News from the editor

  • Hey, I love Lisa Chau's idea - 25 facts about yourself?

    I know this is old news on Facebook, but I found Lisa Chau's 25 facts about herself so entertaining--so her! love how she always manages to get to pee/poop/puke--that I thought, How cool would it be to have a full set of these, 25 facts about every one of the RED authors? Post yours?
  • If you are reading this and you will be 18 by Nov 4

    You better be registered to VOTE, VOTE, VOTE! I mean, only actually do it once...

    It's one of the most exciting privileges of living in this country, and your vote's particularly important in this election. 

    ***REGISTER NOW (at It only takes a few minutes online and it just might change your life. 



    Posted Sep 17 2008, 11:11 AM by AmyG with no comments
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  • From real, lowercase American teens?

    Has anyone but me seen "American Teen?" Dying to hear what you think. Tell me! Yours, Amy 

  • Your summer reading lists?

    Wow, been so pulled into other things RED—and, in my day-job, closing the biggest issue of ELLE ever—that I've completely neglected this blog. I'm so sorry, just haven't gotten anything of a summer this year.

    But in those slivers of free time, and the pleasure of being on the other side of making a book and reading hundreds of essays, I'm remembering how much I love to read. Basic, I know, but one of those great things in life that it's so easy to let go by the wayside. Never again!

    Just to name a couple of books, all novels (back to fiction!) that have rocked my summer and I bet you'd like a lot, too:

    -All Souls by Christine Schutt

    -Lush Life by Richard Price

    -Goldengrove by Francine Prose (though I don't think it's officially out till Sept, bet you can pre-order now)

    Have you read any of these? If you do, please send/post your reviews, would love to hear what you think.

    And of course, please tell us YOUR summer reading finds.  As ever, Amy


  • College time: spring awakenings—acceptances? rejections?

    Happy spring everyone! Hey, keep us posted as you hear from colleges, will you? As someone who's on a first-name basis with a few admissions directors now, I think you can help each other. Lots of the same schools keep popping up, some of you already freshmen where some of you are headed in the fall. Ask your fellow REDs, a who just may be sitting on a wealth of inside information. Or just get on here, tell us who the lucky colleges are, and let us help you celebrate?

    Or hey, post exceprts from your favorite, most crushing rejection letters... Their loss!  


  • First-time voters?

    Which of you are going to be picking us a new president in November? 

  • Better link for that Readergirlz group 

    Posted Mar 05 2008, 01:07 PM by AmyG with no comments
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  • Between Blueberries for Sal and Joan Didion

    Last I checked, RED's place on Amazon bestsellers for essays was between Blueberries for Sal and Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem (which you should all read if you haven't already, one of my all-time favorites). And Blueberries for Sal isn't bad either. Anyway, somehow this Sal-n-Joan place in the world for RED seems right, doesn't it?  Made me smile.

    Full reports on the latest SF and NY events—so much response I'm having trouble keeping up—plus video this time, soon.

    But a few more immediate things first:

    -Thanks to Jocelyn Pearce for getting word to them, RED is a recommended read this month from Readergirlz, a wise and wonderful group. And they knew girls out there would have a lot to say about it, so they already set up a discussion thread for us at their MySpace (anyone else still on it?) forum. Just log in, click on the groups tab, and search "readergirlz." Stop by,  weigh in, make an author appearance—sure the readers would love that.  

    -And on Jocelyn's own amazing book blog, an interview with me about the book, what else I do. If you're curious, Teen Book Review. And know I trust Jocelyn so much that I haven't even read before sending you there...

    -For NY REDs: New Orleansian(?) turned New Yorker Emily-Nicole Johns will be reading her beautiful Katrina essay from RED at a benefit for the Lower Eastside Girls Club, a fundraiser to send their leadership committee girls—who some of you have become fast friends with—down to NOLA for the VDay 10th anniversary, ending violence against women. Details from the link above or homepage. But brief is it's tomorrow night (Thurs, March 6) from 5:00-8:00p, and Emily-Nicole will read 6:30ish. Should be a special way to spend an evening, hope you can come!

    -Also NY: RED's Sarah Harrison and Alison Smith will be in this Sunday's NYDaily News (March 9)! Fun one, photos and all. Stop by your Sunday newsstand. 

    As ever, Amy 


  • See you in San Francisco?

    Big, bicoastal thanks to all of you who are making the efforts to fling yourself to the Bay Area (me too) for this Friday! Should be well worth the trip--this is a part of the country that really loves its books, new voices, and mother-daughter book clubs. They've been incredibly excited about and supportive of RED and can't wait to catch it live. Please, spread the word, to everyone you know in the SF Bay Area. Fri 22d at A Great, Good Place for Books in Oakland; Mon 25th at Towne Centre Books in Pleasanton; and Wed 27th at Barnes & Noble, Dublin. Addresses and other details on our homepage.


