Friday, March 30, 2012

ROCK THE DROP! Teen Lit Day 2012 is almost here!


Learn more about Rock the Drop HERE.

I hate letting go of my books because I may be a bit of a book hoarder. I said a "bit." Its nothing to be concerned about.

However. For this event, I might be able to justify relinquishing a book or two.

(With that said, if you happen to see me sitting somewhere random, with a book tightly gripped by my white-knuckled fingers, speak slowly and calmly, and try to gently pry my fingers off of the book.)

To learn more about TEEN LIT DAY, visit the YALSA website> I have included some information from the website below, in case your clicker finger isn't working today.

Support Teen Literature Day

Librarians all across the country are encouraged to participate in Support Teen Literature Day on April 14 2011 by hosting events in their library or through their web site on that day. The purpose of this celebration is to raise awareness among the general public that young adult literature is a vibrant, growing genre with much to offer today's teens. Support Teen Literature Day also seeks to showcase some award-winning authors and books in the genre as well as highlight librarians' expertise in connecting teens with books and other reading materials.

YALSA celebrated the first annual Support Teen Literature Day in Chicago at the Benito Juarez Community Academy in Chicago, IL. The celebration featured author Tiffany Trent, a performance by the band High Strung as well as several of the High School's students who discussed teen literature they enjoyed.

Things You Can Do To Support Teen Literature Day

If you have ideas for celebrating Support Teen Literature Day in your library, school or bookstore, please add them here:

1. Become aware of the multiple Teen/YA book awards. Every year, YALSA committees select books and media for six awards: Alex, Edwards, Morris, Nonfiction, Odyssey, and Printz. In addition, committees work to compile various booklists representing the year's best books in several friv categories: Quick Picks, Best Books, Great Graphic Novels, Popular Paperbacks, etc. Each fall Teens pick their top ten favorite books for the Teens' Top Ten. Teens' Top Ten nominations are posted on the YALSA web site in April, so teens can be reading them all summmer. In addition to all of these, many states have their own awards that highlight books reflecting them. Visit the Awards & Booklists page on the YALSA site for more details.

2. Read a book that has been honored

3. Set up a display of award winning books

4. Recommend an award winning book

5. Highlight award winning books or the latest Teens' Top Ten nominations during your Summer Reading programs.

6. Feature an award winning book on your web page.

7. Booktalk an award winning book.

8. Talk to teens about what they are reading and why. Find out what they think is good literature.

9. Celebrate Support Teen Literature Day (the Thursday of each National Library Week).

10. Hold a mock- Printz award contest, inviting teens to talk about what makes a teen book award winning.

11. Talk to area teachers about what is new in teen reading.

12. Talk to parents of teens about what is new in teen reading.

13. Recommend a teen book to an adult looking for something new and good to read. Try the Alex Awards--the top ten adult books with teen appeal.

14. Create a list of cross-over books (teen books that appeal to adults)

15. Highlight the number of adult authors that also write for teens

16. Create a display of teen authors (authors who were published when they are in their teens)

17. Visit YALSA's wiki for a list of the 100 best summer reads for teens

18. Celebrate Banned Books Week

19. Celebrate Teen Read Week

20. Include in your webpage, Facebook page and other social networks

21. Host a teen author at your library

22. Host a chat with a teen author

23. Survey teens on their favorite teen book

24. Host a cover art contest and ask teens to create a cover of their favorite book

25. Highlight the different genres of teen lit (don't forget the graphic novels!)

26. Create a video where teens booktalk their favorites (check out

27. Create a YA book discussion blog.

28. Share YA books with adults - there's good reading here, no matter what your age!

29. Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Create your own or use the sample letter from YALSA:

30. Encourage local schools to add modern teen literature to their summer reading lists.

31. Print up some bookmarks of your favorite YA titles and distribute them in your library.

32. Ask teens to create their own book trailer:

33. Host a teen movie night and show movies made from YA novels.

34. Start a teen book group.

35. Ask your teens to design posters for their favorite books.

36. Hold a fundraiser for libraries affected by disasters such as Hurricane Katrina.

37. Throw a book release party for a popular YA title.

38. Give a free book to every teen that says a special phrase (For instance, "I love teen literature.")

QUERY REJECTIONS: So you think you're the next J.K Rowling, do ya?

Well, you're not.

Or maybe you are.

But don't EVER assume so and then actually say that bit out loud or in an email.

