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1. Artist of the Day: Weng Pixin

Discover the work of Weng Pixin, Cartoon Brew's Artist of the Day!

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2. Student Interview Video

Here's a short video of students from Gibson-Neill Memorial Elementary School in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

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3. टूट चुका हूँ

टूट चुका हूँ मन से मैं,
ना तन का बोझ सहा जाए,
जब भी आस लगाई मैने,
केवल अंधेरे पाए,

अपनो ने तोड़ा मुझको,
जीवन बचपन से रूठा है,
खून भी ना छोड़ा सबने,
कुछ ऐसा मुझको लूटा है,

बस्ती है ये तन्हाई की,
जीने की आस यहाँ किसको,
है नर्क से भी बत्तर ये युग,
कहते है कलयुग हम जिसको,

यहाँ मोल नही कुछ इन्सा का,
बस कष्ट ही मिलते है हर पल,
प्यार ही करता है निश्चित,
अब कैसे तू यहाँ पल पल जल,

और नही तड़पना मुझको,
कुछ पल का आराम तो दे,
हे भगवन!, धरती के बदले,
चाहे नर्क का धाम तू दे |    

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4. To do this weekend: Linework NW in Portland, OR


Just as a reminder, this weekend is the first big West Coast Caf of the year: LINEWORK NW which is FREE to attend in Portland’s Norse Hall. Info in the above link but here’s the skinny:

Linework NW will take place on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19, 2015, at the Norse Hall in Portland, Oregon. Hours of operation are 12pm-8pm both days. Attendance is free and open to the public.

Harassment Policy: Linework NW will not tolerate verbal or physical abuse, derogatory or discriminatory language, sexual harassment, and disruptive or inappropriate behavior. Anyone who feels they have witnessed or have been subjected to inappropriate or abusive behavior at the festival is encouraged to report it to a Linework NW volunteer immediately. Linework NW organizers will be available to mediate conflicts at the festival, and we reserve the right to ask anyone we determine to be violating our policies to adhere to our community standards, up to and including excluding them from the event.

Linework NW is organized and operated by Sam Marx, Shanna Matuszak, Kinoko Evans, Tristan Tarwater, Zack Soto & François Vigneault. The show was founded by Zack and François.


Special guests include Dan Clowes, Lisa Conger, Lisa Hanawalt and Jay Howell.

Maybe Clowes will spill some beans about the new graphic novel he’s been teasing! Keep us posted.

And here’s the programming line-up:

12:30: Freelance Illustration: Work and Life
Ryan Alexander-Tanner
Steve Lieber
Meg Hunt
Pam Wishbow
moderated by Tristan Tarwater

1:30: Lisa Hanawalt Spotlight
Moderated by Tom Spurgeon

2:30: Jay Howell Spotlight
Moderated by Bwana Spoons

3:30: Free Speech and the Aftermath of Charlie Hebdo
Sean Aaberg
Suzette Smith
Sam Alden
Tom Spurgeon
moderated by François Vigneault

4:30: Modern Portraiture
Michael Horwitz
Nicole J. Georges
Hazel Newlevant
Jeannette Langmeade
Moderated by Sam Marx

5:30: Genre Through the Indie Lens
Malachi Ward
Sera Stanton
Zack Soto
Ian MacEwan
Moderated by Tom Spurgeon

6:30: The Intersection of Creativity – Balancing Comics/Illustration with Other Outlets
Ben Sears
Joseph Bergin III
Bwana Spoons
Jay Howell 
Moderated by Sam Marx

• Sunday April 19 •

12:30: Collectives and Collaborations
Luke Ramsey
Sindre Goksøyr
Sean Christensen
Marc Palm
Seth Goodkind
Tom Van Deusen

1:30: Queering Up Comics
Michael Horwitz
Melanie Gillman
Virginia Paine
Genue Revuelta
Moderated by Taneka Stotts

2:30: Lisa Congdon Spotlight
moderated by Jason Strugill

3:30: Daniel Clowes Spotlight
moderated by Tom Spurgeon

4:30: The Modern Reality of Fundraising for Artists
Lucy Bellwood
Kory Bing
Taneka Stotts
Hazel Newlevant
moderated by Tristan Tarwater

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5. Inclusive libraries? Odds and ends

*In an attempt to be inclusive in our public libraries, do we make an effort to speak to everyone??  Here's an article about serving our "conservative" young people, thanks to School Library Journal.

