News, Uncategorized

Webiversary: Our New Posting Schedule

To celebrate our Webiversary, we’re adapting a new posting schedule (effective today), including the return of our puzzles! 

We will be posting a new article four times a week, as follows:

Sunday – ‘The Write Information’ Weekly Column
Tuesday – Book Review, Author Q&A, or Author Interview
Thursday – Article or Listicle
Saturday – Puzzle
News

A Series of Unfortunate Events Comes to Netflix

There is one thing that most readers seem to agree on: the book is always better than the movie. And yet, we watch them anyway, and sometimes we even enjoy them. A highly anticipated movie that disappointed many fans was the A Series of Unfortunate Events movie that attempted to cover the first three books in a limited amount of time. Not only that, but it also changed some key plot points and somewhat lightened the mood.

Now that it’s getting a second chance with a television series on Netflix, fans are excited to see what changes Netflix will make and how close to the source material it will stick. Instead of squashing three books into less than two hours, the Netflix series will dedicate two episodes to each book (with each episode lasting about an hour). According to Neil Patrick Harris, who plays the villainous Count Olaf, this take on the series will be “super dark” much like the books are. Usually, “darker” shows are for older audiences, but Harris promises that the creators of the show “want it to be for kids” as well as for adults.

A Series of Unfortunate Events drops on Netflix on January 13th of next year (which is, of course, a Friday). That gives us two months to reread the books that those eight episodes will cover: The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, and The Miserable Mill. For anyone who has not read the books, or if you need a refresher, the series follows the lives of the Baudelaire children (Klaus, Violet, and Sunny) after their parents are mysteriously killed in a fire. In each book, they are taken in by a new adult who may or may not be working with the evil Count Olaf, who is obsessed with obtaining the Baudelaire’s inheritance. The books are much darker than most kid’s books, but Lemony Snicket’s amusing voice and unconventional writing style make them fun to read and reread. My favorite example of this is when Snicket is discussing the concept of deja vu. In book nine, instead of simply defining deja vu for the reader, he repeats a page with no explanation, giving the reader the feeling of deja vu. The first time I read that book, it took me a minute to realize I hadn’t just accidentally flipped back a page and it wasn’t a publishing mistake.

What is your favorite part of A Series of Unfortunate Events? Of the first four books, which do you most look forward to seeing on the silver screen? What do you most hope to see happen on the show? Don’t forget to check out the teaser trailer that dropped November 3rd.

Because the show is not yet rated, make sure to get your parents’ or an adult’s permission before watching it on January 13th, 2017.

News

Jenny Han Announces New Book

Jenny Han recently announced that she will be writing a third installment in her YA series To All The Boys I Loved Before. To celebrate the third and final book in the trilogy, her most recent installment, P.S. I Still Love You, is on sale as an ebook for $1.99. Fans of the series are already excited, and fellow YA authors are showing their support on Twitter.

News

International Group of Writers Saves Life of a Stranger

#MentalHealthAwarenessMonth has come and gone, but mental health issues remain as present as ever. This article, based on the heroic actions of a group of writers, illustrates the importance of acting quickly when someone’s life is in danger and delineates steps and resources we can use if there is a risk of suicide.

Suicide is no joke. How will you help prevent it?


On Friday nigh,t June 3rd, 2016 (American time) an international group of authors and writers banded together to save a life.

A member of a large international group of writers stumbled across a blog post on WordPress on a blog she followed. The post was a sincere suicide note. The blogger was in the USA, while the writer who found the note was from the UK.

Instead of just turning to something else, or fretting about it helplessly, she decided to do something about it. Unsure of how to do it herself, after trying to report it via WordPress’s sadly lacking reporting system, she turned to the people she knew would help her help the woman in need.

She posted to the 23k+ group of writers at 9:43pm Eastern Standard Time.

‘Help! Someone I follow on WordPress just posted an actual suicide note to their blog. I have no idea how to track them down.
The WordPress reporting system is useless. The page on what to do about threats of suicide just says to comment on the post with the number of the local suicide prevention hotline. I’m pretty sure she’s not reading her comments right now.
Does anyone know who to report this to? I know she’s in the states but I don’t where.
Here’s the post: [redacted]’

Her plea for help was not in vain. By 9:45, a mere 2 minutes after posting, people started working on solving the mystery of who the blogger was and how to get her help as soon as possible.

31 writers, many published authors, worked on the puzzle, giving advice, searching for contact info for the suicidal woman and her friends, family, job, etc. The report came in from someone who had managed contact with one of the woman’s friends that she was alive and receiving help. That was 44 minutes after the initial post. (Others joined the attempt afterwards, before realizing the crisis was over.)

You may have noticed I didn’t mention any names, didn’t give direct quotes besides the initial post. That is because when it comes down to it, this article is not really about the people involved, no matter how amazing what they did (and the fact that they tried at all) was. It is about knowing that you can do it, too.

When you see something like a sincere suicide note from someone you don’t really know (or don’t know at all) online, you CAN help. You CAN potentially save a life. You may not be able to do it alone, and that is okay. It doesn’t mean you have to give up.

Here is a summary of the ideas and actions taken. Remember them, as it could be YOU rescuing someone some day.

1) If on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media, see if there is a way to report it and if so, do it
2) Try to message them if the platform allows it
3) Find the person’s name
a) Look for linked Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, etc accounts attached to or mentioned as being theirs on the page/account/blog
4)Find the person’s general location (probably found on one of the above sites)
5) Get their phone number if possible
6) Call the police in their area (if you are unable to, see if you can get someone to call for you)

If the above fails:
7) Go back to their social media accounts and start sending messages to friends, family, etc.

This story had a happy ending, as much as is possible in a case like this. About 45 minutes after the authors’ quest started, they were informed the woman was being helped.

Just under 2 days later, on Sunday night, more confirmation was received. This time, to end this article, I will give you the quote:

‘Two of her friends messaged me back and confirmed that [redacted] is alive and receiving help. Her friends are all grateful that we went into action. We did indeed help save a life. I love all of you.’


RESOURCES FOR REPORTING SUICIDAL POSTS:

General-
http://youmatterlifeline.tumblr.com/Helpsomeoneonline

Tumblr-
http://locksandglasses.tumblr.com/…/brokenbladesandfire-int…

Twitter-
https://support.twitter.com/forms/suicide

Facebook-
https://vimeo.com/160565004

Lifeline:
1-800-273-TALK (8255)
http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

News

Canadian Author to Donate all Royalties to Support Relief Efforts in Fort McMurray

Canadian author, Kristan Cannon, has thrown her support behind Fort McMurray and the disaster relief effort through donating all of her royalties, from today until the end of May 2016—with a possible extension into June 2016.

“I couldn’t sit and do nothing, not after seeing the videos and images of the city,” Cannon said. “Fort McMurray is the same size as where I grew up. All I could imagine was how horrible it must be to have to pack up and leave everything behind, knowing that you’ll likely never see your home again… and then I couldn’t imagine it happening to North Bay.”