Katia Raina

The Magic Mirror

15 Versatile Blogs

Oh, man, this is overwhelming. There are so many awesome blogs out there. But as part of receiving my own sweet award, I had to pick 15.

Ah, just the research has my head spinning. Seriously, the web is just buzzing with a gazillion conversations going on at once. Which mostly I think is wonderful. (And maybe just a little bit insane).

But here we go, in no particular order, I hereby bestow the Versatile Award on the following blogs. When you receive it the award, the rules are — a) you blog about it and you include this lovely badge:

 b) you share some cool tidbits about your life with your readers and c) you nominate another 15 blogs for versatile awesomeness.

In picking out the versatile blogs, I chose only the ones that post frequently enough — at least once a month. And, none of the winning blogs are brand new (as in, less than a month old). These last two are my own rules, dear winners, feel free to adopt or discard them when passing the honors along.

1. Christi The Teen Librarian

A book review blog, where a teen librarian from my area reviews all sorts of YA literature. I picked this blog not only for the nice quality of the reviews, but for the diversity of the genres.

2. The Magic Attic

Reviews, again, but this time they come from a passionate teen reader with a very different point of view. Having developed a nice following, she gets plenty of ARCs from authors and editors. So if you want to keep an eye on the new stuff, hang out in Bree’s Magic Attic. Some of my readers may remember I did an interview with Bree here last year.

3. Cresta McGowan

Here is a blog that is super-versatile, from a writer, a mom with quite traditional values and a high school English teacher with a passion for her subject. Each time you open this blog you are just never going to know what you’ll get. Ballet, Russia, Hamlet, her family — those are just some of the many subjects she covered. I “met” Cresta through a Writers Digest contest in which we both were finalists. I thought my story was pretty good, but hers rocked, and I told her so! 😉

4. Shevi Arnold

A “self-proclaimed Geek goddess,” and self-published writer of YA and children’s e-books, Shevi blogs about writing from a unique point of view. And in this age of change and versatility, unique perspectives should be celebrated!

5. Empty White Pages

If you haven’t yet won this award, Sarah Pearson, you totally should, because your blog so deserves it. It’s something new every time: from music, to fiction excerpts you’re brave enough to share, I always look forward to what you have to say.

6. Medeia Sharif

This author of a contemporary YA book, “The Bestest. Ramadan. Ever.” keeps a blog where she reviews books, hosts awesome giveaways and talks about her writing progress, among many other things.

7. The three R’s — Reading, Ritin’ and Research

Isn’t this title cute — and very appropriate for the blog of my good friend and talented author of historical fiction Joyce Moyer Hostetter. When Joyce does an interview, it is incredibly in-depth and shows a perspective you won’t see anywhere. She blogs about things deep and unexpected, and fills her posts with great information.

8. My Brain On Books

My friend and bookseller Joanne Fritz might not appreciate this award right now, as she is spending time on her revision beach (she doesn’t like caves). And accepting this award takes a bit of time. But no worries Joanne, just take care of this when you get to it. Your in-depth book reviews are fun and thorough, your perspective as a bookseller is invaluable and your occasional more personal posts on your own writing journey are always a wonderful surprise.

9. The Sirenz

Here is a cool idea from a unique author team: Natalie Zaman and Charlotte Bennardo, two YA authors who teamed up to write a crazy romp of a fantasy, “Sirenz,” in which Hades, the Greek God of the underworld grants two bickering frenemies a wish in exchange for their service. This blog is told from the point of view of the story’s characters: the two girls, Shar and Meg, and sometimes even Hades himself!

10. Write Up My Life

Writer Julie Hedlund’s blog was one of the first ones I have discovered when I first started my blogging adventure. The thing I love the most about her posts is her positive and adventurous spirit as she talks about writing and life.

11. Quill Takes Flight

A totally unpredictable array of posts from a talented young just-out-of-college writer with an awesome voice and unexpected insights. I just have one wish: that she would post more often 🙂 As it is, the posts arrive roughly once a month.

12. Terribleminds

Novelist, screenwriter, game designer and author of e-books for writers Chuck Wendig gives butt-kicking advice on how best to live this crazy life we have chosen. One word of warning: this is for adults only. The dude curses. A lot. Still, I find his posts brilliant. In a terrible sort of way.

13. Project Mayhem

Okay, usually I am a YA girl. But for these guys, I make an exception. I read them pretty regularly — this bunch of awesome middle-grade authors who blog about publishing, writing and you know, this fabulous writing life.

