needs To Avoid.”

We’ve embedded the full infographic below for you to explore further—what do you think? Follow this link to check out other online sources for help with grammar.

10 Grammar Mistakes Every Writer Needs To Avoid

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31. The Beekle Experience

beekleAs a member of the 2015 Caldecott committee, making “the call” to Dan Santat on the morning of February 2 was such a thrill. The good folks at ALA make it possible for you to experience it HERE. Once the announcements of the Caldecott awards were made public, the Internet buzzed. One of the first things I saw online after the announcements was this short video from Dan Santat. It melted my heart. I was running on adrenaline, very little sleep, and home-made ginger cookies at this point, and that little clip just really got me. Dan Santat’s first Tweet of that day was “I’m so bummed the Patriots won the #SuperBowl last night. My whole day is ruined.” I immediately thought, “The guy is funny!” You can follow him on Twitter @dsantat. When I got back to my hotel room, I saw this amazing craft from This Picture Book Life blog. It inspired me to create my own Snow Beekle once I got back home.

When I was home I really dug in to read the Caldecott news. There are several interviews that will give you more about Dan Santat, like this one from Publisher’s Weekly, this one from NPR, this one from Dan’s local station in Pasadena, and this one on the 7 Impossible Things blog. And there’s this fun podcast from Picturebooking.

So, there’s a lot of Beekle love out there, and it is well-deserved. This year’s Caldecott medal book is one that you can share at preschool storytime. There’s already a craft you can make (with preschoolers I’d use frosting scribblers instead of Sharpie marker to make the face because you know they are going to want to eat it). You can use The Adventures of Beekle, the Unimaginary Friend with older groups, too. It is a seemingly simple book, but so much is going on. Embedded in this story is the archetypal Hero’s Journey: Beekle leaves home on a quest, heeding his call to adventure. He leaves his normal world and ventures out into the unknown. He then experiences trials in that world: he is looking for something, and searches valiantly. Once Beekle finds what he is looking for, and has bonded with his new friend, he can return, and do the unimaginable. For more on the Hero’s Journey, and how Beekle relates, try this link.

Photo by Angela J. Reynolds

Photo by Angela J. Reynolds

Look closely at that art! Each section of the journey is denoted by color and slight style changes, and fits the pacing just right. Look for the color yellow to tell you that change or something significant has occurred. Look at the emotion on our hero’s face when he meets his friend. Explore those end pages. Take that dust jacket off and revel in the lovely board cover underneath. Find the joy in this book that so many young children do. And don’t forget to look for the Beekle Bum – that image gets noticed every time I share this book in storytime.
Have fun with this book, and if you have more ideas on how to use it in storytime or in the classroom, share in the comments!

The post The Beekle Experience appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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32. Keys and bolts

I received a question whether I was going to write about the word key in the series on our habitat. I didn't have such an intention, but, since someone is interested in this matter, I’ll gladly change my plans and satisfy the curiosity of our friend.

The post Keys and bolts appeared first on OUPblog.

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33. Hand and Hand Anti-Bullying Club

Make a difference!Join the Hand and Hand Anti-Bullying Club

Bullying is such a big problem for kids, so we started a club to help you deal with it. Go to the STACK Back Message Board and tell us your stories of being bullied. If you don’t want to go into detail you don’t have to. We are here for you though.

My story: I’ve been bullied almost every year in school. I was tired of it and needed to do something about it. My best friend Layla and I created this organization to help people like us. This is for YOU GUYS.

Join us here!

Rowan, Scholastic Kids Council

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34. 3 Comics Legends to Serve as Educators For a MOOC

EdX Smithsonian InstitutionStan Lee, Michael Uslan, and David Uslan have established great careers within the comics and entertainment industry. Soon, they will also take on the role of educators.

EdX, a nonprofit education organization, will present three newly-formed massive open online courses (MOOCs) developed by the Smithsonian Institution. The “Rise of Superheroes and Their Impact on Pop Culture” class will feature instruction from the three comics legends.

