News from the editor

  • Is the Internet for Girls?

    Hi everyone--and thanks, I'm LOVING your political posts so far. Please, keep them coming. I'm after every perspective--even you conservative Republicans if you're among us?

    And another personal-political obsession that's keeping me up at night, eager to hear your thoughts on it, because you're much closer to the subject (and to teenage boys) than I am: Do you think the Internet advantages girls? I keep reading about all this boys are falling behind in school, the colleges are getting overwhelmed by female applicants far more qualified than male ones--nearly a new kind of affirmative action--including the New York Times a couple of days ago, about tutors to help the boys get organized, catch up to their girl peers.

    Here's what I'm wondering: Do you think the Internet, namely the habits and skills that blogs and social networks call for--writing, being a good communicator and friend, organized, presenting oneself in an appealing way, attention to detail--is a part of what's elevating you girls and leaving the boys in your wake?

    Is the Internet for Girls? I'm serious. Think there's anything to it?

    It's very possible, by the way, I'm just getting old. Tomorrow's my birthday, Jan 4. Hey, Sam, don't you have a birthday right around here, too?


  • Happy Year of A New President!

    Happy New Year, everyone! And I don't know about you, but I'm getting very tired, defensive, pissed off at how freely people--older, ignorant people--throw around the charge that American teenagers don't read, don't care about anything of larger political consequence in the world than what's on your iPods.

    Help me show them how wrong they are? (Though you can also feel free to share what's on your iPods; fun and Real Issues are not mutually exclusive.)

    Introducing....RED, write, and blog for election year 08! For the month of January (we'll see how it goes from there), I'm looking for your political posts, primarily what you think about anything presidential-campaign related. Which candidates do you like or can't stand and why? Which issues are the dealbreakers? Are you voting for the first time? Are or would you be voting along your parents' party lines, or otherwise? What's the word on oh, Oprah+Obama, in your home and your dorm room? Rudy, Romney, how much religion should or shouldn't come into play? Bill Clinton as First Man? Immigration? Abortion? Iraq? 

    Tell me, tell the world what you think. You know how strongly I believe you're the next generation of great American voices, and that's why you're in this book. You speak the truth, passionately, beauitfully, in red-not-pink primary colors. The country we live in is obviously no small part of that--and ripe, too ripe, for material. 

    Kicking off the RED, WRITE, AND BLOG CAMPAIGN 08!

    Cast your vote! Write it in! Write it on!





  • I am holding Spring Awakening responsible

    Somehow...for the long dream I had after seeing it--that Peter and I were harboring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, from what they told us were paparazzi but turned out to be the law.  


  • If you're looking for something to read--or write--over the break?

    Happy holidays, everyone! And this is coming from someone who knows it's never really that simple. Just ask if you want to hear my tragic, holiday-defining story--makes this time of year really tough. I'll keep it optional, rather than imposing it on all of you. Also can't get into that now, because Peter and I are off soon to see Spring Awakening! FINALLY! And kills me, thinking of you who'd were stopped by the strike from seeing it while you were here. Come back!

    Anyway, wanted to alert you to a couple of special recommendations, in case you're home, bored (seems to be a theme on the site these weeks) and looking for a beautiful book to read or a constructive writing assignment?  

    READ: Before I Die, by Jenny Downham. I started it late Christmas night and really could not put it down, read till I finished yesterday midday. Now I can't stop thinking about it, and I'm someone who doesn't read anything market YA, at least not till one of you recommends it. It's a life-changingly beautiful novel, about a 16-year-old girl in London who's dying of leukemia, and the list of things she decides she has to do before she dies. And she does die. No Hollywood last-minute miracle cures. But that's it's beauty--like she's accepted her own death, it's the people around her (most realistic parents, brother, best friend, boyfriend and boy she has sex with, btw) who can't. Be prepared to weep, it really snuck up on me. But this book's really about living.

    WRITE: Our friends at the Lower Eastside Girls Club sent us notice of this very cool essay contest (with $1,000 prize!) that I think any one of you--the best writers, readers, thinkers, and humanitarians I know--could blow them away with. And feel free to send my way if you'd like an editor first...

    Info below, DEADLINE FEB 1, 2008. (Please note you have to be in high school still.) Do it! 

    Details at
    The United States Institute of Peace ( ) established the National Peace Essay Contest to expand edu-
    cational opportunities for America's youth.

    The topic for the 2007-08 competition is "Natural Resources and Conflict." Participants are asked to write a 1,500-word essay
    stating what they believe are the necessary elements for the development of fair, peaceful, or effective use of natural resources after a conflict.

    Students are eligible to participate if they are in grades nine through twelve in any of the fifty states, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory, or if they are U.S. citizens attend-
    ing high school overseas. Students may be attending a public, private, or parochial school, or participating in a high school correspondence program. Entries from home-schooled students are
    also accepted.

    First-place state-level winners are awarded $1,000 each and compete for national awards. National awards include one first-place award of $10,000; one second-place award of $5,000; and one third-place award of $2,500. First-place state winners are also invited to Washington, D.C., for the awards program. The institute pays for expenses related to the program, including travel, lodging, meals, and entertainment.

    Visit the USIP Web site for complete program information and entry procedures.

  • Superbad and Sam got me thinking -- boys?

    Sam and our Superbad discussion (not her consideration of different terms for oral sex...) got me thinking. I turn the big question over to you -- and your male friends and brothers and teachers and all that. 

    Is a boy-written version of RED possible? Will the guys you know, and not just the artsy kind, who consider themselves writers, be into this? Share their inner lives? Would be fascinating to get in there, no? 

    Let me know. Seriously. 

    Posted Dec 16 2007, 11:52 AM by AmyG with 9 comment(s)
    Filed under: , ,
  • All anyone needs to know about RED?

