We’ve been given an anonymous tip that Rita Skeeter is planning on publishing a tell-all exposé of the HPA. As is to be expected from Skeeter, the book is completely slanderous. Our legal team is hard at work trying to put a stop to this book’s publication, but in the mean time, we’re releasing our own statements in order to preempt the libel. If you have any helpful information about this horrendous upcoming publication, we’ll be following posts in the ‪#‎HPAexposed‬ tag.

If 21st-century technology has made public shaming easier, faster, and more random, it’s also made us all targets. This book makes it clear than anything you say or do can be held against you in a court of opinion, by people who don’t know anything about you, in perpetuity.

So yesterday my English teacher had me go to her room during band. She wanted to talk about the novel manuscript that I wrote that I trusted her with reading. She told me how shocked she was that a 9th grader was able to write it, and told me that she knows of English majors that can’t write at that level. She said it was on the same level as “Speak” and “It’s Kinda a Funny Story”, both of which are highly praised books. She even told me that she honestly believes that I could get it published if I would edit it and finish it. She also checked up on me and my depression, as well as my gender dysphoria and such. I’m actually gonna try to finish it and edit it to the best of my abilities and either get in contact with Scholactics or Random House, or any other publishing agency that would be willing to take a look at it.
I want to major in Animation and minor in Creative Writing and Literature, so just imagine how great it would look on a college résumé, as well as how amazing it would be to get a book published that I wrote between the ages of 14 to 16, not to mention the money I could possibly make to help me get into college and start a new life in Canada, as well as transition!
I’m so happy and excited its so amazing to me that people actually like this story. I hope I can get it published, because I want it to help people. It’s about a suicidal boy with depression that has to deal with not having a father, being gay, having no friends, being an outcast, and dealing with rape. There’s not that many story’s out there like that that have a male protagonist, and I really think it could help other people that could relate to it. And I feel like people knowing my story as well could help. I’m so excited guys I can’t believe it.

It’s a catchy idea: two rich Philadelphians, shut out of their family fortune, decide to gain new wealth by proving the existence of the Loch Ness monster. It’s the plot of At the Water’s Edge, the new book by Water for Elephants author Sara Gruen. Robert J. Wiersema reviewed the book in The Globe and Mail. Sample quote: “In most families, fleeing to Scotland to prove the existence of the Loch Ness monster would seem an odd thing to do in order to expiate a social faux pas and redeem the family honour, but the Hydes aren’t most families.”

Breaking Down Book Categories

I often tell writers that they absolutely need to know the genre of a manuscript. There are many genres: fantasy, thriller, science fiction, crime, romance, mystery, etc. However, there are also different book categories, and while they aren’t confused as frequently as genres, I still receive a few handfuls of query letters each week that have no idea where the story belongs from an organizational standpoint. So I’m going to break it down for you, as simply as I can. Hopefully these brief definitions will help someone figure out exactly where a manuscript belongs.

Your book is either fiction or nonfiction. There are way more category possibilities for fiction, so I’m going to focus on those. But even nonfiction can be broken down further; memoir, pop science, health, cookbook, entertainment, etc. are all examples of different categories for nonfiction books. This is usually easy to figure out for nonfiction projects, since they have a very specific focus. Things can get a little more complicated with fiction, especially when age groups are involved (like when understanding the difference between a middle grade novel and a chapter book). Let’s go from youngest to oldest.

Picture Books
: These are often the prettiest books you’ll find in a bookstore. These books are usually fully illustrated, and the illustrations help to tell the story. There are other categories under the picture book heading, easily separated by age group: board books (2-5), early picture books with very short word counts (2-5), and standard picture books (4-8).

Chapter Books
: The chapters in chapter books are very short (only a few pages) and have content appropriate for kids aged 7-10. These sometimes have illustrations (often black and white), but they are not required.

Middle Grade
: These stories are for readers 8-12 in age. The protagonist is usually 10-13 years old and in middle school (this age group is key—it shouldn’t feel like a high school student or deal with high school issues). 

Young Adult
: YA is written for teenagers (but often appeals to a wide variety of readers). The protagonist must be a teenager (usually mid or late teen). The content (despite the genre) must be applicable to issues that modern-day teenagers experience. These books really do emulate the high school experience. 