*Want a free audio book?  Want a free audio book about one of the most charismatic and enigmatic Civil Rights leaders ever?  Read below for directions on a chance to download a FREE MP3 of the novel X: A Novel .

"The teen literacy program SYNC will feature X in its program from May 14 through May 21, in commemoration of Malcolm X’s ninetieth birthday. During that week, the audiobook version will be available as a free MP3 download through the SYNC website.

Starting now, you can text “xnovel” to the number 25827. The reply text will read:
“Meet Malcolm X before he was X. Free spoken word MP3 coming 2U 5/14. Get app for listening @ http://app.overdrive.com/”
On May 14, an additional text will arrive with a link to the download page and pointers on how to load the MP3 onto your player.
X: A Novel
Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon
HC: 978-0-7636-6967-6
Also available as an e-book and in audio"




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6. back to school

On Being a Late Bloomer is here.

The Year of Exploration is here.

 It occurred to me yesterday: I am intuitively doing what I did when I was so young and a single mom, uneducated, needy, and wanting a life for my kids, for myself, wanting to understand the world and to find my place in it. I went to school. I got my undergraduate degree from the many libraries I haunted during those years.

I was barely 22, I was broke, I was alone with two small children, but I had a library card. I still have a library card. Now I have two (we made peace). Suddenly, in this year of exploration, I am back to school and in much the same way. Let's call it a graduate degree.

I'm following my intuition, pulling on strings when an idea comes to me or someone mentions something that rings a "year of exploration" bell. I am truly following my nose here, as well as my list of things I want to explore. These notes are the ones I took when listening to Malcolm Gladwell's THE TIPPING POINT from my library system's Overdrive account. I *love* Overdrive.And my library.

I don't know what I'll do with what I learn from THE TIPPING POINT, but that's not the point. I know I will use it. I know it's part of the year of exploration. It will tie in with everything else. I've always been a learner; I rarely have a stretch of time in which to learn in depth, intensely. That"s where I am now.
I finally excavated my office. I've been on the road for the past six months -- I've traveled in six months as much as I usually do in a year. I have bought myself some time off the road. My sabbatical starts June 1. I'll still travel. But that travel landscape is going to look different going forward.

More on that later. For now, I've spent the most lovely, rainy Friday afternoon going through ephemera of the past six months on the road. Letters from students, student writing, receipts, little gifts and remembrances, bills and business stuff... "Oh! There's my parking receipt!"... and photographs to remind me of good work done with new friends.

I got on the road 15 years ago when I became so suddenly single, and I've done a good job of taking care of me and mine, I've done good work on the road -- I've learned so much -- and I've written some good books. Now is the time for stillness and learning to love my new hometown, and writing, and learning, and being. Becoming. Something. I don't know what yet. I am trusting the process.

Have a great weekend, friends. I'm going to be off exploring....

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7. Week in Review, April 13th-17th

Week in Review

This week on hbook.com…

Rebecca Stead will be back for the 2015 BGHB award announcements at BEA!

Pam Muñoz Ryan Talks with Roger

Not on our site, but worth a read: author Marion Dane Bauer on “The Payoff of a Lonely Childhood” (inspired by Roger’s March/April 2015 editorial “The Difference That Made Them“)

Reviews of the Week:

Read Roger:

Out of the Box:

Events calendar

See overviews of previous weeks by clicking the tag week in review. Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date on our articles!


The post Week in Review, April 13th-17th appeared first on The Horn Book.

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8. Try-Fail Cycle Brainstorming Tips

Bestselling author, David Farland is not only a great author, but he's a great writing instructor. If you're an aspiring author and do not subscribe to his writing tips, you should. Today he posted a writing tip on brainstorming obstacles for try-fail cycles that I love. Try-fail cycles play a critical role in creating tension and moving a story's plot forward. But often effectively executing the the try-fail cycle as a writer can have mixed results. David's post gives some great insight for those who struggle with try-fail cycles or just need a little more help coming up with more creative ideas to throw more obstacles in your protagonist's path.

Check it out. 12 types of obstacles to consider when creating try/fail cycles

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9. The official Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer is here


And as predicted, the official teaser for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has dropped via Zack Snyder‘s twitter feed:


What do you think? Sound off below, and have a great weekend!

