Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tricks & Treats: October's Monthly Update

This month I want to thank everyone for helping #RW's web to spread into every empty nook and cranny. Our sticky spider web of good is spreading! Our follower count is growing and encouraging posts are being released every week. Despite the busy webs that entangle each of our teams' lives: writing, school, work and all the other life responsibilities...we are keeping on to our cause and ever growing.

This month I want to take some time to thank a particularly faithful member of RW and one this movement could not be here without...that is *drum roll*

Thank you so much for your ceaseless work and support, your leadership is vital to us and I want to thank you for managing so much behind the scenes for us. You are totally incredible! 
A round of applause for her?

This month I have a special writerly goody pack for you as National Novel Writing Month grows eerily near. But first let's sum up the little goldmines of the month...

Is it Ok to Give Up? by Melissa Gravitis
Long time writer Melissa Gravitis talks about those trouble WIP's and shares encouraging heart to heart advice that every writer needs to hear.

The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Lila Kims delivers an exciting book review packed with reasons to read this incredible first of a trilogy. Looking for some sword clashing adventures? Read the review and add this neatly written piece to your TBR!

Drugs and Alcohol in YA: When is it ok?
Guest blogger Elena Vines presents an interesting view on a controversial subject. How do we handle the issue of drugs and alcohol in our writing?

http://www.rebelliouswriting.com/2017/10/help-wanted-youtube-coordinator.html Help Wanted: Youtube Coordinator
And last but not least...we need a new Youtube Coordinator! RW has a gap in their team and if you are qualified we are much in need of you! Check out the guidelines in the post and email us for more info.

And now for the treats!
Image result for candy drawing tumblr 

Sweetly Sour Skittles // The Most Dangerous Writing App
Dangerous is an understatement. The point is here is to write a set amount of words or write for a certain time, the twist? If you stop typing...you lose your work. This is great for speed writing, getting ideas out, writer's block, or typing up pieces of your novel.

Chocolaty Heaven // Go Teen Writers
Go Teen Writers is the BEST resource out there for both new and old time writers. They have a
handy dandy index updated with articles on everything from how to build theme to character development and dialogue.

Image result for lollipop drawing tumblr 
A Myriad of Colors and Tastes, Lollipop // Pinterest
 Pinterest is a great place to find other writers, nifty tips and visual inspiration. If you enjoy seeing things and building a story visually...Pinterest is a great place to get inspired. The link above is a bank of inspiration to me...a board where I dump all kinds of intriguing pictures and concepts.

 Nothing is complete without a few tricks either!

1. Carry a notebook
2. Know when to listen to writerly advice and when to follow your gut feelings
3. You are writing your book, no one else is...remember that.
4. That being said DO take advice, chat & brainstorm with other writers
5. Try new and different things! Visit some places that could be relevant to your writing...even if it's just a laundromat or a park garden!

I close with this thought.
 We are all gifted with talents and abilities that no one else has. However minor or seemingly meaningless our differentiating characteristics are...never underestimate them to give your writing a personal twist. Also remember that you are not writing for others, you are writing for yourself.
Stay true to who you are and write Rebellious!

- Anna C. S. -

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Help Wanted: YouTube Coordinator

Calling all Rebels!

We are in desperate need of a coordinator for the Rebellious Writing YouTube channel.

Currently, the YouTube channel is being coordinated by Catherine Hawthorn with some help from Anna C.S. While they both enjoy creating videos, Catherine's and Anna's responsibilities both inside and outside Rebellious Writing are increasingly demanding their attention. As a result, Catherine is requesting to step down from her temporary position as YouTube coordinator.

The Requirements for the Candidates are: 

1. Must be a supporter of clean YA reads. 
2. Must be willing to use uncopyrighted or CC licensed images, music, sounds or own work in videos. Under no circumstances will copyrighted material be allowed in our videos. 
3. Previous YouTube experience is highly recommended. Applicants will be asked to provide their personal channel link if possible. 

The Responsibilities of the YouTube Coordinator are: 

1. Create and/or edit videos to be placed on the channel. These can be announcements, book reviews and/or vlogs about topics relating to Rebellious Writing. 
2. Moderate all comments. Remove comments with swearing or other inappropriate content. 
3. Grow the platform by subscribing to channels and commenting on videos that support clean reads, particularly clean YA reads. These can be Christian or secular. Comment on videos supporting clean reads.
4. If needed, please share YouTube analytics data with team members. 