New Adult
: This category is often confused for something it’s not. New Adult is about twenty-somethings going through the events and experiences often attributed to life after high school. NA is also, as of right now, a romance category. Your manuscript may have elements of other genres (science fiction or horror, for example), but in order for it to be considered NA, the plot absolutely needs to have romance. 

Commercial Fiction
: Commercial stories have a defined plot and appeal to a wide audience. The prose is easily accessible, and the main character pursues a goal throughout the narrative. There is generally a happy ending (or at least a recognizable conclusion to the plot). When someone uses the term commercial fiction, they are most likely discussing books for adults. 

Literary Fiction
: Literary stories focus more on character development than plot (but that doesn’t mean nothing happens in the story). The prose is more poetic than commercial stories, and the storytelling isn’t always straightforward. These stories aren’t for everyone and don’t always have mass appeal. Literary fiction is also a term applied to books for adult.

I hope these brief definitions help one or two new writers (or at least new to the publishing world)—fingers crossed SEO does its job! These are simply guidelines, and it is by no means a comprehensive list, but I do think it’s a step in the right direction in navigating the different book categories available. Remember that there are many genres within categories, and using them helps define your manuscript even more (especially when writing a query letter for a literary agent or editor). For example, Middle Grade or Young Adult manuscripts could be science fiction, horror, or fantasy; Commercial Fiction could be romance, thriller, or mystery. It’s up to you to decide where your story fits and the best descriptors to use when pitching the manuscript.

Young Readers Say No Thanks to Enhanced E-Reading

How do younger readers want to read?

If you go by the numbers, so-called digital natives are just about as frumpy as their analog elders. One recent survey shows U.S. readers ages 18–34 almost twice as likely to read a print book as an ebook on any device.

And while Pew researchers found ebooks’ popularity to be highest among the 18–29-year-old bloc in its own latest study (37% read one in 2014), that same demographic wasmore likely than any of the three older age groups in the sample to read a print book (79%).


The suggestion that we read solely for “merit” fronts the idea of “objectivity,” i.e. that a view which considers a given work in a vacuum, without social context in which the work has been created and disseminated, is somehow desirable and superior to other ways of reading. Fronting “objectivity” has a long and problematic history within academia and beyond. The fallacy is that what gets to be objective gets to be again defined by power brokers, thus effectively silencing and disenfranchising the marginalized.

This suggestion also carries within it a value judgment: “objectivity good, anger bad” – which slides yet again into the old and tired tone argument.

It is my opinion that such conciliatory voices from prominent personae who are 1) power brokers in our communities and 2) considerably less marginalized than the diverse fans and authors they are championing – are not helping the cause of marginalized and othered Diversity Age authors and fans. In these statements there is often an embedded tone argument, an entreaty to Diversity Age fans to play nice with people who explicitly or implicitly dehumanize and more yet, threaten violence against them.

Writing, Good Changes, and Life

I am feeling really very grateful for a lot of things happening in my life at this point. I have a lot to look forward to and a lot of things on my mind. But I want to enter each and every change, obstacle or opportunity with a clear head and optimistic out look.

I am still having lap top problems and I know eventually I will need to get a new one.  It is frustrating but I have been so busy with a lot of other things going on in my life right now, I haven’t really had time to think of it.

And I have a lot of good news to share with you.

One: In the Absence of the Sun is now available to order through Amazon! The trim size I picked was just what I had in mind for the book. It went through a lot of revisions, and edits but I am happy with the end result.

I am going to be creating a new blog only dedicated to that book, it’s excerpts, book covers and gif images so it would make it easier for me and for my followers / readers to find those posts and an easy way to click on the book to order.

The second thing is that Matty and I are fixing up a new apt to live in, it should be ready in the summer so I’ve been busy trying to pack and get organized for that.

The third is that  we are getting engaged!!! I didn’t want to share the news on FB as of yet because the ring is being sized and changed from gold to white gold, but I already seen it. The diamond is amazing. It is a two set, so it comes with the engagement ring and the wedding band. It is a family heirloom and so beautiful! I am truly excited!!