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10. Window

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11. Nice Art: Behold Valiant Previews Featuring Ninjak, Divinity, and Ivar

Valiant has just debuted a brand new round of previews from some of their biggest and best books. First up is Ninjak #1, which contained a solid debut with incredibly smart writing and art from Matt Kindt, Clay Mann, and Butch Guice. The story revealed Colin King hunting down a group of individuals on assignment from MI-6, wasting no time dazzling fans with the exploits of Valiant’s premiere ninja. This is going to be another 40-page issue complete with two stories for the agreeable price of $4.99.


Written by MATT KINDT



International financier Colin King hasn’t just come to Tokyo to take the Rippongi club scene by storm. As the covert MI-6 operative codenamed Ninjak, he’s also tracking down the men who trained him to be a lethal weapon…the very same men whose movements have now aligned with the latest terror plot by the cybernetic crime cartel called WEBNET! But how do you detect killers who specialize in the undetectable? And how does he know that the SHADOW SEVEN haven’t caught up with him first? It’s all-out ninja-versus-ninja warfare as the deadliest men and women of five continents converge on the Tokyo underworld for a blood-spattered blowout!

$3.99 | 40 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 22


The first two issues of Divinity have been extraordinarily good, proving that Matt Kindt really has a good hold on the world of the Valiant. However, the most extraordinary part of the title for me is how the publisher found just the right job for Trevor Hairsine. The artist doesn’t have a typically clean Marvel style, but instead features more jagged lines and a specific style of pencilling. His artwork can almost be compared to that of Frank Quitely, an excellent storyteller whose art depicts a very specific style of tone.

DIVINITY #3 (of 4)

Written by MATT KINDT


The sci-fi saga of 2015 continues – from New York Times best-selling writer Matt Kindt (RAI) and blockbuster artist Trevor Hairsine (X-Men: Deadly Genesis)!

A being with the power of a god roams free in the Australian Outback, bringing life to the barren wasteland and making him a hero to natives who live there and the visitors that have sought him out. But can the global superpowers of Earth rely on this long lost cosmonaut not to abuse his seemingly limitless power? The entity called DIVINITY will put that trust to the test when he discovers what became of the life he left behind…and the family he once knew…

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | VALIANT PRESTIGE | On sale APRIL 22


Ivar, Timewalker can be sort of compared to a dark Doctor Who, as the titular hero is hiding some big secrets throughout space and time. Fred Van Lente and Clayton Henry continue to craft the story of Ivar, that begins to grow darker as more time continues to pass. Henry’s art has been so clean and specific to the title, which is perfect as Ivar could possibly expanded with the female demographic that has been so keen on Doctor Who in the past couple of years. Henry’s clean linework and expressive characters make this title a joy to experience as the debut arc of Ivar comes to an end with the fourth installment of the series.




Time is almost up!

Ivar has been keeping a secret from his partner-in-time, Neela, this whole time, and once she learns the truth their relationship will be history! Literally! Join New York Times best-selling creators Fred Van Lente & Clayton Henry for the epoch shattering conclusion of our first (time)arc!

$3.99 | 32 pgs. | T+ | On sale APRIL 22


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12. I am the Hurdle

I am the hurdle that needs to be cleared,
The stumbling block in the way.
All would be perfect if I disappeared;
A rainbow would rise every day.

I am the glitch and the knot in the chain,
The obstacle smack in the path.
Shutting me up would be everyone’s gain;
My words seem to whet people’s wrath.

I’m the impediment here to prevent
What progress there is to be made.
My purpose appears to provoke discontent,
Like a welcome that’s been overstayed.

Waking me up like a slap in the face
Is the knowledge of how I’m perceived –
As a hurdle to leap with no thought to embrace
Any truth in the thoughts I’ve believed.

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13. Illumination Sets Release Date for Louis C.K.-Starring ‘The Secret Life of Pets’

New York's favorite hangdog comic is set to play an actual dog.

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14. Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’ and ‘The Little Prince’ Will Premiere at Cannes

Festival director Thierry Frémaux continues to show his love for animation.

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15. I’m enjoying working on this #PetPortrait #Commission of a...

