This week in writing 1/24/14

Titles seem to be on trend this week. My editors at Algonquin suggested a new title for my MG novel at the end of last year, a title I was still reconsidering up to Monday morning when I handed in my final revisions. My agent Marie Lamba wrote a post about why agents sometimes want you to change your title. Then there was a post from Algonquin on how awkward editors feel asking authors to rename a book. At least it’s not just me.

The 2014 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical fiction goes to…Kirkpatrick Hill for Bo at Ballard Creek. Now that’s a good title. You know who. You know where. The award comes with a $5k cash prize. And that’s a good thing since writers on average make less than $1k per year. So don’t quit your day job, although that’s the dream, right?

The future of books continues to be bleak according to Mike Shatzkin, who thinks we’ll soon have no physical bookstores (perish!). But there’s already a library with no books. So he might not be that far off. Then there’s good news with a new kind of literary agency that lets readers vote on potential manuscripts. They’re the ones who’ll be buying it anyway, right?

And just in case you thought published authors (best-selling ones) knew what the heck they were doing, here’s Jhumpa Lahiri in a New Yorker video to tell you that you’re dead wrong.

Finally, there this super cute trailer for upcoming picture book, Birdie’s Hair.