Lee gave this statement in the press release: “It’s a great honor being invited to share my views on the evolution of superheroes and the genre’s overall impact across all generations of people. Throughout my career, characters have evolved so much – from drawings on a page to other-worldly special effects only animation could produce, to live-action and so much more. I can’t wait to dive into these discussions thanks to Smithsonian and edX.” (via The Hollywood Reporter)

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35. Stay, Clute

Stay cover

Strange Horizons has now posted my review of John Clute's latest collection of materials, Stay. A taste:
Even a mere glance through Stay, John Clute’s latest collection of book reviews, short stories, and lexicon entries, (or through any of Clute's books, really) will convince you that you are in the presence of genius.

But a genius of what type? The type that can turn a million candy wrappers into a surprisingly convincing small-scale replica of a rocket ship, or the type that zips to the heart of a zeitgeist faster than the rest of us? Is this genius a fox, a hedgehog, an anorak? Does it sing in seemingly effortless perfect pitch, or is its singing, like that of a dog, remarkable simply for being at all?

The desire to taxonomize is inevitable after reading even a few pages of Clute. He is a wild literary Linnaeus: obsessively compulsed to categorize. As someone generally uninterested in taxonomy, I have struggled to learn to read Clute appreciatively. I used to want to shoot his clay pigeonholes, to mock his neologistic frenzies, to clothe the emperor. But then I realized I was enjoying his work too much to do so. Clute’s imperative to categorize is contagious. I’d passed through the portal and made my way into Cluteland.
This review marks ten years of my writing for Strange Horizons — I began as a columnist in February 2005 with a rather odd piece titled "Walls". I stopped as a columnist after writing fifty, since I felt like I'd done what I could do with the form for that audience, but I've continued occasionally to write reviews.

I don't do a lot with genre speculative fiction these days, since other things have taken me elsewhere, but it's nice to be back now and again at a publication that feels so much like home. I owe thanks to lots of people there, especially former editor-in-chief Susan Groppi, who first asked me to write for the magazine, current editor-in-chief (and the first, if I remember correctly, reviews editor) Niall Harrison, recent past reviews editor Abigail Nussbaum, new reviews senior editor Maureen Kincaid Speller, and book reviews editor Aishwarya Subramanian, who not only let me keep some of my bad puns and jokes, but even liked some of them! Strange Horizons remains a unique, wonderful place out there in the wide world of the web, and it has always been an honor to be associated with it.

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36. Pubslush Foundation Gives $10K Grant to NaNoWriMo

The Pubslush Foundation revealed a new grant for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

The $10,000 prize will be used to fund future literacy initiatives, including NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program. The financing comes from Pubslush authors that have donated a percentage of their campaign budgets to fund literacy initiatives.

“We’re thrilled to receive such generous support from Pubslush,” Grant Faulkner stated Executive Director of NaNoWriMo. “We believe that everyone has a story to tell, and that everyone’s story matters. This grant will help fuel NaNoWriMo’s creative revolution so that more people can realize themselves as creators.”

Pubslush has also official partnered with NaNoWriMo to promote its crowd funding platform to NaNoWriMo participants.

 

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37. The IOM’s effort to dislodge chronic fatigue syndrome

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recently released their report regarding a new name (i.e., systemic exertion intolerance disease) and case definition for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). In brief, the IOM proposed that at least four symptoms needed to be present to be included in this new case definition [...]

The post The IOM’s effort to dislodge chronic fatigue syndrome appeared first on OUPblog.

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38. Neil Gaiman Honors Douglas Adams

Author Neil Gaiman honored the late Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, in a talk at the Royal Geographical Society in London last night.

In the presentation, Gaiman told stories about his friend pointing out that Adams had predicted eBooks decades ago, and yet, still felt strongly about print’s future. The Guardian has more:

Adams told Gaiman: \"Look at a book. A book is the right size to be a book. They’re solar-powered. If you drop them, they keep on being a book. You can find your place in microseconds. Books are really good at being books and no matter what happens books will survive.’ And he was right,\" said Gaiman.

