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Here are some handpicked titles from our Coming Attractions page. Want to include your book? Just read our Share Your New Book with GalleyCat Readers post for all the details.
Saigon Survival by Simon Miller: “This condensed volume combines the essentials of both a guidebook and travelogue in one indispensable package. Save thousands of dollars, avoid countless scams and never have to wonder what that bucket of water in the bathroom is for. Take it from an experienced traveller who spent over a year in Saigon and learned so much about life there he had no choice but to put pen to paper to bring you this book.” (September 2013)
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
There are kids who walk into the Children’s Library, walk right up to the desk, and tell you exactly what they’re looking for. There are kids with definite opinions and kids whose taste is harder to suss out. All these kids are a part of the joy of Reader’s Advisory – the easy ones make you feel like you’re aces at your job, while the difficult ones make you feel like a superhero when you find the perfect book for them to read.
But there is another group of kids that we noticed we were not reaching – the ones who won’t approach the librarian for suggestions, even when coaxed. At the same time, we noted our new fiction displays were not emptying out as quickly as they once had. In an effort to reach those children who don’t like to come to the librarian for RA and to help kids realize that there were worthy options among the new fiction, we started adding a simple and effective bit of hands-off RA to our displays.
photo provided by the author
What we did was simple and not groundbreaking, but it has amped up our new fiction turnaround to the point where are there are days that we run out of new books in the library! I used the die-cut machine to punch out roughly 1 zillion (a real number) bright yellow medallions, on which we wrote “For Kids Who Love….” and then inserted the title of a similar book that kids will know. The thing that makes this so effective is we exclusively link the new books to massively popular titles and authors. This lets both kids and parents who might not be familiar with popular but mid-list titles recognize books they may want to read. Does the book have family issues or emotional plot beats? For kids who love Wonder. Are there animals who talk/have feelings? For kids who love The One and Only Ivan. Is there any magic? For kids who love Harry Potter.
What’s your favorite book’s soulmate?
photo provided by the author
We started applying this to our themed fiction displays as well. For example, in February, we had a Book Soulmates display. We invited kids to discover the soulmate to their favorite book and then linked massively popular titles to older books that need an new audience. This allowed me to FINALLY convince a child to check out Good Night, Mr. Tom, a book with some of the worst cover art I have ever seen, but which I love so much I wrote about it here. I advertised it’s soulmate as Number the Stars, since they’re both about children’s experiences during WWII. And Mr. Tom hasn’t been checked in since!
The author’s favorite tiara and everyone’s favorite song.
photo provided by the author
We plan to keep this up for as long as it’s effective. Patron feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Both parents and kids have remarked that they love the new displays, and our only questions have been about whether or not it’s ok to disturb the display and/or take a book with a medallion on it.
Now I just need to figure out how to tie together princesses, RA, and like titles for this display, and I’ll be golden!
Webcomics artist John Campbell raised more than $50,000 on Kickstarter to fund a book project based on his online comic strip, Pictures for Sad Children. In an unusual turn of events, Campbell has burned the books that the donors funded, because he claims that he ran out of money to ship them.
Campbell posted a video on his Kickstarter page called, “It’s Over” which documents the burning of 127 copies of his book. “For every message I receive about this book, I will burn another book,” explains the video. Campbell apparently received 127 inquiries from backers looking for their copies of the book.
While many Kickstarter projects have had difficulty meeting their commitments, Campbell took things to a new level. continued…
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
From a Q&A in the New York Times with Teju Cole:
What books are you embarrassed not to have read yet?
I have not read most of the big 19th-century novels that people consider “essential,” nor most of the 20th-century ones for that matter. But this does not embarrass me. There are many films to see, many friends to visit, many walks to take, many playlists to assemble and many favorite books to reread. Life’s too short for anxious score-keeping. Also, my grandmother is illiterate, and she’s one of the best people I know. Reading is a deep personal consolation for me, but other things console, too.
From the Guardian:
The former children's laureate Anne Fine, added her voice to the campaign, speaking of how "exasperating" it was that "these false and stupid assumptions about what each gender 'wants' are back in force, narrowing the horizons and possibilities for children of both sexes".
"You'd think this battle would have been won decades ago. But even some seemingly bright and observant adults are buying into it again - quite literally buying into it in the area of 'pink for girls and blue for boys'," said Fine. "There are girls of all sorts, with all interests, and boys of all sorts with all interests. Just meeting a few children should make that obvious enough. But no, these idiotic notions are spouted so often they become a self-fulfilling societal straitjacket from which all our children suffer."
by Stephanie Romero
Anyone who is a parent (or knows one—which would qualify all of us), is well aware of the mommy wars that can happen. You know the ones I’m talking about…homeschooling versus traditional schooling, stay-at-home mom versus working mom, co-sleeping versus let ‘em cry it out and well, the list could go on and on.