It is going to be ready in 2 weeks and I have to wait for Matty to give it to me and he said it is going to be a surprise. But I know the waiting is going to kill me. Lmao. I just can’t wait to take pictures of it!  The only people that know so far is my mom, my brother and his mom and father, but we are all really excited!

I think this is a necessary step to take in our life to move forward to greener pastures. It is great to have these things to look forward to and sharing it with you here makes me feel so happy and relieved.

We plan to marry next summer so I can save up and have family and friends that are out of state to be apart of it. It won’t be a big ceremony but it would be what we want and that is all that is important. I already have the dress. I’ve been in the process of making it and it looks gorgeous so far. I found an amazing veil and shoes to die for!

So that’s basically all of the news I had to share with you. :) I hope you are all doing great!

I wrote a post the other day about my term respectful confidence due to a comment received that sort of threw me under the bus. The person obviously had no real understanding on what true respect is.

I always look at respectful confidence as a way of helping me remain positive with myself and with other people. A quote I made years ago had received a lot of notes and feedback in the past but a person yesterday made a comment that they didn’t know what respectful confidence was and that the post of mine was like a 20 years attempt of creating a motivational poster. In fact after going to her page I had to think that she looked like a 60 year old attempting to be a 15 year old. Although I am probably stooping as low as her for that observation. But no one is perfect. And some people who made a life style revolving around being toxic, it becomes almost impossible for them to change. I say almost because I know that anyone can have a turn around, but only if they realize it and truly want to change for the better.

Respectful confidence,” is a term that I made for myself, and a way of life I vowed to lead and demonstrate. I didn’t think it was that transparent. There could be a lot of ideas and posts made from that phrase alone.  If confidence is respectful it has the chance of making positive changes in other people’s lives. It is no longer one sided or damaging.

In the end there is an illegible language in all of us that we need to work on keeping positive, full of love, and respect. We can all learn from each other if we put in the ability to understand and not tear each other down.

They also threw in that “hard work and perseverance doesn’t always lead to success,” and that gave me a good laugh. Talk about a realist that has to poke holes and drain the dreams of anyone that tries to attempt something they couldn’t attempt or didn’t even want to try to.

We have the ability to make a difference in each other’s lives as well as our own. Don’t let anyone bully you into silence. In the end maybe hard work and perseverance doesnt always lead to success but neither does sitting back and not taking a chance. At least your options are open if you put in an effort to try.

And I know that with my constant strive to try, to improve, to give my words a chance and speak up about what I believe in makes it much easier for me to reach my goals. I may not be there completely but I know I am much closer than  where I was yesterday.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a great day today!! I’m so happy to share all of my good news with all of you!

I’m truly happy that I have this place to come to when I need to vent, share my writing and any good news. I feel at home here and I am grateful for all of the feedback, encouragement and interest you have taken in with my writing, my books and my life. It really truly means a lot to me.


In the late fifties, an old flame of Samuel Beckett, Ethna MacCarthy, fell ill and died of throat cancer in Dublin. Around this time, female voices began to enter Beckett’s work, which up until that point had featured almost exclusively male characters. Was there a connection? In a review of a new edition of Beckett’s letters, Fintan O’Toole suggests that there was. You could also read Elizabeth Winkler on the author’s bilingual oeuvre.

Self-publishing is an option for many writers when it comes to publishing, but too many people jump into self-publishing too soon or for the wrong reasons.


1) You Faced Rejection in Traditional Publishing

If you first tried to publish traditionally and received rejection after rejection, there is a reason you were rejected.

Don’t jump to self-publishing if you get tired of submitting only to get more rejections. Revise your work. Find beta readers. Make it better. Find out why you’re not getting any bites.

If you’ve written something good, if you’ve gotten some submission requests, if the feedback on your story is positive, and if you’re still getting rejections, then your writing might not be the reason you’re getting rejected. At this point you can look to self-publishing.

2) You Have a Grudge Against Agents and Editors

Lots of writers try to go the traditional route, only to acquire a deep hatred of traditional publishing once they realize how common rejection is. I’ve seen plenty of people post about how agents and editors are evil gatekeepers.

This reason is closely related to the first reason. If you end up hating agents and editors because none of them request your material, it’s probably because you are the person who is doing something wrong.