You can watch a video of the lecture here.

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39. Top Ten Entries in Pitch Plus One & the Agents Judging Them

We've made it through to the final round! Congratulations to all of you for all of your hard work and accomplishments. Connections have been made, friendships forged, and feedback assimilated. But we aren't done yet!! We have SEVEN amazing agents (also listed below) who've donated their time to judge the final round.

If your title is below then please take 24 hours to revise and send me your final entry by 9 AM tomorrow (Friday) to be posted by Saturday on the contest blog. Please send all info, including name, email, current title, genre/subgenre, word count, 150 word pitch, and 250 word first page EVEN IF you are not changing anything.

Agent Judges:

Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency:


Jordy Albert is a Literary Agent and co-founder of The Booker Albert Literary Agency. She holds a B.A. in English from Pennsylvania State University, and a M.A. from Millersville University of Pennsylvania. She has worked with Marisa Corvisiero during her time at the L. Perkins Agency and the Corvisiero Literary Agency. She enjoys studying languages (French/Japanese), spends time teaching herself how to knit, is a HUGE fan of Doctor WhoSherlock and Supernatural (#Superwholock)!!! And loves dogs.

She is looking for stories that sink their teeth in, leave the reader wanting more, and gives her all the feels. She loves books that make her laugh out loud or tear up (or in some cases wanting to throw the book). She is interested in Middle Grade contemporary or action/adventure (think Indiana Jones, Goonies, Labyrinth and other awesome 80s movies). In YA and New Adult, she is looking for sci-fi/fantasy (romance), contemporary romance. She’s also always looking for characters with strong, authentic voices. Jordy loves an awesome kick butt hero/heroine, especially when they have to work their way out of a tight spot. While it isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, she tends to shy away from novels with trigger topics, such as suicide and any type of abuse. As for adult works, Jordy is looking for smart, sexy contemporary romances that leave her breathless, and where the chemistry between the characters sizzles right off the pages. She is also looking for Historical Romances (she definitely has a soft spot for Regency). Like Brittany, Jordy is a sucker for a HEA! Some favorite authors include Sabrina Jeffries, Teresa Medeiros, Karen Marie Moning, Kresley Cole, Lauren Layne, and Gena Showalter.

Danielle Barthel of New Leaf Literary:



Following her completion of the Denver Publishing Institute after graduation, Danielle began interning at Writers House. While there, she realized she wanted to put her English degree and love of the written word to work at a literary agency. She worked as a full-time assistant for three years, and continues to help keep the New Leaf offices running smoothly in her role of Coordinator of Team and Client Services.
In her downtime, she can be found with a cup of tea, a bar of chocolate, or really good book...sometimes all together.
Follow Danielle on twitter!






Sarah Davies of Greenhouse Literary:


Sarah Davies founded the Greenhouse and is head of the agency.  She created the business after moving to the USA from England in 2007, following a long career as a senior UK children’s publisher.
As a publisher, Sarah worked with many high-profile writers on both sides of the Atlantic. As an agent she has shepherded many debut authors to success. She has considerable experience in contract negotiation, marketing and rights, as well as a strong understanding of digital developments. Excellent publishing contacts in both the USA and Britain, and homes in both countries, have given her an unusually transatlantic view of the children’s books industry, from both sides of the desk.
A member of AAR and SCBWI, Sarah is an experienced speaker on children’s books and creative writing and attends many writers’ and book-trade events throughout the year. She says, ‘Everything you need to know about Greenhouse is embodied in its name.'
Christa Heschke of McIntosh & Otis:


Christa Heschke graduated from Binghamton University with a major in English and a minor in Anthropology. She started in publishing as an intern at both Writers House and Sterling Lord Literistic, where she fell in love with the agency side of publishing. Christa has been at McIntosh and Otis, Inc. in the Children's Literature Department since 2009 where she is actively looking for picture books, middle grade, and young adult projects.