Especially in response to a query rejection! EEEEEEEK!

So how do you respond to a query rejection? Well, it's completely up to you. Obviously.

There's a quote out there somewhere, and I'm going to butcher it, but here goes. It says something like, "You can't change other people, but you can change how you respond to them." You know, something like that.

So what does that mean?

Well, its easy really. You can't change the agent's mind, and that sucks. BUT you have FULL CONTROL over how you present yourself.

I hate my query.

I hated the draft before it. I hated the draft before that.

You can be pretty darn sure that I've hated every query I've come up with. No, seriously, I hate them all. I hate my synopsis too, but that's a discussion for a different day.

I especially hate the "personalized" query. Yikes. What a mess that was. But thanks to one agency or another, I read somewhere to "send us something funny, something personalized" ... Well, ok, I tried to oblige.

The only thing funny about THAT query is that I actually thought I'd get a response from it.

No. Seriously.

I recently received a rejection and out of morbid curiosity and utter masochism, I took a quick peek to see which query I'd originally sent to that agent.


Oh yippy. The personalized, witty query. *bangs head against wall*

I should have responded to that agent's rejection with a HUGE apology.

But I didn't. I responded with a THANK YOU.


But Jessa, they rejected your query. They rejected your baby, your beautiful precious manuscript. How could you thank them for that?

Well that's easy enough. I thanked them because its the polite, human thing to do. (DUH.)

I thanked them because they took the time to look at my query, or at least open my email.

I thanked them and I appreciate them because they are part of the 45% that actually TAKE THE TIME to respond to email queries.

Now, forgive me for being a little miffed at this next part, but my goodness, some of you "I'm the next best so'n'so" people are crappy. I've come to find out that most agents who receive a response to a rejection email WON'T EVEN BOTHER OPENING IT.

WHAT? But how can that be? WHY wouldn't they open it? What if I had something awesome to say, like, I've included a free coupon for marshmallows for you???
Wouldn't you want to know about that coupon?

Apparently, there are some crazy-ass writers out there who respond with anger and hate. *scratches head in confusion*

Apparently there are some crazy-ass writers out there that rant about how amazing they are and how stupid that agent is.

"I'm the next Stephenie Meyer. J.K. Rowling. Stephen King. William freaking Shakespeare. Etc."


Maybe you are.

Maybe you aren't.

Either way, get over yourself! Yeah, yeah, you're amazing. Your mom says you are, and so do five of your friends. GUESS WHAT? Me too.

(But the difference is, I actually AM amazing.) I'm kidding. Sort of.

Seriously though, it's so perplexing to me!

So much so that I had to write this rambling blog post. Now, obviously, you can see that I'm a lackluster blogger by my sporadic and pointless blog posts over the years (2008 was my big year in blogging, and then my blog died a slow and painful death). I probably have 5 readers over on my personal blog, and most of those are my mom and my friends who already think I'm awesome.

BUT BUT BUT I'm hoping this blog post reaches ONE person before they send that negative, ridiculous email.



Yes, you.


Do not send that email.

Want to know why?

Well, aside from the fact that it's just rude, you need to look at the bigger picture.

WHAT IF ... no really, WHAT IF ... you need an agent down the road for your next manuscript? What if said manuscript is so incredibly different from this manuscript, and so much better (because it will be, as I'm sure we all get better with time, practice and experience) that you just know Agent #007 would LOVE it? What if Agent #007 would have been the most perfectest agent for you EVER, but you verbally berated him/her in an email because you have no self control?

Ruh roh.


Gee, Jessa, you sure make sense. Thank you for being so wise and awesome.

You're welcome. But really, I'm not. Well, awesome yes, but wise? Not really.

What I AM however, is polite. For the most part. Friendly? Yes, almost always.

I am trying to be especially polite and professional in an industry that I hope to one day be an active part of. It makes so much sense to me to live my daily life with class, and it should make sense to you too. But since it clearly does not make sense to ALL, you can consider this my PSA for the day.

Now, since I imagine that you've been unable to come up with anything nice to say on your own, and that clearly THAT is the ONLY possible reason you've been responding negatively to your rejection emails, I've prepared a little sample.

Feel free to use it. You're welcome.

Dear Agent,

Thank you for taking the time to send a response. I truly appreciate it.


There. Was that so freaking hard?

Have a great weekend. Read a book. Be awesome.

"Stay Classy San Diego." - Ron Burgundy