But there’s another battle that can emerge when it comes to mothers who are writers. It is the pull between parenting and pursuing your passion. Somehow we’ve been convinced that we must choose one or the other. Or we have to wait until a “season” or “stage” in our child’s life has passed. Yet the next one could prove to be more difficult and time-consuming than the last. So we remain stuck. Or we end up feeling guilty because we’ve made what we perceive as the wrong choice.
For too long, mothers have been convinced that when they choose something else to pursue (other than parenting), they should feel guilty. As if being a mom is the only identifying factor in her life. When the truth is that we are so much more. We have passions that go beyond motherhood, so why not embrace them?
Do you ever feel guilty about writing? I have been there. When I’ve been holed up in my office downstairs for hours at a time, knowing my full attention isn’t always with my children. So I have to remind myself—this is not only my passion, it’s my job. I get paid to do this—which means someone is expecting me to produce. I’m teaching them responsibility and something about hard work.
But the same thing can happen when we want to take time to break away and work on that novel, polish up the manuscript or write a blog post. The guilt monster sits on our shoulder, needling away at us. “What kind of mom are you?!” And we’re back to believing that in pursuing our passion as a writer, we have somehow failed as a mother.
Why do we do that to ourselves? Why do we do it to other women? Because we believe the lies. We have fallen into that trap, the one that tries to convince us we are not being a good mom if we are passionate about something other than our children. Of course, it’s all about balance. But that’s a different topic for another day.
The point is, I feel like women need permission to be excited about something else in life. To understand that the beauty of being a woman extends beyond motherhood. You can be a mother AND a writer. You might have to write during naptime, in the middle of the night or while they’re at school. But for heaven’s sake, don’t wait until the “right time.” Do it now. You really don’t have to choose between parenting and pursuing your passion for writing—there is a way to have both.
* * *
Stephanie Romero is a professional web content writer for "We Do Web Content." Her personal blog, "REAL Inspiration for the REAL Writer" provides weekly encouragement to writers of all genres. But her biggest passion (and what she hopes to one day turn into a book) is helping other moms (and even dads) learn how to treasure every moment with their children. Through her own candid experiences in parenting, she shares how faith has helped her navigate the ups and downs of parenting. In addition, she is the writer/instructor of "Recovery from Abuse," an online course currently being used in a correctional institution's character-based program.
Would you like to participate in Friday "Speak Out!"? Email your short posts (under 500 words) about women and writing to: marcia[at]wow-womenonwriting[dot]com for consideration. We look forward to hearing from you!
Artist Matt Reedy designed Little Golden Books-style covers and interior art inspired by popular Japanese comics.
Comic Book Resources reports that Reedy’s “Little Golden Manga” pieces features re-imaginings based on the Attack on Titan, Death Note, and FLCL manga series.
Which manga series, TV shows, or movies do you think deserve the “Little Golden Book” treatment? (via Observation Deck)
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
What writers does author Stephen King like to read? Peter Abrahams, Pat Barker, Nelson DeMille, James Agee and Kirsten Bakis are among his top choices.
In the afterword to his book On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, the horror author outlined a list of 96 books that he recommends writers read. Aerogramme Writers’ Studio has shared the entire list on their blog.
“As you scan this list, please remember that I’m not Oprah and this isn’t my book club,” King explained along with the list. “These are the ones that worked for me, that’s all. But you could do worse, and a good many of these might show you some new ways of doing your work. Even if they don’t, they’re apt to entertain you. They certainly entertained me.”
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
The second book in Kristin Bailey's The Secret Order is here and you have a chance to win it today! RISE OF THE ARCANE FIRE came out in February and has readers just as enthralled as they were in the first book. Kristin is here with us today talking about how a single word can leave a huge impact.
The Secret Art of Word Choice by Kristin Bailey
World building is a tricky and necessary task for every novel. Whether you're building a world within a suburban high school in Colorado, or a high fantasy realm in an alternate universe, the world a story inhabits should become real for the reader. Many writers get caught up in building their world in the form of worksheets and intricate guides for their stories, and that is great. The better you know your world, the better it comes across on the page.
But there is a more subtle form of world building that we should all pay attention to, word choice.
Word choice is deceptively simple. It is the art of choosing which words to use on the page. When it comes to world building, though, things can get a little tricky. An author can do a lot to set the tone of a book with single words placed here and there. If I choose to use the words timepiece, correspondence, visage, or comeuppance, you immediately know you're reading a historical novel. If I use neurotransmitter, biosource, transwaves, or molteric transponders, you know you're probably looking at some form of science fiction.
Every setting, every world, has a dictionary that comes along with it, even if you have to make that dictionary up. The trick with word choice is that it is a lot like using a potent spice while cooking. Just enough makes things interesting, too much, and you've ruined the soup.
This is especially true, ironically, for contemporary novels. Writers often feel a pressure to add "modern slang" to a story to make it feel authentic, but that same language can turn things anachronistic and stale very quickly, or, in the case of too many curse words, the words themselves lose their impact. Along the same lines, if there are too many "historical" word choices in a short passage, it can go from feeling authentic to a farce very quickly.