She is a fan of young adult novels with a romantic angle, and strong, quirky protagonists. Within YA, Christa is especially interested in contemporary fiction, horror and thrillers/mysteries. As for middle grade, Christa enjoys contemporary, humor, adventure, mystery and magical realism for boys and girls. For picture books, she’s drawn to cute, funny, character driven stories within fiction and is open to non-fiction with a unique hook.





Victoria Lowes of The Bent Agency:


Victoria was born and raised in Queens, New York and graduated from the City University of New York, Queens College. Before joining the Bent Agency, she completed internships at Serendipity Literary and the Carol Mann Agency. In her spare time she can be found teaching dance classes for young students or watching re-runs of The Office. She loves books that teach her something, whether it be about a culture she doesn’t know, event in history or about the dynamics of a tumultuous young romance. She wants to root for your characters -- connect with them and the problems they face. She’s looking for characters as complex and interesting as those she meets in real life.



Melissa Nasson of RPC:


Melissa Nasson is an associate agent with Rubin Pfeffer Content. She is also an attorney and contracts director at Beacon Press, an independent publisher of non-fiction. Melissa is currently accepting submissions, and she is actively seeking MG, YA, and NA fiction in all genres (though she has a soft spot for fantasy and sci-fi). She will also consider fiction intended for the adult market, particularly edgy speculative fiction and gothic/horror novels. She is not considering non-fiction at this time.




Kelly Sonnack of Andrea Brown:


Kelly Sonnack is a Literary Agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, living in San Diego. She works with illustrators and writers of all areas within children’s literature (picture books, middle grade, young adult, and graphic novels). Some of the YA and middle grade novels she represents include Steve Watkins’ Golden Kite Winner DOWN SAND MOUNTAIN (Candlewick); Sharon Cameron’s debut novel THE DARK UNWINDING and her upcoming novel ROOK (both Scholastic); and Gordon McAlpine’s middle grade trilogy THE MISADVENTURES OF EDGAR AND ALLAN POE (Viking/Penguin), with illustrations by Sam Zuppardi. Picture books she represents include Bridget Heos and Joy Ang’s MUSTACHE BABY (Clarion/HMH); Diane Adams’ TWO HANDS TO LOVE YOU (Chronicle); Jessica Young’s MY BLUE IS HAPPY (Candlewick); Elizabeth Rusch’s ERUPTION! THE SCIENCE OF SAVING LIVES (Houghton Mifflin/HMH); and Sam Zuppardi’s THE NOWHERE BOX (Candlewick). She is a frequent speaker at conferences, including SCBWI’s national and regional conferences, is on the advisory board for University of California San Diego’s Writing and Illustrating for Children Certificate, and can be found talking about all things children’s books on Facebook (agentsonnack) and Twitter (@KSonnack). You can also learn more about her at www.kellysonnack.com or at her agency’s website, www.andreabrownlit.com.



Top Ten Entries:


FIGHT FOR THIS

IF ONE OF THEM IS DEAD

RETTA VS. MUTANTS

RIVETED

THE BATTLE OF WONDERLAND GARDENS

THE MIDNIGHT FLIGHT OF SALEM MAGI

THE OTHER SIDE OF NORMAL

THE SINNER ROSE

TRACKER 220

XAVIER AND THE MYSTERIOUS BLACK SPACESHIP

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40. Selection Is Privilege

AmyAmy Koester is the Youth & Family Program Coordinator at Skokie Public Library, where she 13089CT01.tifselects fiction for youth birth through teens and oversees programming aimed at children through grade 5. She is the chair of the ALSC Public Awareness Committee, and she manages LittleeLit.com and is a Joint Chief of the Storytime Underground. Amy has shared her library programs, book reviews, and musings on librarianship on her blog The Show Me Librarian since early 2012.

This post originally appeared on her blog The Show Me Librarian, and is cross-posted with her permission.