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16. San Francisco’s Cartoon Art Museum forced to find a new home


“Cartoon Art Museum” by User:Tfinc – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons


CAM drop shadow logo.jpg
This is sad but not surprising—given the insane rise in real estate prices in San Francisco, it was only a matter of time before the Cartoon Art Museum, which occupied a spacious and accessible spot near Market Street has been evicted so its space can be converted to something expensive and greedy. The museum will stay open until June 28th, and in a release they note that the move was not unexpected and they had already begun preparations, just like Cutter and Skywise.

While a LOT of people have tried to open a comics art museum in the US over the years—Mort Walker, Kevin Eastman, David Gabriel, MoCCA and more—the Cartoon Art Museum, which began as a home for historian Bill Blackbeard’s massive collection. It’s become a staple of the Bay Area’s cultural life with weekly events and classic exhibitions, under the guidance of manager Andrew Farago, executive Director Summerlea Kashar and Board chairman Ron Evans. The museum will last long enough to take part in the first San Francisco Comics Fest, before moving to temporary gallery space while it searched for a permanent home.

Maybe this is a chance for Apple, Google, Twitter, Uber and all those other billion dollar companies to actually show that they care about more than making a buck and sink a little tax free charity dollars into adding to the culture of the area they’ve colonized. Crazy dream, I know.

Following a notice to vacate, the Cartoon Art Museum will be closing its doors at 655 Mission Street on Sunday, June 28, 2015.  The museum, which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, began preparing several months ago for a possible relocation and will now continue those efforts in search of temporary gallery space as well as a new long-term home.
“This is just another challenge in the life of the Cartoon Art Museum,” says Summerlea Kashar, the museum’s Executive Director. “And given San Francisco’s current commercial real estate market, it’s not very surprising.”
The Cartoon Art Museum is the only museum in the western United States dedicated to promoting a greater appreciation of cartoons, comics, animation, and illustration.  Through exhibitions, artist appearances, and community outreach programs, the museum demonstrates how cartoon art entertains, communicates diversity, and champions self-expression.  Thousands of young people have benefited from the museum’s programs and classes in creativity.
Over the past three decades, the museum has produced more than 180 exhibitions on topics ranging from politics and sports to children’s literature and Latino culture.  Among the hundreds of artists that have been featured are Kate Beaton, Mary Blair, Roz Chast, Robert Crumb, Dan DeCarlo, Will Eisner, Phil Frank, Dave Gibbons, Edward Gorey, Los Bros. Hernandez, Lynn Johnston, Chuck Jones, Jack Kirby, Keith Knight, Tom Meyer, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, John Romita, Stan Sakai, Dr. Seuss, Charles Schulz, Raina Telgemeier, Garry Trudeau, Morrie Turner, Mort Walker, Bill Watterson, and Wally Wood.
The Cartoon Art Museum remains open through late June with many programs slated for the next two months.  In May, the museum will take part in the inaugural San Francisco Comics Fest with an event celebrating San Francisco’s underground comix movement.  It will also play host to Comics 4 Comix, an evening of standup comedy, as well as the second annual Queer Comics Expo.  The museum’s final exhibition at 655 Mission Street will showcase original artwork from Jeffrey Brown’s popular series of Star Wars books, including Goodnight Darth Vader and the forthcoming release Darth Vader and Friends.

“We’re one of San Francisco’s most original educational institutions and a magnet for visitors from around the world,” says Board Chairman Ron Evans. “The staff and board are committed to maintaining the museum as a vital part of the city’s cultural fabric.  We welcome any and all support from those who would like to help us do so.”
For information on becoming a museum member, making a financial or in-kind donation, or enlisting as a corporate sponsor, please call 415-227-8666 x 313 or visitcartoonart.org/join-support <http://cartoonart.org/join-support/>.  Supporters are also encouraged to contribute to the Cartoon Art Museum’s capital campaign <http://cartoonart.org/join-support/cartoon-art-museums-future-relocation/> .


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17. Miami Vice: Remix by Casey and Mahfood continues to be wilder than it has any reason to be


It’s almost quitting time here in EDT so let’s leave the week with something FUN for a change.

Why just do a comic book based on a classically of it time TV show when you can reinvent it as an acid trip that bends time and
space? And hooray for licensors who let you get away with it. Miami Vice: Remix by Joe Casey and Jim Mahfood is anything but a dull TV show comic…it’s an audacious tale on tropes and icons, and a gem in the Lion Forge line-up.