There's something about, "Lady Beatrice adjusted her wide crinoline and clutched her reticule, before alighting from her curricle on the drive of Wingwick manor. Lord Dolton had a sullen look upon his visage as his normal perambulation became hasty," that just feels forced.
So, how do you use just the right amount of spice? As I write my first draft, I tend to do it with fairly neutral language with my focus on avoiding language that doesn't belong in my world. That way, the writing has a base that is easy to read and feels solid and clear. In revisions I look for moments where I can change a word here, or tweak a description there with something that feels more specific to my world. In doing that adjustment on the revision instead of the draft, I avoid overwhelming the text with too many technical or historical terms.
However you handle it, word choice is important so take care with it.
Words are what we do, let's use them well.
About The Author
Kristin Bailey grew up in the middle of the San Joaquin Valley in California. As a kid she enjoyed visiting the beach, camping and skiing with her two brothers.
Now she is a military wife and mother of two young children. She is also terrible about spoiling her pets. She has one fluffy mutt, two cats who think they own the world, and a fish tank with some really plump little fish and a pair of snails who are secretly ninja assassins.
In the course of her adventures, she has worked as a zookeeper, balloon artist, and substitute teacher. Now she enjoys writing books for teens who enjoy mystery and adventure as much as she does. Website
About The Book
After her parents died in a fire and her grandfather disappeared, Meg Whitlock thought her life had come to a standstill. But when she learned that the pocket watch her grandfather left her was really an intricate key, Meg, with the help of a stable hand named Will, uncovered the Amusementists: members of an elite secret society dedicated to discovery and shrouded in mystery.
Now the Amusementists are convening in London, and Meg is determined to join their ranks. But being the first girl in the Order has its difficulties, and with Will away in Scotland Meg fears she can’t trust anyone but herself. Her worries are only supported by the sabotage happening at the academy, with each altered invention being more harmful than the last.
With threats lurking around every corner, and while trying to prove her worth as the first female Amusementist, Meg must uncover the identity of the academy’s saboteur before the botched devices become deadly. And after she finds evidence of a sinister and forbidden invention, Meg must stop it - or risk the entire future of the Amusementists.Amazon
And now for the awesome giveaway Kristin has so graciously provided! Your chance to win a signed copy of RISE OF THE ARCANE FIRE!
...have been announced.
The Children's/YA list is:
Better Nate Than Ever, by Tim Federle
Boy In Box, by Christopher R. Michael
Girls I’ve Run Away With, by Rhiannon Argo
If You Could Be Mine, Sara Farizan
Openly Straight, Bill Konigsberg
Rapture Practice, Aaron Hartzler
Secret City, Julia Watts
The Secret Ingredient, Stewart Lewis
The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson
Two Boys Kissing, David Levithan
What Makes a Baby, Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth
Click on through for the other shortlists!
At USA Today:
I slept horribly after Detective Grant left. I don't remember most of my nightmares, just vague images from the death visions I had of Nate's and Grace's possible ends. I think that the killer is the same person who pushes Grace into her car trunk and makes Nate choke on liquor. I have no actual proof—just a feeling. The odds of two killers in my small town seem impossible. Truthfully, even one seems impossible, but I know there is one. We all know that now. What I don't know—and need to figure out—is what it has to do with me. And why he tried to kill me.
Click on through to USA Today to read the rest!
Two free audio goodies – grab them now!
The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde, is available as a free iTunes app from L.A. Theatre Works. Download this free app to any Apple device, and enjoy not only the full play, but also the entire text so you can read it standalone or follow along with the audio. The app also includes an interview with director Michael Hackett, Professor of Theater in the School of Theater, Film and Television at UCLA as well as pop-up annotations that follow the audio. The production stars James Marsters as Jack, Charles Busch as Lady Bracknell, and Emily Bergl as Cecily. A must-have for any educational drama program!
The Jester (A Riyria Chronicles Tale), written by Michael J. Sullivan & narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, is a free short story download from Audible. This hour-long production will give you a stand-alone introduction to Sulivan’s action-packed epic fantasy world.
The trailer for the upcoming remake of Annie is out, and we’re quite excited for the fabulously diverse cast! Quvenzhané Wallis, the talented young actress who was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress (the youngest nominee ever!) for Beasts of the Southern Wild, plays the star role of Annie. Jamie Foxx is cast as Will Stacks, the modern version of Daddy Warbucks, Rose Byrne cast as Stacks’ trusty assistant, and Cameron Diaz plays the dreadful Miss Hannigan.
the cast of 2014 version of Annie
We like that the story is updated a bit; it feels less like a copycat of the original Annie and more like a fresh, modern take on the story of the lovable orphan. In the 2014 remake, Will Stacks is running for NYC mayor and strategically takes Annie in for publicity purposes. Annie, of course, thinks that Mr. Stacks is saving her, but… we all know who saves who and how this story ends. Take a look at the trailer below and look out for the movie in theaters this Christmas.