There is a conversation happening on the Storytime Underground Facebook Group right now. It’s been going on for a few days, actually, and it seems to have started innocuously enough: with a question about folks’ thoughts on the Youth Media Award winners, asked by a person who expressed “major shock” and disappointment (via frown-y face emoticons) about one of the Caldecott honors. As I said; innocuously enough.

Some folks who added to the thread brought up the perennial gripe that not all the recognized titles seem to have much kid appeal; other voices jumped in to clarify that kid appeal is not part of the criteria for any of the major YMAs awarded by ALSC and YALSA. I find this argument annoying the same way I do a mosquito bite, because it pops up every year around the same time and is irritating but will disappear in a week. After all, there are awards that take kid appeal into account.

But. Then something ugly and uncomfortable popped up. People started talking about certain books not appealing to kids or their entire communities for one reason: because said certain books have diverse protagonists.

Things people have said*:

  • “Sometimes I pass on even well reviewed books because I know they just won’t circulate. There aren’t any Greek gods in it! I also have a difficult time getting uh, diverse books to circulate in my community. When I started my job and weeded the picture books a huge number of non circulating titles had POC on the cover. ‘Brown Girl Dreaming?’ That’s a hard sell.”
  • “You can have my copy then. Because it won’t circulate where I am.”
  • “I just know it’s going to be a hard sell.”
  • “We have a copy, but I can count the number of black patrons my library has in two weeks on one hand. It is rural, middle class, white West Michigan. The only black author that circulates…at all…is Christopher Paul Curtis and that’s because some teachers require it. It’s not just the race of the characters either. If our young patrons want sports fiction they are going to choose Mike Lupica or Tim Green. The crossover has not circulated even one time since we got it. It’s not like Kwame can’t write. Acoustic Rooster checks out frequently.”

After reading the full thread and seeing this build-up of negative dialogue specifically around diverse award-winning titles in collections, I responded:

“I find it extremely problematic to suggest that a library doesn’t need a book–award-winner or not–that features a minority protagonist on the basis that there aren’t many readers of that minority who use the library. To me, that suggests both a bias on the part of selectors as well as a lack of trust in the readers we serve. We know verifiably that young readers do not only want to read about characters whose lives are like their own, and keeping them from even having the option to try a book about a person who is different from them is bordering dangerously on censorship. If a particular child does not want to read a particular book, so be it; but, especially in a public library, children should have that option.”

I am going to expand on that a bit.

First, and frankly, I find the position “because we don’t have X readers in my library, we don’t need X books” to be racist. This position implies that we as selectors view diverse books as inherently less-than. If we argue that only black youth will want to read about black youth, we are really saying that the experiences of black youth have no relevance or meaning to youth of any other race. We are saying that the experiences of the youth in the books we do buy have broader relevance and resonance. That is the very definition of otherizing and making a particular perspective, experience, or group less-than.

The position that “because we don’t have X readers in my library, we don’t need X books” also denotes a fundamental lack of respect for the children we are supposed to be serving. It suggests that we think our young readers cannot handle, relate to, or be expected to understand an experience that does not mirror their own. Not collecting—and collecting but not promoting—titles with diverse protagonists projects the selector’s own bias onto the reader instead of letting readers freely encounter stories and information.

Also, I feel very strongly that if the excellent diverse books in your collection do not circulate, you are not doing your job of getting great books into the hands of readers. As librarians, we can sell any great book to the right reader. We can find the aspects of a title that will appeal to the range of readers we serve. Diverse books have the exact same appeal factors as the whitewashed majority of children’s publishing. So we can be professionals and make our readers’ advisory about appeal factors, or we can continue to always take kids interested in sports reads to Matt Christopher or Tim Green instead of to Kwame Alexander. But if we do the latter, we are part of the problem. If we omit diverse titles from our RA even though those exact same appeal factors are there, we are perpetuating a racist status quo.

