This weekend I helped put on a couple events at my university. I volunteered Friday at our first annual Publishing Career Forum, then Saturday I co-ran orientation for my study abroad program from last summer to Oxford. (I’m so jealous of the group that gets to go this year.) (For real, no matter what university you attend, if you’re interested in spending your summer in England, the St Peter’s College Summer School at Magdalen College, University of Oxford is the way to go.)

Outside of those events, I’ve also been doing a ton of homework, and Ch1Con work, and revising, and last night I did my laundry and cleaned my room at 2 AM, and yeah. As much as I love my classes, I am 110% ready for this semester to be over.

The other thing that happened this weekend is that a certain Teens Can write, Too! founder started an INTERNATIONALLY TRENDING HASHTAG.

Despite John’s status as my arch nemesis, even I have to admit that this hashtag is completely brilliant. Last I checked, it had been tweeted with over twenty thousand times and has been featured in articles from places ranging from Buzzfeed UK to The Huffington Post. And the results range from the hilarious, to the serious and important.


As Dahlia Adler so perfectly puts it:

It’s funny, because just a few days before this whole thing started, a group of us were discussing on Twitter the way being the creator of something popular gives you power. And with that power comes the responsibility to try to do good with it. 

More than anyone else, John was a proponent for the fact that if someone is listening, it is your job to draw focus to minority voices.

True to his word, John has taken the platform #VeryRealisticYA gave him to draw attention to the need for diversity in literature.

So, basically, John is an incredible human and he is SO deserving of all the attention he’s getting and I’m proud to have an arch nemesis who is so good.

And now, a couple more of my favorites from #VeryRealisticYA (although really, there are SO MANY MORE GREAT ONES you can find on Twitter):

Off to drown in homework! (#VeryRealisticNA)



NaNo Day 27: Happy Thanksgiving!

There are a lot of hard and terrible things going on all over the place right now, which is why it’s nice to have this excuse to spend a day remembering that there are good things too.

I’m thankful for my family and friends and the wonderful writing community, especially those involved in Teens Can Write, Too! and the Chapter One Young Writers Conference. I’m thankful for the critique partners currently working away at critiquing one of my MSs and those who’ll be getting it at the end of the year. (You are my heroes, each and every one of you.)

I’m thankful for my roommates and professors and the fact that I am able to go to a school I love, and thankful for everyone at Oxford (and elsewhere in Europe) who made my summer the most amazing of my life.

I’m so, so, SO thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had this year. I’m thankful for all the books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen and plays I’ve loved and music I’ve listened to on repeat for weeks on end. (Still not over 1989.)

I’m thankful for the places I’ve been and people I’ve met and really, just, like: this life. I am so incredibly thankful for this life.

A lot of stuff sucks right now. I’m not going to go into details, because I’m going to assume you’ve been keeping up with the news, and the stuff that isn’t on the news isn’t mine to share either. And I get that I am privileged to be able to stop for a day and be thankful for the good things despite the bad. But the least I can do is be grateful.

If you are lucky enough to have good things in your life, don’t throw them away. Even if they’re teeny, tiny good things. (Actually: especially then. Those are the most important to hang onto. They can so easily slip between the cracks.)

Eat too much turkey. Stuff yourself with pie. Hug whoever you’re celebrating with. And let’s make this a Thanksgiving worth being thankful for.

Happy Turkey Day!