Friday, February 03, 2006


I found this article on short stories through Metaxu Cafe, a litblog network I joined after I saw all my kidlit friends were joining it. I'm not a hundred percent sure how Metaxu works. I found the short story article (originally published in The Guardian) through a post from a literary magazine called The Angler, which appears to have launched almost minutes ago. However, the post in The Angler seems to have originally been posted at something called Catch and Release. Get it? The Angler? Catch and Release?

So, when you include Metaxu, this short story article by William Boyd, who I had never heard of before, went through four steps to get to me.
I have not read it yet, but who knows? It could be just the thing I've been looking for to make me a short story writer.

And it took four steps to get to me on the Internet. Makes you think.

If you go to the Feb. 1 post for Young Adult Writers Who Blog, you will note that Robyn Schneider will be "teaching an online course on how to write the edgy YA novel."

I found two particularly interesting things about the course description:

One--They are going to read two edgy YA novels from the following list: The Perks of Being a Wallflower, It Girl #1, Looking For Alaska, Be More Chill, Gossip Girl # 1, Gingerbread, Empress of the World. The two books from that list that I've read--The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Looking for Alaska--I found predictable. Though I guess you could say they were predictable in an edgy sort of way, if by edgy you mean sex and drugs.

Two--The students will be "working on or about to start a novel for 15-and-up." I found this really interesting because I've read elsewhere that some publishers are interested in raising the definition of YA into the early twenties. I can understand wanting to address books to college-age and just-out-of-college people. I don't know that there are a lot of books out there that deal with their interests and age groups. But I don't know if expanding YA so it encompasses kids twelve or thirteen up through early twenties is the way to go.

The interests of a twelve year old are dramatically different from those of a twenty-one year old. Especially since publishers, librarians, and booksellers already are not on the same page with their YA definitions. Everyone seems pretty comfortable classifying books anyway they see fit so that Sea of Trolls, with its twelve-year-old main character on a journey can be considered a "teen read" just like Looking for Alaska, with its somewhat older characters enjoying an adolescent sex and smoking fantasy.

Thanks to Child_Lit for that link.

And thank you, Child_Lit, for this link, too. Now I've discovered still more kidlit blogs, to say nothing of all those kidlit authors. I could make a career of reading these things.

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