Last month, the TV classic Miami Vice came back in a whole new way with the neo-noir, ultraviolet, action-packed Miami Vice: Remix. The first issue left readers cliff-hanging but never fear — the next installment of car chases, palm trees, and mutation-inducing designer drugs is here!

When we last left Crockett and Tubbs (still Miami’s coolest cops) they were in a sticky situation with some South Florida zombies high on Miami Bath Salts. Now they’re in hot pursuit of the dealer of this horrific nose candy, which leads them to punching cracked-out monsters in the face while zooming through Florida Turnpike traffic. Just another day at the office! But while one situation explodes, another simmers; someone who’s got serious beef with our $600-suit-wearing-heroes claims that Crockett’s got a serious debt to pay — and they’re here to collect!

Writer Joe Casey (Godland, Wildcats, Adventures of Superman) and artist Jim Mahfood (Tank Girl, Ultimate Spider-Man, Grrl Scouts) take their off-the-wall trip to South Beach to the next level with another high-energy, neon-soaked installment, in-stores next Wednesday.


Issue #2
Pub Date: April 22, 2015
Item Code: FEB150372

Issue #3
Pub Date: May 13, 2015
Item Code: MAR150456

Issue #4
Pub Date: June 17, 2015
Item Code: APR150489




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18. recognizing the detail smorgasbord (plus spring giveaway winners!)


Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

This time of year is an absolute boon for children’s writers. If you have children or grandkids, you’ll soon be attending award ceremonies, field days, banquets, carnivals, graduations, end-of-year parties or picnics. Well, when you do, be sure to take notes. These occasions are an All-You-Can-Record Detail Smorgasbord!

Oh, I know you think you’ll remember. You are wrong. Even if you take photos, many details will be spirited away. I am the mother of a high school senior. Benefit from my experience.




Jot down the names of the various awards and how students react to them, the food and amusements offered at the carnival, how the banquet was decorated and what was served, choice sound bites you overhear, and what teachers say to regain crowd control. Take note of the popular (and the not-so-popular) kids are wearing and how they talk, the words to songs that are sung, the music being played at a ceremony, the names of the games being played (and so on and so forth and what have you).

These notes will become precious to you when you sit down to write. You’ll have a stockpile of details to bring your work to life and ground it in a reality that is so familiar to your readers. (Oh,  and yes, you’ll have recorded dear details from your child’s school year, so there’s that too.)

The truth of the story lies in the details. ~ Paul Auster

Congratulations to the winners of the Frog on a Dime Spring Cleaning Giveaway . . .

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Photo by Vicky Lorencen

Lindsay Fouts–winner of Writer’s First Aid: Getting Organized, Getting Inspired and Sticking to It by Kristi Holl

Danielle Hammelef–winner of Writing with Pictures: How to Write and Illustrate Children’s Books by Uri Shulevitz

Please contact me with your address and I’ll be delighted to send you your book!


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19. Check Out the World’s First Cartoon Network Waterpark

Slide down Jake's slippery fur coat at Cartoon Network's new waterpark in Asia.

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20. New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip

There is a new genre emerging..."New Adult" fiction for older teens aka college-aged readers. You never stop growing up, but little in the market seems to address the coming-of-age that also happens between the ages of Nineteen to Twenty-six. Life changes drastically once high school is over, you have college, first jobs, first internships, first adult relationships…

Part of the appeal of NA is that the storylines are about characters who are taking on adult responsibilities for the first time without guidance from their parents. And the storylines generally have a heavy romance element. 

Keep this in mind as you revise your wonderful story, New Adult books are mostly about that specific time in every person's life—the time when the apron strings are cut from your parents, you no longer have a curfew, you're experiencing the world for the very first time, in most cases, with innocent eyes. New Adult is this section of your life where you discover who you want to be, what you want to be, and what type of person you will become. This time defines you. This is the time of firsts, the time where you can't blame your parents for your own bad choices. 

An NA character has to take responsibility for their own choices and live with the consequences. Most storylines are about twenty-something (18 to 26) characters living their own lives without any parents breathing down their necks, and learning to solve things on their own as they would in real life. New Adult fiction focuses on switching gears, from depending on our parents to becoming full-fledged, independent adults.

I am a firm believer that if you’re going to write a certain genre that you should read it, too. So I’m going to recommend that you start devouring NA novels to get a real sense and understanding of the genre before you write one.