  • Happy Super Tuesday!

    Did you vote today? The answer BETTER be yes if you're 18 and a part of this site...

    Tell us about it: First time? Registered Democrat or Republican? How (and where, meaning YouTube or debates on TV or newspapers, etc.) did you decide who to vote for? Conflicted? Feel good about your decision? Empowered? Confused? You voting differently than your parents? Your friends? Talking about it with them? Issue- or personality-driven?

  • RED and an icon of the Civil Rights Movement!

    Michigan was amazing--send Hannah and Sarah Morris and Lisa Chau big digital cheers for bringing down the house(s). You also might want to send Lisa your favorite puke-in-the-classroom stories... Standing-room-only at both events. Borders had to keep bringing in chairs, and your three fellow RED authors had them rapt, from moments of beautiful silence and suspsense to the most genuine, roaring laughter. I'm so proud to be a part of this, share the room with your talent. And that includes in my hometown, with a few surprise guests I hadn't seen since I was in high school.

    And another very special RED report: So, two nights earlier, I was speaking, on the book, at Albion College. The other guest lecturer happened to be my other (plus you guys) new hero--Civil Rights activist Juanita Abernathy, widow of Ralph Abernathy (I'm going to say MLK's bff, because I like the sound of that; get Googling!). She absolutely fell in love with the book, kept picking it up and reading a page or two and couldn't stop, even late in our B&B. Made her laugh the most beautiful laugh. But the highlight of it all was her reading Aarian Marshall's wicked, wonderful, says-it-all, hilarious essay "Burning in Heaven." An absolute once in a lifetime moment, to witness one of the last living icons of the Civil Rights movement reading our Aarian's words, and getting the biggest kick out of "the one black boy in our class" and "What an abject waste of blackness!"

    Wow, wow, wow. WISH you could have been there.

    With that, I return to strangely Michigan weather in New York on this Monday morning.

    Huge congratulations and thanks, for the great success of Hannah, Sarah, Lisa--and by proxy, Aarian--in Michigan! 



  • Red the Book is off to Michigan!

    Related music rec, because every time I type "Michigan," I find myself singing it: Sufjan Stevens' "Greetings from Michigan" is a great CD. 

    So yeah, off to Michigan--I know, who goes there the last week of Jan?--which is exciting for so many reasons. Most of all, that Detroit-area RED authors Lisa Chau (so entertaining and not afraid to ad-lib or talk about poo, as those of you who saw her read at the NY launch party know; give this girl a stand-up show!), and Hannah and Sarah Morris (of many, many fans; and making their reading debut!) 

    Plus, the Friday night reading is in my very hometown. So this is me, about to face my own teenage demons. Don't know how you girls do it...

    A big mitten-shaped-state wave to cheer us on?

  • GSAs?

    Been meaning to ask you about this, so thanks for reminding me, Kali! We didn't have GSAs when I was in school--and it came up in so many of your essays I had to look it up, ask around, to make sure it wasn't some student government acronym or something. Anyway, this is something that really cheers me. Seems like you girls, your generation has made great inroads, will make homophobia extinct and soon... Unheard of that straight kids would be active in organizations supporting the gay kids, or for that matter, that the gay kids were even out. 

    Would love to hear your thoughts on this: Tell me about the GSA at your school? Are a lot of kids out? You have gay friends? Girls? Boys? Is there--on an informal, social, non-organization scale--an authentic gay student association going on?  

    Loving this, you're awesome, world-changing.


    Posted Jan 23 2008, 10:22 AM by AmyG with 4 comment(s)
    Filed under: ,
  • Any of you playwrights, too?

    I imagine you are... This is an amazing, life-changing, career-making competition--I have a grownup friend who won it at age 17 and is now a professional writer/actor/yogi. Esteemed history, most impressive playwrights keep an eye on this one. If you have anything ready in script form? Or can by NEXT TUES, JAN 22?

    Sorry I just heard about it now, but it seems they extended the original deadline, and you know what that means. They're not impressed enough by the entries yet! Time to RED knock their socks off.

    Here, as much as I know. for the real info.


    Postmark deadline: Tuesday, January 22, 2008

    Send scripts to: Box 5134, New York, NY 10185 


  • Apologies for the auto-censor, we're working on it

    Though it couldn't have happened to a bigger *** (Cheney, that is), I don't want it happening to all of you...

    Jocelyn, Jordyn, Sam, and so on, we're really sorry about the software's auto-censoring--believe me, it's not us!--and we're trying to figure out how to override it. In the meantime, thanks for your patience and the right attitude. The Cheney thing makes me giggle every time.


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