Further responsibilities may be added in the future. In terms of time commitment, that is up to the applicant (how much they want/are able to).

We will announce when the position is filled with a post here on the Rebellious Writing blog, introducing the new coordinator. 

If interested in this position or if you would like to know more, please email us (therebelliouswriting@gmail.com) and and put "YouTube Coordinator Position" in the subject line. 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Drugs & Alcohol in YA: When Is it Okay? - Guest Post by Elena


 I’ll get right to the point. Drugs and alcohol in young adult fiction are controversial topics. Should they be there at all? Are there exceptions? As a conservative Christian, I obviously don’t support the use of drugs or alcohol- but I believe there are exceptions to this rule.
                There are a few basic ways drugs and alcohol are portrayed in fiction.

                1: They are shamed. A character who drinks or uses drugs has dealt with their problems the wrong way. They have turned to alcohol/drugs as a solution to depression or some other problem, and may realize their mistake later… or not. One example of this that I have read is in The Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years series. One character, a middle-aged man who had just lost his job, turned to alcohol to cope with his depression. The story placed emphasis on his unfortunate decline from a skilled warrior to a decrepit old man drinking away his depression. This is an acceptable way to include drug or alcohol use in teen fiction- by showing their destructive power.

                2: They are glorified. They are shown in a good light, they are used as a ‘coping mechanism’ or a way to rebel. The author, while not necessarily praising their use, may joke about it or show it as being harmless. For example, in one romance novel I read, some of the characters attended a party where alcohol was served. A few attendees got drunk and it was repeatedly joked about. The tone of the story was almost offensive in the way that it glorified the use of drugs as just a fun thing to do. This method of including drugs and alcohol in fiction is clearly wrong. It goes against many things that I and many others believe.

3: They are used passively. They contribute nothing to the plot and aren’t shown to have negative or positive effects. They might be joked about though. It might be included in a coming-of-age story as an example of a bad decision, or it might be used to demonstrate the personality or flaws of a character.

If an author shows the destructive power of drugs, they are an acceptable element in the story. If drugs/alcohol are glorified or joked about with little point, they don’t belong.

                The editors of Crosscurrents of Children’s Literature compare negative elements in Children’s literature to ‘a vaccination, preventing worse diseases by allowing the recipient to experience a mild and ultimately protective version of the illness’ (Stahl, Hanlon & Lennox Keyser 2007: 129). Basically, a mild version of real-life issues can be beneficial to teens- introducing them to the world and its problems without destroying their innocence. It just shouldn’t be overdone.


-Elena Vines

Elena is a teenage girl from Texas, homeschooled throughout her life and a die-hard fan of stories of courage and valor. She plays guitar, piano, and bass guitar, and has been known to dabble in all styles of music, including rock, country, and rap. She has written more than twenty songs and is part of the praise team at an amazing inner city kids' ministry in her hometown. She is also the author of numerous stories, poetry, and a few novels. You can visit her at her blog A Homeschool Nerd's Tale

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Book Review: The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Back in September, Clare A. reviewed a novel entitled Silent to the Bone and gave it a low rating, suggesting that some of the content was, to say the least, questionable. In contrast, my book review today will wave a tantalizingly clean and irresistibly wonderful book under your nose. Or rather, under your TBR.

The False Prince
Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Originally Published: 2012
Publisher: Scholastic
Genre: Medieval Fantasy
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 342

add to goodreads
The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1)
In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point—he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage’s rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.


(There are a few references to "the devils," but otherwise there is no objectionable language.)


(Ill-treatment of one of the characters is mentioned, but it is put in a bad light. The main character is also whipped for "discipline," but I'm going to come right out and say that his defiance is the funniest part of the book - and would you look at that? I'm getting ahead of myself.)


(The book has some romance, but it's completely clean!)

Book Review:

(To put it in words, The False Prince is amazing and you should read it. But I should probably elaborate a little more, so...)

The prince of Carthya died years ago, and the nobleman Bevin Conner is now using that to his advantage. He collects a few boys from various orphanages and takes them to his estate, where he explains that they each bear physical resemblance to Prince Jaron and will spend two weeks learning to be princely. At the end of their training, one boy will be chosen for a plot of deceit and treason. Conner claims, however, that it is all for the good of Carthya.

