Many millenials have fond childhood memories of the virtual pet community Neopets, especially YA author Jordan Ifueko. When Ifueko was 10, she was obsessed with Neopets—and Jane Austen. She brought her two passions together in the form of a popular serialized story titled “Pride, Prose, and Princes.” Ifueko spoke to Elizabeth Ballou at Vice about how fan fiction fostered her love of storytelling and allowed her to comment on the social dynamics around her. “The Internet may tend towards trash fires, but Ifueko’s experience is proof that certain online communities can allow players to express their most heartfelt creative impulses. Neopets filters out violent or sexual content and requires users younger than thirteen to get signed waivers before posting, so at the peak of its popularity in the mid-2000s, it was a soft landing place for kids and teens just starting to experiment with storytelling.”
It’s not often that a major publisher listens to a new author when they request a specific painting be used for their book cover. But they listened to Naomi Jackson, and over at the Literary Hub she explains her choice of cover art for Star Side of Bird Hill and the Caribbean significance behind it.
Imagine a reality television show that pits up-and-coming writers against each other in a series of challenges designed to test their skills and endurance. When the smoke clears, and the bourbon’s gone, one talented writer will be reborn into gritty glory; only one writer will become America’s Next Top Writer!