here's more from harvard's newspaper, the crimson
the young author apologized for lifting from the author whose books she said she admired. but was rebuffed.
slate offers some interesting reasons why someone might plagiarize, such as, the project is beyond their talents.
this in the NYT
April 27, 2006
First, Plot and Character. Then, Find an Author.
By MOTOKO RICH and DINITIA SMITH
The books' spines bear names like Cecily von Ziegesar, Ann Brashares and, most controversially, since plagiarism charges were leveled against her on Sunday, Kaavya Viswanathan. But on the copyright page — and the contracts — there's an additional name: Alloy Entertainment.
Nobody associated with the plagiarism accusations is pointing fingers at Alloy, a behind-the-scenes creator of some of the hottest books in young-adult publishing. Ms. Viswanathan says that she alone is responsible for borrowing portions of two novels by Megan McCafferty, "Sloppy Firsts" and "Second Helpings," both published by Crown Publishing Group. But at the very least, the incident opens a window onto a powerful company with lucrative, if tangled, relationships within the publishing industry that might take fans of series like "The It Girl" by surprise.
In many cases, editors at Alloy — known as a "book packager" — craft proposals for publishers and create plotlines and characters before handing them over to a writer (or a string of writers).
The relationships between Alloy and the publishers are so intertwined that the same editor, Claudia Gabel, is thanked on the acknowledgments pages of both Ms. McCafferty's books and Ms. Viswanathan's "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life." Ms. Gabel had been an editorial assistant at Crown, then moved to Alloy, where she helped develop the idea for Ms. Viswanathan's book. She has recently become an editor at Knopf Delacorte Dell Young Readers Group, a sister imprint to Crown read the rest here.