It's a race for survival, because while the winner enters into a life of wealth and renown, the losers will most likely be killed.

One of the boys, Sage, is our main character and the star of the show. His recklessness, defiance, and arrogance is illustrated clearly from the very beginning, but although those are generally undesirable characteristics, Sage is no undesirable character. He has a heart of compassion behind that rebellious mask, and I find him extremely likeable primarily because of that. Also, his sarcastic sense of humor is perfect and I can't get enough of it.

Make no mistake - Sage does not lack flaws. There were times when I wanted to put my head in my hands because he was building so many hate relationships with his sassy remarks.

The setting is well-thought-out and described in a way that is easy to understand and picture. The plot is slow-burning but never sluggish, filled with incredibly witty dialogue and captivatingly intense character conflict. The twists and turns are clever and sometimes shocking.

As aforementioned, this book is also 100% clean. There's a bare wisp of potential romance, a few mentions of characters cursing - for example, "he cursed loudly" - and one of Conner's servants is implied to be ill-treated by other servants. But the main character is extremely concerned by this and even gets angry, which puts it in a bad light.

In conclusion, I would highly recommend The False Prince. I've read it three times already and will most likely pick it up again for a fourth. It's also the first book in a trilogy, and the following two installments by no means disappoint!

The Lord's Truly,
Lila Kims <3

"I dumped his body into the cellar to get better or not, I didn't care. Next time I checked on him, he'd got over the fever on his own and was a good deal more humble."

Conner looked at me again. "He doesn't look so humble now."

"I got over that too," I said.

-- The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Is It Okay to Give Up?

We all have that one story. The one which you love one moment, then hate the very next. The story which makes you want to rip your hair out, or throw the manuscript into a bonfire. Or highlight every single word and click “delete”.

We’ll call this Trouble WIP.

I would call myself a very stubborn person. So when I first met Trouble WIP, I thought I could handle it. After all, I’m always up for a challenge! (So long as I can conquer it.) I decided to write Trouble WIP. At first it was all bliss, holdings hands, and dancing through meadows. “This will be my first published book!” I declared to myself. “It’s amazing!”

Long story short: I got some feedback on Trouble WIP, and the reader very kindly pointed out its flaws.

I was devastated.

I didn’t touch the file for months. I wallowed in self-pity and self-doubt and decided that the story wasn’t worth it. Then near the end of last year, I went back through it. I fell in love with the story again.

You might think that this is the point of the post when I turn around and say: “I didn’t give up on the story! Now it’s actually amazing! So don’t give up on your story!”

Well, here’s the thing: I gave up. Again.

More feedback came in, feedback that made me realize that this wasn’t the right time for this story. That maybe this story needed to close, to be another memory that someday I’ll write about in “My Writing Journey”. I gave up on the story. Gave up on the dream that Trouble WIP would reside on bookshelves.

Giving up? It’s okay.

Some people might be squinting at me right now, unconvinced, or maybe there are question marks in your mind. Let me explain.

“Giving up” has such a negative spin on it in this age. If you give up, you’re a failure. You’ve committed a grievous sin because NO ONE SHOULD EVER GIVE UP. Friend, to apply a singular negative mentality to the action of stopping something, isn’t being fair.

I did give up on my Trouble WIP. But not in the sense that I screamed at it, burned it, deleted it from existence. I gave it up to God. Sitting there, days after being hurt from the feedback, I let go. Of the story, of the dream.

For me, there is giving up on yourself, and there is giving something to God.

Those of you who may follow my blog know that I don’t often discuss God in relation to my writing, even though I love Him dearly. For me, there are some aspects of my relationship to Him that I prefer to keep very private. But in this world, this age, it is so easy to become lost in our desires and wants.

“I want to publish this book.” “I want more followers.” “I want, I want, I want…”

When we give our dreams and wants to God, we become free. (Friend, if you don’t follow God, consider it to be letting go of your previous wants of the past, and focusing on the future.) Sometimes the story we are working on, Trouble WIP or not, is a stepping stone in our journey, not the treasure we find at the journey's end. Important, but not quite what we’re looking for.

Giving up something you work so hard on is incredibly difficult, but in some situations, it can be for the best.

If there’s one thing I want you to take away from this post it would be this:

Giving up on a story, on one piece of art, is fine, as long as you don’t give up on yourself.