    You know, I have to tell people what this book is from square one so many times a day that this below, product description from a bookseller's site, made me smile (though not nearly as much as Jordyn's grandma texting her, yes texting!, about RED and how she can't pry it out of "g'pa's" hands).

    I'm determined to fatten it up to a pound for the holidays...  

    Dimensions: 8.38x5.88x1.07 in. .98 lbs.


  • Back from LA (a flip-flop free zone, as it turned out)

    Hi all! The book's West Coast debut was a huge hit--though packing flip flops was wishful thinking. They tell me the day of our reading was a particularly cold one, and after we were up there for hours, a family friend who's a doctor in the house came up to me, all concerned and holding a puffy vest that I had to put on over my dress, "Your lips are all BLUE!" Blue, red, whatever. RED was a hit, and the TV, film, and theater(!) people were duly impressed.

    I'm playing catch up now, but my plan is to spend the holidays putting photos up--even video on this one, thanks to team Dani Cox. Her actor friend Aidan (Eddie Izzard's son on the Riches) was our videographer for the day.

    Now to get my NY act back in order: Readings this Thurs and next Tues here. 

    And hey, RED's in Newsweek this week! Just saw it. 


    Posted Dec 11 2007, 03:25 PM by AmyG with 3 comment(s)
    Filed under: ,
  • Red the Book is off to LA!

    And the both of us could use some time sitting by a pool...<br><br>

    So excited for this, Sunday's event--assorted TV and film, Industry as they say out there, types coming, including Freaks and Geeks mastermind Paul Feig!--and we'll be sure to take a lot of pictures, video, even, for those of you who can't be there. Great reading lineup, too: Jordyn Turney, Deborah Kim, Jessica Goodman, Elizabeth Case, Erika Kwee, Kali Moriarty, Dani Cox! Jordyn and Dani being all bicoastal about it now, snazzy, and the rest of you making your RED debut.<br><br>

    Imagine RED in flip-flops.<br>

    Yours, Amy 

  • A word about the F-word (and others)

    Happy Thanksgiving, all!

    Notice I didn't say Happy fucking Thanksgiving—not because I couldn't but because it really wouldn't have added much... Just want to make a point, I hope not the point you expect, about swearing in your blogs. My policy is I don't belive in censorship, and honestly, I feel like when it comes to people under-20, there's a lot of sexism in that censorship. Like it's OK for boys to swear and talk about sex, but not for the young ladies.

    All this to say: Swearing is ALLOWED on your blogs. But it is by no means REQUIRED. Don't feel like you have to because everyone else is, in which case the words lose their impact anyway and just proliferate. What will we have to pull out next?

    From there, I leave it up to you and your creative vocabularies.
    As ever,
  • Lips Cookies and the US Postal Service

    Believe me, I would LOVE to be able to mail those of you who missed the party these lips cookies. Because we have a houseful of them, and they'll perish soon—why I can't ship, terrorism and the mail and no "perishables," though hardly hazardous—and it's starting to look like they're frowning at me.

    However, I do have other goodies to mail those of you who weren't here to claim your goodie bags, including:
    -Red the Book: the Soundtrack (CD of songs you chose) -Red the Book: the Click-Top Pen -Red the Book: the RED Pepper+Pistol Damselle Tattoo -And, most special of all, because these are the only ones that exist in the world, your hand-embroidered one-of-a-kind Damselle. She's the cutest thing ever, and each one has a different expression, bulgy eyes, red toes, tall boots. So cool! Created by Pepper+Pistol, literally just for you. The idea is that you customize her any way you want—then we'll create a section of the site where you can post pictures of your looks.

    So, please, let me know if you're someone who didn't make it to the NY party—and won't be at the LA one—to claim the above, and I'll mail you one?
  • More later—your editor's losing it—but for now, just biggest, reddest thanks!!!

    Wow, first book—and first blog. I've never done anything like either before, and I'm just in awe of all of you, hope I can keep up. MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION: ANYONE KNOW HOW TO DO A LINE BREAK IN HERE? START A NEW PARAGRAPH? I promise I'll start behaving like a proper blogger once we have the basics up on the site, but I'm feeling like I should make sure we get all that going first. Can't wait for the time I can just be writing here and talking to all of you and have the time to read things like Saskia's recap of her and Amy's NY trip to Sam's existential revelations to Olive's playlists. Too cool! In the meantime, want to thank you all for being the amazing girls, writers, minds you are and all you've done to make Red the Book real. Can hardly believe it. And a few today's thoughts/questions (this is what blogs are for, right?): 1. Some of you are in the process of applying to colleges...that others of you are now attending. If there's any place on here for a kind of inside college info exchange, might mean a lot, one RED writer to another, vs. some guide written by someone else? 2. Anyone as addicted to Heroes as I am now? I'm new, only on season one, so SHHHHHH with the spoilers. But I love it. And I want to apologize that of all houseguests, we made Ms. You Want to Know What My Problem Is, My Problem Is TV Saskia Boggs watch about four hours straight of it...TV. 3. Don't take those comments on Jezebel—please note these are the comments, from people out there hiding behind the anonymity of the web, NOT the proper reporter/photographer/journalists/site—as anything more than people who need to find something better to do on, what, a Friday night, then insult teenagers based on misleading information. I mean, come on! They're picking on brilliant 13-year-old Dani. And as any of you saw her know, they're just jealous... Plenty of genuis writing from authors under 30 in there, plenty of girls of color, and so on that they're charging us with. I suppose get used to it? A successful book is always going to come with its critics. Just a shame they can't pick on someone their own age. OK, back to some LA launch party planning! And I'm still eating lips cookies. Eating lips is a funny concept, right? The red dye comes off a little and keeps freaking me out when I brush my teeth. Yours, Amy G
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