Filed under: Lee & Low Likes
Tagged: Annie remake
, diversity in Hollywood
, Jamie Fox
, Quvenzhané Wallis
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, Physics & Chemistry
, Science & Medicine
, impact flashes
, Jose Maria Madiedo
, lunar impacts
, lunar surface
, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
, oxford journals
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By Jose M. Madiedo
On 11 September 2013, an unusually long and bright impact flash was observed on the Moon. Its peak luminosity was equivalent to a stellar magnitude of around 2.9.
What happened? A meteorite with a mass of around 400 kg hit the lunar surface at a speed of over 61,000 kilometres per hour.
Rocks often collide with the lunar surface at high speed (tens of thousands of kilometres per hour) and are instantaneously vaporised at the impact site. This gives rise to a thermal glow that can be detected by telescopes from Earth as short duration flashes. These flashes, in general, last just a fraction of a second.
The extraordinary flash in September was recorded from Spain by two telescopes operating in the framework of the Moon Impacts Detection and Analysis System (MIDAS). These devices were aimed to the same area in the night side of the Moon. With a duration of over eight seconds, this is the brightest and longest confirmed impact flash ever recorded on the Moon.
Click here to view the embedded video.
Our calculations show that the impact, which took place at 20:07 GMT, created a new crater with a diameter of around 40 meters in Mare Nubium. This rock had a size raging between 0.6 and 1.4 metres. The impact energy was equivalent to over 15 tons of TNT under the assumption of a luminous efficiency of 0.002 (the fraction of kinetic energy converted into visible radiation as a consequence of the hypervelocity impact).
The detection of impact flashes is one of the techniques suitable to analyze the flux of incoming bodies to the Earth. One of the characteristics of the lunar impacts monitoring technique is that it is not possible to unambiguously associate an impact flash with a given meteoroid stream. Nevertheless, our analysis shows that the most likely scenario is that the impactor had a sporadic origin (i.e., was not associated to any known meteoroid stream). From the analysis of this event we have learnt that that one metre-sized objects may strike our planet about ten times as often as previously thought.
Dr. Jose Maria Madiedo is a professor at Universidad de Huelva. He is the author of “A large lunar impact blast on 2013 September 11” in the most recent issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society is one of the world’s leading primary research journals in astronomy and astrophysics, as well as one of the longest established. It publishes the results of original research in astronomy and astrophysics, both observational and theoretical.
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The post A record-breaking lunar impact appeared first on OUPblog.
eBook subscription company Scribd has tabulated the most popular book by state throughout the 50 states in the US.
American Gods by Neil Gaiman is the top choice among readers in Illinois; The Bedwetter: Stories of Courage, Redemption and Pee by Sarah Silverman reigned in New York; Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie was the top choice among readers in Texas; and The Family Vault by Charlotte MacLeod led the list for Vermont. The list takes into account, not just book sales or downloads, but the actual reading habits of its 80 million monthly readers.
Parade has the entire list at this link. The Washington Post has a great map to help you visualize who likes which books a
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
Compiled by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Congratulations to Carol Lynch Williams
on the release of The Haven
(St. Martin's Griffin, 2014). From the promotional copy:
For the teens at The Haven, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surrounds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It has always been this way, ever since the hospital was established in the year 2020.
But The Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food, and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs—and memories.More News & Giveaways How to Write YA
But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they’ve been told is a lie? What if The Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shiloh starts asking dangerous questions?
Powerful and emotional, The Haven takes us inside a treacherous world in which nothing is as it seems.