14. That Wee Bit Heap

This very versatile blog is run by one of my favorite authors: Gae Polisner, who wrote “The Pull of Gravity,” one of those YA books that turn me into a gushing, stuttering fan. Gae is fun and honest when she talks about her various moods, her publishing ups and downs, her strange habit of swimming in the cold ocean off of Long Island, her love of board games and many other fun things.

15. Write To Done

Do you have an urge to run to Facebook in the middle of a writing session? Go to this blog instead, where you’ll find posts that are helpful and inspiring — and short enough for you to read quickly and get right back to your writing.


February 10, 2012 - Posted by | Updates, Writing Mirror


  1. Well, you are just too sweet. Except for giving me all these great blogs to read. How will I ever keep up? Still it’s really great to know about them.

    Thank you Katia. I am honored!

    Comment by joycemoyerhostetter | February 10, 2012 | Reply

    • I know, Joyce, I know. I am going to do a separate blog post I think, on the gift/curse of the Internet. But just think, if it weren’t for our blogs, you and I would never have “met”! So keep working on those revisions. And then, when you’re done with Kelsey, maybe you can take a little time to browse. You never know what new friends you could make! 🙂

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  2. I know?! Right? So much good content out there. Funny, smart, poignant… who can get to it all. Not me, said the little red hen.

    Good gosh, not me. *runs to read, blog and swim.*

    Thanks for the amazing compliment, Katia!


    Comment by gaepolisner | February 10, 2012 | Reply

    • Ha, this little red hen just MIGHT get to it all — AND finish all her revisions. YOU’re amazing, Gae, and I am so glad to know you, a little. Happy swimming 😉

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  3. Thanks so much Katia!!!!! ❤ xxxxxNat

    Comment by Natalie Davidson Zaman | February 10, 2012 | Reply

    • My pleasure, my pleasure. Thanks for keeping this fun blog so I can include it here. 😉 I know how much work it takes to keep a good blog. You have two going! (Well, three, between you and Char…)

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 10, 2012 | Reply

  4. Thank you for this honor, Katia. 🙂 I’m familiar with some of these, and I’ll check out the other links.

    Comment by Medeia Sharif | February 11, 2012 | Reply

    • Medeia, I have a feeling you have already garnered about a zillion of these awards, but hey, when I think of great versatile blogs, how could I not think of yours? 😉

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 11, 2012 | Reply

  5. Aww Katia, what a lovely thing to say, thank you. I’m definitely going to be checking out the blogs you’ve got listed that I don’t already follow 🙂

    Comment by Sarah Pearson | February 11, 2012 | Reply

    • Sarah, like Medeia, you have won tons of these already, haven’t you? Admit it, now 😉

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 11, 2012 | Reply

  6. A great selection of blogs! Of course, I’m already familiar with the awesomeness of Medeia’s blog, and I enjoy reading Bree’s as well, but I will check out the others shortly.

    Comment by Ben | February 11, 2012 | Reply

    • Ben, I am so glad you like my selection — I tried to create a good mix with some newer less established blogs and some that have been around providing great content for years, some famous ones and some hidden jewels, some published authors’, some not… etc…Thanks for getting me started on all this — I still feel very honored –loved the whole experience 😉

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 11, 2012 | Reply

  7. Awe, Katia. You are so sweet! I’m touched and honored. Will check out all these others when I have more time.

    Comment by Joanne Fritz | February 12, 2012 | Reply

    • Yes, Joanne, you do that. Meanwhile, hope it’s nice and sunny on your revision beach 😉 But even if you get occasional clouds and rain, don’t let them send you packing! So, like I said, take your time.

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 12, 2012 | Reply

  8. I’m so honored Katia! I love your blog too. I don’t comment as often as I should, but I have to say you should turn that award around on yourself. 🙂

    Comment by Julie | February 12, 2012 | Reply

    • Ha-ha, thanks Julie. I did already win this award (and in fact one of the fifteen blogs, above, did just what you say, they gave it back to me). Now it’s the others’ turn to receive their well-deserved compliments! 😉

      Comment by Katia Raina | February 12, 2012 | Reply

  9. Oh, the irony. I took a hiatus from my blog during the time this was posted. I must extend my most sincere gratitude for your words. Thank you. I will try to be better about this blog. It’s currently under reconstruction.

    Comment by Amber | March 21, 2012 | Reply

    • You are welcome. You deserve it. Please keep up with it — good stuff! 🙂

      Comment by Katia Raina | March 25, 2012 | Reply

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