Here are some great recommendations: https://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult-romance and http://www.goodreads.com/genres/new-adult and https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/new-adult-romance

Just as YA is fiction about teens discovering who they are as a person, New Adult (NA) is fiction about building your own life as an actual adult. As older teen readers discover the joy of the Young Adult genres, the New Adult—demand may increase. This, in turn, would give writers the chance to explore the freedom of a slightly older protagonist (over the age of 18 and out of high school, like the brilliant novel, "BEAUTIFUL DISASTER" by the amazing talents of author, Jamie McGuire) while addressing more adult issues that early 20-year-olds must face.

Older protagonists (basically, college students) are surprisingly rare; in a panel on YA literature at Harvard’s 2008 Vericon, City of Bones author talked about pitching her novel, then about twenty-somethings, as adult fiction. After several conversations, Clare realized she had to choose between adults and teens. She went with teens.

Quote from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press: We are actively looking for great, new, cutting edge fiction with protagonists who are slightly older than YA and can appeal to an adult audience. Since twenty-somethings are devouring YA, St. Martin’s Press is seeking fiction similar to YA that can be published and marketed as adult—a sort of an “older YA” or “new adult.” In this category, they are looking for spunky but not stupid, serious but not dull, cutting-edge, supernatural stories.

Quote from Georgia McBride, author (Praefatio) and founder of #YALitChat and publisher at Month9Books: "New Adult is a fabulous idea in theory, and authors seem to be excited about it. But in a world where bookstores shelf by category, to them, it is either  Adult or Young Adult. Some booksellers even call their YA section “teen.” And when you have a character who is over a certain age (19 seems to be the age most consider the start of New Adult), it is received as Adult. In some cases, the designation by publishers causes more confusion than not.
Let’s face it, YA is associated with teens, and at 19, most no longer consider themselves teens. So, it would support the theory of placing these “New Adult” titles in the Adult section. However, with the prevalence of eBook content, it would seem that the powers that be could easily create a New Adult category if they really wanted to...."

There’s also a list on goodreads of New Adult book titles. These books focus on college age characters, late teens to early twenties, transitioning into the adult world.

Some popular authors of the NA category include:
  • Jamie McGuire
  • Jessica Park
  • Tammara Webber
  • Steph Campbell
  • Liz Reinhardt
  • Abbi Glines
  • Colleen Hoover 
  • Sherry Soule

Would you buy New Adult books? 
Does the genre appeal to you? 

Does it sound better than YA (teen novels)? 
Or are you happy with YA as it stands?

Do you consider YA to include characters that are over the age of eighteen? 

0 Comments on New Adult Fiction Genre - Contemporary Romance - #WriteTip as of 3/18/2015 4:48:00 PM
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21. Melissa Marr: BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU


BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU by Melissa Marr; Illustrated by Teagan WhiteMelissa Marr reads Bunny Roo, I Love YouYesterday, I got to spend a delightful morning at Blue Willow Bookshop for a special story time with Melissa Marr. Melissa’s young adult novel WICKED LOVELY took the YA world by storm when it debuted eight years ago. Since then, she’s successfully ventured into the world of MG fantasy as well as books for adults. Now she’s breaking into what may be the toughest challenge for  a writer, picture books.

Bunny PicHow do you tell a beautiful, funny and touching story in under three hundred words? Take a look at BUNNY ROO, I LOVE YOU, from Nancy Paulsen Books, Penguin.

That’s how.

There is so much love in this book, maybe because Melissa wrote it while she Little Artistsstayed in the hospital with her newborn son for forty days. The beautiful hand painted illustrations by Teagan White are warm and sweet.

To put whipped cream and sprinkles on top, Melissa was great at story time. Her little listeners had a blast making animal noises (along with Melissa) and creating bunny pictures, complete with googly eyes and fluffy puff tails. She brought stickers of the VKNoseimages in her book which the children used to decorate their pictures when they were through drawing.

Blue Willow’s owner and manger, Valerie Koehler, was in top form, too, as she led the little ones in a song and then a hilarious game of Simon Says.

Melissa also just announced Nancy Paulsen Books will be publishing her new picture book. BABY DRAGON, BABY DRAGON is about a day in the life of an adorable, hyperactive baby dragon, who finally simmers down when he meets his match. This book is scheduled for release in May 2017, but you can start getting excited about it now by visiting the website of the chosen illustrator, Lena Podesta.