by Seth Fishman
from Publishers Weekly. Peek: "...how do adult writers, so far away from the source, successfully manage to create believable teen characters? ...I’ve written a couple YA novels now and have a few handy hints for those aspiring writers who want to give it a go." Five Agents Share What Makes Them Stop Reading Sample Pages
from Adventures in YA Publishing. Peek from Suzie Townsend: "This might sound harsh, but I stop reading when I'm not hooked. Which means: I read the first line. If I'm interested, I read the second line. If I'm still interested, I read the third line, and so on."Black History Month: Interracial Teens in Historical Fiction
by Diane Colson
from YALSA. Peek: "These mixed race children have had to work out their place in society for hundreds of years. The books listed below focus on the choices available to teens of mixed white and black heritage."Ten Positive-Aging Picture Books for Pre-schoolers
by Lindsey McDivitt from A is for Aging, B is for Books. Peek: "...internalizing positive images of getting older
is more strongly linked to longevity than a low-fat diet or daily exercise, especially when we begin in childhood."Embracing Failure
by Ginger Johnson from Quirk and Quill. Peek: "Rejection can be a slippery slope into a deep chasm of self-doubt and fear. As a matter of self-preservation, we’re advised not to dwell on our failures, our rejections, our bad reviews. That’s good advice. However..." See also When Publishing (Or Life) Has You Down on the Mat, Answer the Bell
by Tiffany Trent
from Adventures in YA Publishing.Giving Up Our Stories
from Marion Dane Bauer. Peek: "My best stories aren’t the ones that give answers, the ones that support my most passionately held certainties. They are the stories that ask the hardest, most-difficult-to-entertain questions."Do Great Work and the Rest Will Follow
by Shadra Strickland
from The Horn Book. Peek: "...interviewers would ask questions like, 'Why do you only paint black people?' To which I would reply: My choice of characters isn’t what defines my style; it’s how I paint them and the world around them. Would you ask a white male artist why he doesn’t paint black people?"Multicultural Children's-YA Books Action List from CCBC-Net Discussion
, compiled by Sarah Hamburg (with additions by Debbie Reese
) from American Indians in Children's Literature. Peek: "...how people could advocate for more books that are representative of all the peoples who, in some way, are part of the United States."Surviving the Cancelled Contract
by Nicole Maggi
from The Writing Barn. Peek: "...I’d been asked to do endless (unnecessary) edits and my acquiring editor had left. I never felt like my new editor was on board. So it wasn’t a huge surprise to get that awful call from my agent. But it was devastating
."Interview with Renowned Publisher Neal Porter on the Current State of Picture Books
by Leonard S. Marcus
from The Horn Book. Peek (on picture e-books): "I think they are not going much of anywhere. The fact remains that there has yet to be a platform that is as effective from a cost point of view as well as from a delivery point of view as the physical book." You Are Not Lazy
from Elizabeth O. Dulemba. Peek: "They’ve said I'm not lazy...and I relish the declaration. But it’s only true when it comes to those
things, because those are the things I care
about. And for them, I will never have enough time and never put in enough effort. Whereas for somebody else, it might be drudgery."How Manuscript Auctions Work
by Deborah Halverson
from DearEditor. Peek: "The agent contacts the chosen publishers, pitches the project, and explains the rules and timeline. It’s usually blind, with the editors knowing the number of houses involved but not the names."
Short Lists Announced for the Canadian Library Association 2014 Book Awards
|CLA Book of the Year for Children Short List|
from The Canadian Children's Book Centre. Peek: "...shortlists for its three Canadian children's book awards — the CLA Book of the Year Award for Children, the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award and the CLA Young Adult Book Award." Note: Ten books are listed for each award. Why Playing It Safe May Be the Most Dangerous Game of All
by Emma D. Dryden from Dryden Books. Peek: "Where but in stories can we allow our youngest readers to not play it safe, to try new things, to explore, to roam, to make mistakes and make amends, to reach higher, deeper, and further than we ever thought possible? And where but in stories can we allow ourselves the very same?"If Writers Wrote Every Scene Like a Sex Scene
by Jane Lebak
from QueryTracker. Peek: "...let's talk about details and at what point your reader stops reading and starts noticing that you're cramming every sentence with far too many of them."Connecting Science and Poetry
by Sylvia Vardell
from Poetry for Children. Peek:"Pairing science-themed nonfiction or informational books and poetry may seem to be an unlikely partnership at first, but these two different genres can complement one another by showing children how writers approach the same topic in very different and distinctive ways."After the Call
: a blog series from Caroline Richmond
. Peek: "...chronicles what happens after you get an offer of representation from a literary agent. For instance, how do you choose between multiple offers? How do you communicate with your new agent? And what is the revision process like?"SCBWI Golden Kite & Sid Fleischman AwardsGolden Kite Award WinnersGolden Kite Honor RecipientsSid Fleischman Award for Humor
: Openly Straight
by Bill Konigsberg
(Arthur A. Levine)
Note: "The Golden Kite Awards and the Sid Fleischman Award for Humor will be presented to the winners at the Golden Kite Luncheon during the Society of Children's Book Authors & Illustrators’s Annual Conference on Writing and Illustrating for Children, taking place in Los Angeles, California. An Honor Book plaque is also awarded in each category."2014 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award
Winner: Etched in Clay: The Life of Dave, Enslaved Potter and Poet
, written by Andrea Cheng
, with woodcuts by the author (Lee & Low).
Note: "This prestigious award is named for Lee Bennett Hopkins
, the internationally renowned educator, poet, anthologist and passionate advocate of poetry for young people. Selected by a panel of teachers, librarians and scholars, the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award was the first award of its kind in the United States. The Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the Penn State University Libraries and Lee Bennett Hopkins share joint administration of the annual award." See more information
.Lambda Literary Award Finalists
Note: "Now in their twenty-sixth year, the Lambda Literary Awards
celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) writing for books published in 2013. Winners will be announced during a ceremony on Monday evening, June 2, 2014, at The Great Hall at Cooper Union (7 East 7th Street, New York City 10003)."Children's Africana Book AwardsBest Books for Older ReadersBest Books for Young Children
Note: "Collectively CABA winners show that Africa is indeed a varied and multifaceted continent. CABA titles expand and enrich our perspectives of Africa beyond the stereotypical, a historical and exotic images that are emphasized in the West." See more information
. Source: Monica Edinger
.Scottish Children's Book Awards
From Scottish Book Trust
: "A record breaking number of votes – over 38,000! – were cast to choose the winners, who took to the stage at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library on 5 March to present their books and receive their prizes." See more information
. Source: Bookshelves of Doom
.This Week at CynsationsCynsational Giveaways
Enter to win
a signed and personalized copy of Robot Burp Head Smartypants!