I want to take a moment to step outside of what I have to say on this topic and share what some other professionals have said*:

  • “Good collection development policies should emphasize a variety of things, but one of them should most definitely be diversity. The goal of a public library is not just to serve as a mirror for our community, but to serve as an open door to the world, which includes giving our communities opportunities to walk in the shoes of characters very different from them. This, to me, is part of our education goals, to help our patrons gain a broad perspective of the world. If books don’t circulate there are things we can do to help promote circulation, including book displays, book talks, sharing book trailers and more. Yes, budgets are tight every where, but we should absolutely make sure that we actively are working to build diverse collections because it is an important part of helping us fulfill our primary mission to our local communities. And the idea that not one single person in our local communities wants or needs to read books that highlight diversity concerns me because it suggests that we don’t have enough faith in our kids to learn, grow and step outside of their comfort zones.”
  • “I think it is a PRIMARY JOB of librarians, specifically youth services librarians, to promote and encourage diversity in our collections, budgets be damned. After all, I spend way too much of my money on crap like Barbie and Disney princesses … which circulate like *gangbusters*. But if I went on just that, I’d have a very shallow collection.”
  • “The point: if the only way you know how to sell a book is ‘it’s got brown people’ then you might’ve missed the point of the story.”
  • “If you want to champion diversity in a place where people are resistant, sell the story, not the character’s color or orientation.”
  • “And I absolutely hate that people use the excuse ‘well, they just don’t circulate in my library.’ That speaks the the librarian’s failings.”

When it comes down to it, a major aspect of this topic is selection/collection development, and the fact that selection is a privilege. If you select materials for your readers, you are privileged to get to influence not only what children read, but what they have access to in the first place. And when I read arguments against including diverse titles, or questions about why we have to talk about this topic, it puts into sharp focus for me the fact that we have to recognize our privilege as selectors, and, more than likely, as white selectors for diverse readers.
selection is privilege
If you find yourself thinking “I don’t need this title because we don’t really have many X readers here,” your privilege is showing. You have probably never had to open more than one or two books in a row in order to find a character who looks/speaks/lives like you do. That is privilege. And whether we intend it to or not, our privilege influences our thinking and our decisions. This is a problem because our decisions affect the capabilities of young readers to find books in which they can find themselves and in which they can meet new people.

Confronting our privilege is hard. It is uncomfortable. I am acutely aware that, because of my privilege as a white woman, I don’t have to write this post. No one would begrudge me for not speaking up on this topic publicly. In fact, it would probably be a lot easier, and I would seem a lot nicer, if I didn’t write this post.

But that course of action is no longer acceptable to me. I am no longer going to privately roll my eyes when professional colleagues make privileged statements about their exclusionary practices, or when reviewers ignore microaggressions in books for youth. I am going to say something, because ignoring it only lets it perpetuate. And when someone calls me out on something I say or causes me to think critically about my own practice, I am going to try really, really hard not to get defensive and to just listen and reflect and improve. It is hard. And I don’t need to do it.

Except that I do, because the ability of every child I serve to feel valuable and see themselves as a beautiful, complex individual is what hangs in the balance.

This is not about our comfort, or our personal convictions, or what we think we know definitively after doing this job a particular way for so many years.

It is about the children we serve. Every single one of them.

*Because these conversations have been happening in public forums (a public Facebook group and on Twitter), I feel that sharing direct quotations is not a breach of anyone’s privacy. I have made the decision to share these quotes without identifying the speakers, as my ultimate goal is constructive conversation about privilege in selection for youth libraries, not alienating or shaming members of the community.

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41. How to chose and use your art materials wisely

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If you’re anything like the thousands of creatives out there, you’ll no doubt have something called “GotToHaveEveryArtSupply-itis”and its incurable. We get so excited and enthusiastic when the glorious sound of the art supply shop opens like an unknown force pulling us in against our will (not really), to when there’s a sale online we just have to get them all.Although with this vast growing collection of art supplies, in which we think deep down will bestow upon us great creative talent, comes being practical and responsible to.