There will always be another story to catch your attention and heart. But there will never be another you. There will never be another soul like yours that hums in a note not many can hear. When the day ends, stories are important, a part of your life, but they are not you. If they are doing more harm than good, let go of them. Give them up.

Giving up a story is fine. Giving up on yourself? That's like saying you’re not worth it.

You are always worth it.

What are some of your current writing struggles? Do you “give up” on stories a lot, or yourself? Do you agree or diagree with me? (Both are welcome for discussion!) Is there any way myself and the rest of the RW team can support and encourage you?

~~Melissa Gravitis~~

Sunday, October 1, 2017

30 Days Hath September: Monthly Wrap-up and Update

A country road opens before your windshield. 

On either side, there are endless fields of corn, beans, or grain. They are brown now, in contrast to the vibrant colors in the nearby trees. The geese make picturesque V's, making their pilgrimage down South. It's a beautiful scene, and you drink it in. 

Until you hit the thirty potholes in the middle of every country road. 

In the second month of our blog, we hit a lot of learning curves and "potholes". Some things had to be streamlined, some minor coding refused to cooperate, and even some rotten fruit was aimed at us. 

But all great things, especially those that inspire change, will face such challenges. Now is not the time to be discouraged in the little trials, but to rejoice in the big successes! 

Our little "forest fire" referenced by Lila Red in last month's wrap-up has grown significantly in so many ways. Conversations (and even debates!) have been started. Parties and letters have led more people joining the Rebellion. Our scale of influence is even reaching not only disgruntled teens, parents and grandparents, but even published authors and editors!


What Have We Done This Month?

In the month of September, we've posted 5 times - 3 related to books and 2 relating to writing. This month was a lot of firsts - our first book review and our first bulletin!  Missed some? No need to scroll through the messy archive, just click the links!  

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JGlfBSotXgI/WalCOHFJHQI/AAAAAAAAA40/8lL2j8b5IEA7KxGtIP2Ez5KT0T1Pp0VdwCLcBGAs/s1600/Copy%2Bof%2BEST.%2B1984%25287%2529.pngBusy Bees: September Thoughts
Our lovely second-in-command Anna C.S. talked about how to slow down while reading books. Especially as the bulk of us started school at this time, this was a welcome reminder!

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xPeY_Kh5v1A/WasVSOMcfXI/AAAAAAAAA5E/ElRf0vz9NIEEk-rES483igJhVsozjCe1QCLcBGAs/s1600/Copy%2Bof%2BEST.%2B1984%25286%2529.pngFoul Words: Do We Really Need Them?
This post by our founder, Gray Marie, really was spectacular - both in content and reaction. It is now our top most view post of all time - over 520 individual views!!! This issue definitely resonates with a lot of people, and we've gotten some really great discussion from it.

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-q26bx5N-f_Y/WbQuHw94xUI/AAAAAAAAA54/MZaxrb685bAGulPFwZ8ZrpSMbsfTlvogwCLcBGAs/s1600/Copy%2Bof%2BCopy%2Bof%2BEST.%2B1984.pngBook Scout Bulletin #1
For our pilot Book Scout Bulletin, we had 8 book reviews given to us between August 9-31 from various book scouts! I salute you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart - especially for your feedback for improving the contact form!!!

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MP_gWUYLH_s/WcUWMqeYfZI/AAAAAAAAA6c/7UEBhMMu9pYMkC6T8AvtdMO1thnTDSQPwCLcBGAs/s1600/Copy%2Bof%2BEST.%2B1984.pngMountains and Mirrors
No story is complete without a transformation or a journey of some kind. In this post, our beloved Aussie writer Melissa Gravitis showed how to create awesome character arcs by climbing mountains and looking into mirrors :)

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81KQJaZ7w2L.jpgBook Review: Silent to the Bone 
Clare A. sent out the warning signals on this book by E. L. Konigsburg. It's really important that we know which books to avoid as well as which books to promote. Kudos to Clare for taking this one on!

But that isn't all....

What's Happening on our Social Media?

Wait...social media?
After all, Rome wasn't built in a day.
As we were laying the groundwork for the blog website, several of us were already making waves over social media. Starting with Pinterest, we soon expanded to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As the launch came closer, we opened up the Google+ and YouTube channels. The latest account to join the ranks is the Goodreads, which was created the day immediately before the launch.
Therefore, this is the first month that we've had some definitive stats for all 7 social media accounts!!