(Candlewick, 2014) and a set of alphabet-and-numbers foam stickers. Author sponsored. Eligibility: U.S. Enter here
. Note: scroll through the photos to the entry form at the bottom of the post.
Check out the OneFour Kidlit Preview & Seven-Book Giveaway
at Adventures in YA Publishing.
Check out the One-Year Anniversary Giveaway
from Diversity in YA. Seventeen winners will each receive a prize pack of four books. Eligibility: U.S. addresses only. Deadline: March 31. Cover Reveal & Giveaway: The Only Thing to Fear
by Caroline Tung Richmond (Scholastic) from YA Highway. Peek: "What if Hitler Had Won World War II?"More Personally
Lucky me! I had a terrific lunch on Ash Wednesday with Austin SCBWI
RA Samantha Clark
and author Lesléa Newman
on 6th Street in Austin.
This week's big event was the launch party for Varsha Bajaj
's debut novel Abby Spencer Goes to Bollywood
(Albert Whitman, 2014) at Blue Willow Books
in Katy/Houston, Texas.
I'm on a revision deadline for Feral Pride (Book 3 in the Feral series). First, I'm streamlining the antagonists' logistical situation and then I'll move to my protagonists' interpersonal dynamics.
Congratulations to Laney Nielson winner of the Austin SCBWI Cynthia Leitich Smith Mentor Award
and cheers to all the finalists!
Congratulations to Clint G. Young -- Illustrator
on his new official website. If you're not already a fan of Clint's work, you should really click the link and be wowed. Really, it's breathtaking.
Cheers to Read Across America
and World Book Day
! Interview with Bestselling Author Cynthia Leitich Smith
by Brittney Breakey
from Author Turf. Note: Get the scoop on my preferred apocalypse, legacy, hidden messages, theme song and more!What Surprised Me in Writing the Feral Series?
Find out from YA Series Insider.
Cynsational EventsThe SCBWI-OK Conference
|Typewriter Cake by Akiko White|
will be March 29 in Oklahoma City. Speakers are: Liza Kaplan, Editor, Philomel; Melissa Manlove, Editor, Chronicle; Andrew Harwell, Editor, HarperCollins; Colleen AF Venerable, Design Editor, First Second and author of Guinea PI series; Kristin Miller-Vincent, Agent, D4EO Literary Agency; Tricia Lawrence, Agent, Erin Murphy Literary. See more information and registration
.Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers
will be held June 16 to June 21 at the Waterford School in Sandy, Utah. Keynote speaker: James Dashner
; faculty includes Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smith
. Learn about the WIFYR Fellowship Award
. See also Alison L. Randall on Choosing a Writing Conference
You can choose the next I Survived book!
Have you ever read an I Survived book by Lauren Tarshis? If so, you know that the series is hard to put down once you get started! So far, there are books about kids surviving disasters like the Titanic, World War II, Pompeii (get excited for September!), and a whole bunch of other major events. Now, the time has come for you to help us pick the next one!
There are three awesome choices, which is sure to make it a hard decision. To help, we came up with these simplified summaries of each of the three. Which one will you choose?
The Winter at Valley Forge, 1777
Learn about the Revolutionary War in school? This is the ultimate butt-kicking George Washington choice! His Continental Army had to deal with every sort of obstacle: starvation, disease, not to mention the FREEZING conditions and the constant threat of attack over the three months that they hunkered down at Valley Forge. Pick this if you want to read about the red, white, and blue!
The Great Chicago Fire, 1871
Picture a massive, hungry fire that lasts for TWO FULL DAYS and destroys thousands of buildings, leaving 100,000 people homeless and an entire city in chaos. One tiny barn caught fire and it spread faster than you can imagine; the city was mainly made of wood, which you know is extremely flammable, and the air was as dry as can be – not a good combination. Can you stand the heat to pick this?
The Hindenburg Disaster, 1937
The LZ 129 Hindenburg was a huge airship that carried passengers from Germany to the USA. As the pilot prepared to land, the airship EXPLODED in a giant burst. We still don’t know for sure what caused it, but some hypotheses include 1. sabotage mission, 2. lightning strike, and 3. high intensity static charge (sort of like what happens when you rub a balloon on your head). Pick this to get the 4-1-1 and form a theory of your own!
If you’re ready to weigh in on what the next I Survived book should be, go to the I Survived website
and make your vote official!
