Writer Tawni O’Dell Comes Out Swinging Against Sexist Publishing Industry

A few months ago the author Jonathan Franzen published his novel, Freedom, and among bookworms, it was like a new “Star Wars” movie being released or Angelina Jolie popping out another baby. Not only did President Obama make headlines for snagging an advanced copy to read on vacation, but Franzen made the prestigious New York Times book review not once, but twice, in a single week. That was all too much for author Jodi Picoult. “Is anyone shocked?” she tweeted, no doubt rolling her eyes. “Would love to see the Times write about authors who aren’t white male literary darlings.” Everyone weighed in with their opinion — sexism? sour grapes? — including here on The Frisky. The matter was settled, at least for moi, when the blog Slate.com did an old-fashioned author byline count of The New York Times Book Review. That publication does, in fact, review more books written by men than women.

For us lady writers at The Frisky, it was all pretty disheartening. (Kate may be the only one who has published a book thus far, but there are several of us on staff who go home and peck on our laptops some more.) Now there’s more “ugh”-ness to “ugh!” deep in our bellies: Author Tawni O’Dell penned an essay for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about her experiences navigating the publishing industry and book-reviewing culture as a female writer and they’re utterly fascinating.

I just have four words for you: “wood nymph” and “biker chick.” Keep reading »

Polyvore’s “IT Bag” Design Contest — Do You Have What It Takes?

Polyvore and Rebecca Minkoff have gotten together to see if you have what it takes to design the next IT bag. The challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to take inspiration from Rebecca’s “Morning After Clutch,” and redesign it. The “MAC” has been worn by celebs such as Reese Witherspoon, Keira Knightley and Shenae Grimes, and is an iconic bag in its own right. All of the elements — hooks, studs, zippers, tassels, feet and leather — are provided for you on the Polyvore site. You just have to put your design together. Ten finalists will be picked by Rebecca herself and the winner will be chosen by user votes on Facebook. The winner will have their bag shown during New York Fashion Week and it will become available for sale in March! So, will you put your creative skills to the test? Keep reading »

Girl Talk: A Shattering Thanksgiving

After two decades of service, the six-foot-high, 10-foot-wide mirror covering our living room wall started falling down on Thanksgiving Day. It came with the house, a colonial in Whitestone, Queens, which my parents bought when I was born. I was 23 and about to drive to LaGuardia Airport to pick up Tim, my soldier boyfriend of two years. He was spending the holiday with me after being stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, for the past three months.

I was in my attic bedroom putting on my “Welcome Home” outfit — black stockings, boots, a checkered skirt, and a fitted black sweater — when I heard Mom scream. I took the steps two at a time to find her and my 18-year-old brother holding the mirror up, their four hands, strained faces, and bodies looking longer in their slanted reflections. Keep reading »

Seasons Greetings From My Worst Nightmare

Who was the cruel being who put everything that frightens me together in one terrifying holiday card? Cat, cat with hat, man with cat, man with turtleneck. It’s like a Dr. Seuss book gone terribly wrong. I’m having an anxiety attack right now. [BuzzFeed] Keep reading »

Bristol Palin Receives “DWTS” Death Threat

Bristol Palin is turning out to be the most controversial “Dancing With the Stars” contestant ever. People are calling “conspiracy theory” on her miraculous winning streak. A Wisconsin guy even shot at his television screaming “f**king politics” after her performance last week, which earned her a spot in the finale tonight. But that wasn’t the last of the Bristol hating. On Friday, cops were called to the “DWTS” contestant’s studio where an unidentified powdery substance was found in an envelope with a death threat. The intended target? Yep, Bristol Palin. Keep reading »

American Music Awards: The Good, The Bad, And The Boring

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The red carpet fashions at the American Music Awards were just as entertaining as the performances. I mean, you can’t have music without fashion and vice versa, right? So let’s take a look at the folks who looked stunning, horrendous, and meh as they attended the AMAs.
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