 Each art material has its advantages and disadvantages, however its actually how you use them that will help you to produce great work.So here’s a few tips to really help  you choose your creative weapons of choice wisely and wield them like a true creative warrior!

1.  Combine materials that compliment each other – Just because you have an artbox filled with yummy supplies, doesn’t mean you have to throw everything into the mix to make the perfect receipe. Experimenting is key to know what works for you and your style to build your creative process. Look closely at the textures, contrasts and effects each material gives you and which would compliment each other nicely to create the perfect creative dish.  For example watercolours and coloured pencil work great together to create colour washes with beautiful tone work.

2. He’s got it so I need to have it to - No doubt you’ve done this to where your inspirational creative idol uses a specific art supply and  you feel the urge to possess it to achieve greatness. Although this isn’t to say its not the quality of product that gives them great results, bear in mind they’ve been honing their skills and processes with it for countless hours through “practice“. Not every art supply works the same with every creatives style and process, but experiment with different materials to see if introducing it to your creative making steps will benefit the pieces you create.

3. Invest within your budget- Last but not least investing and budgeting, understandably art supplies often aren’t cheap as they come in so many different brands, qualities and quantities at different prices. There’s also artist and student grade materials, however the key is be wise and stick to your budget. Test materials out and if you feel they have a permanent place in how you make your art then this gives you the option to invest in them further.

Good luck creatives and have fun wielding those art supplies!

Featured image by Amy Van Luijk  you can find out more about her work here.

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42. USPS Reveals Maya Angelou Forever Stamp

USPS has released a preview of the upcoming Maya Angelou forever stamp.

The stamp features a  hyper-realistic painting of Angelou by the Atlanta-based artist Ross Rossin. The original painting is currently on display at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery through Nov. 1. The stamp also features a quote from the author:  \"A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.\"

The stamp will be issued at a dedication ceremony on Tuesday April 7th. In the meantime, you can preorder the stamps here.

 

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43. Marvel Unveils a Third Trailer For The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Marvel Entertainment has unveiled a third trailer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron movie. Comic books fans spread the #AvengersAssemble hashtag across the Twittersphere to unlock it.

The video embedded above offers a deeper look at the robotic supervillain that will challenge Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Hawkeye, Thor, and The Hulk. Follow these links to watch another trailer and a clip from this film adaptation. (via IGN.com)

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44. 2015 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award Winners Announced

Poets & WritersPoets & Writers, Inc. has unveiled the recipients of the 2015 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Awards.

Margaret Atwood, Cheryl Boyce-Taylor, and Christopher Castellani have been named the winners. In addition, Barbara Epler has won the Editor’s Award. The awards will be presented during the organization’s annual benefit dinner on March 23rd.

Here’s more from the press release: “The Writers for Writers Award was established by Poets & Writers in 1996 to recognize authors who have given generously to other writers or to the broader literary community. It is named for Barnes & Noble in appreciation of the company’s sponsorship of Poets & Writers. Winners are selected by a committee comprised of current and former members of the Poets & Writers Board of Directors.”

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45. App of the Week: OneShot

Name: OneShot
Platform: iOS
Cost:Free

oneshot logo Imagine that one afternoon after school the teens you work with are hanging out at the library reading articles of personal interest on their iPhones. All of a sudden one of the teens reads something that she has to let others know about. So, she decides she wants to Tweet the link. But, really what she wants to do is highlight one particular sentence in the article for her friends to read. She could copy and paste the text into Twitter, but maybe that makes her Tweet too long to post easily. But then she realizes, I have OneShot on my phone and I can take a screenshot of the part of the article that I want to point out, highlight the text on the screenshot, and then add that image to the Tweet. So, that's what she does.

I think that story highlights that OneShot is a simple idea and a simple app that does one thing really well - allows Twitter users to use screenshots in Tweets and enables highlighting in those screenshots (OneShot also makes it possible to crop screenshots and add a background color). It's one of those apps that before I used it I didn't realize I needed it. I was making due with the tools I had - copy and paste, ordinary screenshots, and so on.

