Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book Review: Holly Black's White Cat

In a world where mobster families practice dark magic, Cassel feels left out as the only one in his dysfunctional family who has no magic powers. He compensates with his abilities to con and lie much like the rest of the family. As if normal teen angst weren’t bad enough, he is haunted by the horrific death of a friend and struggles to remember how she died. When he dreams of a white cat talking to him and wakes up sleepwalking on the roof of his prep school dorm, his life spins out of control.

Holly Black’s fairy tale trilogy, Tithe, Valiant, and Ironside, are among my favorite fantasy novels. While not about fairies, this is another urban fantasy by Holly Black, one that will keep you up all night reading to the end, as the plot twists and turns and Cassel learns disturbing things about himself and about his family. The world of curse worker mobsters is a highly original conception.

The novel itself is excellent, but the cover art is yet another example, along with Justine Larbalestier’s Liar and Jaclyn Dolamore’s Magic Under Glass, of YA cover art whitewashing. Cassel has black hair, black eyes, and tan skin, yet the boy on the front cover has auburn hair and very pale skin. The continued racism in the publishing industry, which believes that featuring white people on the front cover will sell more copies, is a disgrace.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Write to Publish!

Ooligan Press, the student-run publishing house of Portland State University, will host the writing conference Write to Publish from May 22 to 23.

Guest authors include: Ursula K. LeGuin, Chuck Palahniuk, Lilith Saintcrow, Shannon Wheeler, Deborah Hopkinson, and Virginia Euer Wolff (not to be confused with the ghost of Virginia Woolf).

For more information, visit: www.ooliganpress.pdx.edu.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Write to Publish

I have exciting news about Write to Publish, Ooligan Press's book conference! But I have to keep it a secret until March 10.

However, I can divulge a little more information about the conference. It takes place on May 22 and 23, 2010, at Smith Memorial Hall on the campus of Portland State University, and professional authors will be there. The conference includes a day of writing workshops and a day of author panels, all meant to encourage, inspire, and teach writers to get published. The emphasis is not on the writing process but rather on getting published.

Ooligan Press is a student-run publishing house located at Portland State University. Dennis Stovall and Laurie King wrote the firs edition of the book Classroom Publishing back in 1992, and though the book was primarily about using publishing in elementary and high school classrooms, Dennis Stovall used classroom publishing principles to start the grad school publishing program at PSU. On March 1, the second edition of Classroom Publishing came out, published by Ooligan Press. It has been completely revised and updated for today's digital publishing world. The book is available at all major book stores and online book stores.

For more information about Write to Publish or Ooligan Press, visit www.ooliganpress.pdx.edu.