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22. World Hemophilia Day

Today is World Hemophilia Day. 

For many summers I had the privilege of taking care of young hemophiliacs at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Many of my pals outside of camp had these crazy misconceptions of the blood disorder. To put it simply, hemophiliacs have low levels of Factor VIII or Factor IX, the proteins needed to clot blood. As my friend and former camper, Conor, recently said in a post, "...it's a crappy disease that can leave you with a giant pile of complications if not managed appropriately."

Who's Conor? Conor is the kid who was the initial inspiration for Monkey Boy. Back in the fall of 1999 I was working at camp and started calling Conor "Monkey Boy" and he started acting the part...for the duration of our camp session! This photo was taken in 2001, shortly before Good Night, Monkey Boy was published. 

What is Conor up to now? He's studying to be a doctor! Seriously, what an inspiration. I'm in touch with many of Conor's peers, and they all grew up to do such amazing things. 

The CDC has posted a great summary of what hemophilia is all about here: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/hemophilia/facts.html?mobile=nocontent

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23. 30 Days of Teen Programming: How do you Know What's Needed?

teens in front of a graffitti muralThe first item in YALSA's Teen Programming Guidelines states, "Create programming that reflects the needs and identities of all teens in the community." And the overview of this guideline goes on to say:

In order to ensure that library programming meets the needs of all members of the community and does not duplicate services provided elsewhere, library staff should have a thorough understanding of the communities they serve. Library staff must continually analyze their communities so that they have current knowledge about who the teens in their community are. They must also develop relationships with community organizations already working with youth. Library staff play a crucial role in connecting teens to the community agencies and individuals that can best meet their needs.

The part of the overview that I think sometimes is difficult for library staff working with teens is the "continually analyze their communities so that they have current knowledge...." It's easy to get in a rut and not really notice how a community is changing and/or how needs and interests of teens change. For example, I live in a city that is going through a housing (and business) boom. Neighborhoods are changing in large and small ways. In some areas of the city where families never lived before families are moving in. In other areas of the city where teens were not a large population the age group in the area is growing, and in other areas it's declining. As the ways neighborhoods are changing is fluid, census data can't really help with continuous assessment as the data is older than you need it to be.

That means that the only way to continually check-on on teen populations and needs and interests is to connect deeply and continuously with the community. For example, At least three or four times a year (put it on your calendar) go out into the community and ask other agencies what they are seeing in terms of teen demographics and needs. Focus not just on schools, which is sometimes the easiest community partner to work with, but check-out Boys and Girls Clubs, youth employment programs, YMCA/YWCA's, parks and recreation departments, out-of-school time providers, and so on. In your community try talking to at least two new agencies that work with teens at least every quarter.

Make sure that you don't go in and say, "Here's what the library has and does for teens." Instead go in and ask questions about what the agency staff notice that teens need and what's missing in what teens have access to. Make sure to ask what the demographics are of the teen population that the agency works with. Don't assume that the demographic you see the most is what the rest of the community is seeing and working with. If you notice that there's a difference that's something for you to pay attention to and consider in terms of the best way to serve different teen populations.

I know that time can be an issue when working on a plan like this. It takes time to schedule a visit, prepare for the visit, have the visit, analyze the results of the visit, and then keep in touch with the community agencies that you talk with. However, if you do take the time to go out and hear what others have to say about teens in the community, you'll be able to develop programs that meet the needs of actual teens in your area. As a colleague of mine says, "I learned not to program from the gut." If you work with the community to continuously analyze your teen population you won't program from the gut you'll program for an actual need.

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24. Social Media Etiquette

What not to do when using social media.

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25. Tennessee Will Not Adopt Bible as Official Book

Tennessee joins Louisiana as a state that will not make The Bible its official book.

Despite approval from the the House State Government committee and the House Calendar and Rules Committee, a bill to make the good book the official book of Tennessee was killed by the State Senate this week. The Tennessean has the scoop:

Bolstered by opposition from Republican leadership, the Senate voted 22-9 to send the Bible to committee, effectively killing the bill a day after it was adopted by the House.

“This isn’t the time or place now in the full Senate floor to delve into that. We really need to look into it in committee,” Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, R-Collierville, said about two hours before the vote.

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