Self-publishing because you want to “get back” at the people who rejected you will do nothing and the chances of selling something that was rejected by every agent and editor you contacted is incredibly slim.

3) You’re Eager to Get Your Book Out There

You’ve written your first novel. You did some editing in your first draft to make sure everything fits and to make sure there aren’t any typos. Now all you want is to get that book out there so that the whole world can read it.

Do not do this. Rushing into self-publishing when you’re not ready to (i.e. you haven’t revised well enough, you have no marketing plan, you don’t have a good cover, etc.) will hurt your sales and it may hurt your reputation if you do spectacularly bad.

4) You Have No Resources

Successful self-publishing can be expensive. It’s highly recommended that self-publishers invest in an editor (or at least free beta readers), a website, and a book designer. The overall cost of self-publishing can be a few thousand dollars (though these things are tax deductible (in the US, at least)), but it can be worth it.

5) The Market is Saturated

It’s difficult to sell dystopian and even vampire and werewolf novels because of the success of these genres in recent years. There’s just so much out there. The chance of someone picking up your book is small when they have so much more to choose from.

If you’ve faced rejection in traditional publishing or if you know you won’t be able to sell something in traditional publishing because the market you’re writing for is overcrowded, don’t self-publish just yet. Your sales won’t do any better.

Write something else, build your platform, and try publishing (self or traditional) in a few years when the market starts to clear up.


1) You Just Want to Share

Sometimes writers just want to share their story or cookbook or picture book with friends and family or sometimes they’re not looking to be a serious writer.

2) You Like Independence

In traditional publishing, the author doesn’t have a lot of control over things. You can negotiate revisions and an agent can negotiate your contract for you, but you don’t get to do things like choose when your book is released, design the cover, or pick the font.

If you know you can handle doing all this stuff by yourself (or with the help of hired freelancers) and if you much prefer having control over these things, self-publishing might be right for you.

3) You Know What You’re Doing

Self-publishing takes a lot of work and a lot of research. You have to market your book, maybe get print copies in independent book stores, reach out to fans, revise, create hype, get book reviews, and a lot more to make your book stand out against traditionally published books and to get your book out of the slumps of poorly self-published books.

Don’t jump into self-publishing if you haven’t done research on it or if you’re not sure what you’re doing. 

4) You’re Not Satisfied with the Publishing Industry

The publishing industry is not perfect. It’s dominated by certain demographics, it whitewashes book covers, it tells authors to change the sexuality of their characters, the royalty rate is low, and it takes a long time to get published.

How J.K. Rowling Plotted Harry Potter with a Hand-Drawn Spreadsheet

At the height of the Harry Potter novels’ popularity, I asked a number of people why those books in particular enjoyed such a devoted readership. Everyone gave almost the same answer: that author J.K. Rowling “tells a good story.” The response at once clarified everything and nothing; of course a “good story” can draw a large, enthusiastic (and, at that time, impatient) readership, but what does it take to actually tell a good story? People have probably made more money attempting, questionably, to pin down, define, and teach the best practices of storytelling, but at the top of this post, we have a revealing scrap of Rowling’s own process. And I do, almost literally, mean a scrap: this piece of lined paper contains part of the handwritten plot spreadsheet she used to write the fifth Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.


At the beginning of March, Ruth and I launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the next stage of the evolution of Emily Books. This project has a few different components, but to me the most important one is that we want to take all the different pieces of Emily Books — the website where we sell books, the Tumblr where we talk about books and reblog the pages you’ve highlighted, the Twitter where we amplify what our authors are saying and talk to and about them — and unite them in a real online community.  We want to be more than an online store. I think we need to be more than a store, actually, in order to fulfill our mission and justify our existence in the crowded literary landscape. 

It is great to send people books every month and great to send authors and indie publishers checks.  But the next step for us involves a big push in the direction of becoming more like a publisher ourselves: for starters, we have signed on as an imprint of Coffee House Press, and will publish two books a year with them. So the amount of work we do is increasing a lot, and right now our website and our own infrastructure is kind of held together by pieces of string and masking tape. With every book we pick, our accounting gets more complicated, and we’ve needed to hire someone to help out with that for a while, but at the scale we currently operate, it hasn’t made sense to spend that money.  What we need most, which this Kickstarter will generate if it succeeds, is a combination of better infrastructure and a larger community of readers and book-buyers and, most importantly, subscribers. If you’ve been thinking of subscribing to Emily Books anyway, subscribing via the Kickstarter is the best possible way to do it. You’ll get a bonus month free, plus an invitation to our small, exclusive and very fun relaunch party.

