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When the Publishing Industry Looks at Itself in the Mirror, Does It Like What It Sees?

Late last week, Publishers Weekly released its 2014 Salary Survey. While many of the findings were what you would expect—i.e., overwhelmingly white, female employees working longer hours than the year before and with a little more pay—they still manage to leave you feeling, well… a bit disappointed.

Cue Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and read on.

Let’s start with the (kind of) good news: 85% of respondents are at least somewhat satisfied with their jobs. We’ve also seem to have (modestly) overcome a fear of total sector collapse, with 54% of us reporting we are very or extremely confident in the industry’s future. Read more

Mediabistro Course

Women's Magazine Writing

Women's Magazine WritingPitch and publish in women's magazines with the health director of Family Circle! Starting September 30, Lynya Floyd will teach you how to wow editors with stories they want and need for their publications. You'll learn how to workshop pitch letters to endure editors will read them, master the voice and tone of women's magazines, find sources, and connect with other writers in the industry. Register now!

Wattpad Contest Invites Fans to Collaborate On a R.L. Stine Short Story

Fear Street ContestWattpad is running “The R.L. Stine Fill In The Fear Contest.” This allows fans to collaborate on a short story called “Let’s Make a Trade” with R.L. Stine.

Stine wrote the beginning and now it’s up to the participants to fill in the middle; Stine will be responsible for the ending. Writers have until October 9th to turn in a submission.

Both the winner and the finished piece will be unveiled on October 31st; readers will be able to access the entire story on Stine’s Wattpad profile. Follow this link to learn all the rules for this contest.

John Green Partners With Bill Gates For a Clean Water Fundraising Campaign

John Green & Bill GatesAuthor John Green has partnered with other writers in the past. His newest collaborator isn’t a writer; it’s Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.

According to Time, Green has launched a campaign on water.org with a fundraising goal set at $100,000. This will help thousands of people in Ethiopia gain access to clean water.

Should Green and the “nerdfighter” community prove successful, Gates has pledged to match the amount. Gates announced on Twitter that he was “happy to help reduce world suck!”

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Dav Pilkey Stars in a Banned Books Week Video

What is Dav Pilkey’s advice for expressing concern about a book? In the video embedded above, the creator of the Captain Underpants series live draws and explains that people should not impede others from accessing books regardless of whatever personal feelings they may have.

Pilkey hopes people will realize that widespread censorship is not the answer; the appropriate response is to remember this statement: “I don’t want my children to read this book.” What are your thoughts?

Ken Follett, Naomi Klein, & Hervé Tullet Debut On the Indie Bestseller List

Ken FollettWe’ve collected the books debuting on Indiebound’s Indie Bestseller List for the week ending September 21, 2014–a sneak peek at the books everybody will be talking about next month.

(Debuted at #1 in Hardcover Fiction) Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett: “Edge of Eternity, the finale, covers one of the most tumultuous eras of all: the 1960s through the 1980s, encompassing civil rights, assassinations, Vietnam, the Berlin Wall, the Cuban Missile Crisis, presidential impeachment, revolution—and rock and roll.” (September 2014)

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Literary Arts Has Acquired the Wordstock Festival

wordstockLiterary Arts, Inc. has acquired the Wordstock Festival.

The nonprofit organization plans to devote the next three years to overseeing an annual literary festival as its pilot project. Wordstock will be re-launched on November 07, 2015 at the Portland Art Museum. Powell’s Books will serve as a community partner for this.

Here’s more from the press release: “Wordstock began in 2005 and is the largest celebration of literature and literacy in the Pacific Northwest. Each year, the festival brings together thousands of readers and hundreds of small presses, independent publishers, nonprofits, and independent booksellers, along with 150+ authors.”

‘The Huffington Post’ Examines Banned Books in 5 Infographics

The Huffington PostThe Huffington Post has created five infographics (embedded below) in honor of Banned Books Week; these images examine frequently challenged titles, reasons for challenges, authors whose books have received the most challenges, and book challenge activities by state. The team sourced the data for these projects from the American Library Association (ALA).

Why do people feel such outrage against certain books? The ALA website offers the following explanation: “books usually are challenged with the best intentions—to protect others, frequently children, from difficult ideas and information.”

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James McBride Wins the BoBi Award

James McBrideNational Book Award-winning novelist James McBride (pictured, via) has been declared the recipient of this year’s Best of Brooklyn, Inc. (BoBi) Award.

McBride appeared at this year’s Brooklyn Book Festival for a conversation event with The Wire TV series actor Wendell Pierce.

Past BoBi winners include The Giver author Lois Lowry, journalist Pete Hamill, and Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri.

Is Bezos’ Super-Secret Campfire Cooling?

6629205_563906a381_zDid they stay or did they go? You might never know if your fave authors were feted at Jeff Bezos’ annual super-secret Campfire this past weekend. Word is the elite attendees are cautioned that what plays at Campfire, stays at Campfire.

In 2011, Bezos “flew in Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, Alice Walker, Neil Gaiman, and Khaled Hosseini, among others, to a think tanky event he called ‘Amazon Campfire,’” Dennis Johnson noted in his Melville House blog. Since then, radio silence.

The Renaissance Weekend-like event of fabulous meals, fascinating formal talks led by folks like Neil Armstrong, horseback riding and skeet shooting, and sweet swag (down vests, fleeces) continued for the most part under the radar, until The New York Times reported Sunday on the fifth autumn weekend soiree under the headline, “A Writerly Chill at Bezos’ Fire.”

Seems a bit of the bonhomie has been siphoned off the warm, cozy atmosphere by the it’s-not-personal-it’s-business Amazon/Hachette dispute. The Times’ David Streitfeld wrote: “Some repeat Campfire attendees who have supported Hachette in the dispute say they were not invited this year…The event has become as divisive as the fight.” Read more

The Tale Behind the ‘Greatest Love Story’ Ever Told is Coming to Print

Time announced it in 2013 as “the best news you’ll read all day.” It still is.

The tale behind the “greatest love story” ever told, of a rhyming giant kind and fencing Spaniard bold, of Westley, handsome farm boy, and Buttercup, a beauty coy — is coming to print. Our Westley, Cary Elwes, will lead a romp to “have fun stormin’ da castle” in his memoir As You Wish (October 14; Touchstone) on the making of the well-loved hit film, “The Princess Bride.”

The iconic swashbuckling rom-com introduced Robin Wright (wait, sweet Buttercup turned into Claire Underwood?), and starred Billy Crystal, Mandy Patinkin, Wallace Shawn, Andre the Giant, (I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!”) Carol Kane, Christopher Guest, Chris Sarandon, Peter Falk, and a young Fred Savage. It is applauded as one of the Writers Guild of America’s “101 Greatest Screenplays” and the American Film Institute’s “100 Greatest Love Stories.”

Elwes told the Hollywood Reporter that he was inspired to share “inconceivable” behind-the-scenes stories of making the hit during a cast reunion celebrating the film’s 25th anniversary at the 2012 New York Film Festival. Read more

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