Welcome to Buzz Worthy News where the stories are awesome and not at all well-written. Need your YA industry news? Never fear, Kate is here to give it all to you. Just, ya know, not in any kinda sophisticated sense or nothing.
In this week’s Buzz Worthy News, we have equally awesome news paired with some not so awesome news: DC Comics responds to a young girl’s plea for more female superheroes, Dreamworks whitewashes Ghosts in the Shell, reader shaming at schools, Egmont USA authors find a new publishing home and more!
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly news post bringing you all the best information about the book and blogging world, particularly for the venn diagram of people who overlap between the two. For new releases and cover reveals of all the best Young Adult fiction, check out our Tuesday post: Hot New Titles.
DC Comics Responds To Young Girl’s Plea
When 11 year old Rowen Hanson wrote her frustrated letter to DC Comics in late January, she probably wasn’t thinking that she’d become an internet name. But within only a few days, the letter was retweeted everywhere. Here is a bit of the text:
“I noticed in the little pamphlet that there are only two girl Chibis and 10 boys,” she writes. “Also the background for the girl figures was all pink and purple.”
“I remember watching Justice League cartoons when I was really young with my dad. There are Superman and Batman movies, but not a Wonder Woman one. You have a Flash TV show, but not a Wonder Woman one.”
It’s a heartfelt plea for equal representation that seems to have hit the right PR ears. DC Comics sent back an amazing picture of Rowen as a superhero herself.
The company had this to say:
Thanks Rowan. We agree, we’re working hard to create more superhero fun for girls!
— DC Comics (@DCComics) January 30, 2015
Yes Rowan, girls read comics too! Wonder Woman movie & Supergirl TV both in the works, with more exciting girl power announcements soon!
— DC Comics (@DCComics) January 30, 2015
A delighted Rowan said it was “really cool” to receive a response from DC on Twitter, but promised to keep campaigning for better representation of female superheroes.
Dreamworks Whitewashes Ghost In the Shell Adaption
Although I’ve never read the manga version of Ghost In The Shell, watching the anime versions was enough to assure me that the main character, Major Motoko Kusanagi, was definitely Japanese. So it was with some surprise that I discovered that Scarlett Johansson had been cast in the part.
Fans of the iconic 1995 animated Japanese sci-fi film Ghost in the Shell have been anticipating a live-action remake for years — but now, instead of casting an Asian actress, Dreamworks has selected Scarlett Johansson for the lead role! The film revolves around Major Motoko Kusanagi, a member of a futuristic security force tasked with tracking a mysterious hacker.
And now, the fans of that cyberpunk manga have made a petition to get Dreamworks to change the casting to reflect the original intent of its creator. They’re at 42,000, hoping to get to 43,000, so if you feel as strongly as many do, go HERE to sign it.
HBO Wants You!
Do you love writing and television? Do you want an amazing resume builder? Are you tired of the astonishing LACK of diversity on television today? HBO says yes to all those questions with their new HBO Access Writing Fellowship.
According to an announcement, the program “will give emerging writers from diverse backgrounds an opportunity to attend a week of master classes held at the HBO campus in Santa Monica, California focusing on character and story development, pitching ideas and projects, securing an agent, and networking.” Afterward, each participant will begin a “eight month writing phase where he/she will be paired with an HBO development executive.” The program culminates with a staged reading in which the writers will network with industry professionals.
Guys, this is amazing. I mean, if I didn’t have two small children and a dozen chickens, I would be tempted to apply for this program myself!
HBO Access Writing Fellowship is open to “diverse and female writers 21 and older who must be able to work in the US” and submissions open on March 4.
Go HERE to find out more.
Meanwhile, Schools Treat Male and Female Authors Differently
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised by this, but apparently some schools think that Male Authors = Boy & Girl readers, while Female Authors = GIRLS ONLY. Mmmmkay. So, I guess JK Rowling was just a fluke? Here’s the story, according to Shannon Hale:
It wasn’t until I was partway into my presentation that I realized that the back rows of the older grades were all girls.
Later a teacher told me, “The administration only gave permission to the middle school girls to leave class for your assembly. I have a boy student who is a huge fan of SPIRIT ANIMALS. I got special permission for him to come, but he was too embarrassed.”
“Because the administration had already shown that they believed my presentation would only be for girls?”
“Yes,” she said.
Well, that’s heartbreaking. And what’s weird is her talk wasn’t gender related at all.
I talk about books and writing, reading, rejections and moving through them, how to come up with story ideas. But because I’m a woman, because some of my books have pictures of girls on the cover, because some of my books have “princess” in the title, I’m stamped as “for girls only.” However, the male writers who have boys on their covers speak to the entire school.
Gee a double standard. How [NOT] surprising. But the sad part of this, the really sad part, is how boys are being shamed and embarrassed for liking books with girl protagonists. Witness this heartbreaking story:
I signed books for the students who had pre-ordered my books (all girls), but one 3rd grade boy hung around.
“Did you want to ask her a question?” a teacher asked.
“Yes,” he said nervously, “but not now. I’ll wait till everyone is gone.”
Once the other students were gone, three adults still remained. He was still clearly uncomfortable that we weren’t alone but his question was also clearly important to him. So he leaned forward and whispered in my ear, “Do you have a copy of the black princess book?”
It broke my heart that he felt he had to whisper the question.
This is just wrong.
Lerner Acquires Egmont USA List
In what could be some super amazing good news for the authors of Egmont USA, Lerner Publishing has acquired their current list of work.
Lerner Publishing Group announced today the acquisition of nearly 100 Egmont USA titles. Following Egmont’s decision in January to close their USA office, Lerner Publishing Group purchased Egmont’s remaining US assets including books by Ilsa J. Bick, Patrick Jennings, Jon and Pamela Voelkel, Lex Thomas, and recent Morris Award finalist Len Vlahos. The Egmont USA titles will be folded into Lerner Publishing Group’s imprints including Carolrhoda Books, Carolrhoda Lab™, Darby Creek, and Millbrook Press.
Egmont USA will oversee the publication of the eight remaining titles on their 2015 winter list which will be distributed by Random House until April 30, 2015, at which time Lerner Publishing Group will take over publication and distribution of all Egmont frontlist and backlist titles.
Well, thank goodness all of these great authors will have a home for their amazing books very soon!
Wattpad & Its New Erotica App
I’ve never been to the Wattpad site before but let me tell you, I’m definitely more interested now. I mean, an app devoted to all my sexytime reading needs? Yes, please!
The app, which is a free download, features thousands of erotic stories posted on Wattpad. The stories in the app are organized under such broad categories as bestselling romance, fan fiction, urban and LGBTQ. Other After Dark categories include “panty droppers,” chicklit and romantic suspense. In the app, as on the website, fans can set up personal libraries, share stories, and comment on titles.
I imagine that it will take some time to sort the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, but I bet the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. 😉