There are a lot of other ways to help us, too, which you can read more about on our Kickstarter page; you can get some of our favorite books as rewards, and we’ll keep adding more signed copies of various books by authors we love/authors we conveniently are. Or you can pledge $5 and when we have a new website, you’ll be a member of it, able to post in forums and get early notice each time we have a new pick.  If you have read this far, I bet you care enough about us to kick in $5 and get that reward!  Do it now while you’re thinking about it. We will be so grateful to you for helping us and the writers we love to get where we’re going. 

"If you feel lost now, remember things will change. This is an important lesson to remember when you’re having a bad day, a bad month, or a bad year. Things will change: You won’t feel this way forever. You won’t always be surrounded by toxic people that offer nothing positive in the forms of love or friendship. You won’t always need to justify every thought, feeling or change you are going through. You can only control you life, your actions and your destination. Never let anyone take control of that for you. That is the only way you can push yourself out of situations that no longer serve you or help you grow as a person.

Surround yourself around people that are willing to teach you what you need to know and not expect an reward for those lessons they feel you must learn in order to move on. True teachers, just as true friends are there to guide, protect, love, and appreciate you for who you are instead of mold you into a person they want you to be or tell you to move on from a past they know nothing about.

Sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are the ones your soul needs the most. I believe you can’t feel real joy unless you’ve felt a real heartache. You can’t have a sense of victory without knowing what it is like to fail. You can’t know sunshine without experiencing life in the dark. And those are the lessons that we teach ourselves.

So remember to keep forward, focus on your journey and you will reach that path that has been destined for you all along.

And remember, the only way to make that grass greener on the other side is by watering it. And if you begin to water it with negative thoughts or allow toxic people to walk all over what you planted, it will never have the chance to grow into something bigger or better.

—  Joanna Strafford

anonymous asked:

i was wondering about that angel coulby post, she doesnt look lighter at all?? except a bit grayer.. idk i've been staring at it for like ten minutes and i don't rly see any difference in her skin color besides the edited one being more gray-ish

You’re responding to this.

I want you to look at this. Tell me what color Kerry Washington is.

She’s fucking gray and you can’t see her beautiful brown eyes but you can clearly see the white girls light eyes, from this post.

Now you may not know this but when you edit pictures in PS you have to play with the vibrance to make the colors come out more. You can also brighten dark screenshots by brightening but its not the only way to do it. Lots of times you have to play with the curves and the vibrance with a dark shot.  I’m a novice so I can’t explain it as well as other giffers and editors. 

Now when you work with dark skin you run the risk of stripping them completely of most color. So take a look at the above shot.  I choose it from the many examples of white washing because this is mass media whitewashing. Here’s another example of another magazine doing it.

You’ve been trained to accept “grayness” as an aesthetic. Because big names like Variety and Elle say its okay to take away the browns skintones from women of color.  You’ve been trained to accept it as just another filter in your instagram toolkit.

But PS is not instagram. Let me repeat myself. Photoshop is NOT instagram. There’s nuance and finetuning available so you don’t have to be whitewashing everything.  I used to take selfies with my first cellphones and always make them black and white. I thought I was doing it so I could make my big nose smaller less defined. And I was. But I was also taking away my brown skin and I was whitewashing myself. I never wore bright colors on my lips, I played with putting my makeup on my lips to make them into thin lines on my black and white selfies. I’d straighten my hair so it wasn’t big and frizzy and curly. I was always dieting because I was “too” curvy.

I hated my skin, my nose, my lips, my hair, my curves. I hated myself.

Don’t tell me that making Angel Coulby even slightly gray is acceptable not when the Merlin fandom is filled with shitty whitewashed graphics. This isn’t even the first time the OP has done this.  Here’s my response. Its not because it teaches fandom that making edits is just an aesthetic choice. Its not. Its the deliberate upholding of white supremacy.

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