This week in writing: so many awesome things edition

All writers have doubts about their work, even after it’s published, but most let that go once the writing’s out of our hands. This week we learned that J.K. Rowling thought she erroneously paired Hermione with Ron, and she should have ended up with Harry instead. Personally, I think it’s a little on the nose. Whatever you think of Rowling’s revelation it proves that everyone’s still thinking about Harry.

Following her Newbery win, Kate DiCamillo and Daniel Handler have a chat. If that’s not fabulous enough for you, have a listen to Neil Gaiman reading Green Eggs and Ham.

Want the definitive guide to self-publishing? A British university has set up a degree program just to teach you how. Will a U.S. university be next? Let’s hope so, especially in light of how many authors actually publish per year.

One of my pet peeves/projects is the lack of diversity in literature, particularly in children’s books. A recent SLJ article addresses how many casually diverse books there were, i.e. books where being of color has nothing to do with the plot. (By the way, I recently heard an agent ask specifically for books like this to represent.)

More diversity in literature would definitely get me buying more. Though bookstores are more worried about getting people INSIDE bookstores instead of buying online (a.k.a. buying from Amazon). To entice readers, B&N is offering exclusives of some beloved books. They’ve been doing it for a while, but it’s gained more visibility since adding publishing darling, John Green’s books to the program.

Speaking of publishing darlings, Debbie Ohi recently announced that she will be doing new covers for classic Judy Blume books. My daughter finds this quite impressive.

For all my Caribbean writer folks, Anansasem found several Caribbean-themed books at ALA including a reissue of Richardo Keens-Douglas’ The Nutmeg Princess. I will be picking up a copy.

Finally, I was recently invited to be part of the faculty for the NJ SCBWI conference in June (stay tuned for details). I have attended several times as a writer, but I’ve never been faculty! I’m both excited and terrified. I will be speaking about non-fiction writing for kids, of course, so if there’s anything you’d like me to address, let me know.

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