So what has been happening on each of our profiles??


32 likes, 33 followers

This is the platform that is responsible for a lot of our views! Facebook has been steadily giving us at least 50-100 views for each post that we put up. Special thanks to our Facebook viewers!

What's been going on here?

 Our specialty - starting conversations and connecting others!

 Thank you Faith, for your undying diligence!!


200 Tweets, 203 followers, 441 likes

What's going on here?

Lots of happy tweeting with lots of encouraging quotes every day.

Like this one:

Thank you Audrey and Melissa for giving us these precious gems :)


14 boards, 51 followers

What's going on here?

This medium has been very quiet lately, a fact that I am solely responsible for....*guilty looks*. 

However, hope is not lost!

Our fearless leader, like any good general, has saved the foundering sergeant in the moment of hopeless confusion.

In all seriousness though, I've had to scale back a wee bit due to, in Liv Fisher's words, "that annoying pesky little thing called school". Gray Marie Cox has graciously offered her assistance, to which I am eternally grateful for! 

Here is a sampling of what we're thinking of putting up soon:


14 posts, 86 followers

What's been going on here?

A delightful mix of encouragement, books, quotes and other stuff!

Below is one of my favorite posts:

Thank you,  Anna C.S., for being a beautiful light for us all <3


12 discussion threads, 27 members

What's going on here?

For our newest platform, we are steadily growing!! We are collaborating with writers and fans of clean YA of all ages, and having some really cool discussions.

Thank you Abby for keeping this ball rolling! *hugs*.



What's going on here?

Sharing of blog posts and other stuff we find around the web!
Special thanks to my fellow team members and our Activists for such a great job!


1 video (117 views), 16 subscribers

What's going on here?

Ah, the sad little YouTube Channel. Poor little neglected thing...it's a stray kitten that needs to be adopted.

Keep an eye out for more info!


You can access all of our social media pages by clicking the buttons in the upper right hand corner of the black ribbon. And we now have the sharing buttons working, so you can share our posts on your own social media! By far, sharing materials such as posts and images is how others are finding Rebellious Writing.

Speaking of which...

Who Has Seen and Joined Us?

Followers: When we ended August, we had 39 followers. As of September 30, we have jumped up to 56 followers!

Views: Last month, our all-time views had reached ~3500 views. We have now almost doubled to ~6500 views! Our top views are from the US, Australia, Great Britain, Russia, and Canada; but we've also gained a fair number from Israel, India, Germany, and the Netherlands!

Now, we shall leave our little abode and check up on...

What is Happening in the Neighborhood?

One of our Activists, Ivie Brooks, is hosting a challenge to write 15 minutes a day all through the month of October. This challenge is perfect for those writers that either need to plot for NaNo or are not participating in NaNo this year. Please go check it out and follow her blog, Ivie Writes!

Rachel Kovaciny, (a.k.a Hamlette @ The Edge of the Precipice) a firm supporter of Rebellious Writing, has released her newest work of fiction, entitled Cloaked. If you are a fan of fairy tale retellings, Westerns, and clean literature, please check it here!

Audrey Caylin recently wrote an amusing post about the 7 Reasons why Writers and Autumn are a Perfect Match. Perfect if you need a laugh in the middle of writing chaos. 

Our techy guru Abby Lennah has taken a dive into the speculative with her new book, Cahira & the GhostsHer aesthetics are gorgeous and the book is coming out really soon!  

Lila Red has partnered with her good friend (and fellow Rebel) Penny Whitmore to produce dual posts, one on fairy tale re-tellings and one on co-authoring. Both posts are super informative - I know I shall be using the fairy tale one for when I finish drafting my recently face-lifted Snow White retelling! 

Faith Thompson, Claire A. and Catherine Hawthorn (as well as some of our followers!) participated in Hamlette's 2017 Tolkien Blog Party! We had a blast answering this year's tag questions, and the games this year were awesome! Claire A. also won a prize in the giveaway, congrats Claire!

And Now, A Last Note

The first volleys have been exchanged, and the battle is just now beginning. We rebels must not shirk from our principles, especially in these first moments.

Just remember to....


because one day....

Let's Rebel!!! 

(P.S. Warning: the songs come from a very popular musical that has some language in it. I apologize for any fangirling in the comments.)