Foreign-Born American Patriots
Now Available at a
Book Store or Library Near You
The NCBLA congratulates our volunteer writer and Advisory Board member Renee Critcher Lyons on the publication of her book Foreign-Born American Patriots: Sixteen Volunteer Leaders in the Revolutionary War (McFarland), now available on shelves in a library or for purchase from a bookstore near you.
<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]-->Foreign-Born American Patriots portrays sixteen volunteers: the writers, soldiers, merchants, farmers, sailors, guerilla fighters, pirates, financiers, and cavalry leaders, who traveled from abroad to join the American revolutionary cause. Such portraits consider Patriots John Paul Jones, Thomas Paine, and Baron von Steuben, but also lesser known heroes, such as Founding Father Pierce Butler and Washington’s One-Man-Army, Peter Francisco. Each profile discusses the personal experiences influencing the volunteer leader’s decision to fight for the fledging country, the sacrifices these brave men endured for the benefit of an American victory, and the unique talents respectively contributed to the war effort. All chapters include a listing of landmarks (or in some instances, lack thereof) which honor these incredible visitors or immigrants who ensured the perpetuation of the ideals and values of the American Republic.
Renee’ Critcher Lyonsis an assistant professor in the School Library Media Program at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, teaching children’s and young adult literature. Prior to her appointment at ETSU, she served as a school/instructional librarian for eight years at the elementary and middle school level and nine years at the high school/community college level. She is a graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts’ MFA Program in Writing for Children and Young Adults and the Appalachian State University Masters in Library Science Program.
Hi! I’ll introduce myself more in a future post, but I’m Laura Purdie Salas, a temporary Teaching Author. I’m so happy to be here!
Rituals. Hmmm…I was treadmilling the other night, listening to a lovely episode of NPR’s Backseat Book Club featuring Lucy Dahl, Roald’s daughter. Start at 3:40 for a fascinating glimpse into Roald’s writing setting and rituals. I wish I had such definite, comforting rituals. But I don’t.
I do have a few elements I return to, though: light, movement, and time.
– Sometimes I light a little candle before writing. A flickering light sets my mind at rest, somehow. I have a lantern given to me by a dear writer friend that I love to write by.
When I’m lazy but still want that flicker, I light my little febreze fake candle:>) Excuse me: Febreze Flameless Luminary.
And when I’m super-busy, I just write by a window, with the blinds slatted upward so I get glimpses of trees and sky, but not distracting cute bunnies in the yard.
: When I’m frustrated with my writing, I move. Can’t think of the right word? I’ll pace around the kitchen/dining room circle, or go walk Capt. Jack (when it’s not 20 below zero), or even just stand up and do 30 squats.
|Photo: DuBoix, |
courtesy of Morguefile
: Deadline-setting is really my only consistent ritual. I learned to be a writer in tiny bursts while blocking out life stresses. I still write best in small, intense chunks. No matter what kind of project I'm working on, I start the same way. I look at the clock. I look at the project. Panic shoots through me at my day's to-do list. Then I breathe and set a timer. “Rough draft of this poem. 20 minutes. Go.” Even if I have 3 straight hours of writing time, I probably work on 3-5 different projects during that time, each with its own deadline.
So, there you have it. Three sort-of routines. It would probably be simpler if I just started with a mug of cinnamon tea every day or something:>)
--Laura Purdie Salas
Fridays always get away from me -- and the Friday after I quickly rewrote the ending to a novel and turned it in and happy danced as it got sent off to my editor -- fingers crossed -- seems to have gotten away from me more than most. It's late,... Read the rest of this post
Author Stephan Eirik Clark thinks that he may have been a victim of Amazon’s algorithm rigging.
In a column for Slate, Clark claims that his book Sweetness #9 was not available in Amazon search results. The book, which is available for presale and ships in August, only showed up when he entered the title of the book and his name. But it wasn’t the top listing. In fact, it was at the bottom of a long list of books with the word “Sweet” in the title, buried under a number of Sweet Valley High books.
Clark theorizes that the poor search results had to do with deals that publishers make with Amazon to get ranked in search results. This practice is outlined in George Packer’s recent New Yorker article on Amazon. According to the story, search results are affected by fees that publishers pay to Amazon.
Unclear on what his publisher Little & Brown has paid to Amazon, Clark points out that his search results got better over time. Today, a search for “sweetness 9″ brings the novel to the top of the search results, but it’s not clear why.
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, Classics & Archaeology
, TV & Film
, 300: Rise of an Empire
, After Thermopylae
, Graeco-Persian Wars
, Oath of Plataea
, paul cartledge
, Zack Snyder
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By Paul Cartledge
Let’s be clear of one thing right from the word go: this is not in any useful sense a historical movie. It references a couple of major historical events but is not interested in ‘getting them right’. It uses historical characters but abuses them for its own dramatic, largely techno-visual ends. It wilfully commits the grossest historical blunders. This is in fact a historical fantasy-fiction movie and should be viewed and judged only as such. But in case any classroom teachers of Classical civilization or Classical history should be tempted to use it as a teaching aid: caveant magistri — let the teachers beware! Here are just five ways in which the movie is at best un-historical, at worst anti-historical.