Here is an example of a recent Tweet that I posted using OneShot to highlight a portion of a web page:

At the moment the app only works on iPhones. The developers say that a universal version should be available any day now which means that it will be available for iPad as well. I can see that the iPad version could be very useful for teens and staff who are reading articles and web pages on their personal and/or library provided devices.

I know that OneShot probably seems like just an extra tool that is OK to have but not a necessity. But, if the teens you work with, your colleagues, or yourself take part in Tweeting that includes links to articles and other web content, try it out. I think you'll be happy that you did.

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46. Ridgefield Locals Hope to Establish a Maurice Sendak Museum

Maurice Sendak 200A group of locals from Ridgefield hope to build a museum to honor the legendary children’s books creator, Maurice Sendak. Sendak spent forty years of his life as a resident of this small Connecticut town.

Both the Maurice Sendak Foundation and the townspeople have approved the pursuants’ proposal. They hope to build this institution inside a glass building which was notably designed by architect Philip Johnson.

Here’s more from The Associated Press: “The 45-acre campus of the energy services company Schlumberger, including the proposed museum site, was acquired by Ridgefield in 2012 for $7 million. On Tuesday, town voters approved the sale of 10 of the acres for residential construction, returning $4.3 million to the town. The first selectman, Rudy Marconi, said the sale could help the museum proposal by giving planners flexibility on decisions regarding the rest of the property.” (Photo Credit: John Dugdale)

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47. Review – After Ghandi: One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance by Anne Sibley O’Brien and Perry Edmund O’Brien

After Gandhi: One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance, by Anne Sibley O’Brien and Perry Edmond O’Brien (Charlesbridge, 2009)

After Gandhi: One Hundred Years of Nonviolent Resistance
by Anne Sibley O’Brien and Perry Edmond O’Brien
(Charlesbridge, 2009)

 
An extraordinarily powerful and … Continue reading ...

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48. Read Aloud!

Today, more than a million people in at least 80 countries around the world celebrate World Read Aloud Day. This annual event “calls global attention to the importance of reading aloud and sharing stories.” How will you take part?


My cousin Mary Jo  and her sweet dog Molly volunteer in the Paws for Tales program at the Weyers-Hilliard library in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Kids who are looking for good listeners can come in and read a book to Molly or one of the other “friendly, trained four-legged friends.” What fun—and what good practice!

Reading aloud is good practice for writers, too. Before you consider a poem or story complete, give it the read-aloud test. Read it yourself. Read it to a child or a pet. Ask someone to read it to you. Does it flow well? Does the rhythm fit the message? Listen to the sounds of the words. Do they match the tone of the manuscript? Be alert for any stumbles.

Note any issues on your manuscript as you listen. Focus on those spots in your next revision. Repeat as necessary. Have fun!

JoAnn Early Macken

P.S. I’m also celebrating March 4th (one of my favorite holidays) on my blog. Stop in and see why!


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49. cally jane studio

Post by Alice Palace

These are some super cute animal illustrations from cally jane studio…

otters-cally jane studio Horsey_callyJaneStudio Moon Owl-Cally Jane Studio

See more of her work here

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50. George R.R. Martin Gives Away a First-Edition Hobbit

georgerrmartinGame of Thrones author George R.R. Martin has given away a rare, first-edition, copy of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. This particular volume contains illustrations created by Tolkien himself.

The donation was made to Texas A&M University. According to the school’s blog post, the book will be displayed at the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives for a few weeks.

During his visit, Martin explained that “there’s no doubt his effect upon me was profound and I take a strange pleasure in seeing him included in a library like this, to be a 5 millionth book with Cervantes and Walt Whitman. It represents an acceptance of fantasy into the canon of world literature which I think is long overdue, frankly.” Do you agree with Martin’s opinion? (via Chron.com)

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