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badass ladies
you should know
in which talented women say
to hell with false modesty
interviews with amazing women
YA covers, publishing trends,
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October 26, 2016

BOOk! Pumpkins 2016

Kate Hart
pumpkins carved with covers from Veronica Roth's CARVE THE MARK, Ellen Oh's FLYING LESSONS AND OTHER STORIES, and Kate Hart's AFTER THE FALL
In 2011, I made book cover pumpkin patterns in response to talk of how dark and scary YA was getting. Years have passed and book challenges have come and gone, but the media continues to use kidlit fears as click bait, so here's another round of the most terrifying thing around this Halloween: children's books

AFTER THE FALL pumpkin glowing pinkish

This year I'm also offering a bonus treat: 
Since it's the first time I've gotten to include my own book in the patterns,
scroll down for a chance to win a signed ARC of AFTER THE FALL! 
(No pumpkin necessary! But they do get you an extra entry or four.)

and now, beware the....

Creepy Creatures

The Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo; The Rat Prince by Bridget Hodder
House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle; Poison's Kiss by Breeana Shields

Treasure at Lure Lake by Shari L. Schwartz; In The Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III

Badass Ladies
American Street by Ibi Zoboi; Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas; Into White by Randi Pink

Who's That Girl by Blair Thornburgh; Strings by Nikki Katz

Blue Is A Darkness Weakened By Light by Sarah McCarry; After the Fall by Kate Hart (hi!)

Exit, Pursued By a Bear by E. K. Johnston; Anya's Ghost by Vera Brosgol;
Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon

Sinister Symbolism
Little and Lion by Brandy Colbert; I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Devil and the Bluebird by Jennifer Mason-Black; Flying Lessons and Other Stories by Ellen Oh, editor

Caraval by Stephanie Garber; Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth 
Saving Hamlet by Molly Booth; This Above All by Lindsey Culli

LGBTQ Representation
Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin; History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour and David Levithan; When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore 

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich; Bleeding Earth (paperback) by Kaitlin Ward


Macabre Middle Grade

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander; Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson; Spy Camp by Stuart Gibbs


Don't see your favorites? 

Check the index or just browse year by year: 
2011  //  2012  //  2013  //  2014  //  2015

Win an ARC!

How to use these patterns: 

1. Click the image to expand, then right click and save to your computer. (You can also download from Google Docs here.)

2. Print at whatever size fits your pumpkin, then pin the pattern to it.

3. Use a toothpick or pushpin to poke holes around the edges of the design (more holes = easier to see the lines).

4. Remove the pattern and rub flour or powder over the holes to make them show up better.

5. Cut out the black sections. 

6. Take a picture and tweet it at me!

October 19, 2016

Badass Ladies You Should Know: Erin Winick

Kate Hart
Erin Winnick wearing a safety glasses, lab gloves, and a blue dress she sewed
Lots of people have two jobs, but rarely are those two jobs as challenging -- and seemingly separate -- as mechanical engineering and jewelry design. Erin Winick's online startup is already making waves, garnering CNN coverage and rave reviews. But what really drives her isn't just a love of science: she loves to make things, whether they're discoveries, wearable art, articles for the New York Times, or this interview full of great insight.

Young Erin with a Lego tower
Kate: Describe your career(s) and/or current projects. What path(s) and passions led you there?

Erin: I am a student at the University of Florida graduating with a mechanical engineering degree this December, but this summer I am actually interning in Santa Rosa, CA with Keysight technologies while running my company, Sci Chic. Growing up I have always loved science and making things. I constructed massive Rube Goldberg machines around my parents’ house, sewed my Halloween costumes, and built big LEGO towers. I rented stacks of Bill Nye DVDs from the library. When it came to finally selecting my major in college I gravitated toward the degree that teaches you problem solving and how to create new things, mechanical engineering. On top of that, I grew up in Florida surrounded by the space program and loving watching shuttle launches out in my front yard.

Kate: Do you have any (other) creative outlets? How do they influence/affect your main work (if at all)? 

Erin: I am an engineer with a heart full of art. I am the weird engineer that likes to write. I love sewing, fashion and costume design. I use 3D printing as a creative outlets. All of this has led me really focus on science communication in addition to my degree. I love combining all of my interests in new ways. I truly believe science is creative, fun and fashionable and I am on a mission to show that.

I have made everything from galaxy themed dresses to Ms. Frizzle costumes. I have written for the New York Times and Business in Greater Gainesville. If someone gives me a chance to make things I jump on that opportunity.

Kate: What's your biggest challenge?