(1) Error sets in with the very title: the ’300′ bit is a nod to Zack Snyder’s infinitely more successful 2006 movie to which this is a kind of sequel, and there is not just allusion to but bodily lifting of a couple of scenes from the predecessor. But which Empire is supposed to be on the rise here? I suppose that it’s meant to be, distantly, the ‘Athenian Empire’, but that didn’t even begin to rise until at least two years after the events the movie focuses on: the sea-battles of Artemisium and Salamis that both took place in 480 BCE.
(2) The movie gets underway with a wondrously unhistorical javelin-throw — cast by Athenian hero Themistokles (note the pseudo-authentic spelling of his name with a Greek ‘k’) on the battlefield of Marathon near Athens in 490 BCE, a cast which kills none other than Persian Great King Darius I, next to whom is standing his son and future successor Xerxes. Actually, though Darius had indeed launched the Persian expedition that came to grief at Marathon, he was not himself present there, nor was Xerxes.
Themistocles, on the other hand, was indeed present, but rather than carrying and throwing a javelin he was fighting in a dense phalanx formation and wielding a long, heavy pike armed with a fearsome iron tip made for thrusting into the Persian enemy hand-to-hand.
(3) From the Persians’ Marathon defeat, which (historically) accounts for their return revenge expedition under Xerxes, the scene shifts to the Persians’ fleet — in fact, a whole decade later. Connoisseurs of 300 will have been prepared for the digitally-enhanced, multiply-pierced and bangled Rodrigo Santo reprising his role of ‘god-king’ Xerxes. (Actually Persian king-emperors were not regarded or worshipped as gods.) Even they, though, will not necessarily have expected the Persian fleet to be under the command of a woman, and a Greek woman at that: Queen Artemisia of Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum), who is represented (in the exceedingly fetching person of Eva Green) as the equal if not superior of Xerxes himself, with her own court of fawning and thuggish male attendants, all hunks of beefcake.
Here the filmmakers are indeed drawing on a properly historical well of evidence: Artemisia — so we learn from Herodotus, her contemporary, fellow-countryman, and historian of the Graeco-Persian Wars — was indeed a Greek queen, who did fight for Xerxes and the Persians at Salamis. She did allegedly earn high praise from Xerxes as well as from Herodotus for the ‘manly’ quality of her personal bravery and her sage tactical and strategic advice.
But she was far from being admiral-in-chief of the entire Persian navy. She contributed a mere handful of warships out of the total of 600 or so, and those ships of hers could have made no decisive difference to the outcome of Salamis one way or the other.
(4) For some reason — perhaps because they were conscious of the extreme sameness of most of their material, a relentless succession of ultra-gory, stylised slayings, to the accompaniment of equally relentless drum’n'bass background thrummings — the filmmakers of this movie, unlike of 300, have felt the desire or even the need to include one rather prolonged and really quite explicit heterosexual sex-encounter. Understandably, perhaps, this is not between say Themistokles and his wife (or a slave-girl), or between Xerxes and a member of his (in historical fact, extensive) harem.
But — utterly and completely fantastically — it is between Themistokles and Artemisia in the interim between the battles of Artemisium (presented as a Greek defeat; actually it was a draw) and Salamis. Cue the baring of Eva Green’s considerable pectoral assets, cue some exceptionally violent and degrading verbal sparring, and cue virtual rape — encouraged by Artemisia at the time but later thrown back by her in Themistocles’s face as having been inadequate on the virility front.
(5) The crowning, climactic historical absurdity, however, is not the deeply unpleasant coupling between Themistokles and Artemisia, but the notion that in order for Themistocles and his Athenians to defeat the Persian fleet at Salamis they absolutely required the critical assistance of the massive Spartan navy which — echoes here of the US cavalry in countless westerns — turned up just in the nick of time, commanded by another Greek woman and indeed queen, Gorgo (widow of Leonidas, the hero of 300), again played by Lena Headey.
Actually, Sparta contributed a mere 16 warships to the united Greek fleet of some 400 ships at Salamis, and like Artemisia’s they made absolutely no difference to the outcome, which was resoundingly and incontestably an Athenian victory. The truly Spartan contribution to the overall defeat of the Persian invasion was made in very different circumstances, on land and by the heavy-infantry Spartan hoplites, at the battle of Plataea in the following summer of 479. But that is quite another story, one in which the un- or anti-historical filmmakers show not even a particle or scintilla of interest.
Paul Cartledge is the A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge and the author of After Thermopylae: the Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars (OUP, 2013). He hastens to make clear that he was not in any way a consultant on ’300: Rise of an Empire’, as he had been, in a minor way, on ’300′.
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Image credit: 300: Rise of An Empire. (c) Warner Bros. via 300themovie.com
The post Five things 300: Rise of an Empire gets wrong appeared first on OUPblog.