Erin: Figuring out which route to take next! I graduate this December and I am tossing around a lot of options of the next path for me to take. I love entrepreneurship and science writing and am going to at least pursue them part time upon graduation, but I am also debating going in full force as a science communicator or going into industry or a grad school program I love. I am definitely applying to the MIT Media Lab upon graduation as they have an absolutely amazing program that I think really fits my personality and love of creation. Balancing all of these different things isn’t easy and can be draining at times, but it is a true labor of love.

Sci Chic Moon Phase Necklace
 Kate: What's the best compliment you've ever gotten?

Erin: The best compliment I have ever received is that I am a really genuine person. After going to a conference with a friend, the friend told me tons of people came up to them later and told them they loved my genuine and real passion for what I am doing. It meant so much to me that this really came across and people could see how much I care about encouraging women in STEM and showing the creativity in STEAM.

Sci Chic Circuit Board NecklaceKate: Did you have any defining moments that galvanized your understanding of and/or commitment to feminism? How does it inform/inspire your work? 

Erin: When I was leaving one of my previous jobs on the last day, one guy told me, “You are such a great engineer. Now don’t become a mom and ruin all that.” I wish I could say I had a great response, but I didn’t. I just nodded my head and walked away. It really shocked me that someone would say that. As I thought about it later on and wished I had stood up for myself at the moment, it made me want to prepare for a situation like that in the future. Comments like that can’t be ignored and it has sparked my motivation even more to encourage more women and diversity in STEM.

Erin in her homemade Ms. Frizzle costumeKate: What are the best ways to support other women?

Erin: Reach behind you and pull others up with you. Do not be afraid to extend a hand. Help without the expectation of getting something in return, and the returns will come in ways that you never expected.

Kate: What is your advice to aspiring badasses?

Erin: Whatever it is that you love and are good at can be shaped into a career. You would be surprised. Talk to anyone and everyone you can. Learn about them and their passions. Then stay connected. You never know what person you meet could be the key to your future or will give you a once in a lifetime opportunity.


Erin Winick is a mechanical engineering student at the University of Florida and the founder of Sci Chic, a company that creates science and engineering-inspired jewelry using 3D printing.  Erin is a passionate advocate for women in STEM and entrepreneurship and an active member of the Society of Women Engineers. Erin has interned at Keysight Technologies, John Deere, Solar Turbines and Bracken Engineering and published on 3D printing outreach. In her free time she enjoys making, especially sewing and costume design, hiking, and singing along to Hamilton and Something Rotten cast albums.

website  //  twitter  //  instagram  //  snapchat  //

Want more Badass Ladies? 
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October 17, 2016


Kate Hart

Hi friends -- I need your help! 

By the end of this year, the Badass Ladies You Should Know series will have featured 50 amazing women: authors, scientists, activists, rabbinical students, surgeons, artists, producers, comedians, designers, entrepreneurs, and more.

This project has been a labor of love, but to continue for a third year, I need help covering its financial and time/labor commitments. These include hosting fees, research, soliciting and formatting interviews, and promotion, among other things. After a lot of internal debate, I've set up a Patreon in hopes of offsetting these costs.

Don't have money to spare? No problem -- signal boosting is also greatly appreciated. You can follow and support Badass Ladies on any (or all!) of these accounts.


As always, I also appreciate it if you promote, request, review, and/or buy my book. (There is a currently a giveaway running on Goodreads!)

Once my goal of $15 is met, I'd love to expand other projects I've taken on in the past. Future possible goals include:
  • updated YA cover diversity charts for 2016*
  • new infographics assessing YA publishing deals, trends, and more
  • updating YA Highway's Publishing Road Map 
  • an expanded self-publishing section of the Publishing Road Map
  • in-depth profiles of historical Badass Ladies
  • how-to guides for aspiring Badasses
  • a Badass Ladies zine or collaborative project
  • open to suggestions!
* I am planning to chart at least the 2016 books from Big 5 publishers, regardless of financial support, and I need volunteers to help me count covers so that I'm not the sole arbiter of what qualifies as diversity representation. If you'd be willing to flip through a Dropbox folder of images and input stats into a Google doc, please sign up here!

All Patreon supporters will get my undying love and gratitude, but in special thanks, I'm offering the following perks:

  • Pledges of $3 per month or more will receive periodic bonus content from recent and future Badass Ladies profiles.

  • Pledges of $5 per month or more will also get first shot at items in The Badasserie, my upcoming Etsy store, before I publicly advertise its opening or future restockings. (Purchases are of course welcome, but I'd also be grateful for any word of mouth you can share. Follow its various social media accounts here.)

  • Pledges of $10 per month or more will also get a custom 3x3 wall hanging or sew-on patch with the word of their choice (see store link above for examples; limited quantity).

  • Pledges of $25 or more will also get a signed finished copy of my debut novel, After the Fall (limited quantity).

I'd love to hear ideas for other possible projects or perks. Thank you so much for your interest and support!

All content copyright Kate Hart 2016

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