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Archives: April 2010

Stephenie Meyer Casting; Elderly iPad; and Colin Meloy Book Deal: Weekend Reading

As we enjoy a sunny weekend in New York City, enjoy that video of a 99-year-old poet exploring the iPad–along with the rest of the headlines you may have missed this week.

Casting opened for a new adaptation of a Stephenie Meyer novel–send your headshots today!

To celebrate a new genre of publishing publicity, Melville House launched a new book trailer awards ceremony.

Frustrated with his own writing, one writer created a documentary about Bad Writing.

Despite an embargo, Laura Bush‘s memoir was leaked, sparking commentary from the literary Twitter-sphere.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will publish a two-volume edition of the late Philip K. Dick‘s Exegesis & 39 backlist titles–Exegesis will be edited by Jonathan Lethem.

Finally, the great detective Nancy Drew turned 80-years-old.

Mediabistro Course

Personal Essay Writing: Master Class

Personal Essay Writing: Master ClassStarting October 21, work with the senior editor at Marie Claire magazine to polish and publish your essay! Whitney Joiner will help you to develop your voice, narrative, and identity, draft your pitch, and decide where to market your essay. Register now!

Beaver Hats and Pilgrim Boats: GalleyCat Reviews

Reviewed by Louise Leetch
Read more about GalleyCat Reviews

haste.jpgHistory, we know, is not an isolated story. It’s affected by an amalgam of social, economic, political, and religious events even the smallest of which can change the world. Take the Stewart kings of England and their love of fashionable beaver hats. Who would think a couple foppish rakes could change the history of the world?

But indeed they did with the help of a couple of wars that eliminated trading sources and a small group of religious idealists seeking freedom. Making Haste From Babylon by Nick Bunker is so very much more than a history of those Pilgrims. It transports you to the 16th century England that created them.

Bunker’s use of primary resources and his expanded scrutiny of secondary sources make this a truly scholarly work. In turn, his journalistic style makes it so very easy to read. He delivers a meticulous exploration of the lives of the Pilgrims before they ever set sail. The author investigated and explored all the English locations associated with the Pilgrims on foot or on a bike–at least twice! He delved through archives and church records that make your eyes water just thinking of the 400 years of dust he stirred up. Exploration of U.S. locations, Holland, La Rochelle & Ulster exhibit a thoroughness bordering on obsession.

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Bill Murray Reads Poetry to Manhattan Construction Workers

Last week Bill Murray visited the construction site for Poet’s House in Manhattan, reading some snappy poems for the bemused workers.

In the video embedded above, watch the actor read “Poet’s Work” by Lorine Niedecker and “I dwell in possibility” by Emily Dickinson–cracking jokes the whole time.

Here’s more from the site: “Members of the construction team which built Poets House’s new home join actor Bill Murray for the first poetry reading at 10 River Terrace.” (Via Edward Champion & Unbeige)

Analyst Defends eBook Windowing

peter_hildick.jpgToday at the Wharton School’s Future of Publishing conference, Codex Group president Peter Hildick-Smith mounted a passionate defense of windowing eBooks–encouraging the delay of digital releases to maximize hardcover sales.

According to Hildick-Smith, his audience research and pre-publication book testing company polled thousands readers, asking them if they would be more likely to buy a book with an “Only in Hardcover” sticker. When looking at the results, he noticed a more positive response to books marked with the “Only in Hardcover” sticker.

“I absolutely, one hundred percent believe that windowing is the only way this industry is going to survive,” Hildick-Smith told GalleyCat when asked about the experiment. “For whatever reason, the major publishers don’t agree … [simultaneous release] is lethal.”

Publishing Triangle Awards Announced for 2010

triangle23.jpg

Yesterday the winners of the 22nd annual Publishing Triangle Awards were announced–awards to celebrate the association’s mission “to increase awareness of and appreciation for lesbian and gay literature.”

In addition, historian, editor, and activist Blanche Wiesen Cook received the Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement. Literary publicist Michele Karlsberg won the Publishing Triangle’s Leadership Award.

All the winners follow after the jump. Here’s more from the release: “The purpose of the Publishing Triangle is to further the publication of books and other materials written by lesbian and gay authors or with lesbian and gay themes. Founded in 1988, The Publishing Triangle works to create support and a sense of community for lesbian and gay people in the publishing industry.”

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New Publication from BookCourt Launches


Cousin Corinne and Brooklyn indie bookseller, BookCourt has just announced the launch of Cousin Corinne’s Reminder, which is a biannual publication that features new writing, photography, and comics from artists around the world.

BookCourt’s General Manager and Events Coordinator, Zack Zook, is the founding owner and executive editor of the new publication and has teamed up with a number of New York City-based editors for the series.

The first issue will appear in bookstores and galleries nationwide and Europe and will feature contributions from the likes of Charles Bock, Todd Colby, James Frey, Ben Lasman, Donald Moss, Shira Nayman and will feature comics and photography from Mike Cavallaro, Jen Ferguson, Jonathan Lethem and Kimiko Yoshida.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn to be Directed by Dreamgirls Director Bill Condon

breakingdawn23.jpgAcademy Award-winning director Bill Condon will direct the fourth Stephenie Meyer vampire adaptation, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.

Blast Magazine has more about the deal. The director has long and varied resume, directing the musical Dreamgirls, writing the Oscar-winning screenplay for Gods and Monsters, and writing/directing the biopic Kinsey, and finally, directing the horror movie Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh.

Summit Entertainment president of production and acquisitions Erik Feig had this statement: “Bringing Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn to the screen requires a graceful and intelligent hand, and we believe Bill Condon is exactly the right steward, having shown equal and abundant talents of immense creativity and subtle sensitivity.”

Decemberists Lead Singer Colin Meloy Inks Three-Book Deal

cmeloy.jpgColin Meloy–the lead singer and songwriter behind the critically acclaimed indie rock band The Decemberists–has sold a children’s series to HarperCollins after a five-publisher auction. Entitled Wildwood, the first book will be illustrated by Carson Ellis.

The three-book middle-grade series sold to Donna Bray, the co-publisher of the HarperCollins imprint Balzer & Bray. The deal was negotiated by Steven Malk of Writers House. Described as “a classic tale of adventure, magic, and danger, set in an alternate version of modern-day Portland, Oregon,” publication is set for fall 2011.

Meloy (pictured, via) had this statement: “The germ of this series goes back a long way … For me, this is the culmination of a long-term collaboration with Carson, matching words and art. I grew up on a steady diet of Lloyd Alexander, Roald Dahl, and Tolkien; this is our humble paean to that grand tradition of epic adventure stories.”

2010 Edgar Award Winners Announced

eap.jpgThe Mystery Writers of America announced the Edgar Award winners last night. The annual prize is named after Edgar Allan Poe, awarded to the best authors in the mystery genre since 1945. Here are some of the big winners…

Best Novel: The Last Child by John Hart
Best First Novel: In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff
Best Paperback Original: Body Blows by Marc Strange
Best Fact Crime: Columbine by Dave Cullen
Best Critical/Biographical: The Lineup: The World’s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives edited by Otto Penzler
Best Short Story: “Amapola”–Phoenix Noir by Luis Alberto Urrea

GalleyCat missed the ceremony, but special thanks to Sarah Weinman for tweeting the festivities.

Salman Rushdie Opens PEN World Voices Festival

PENfest2010.jpg“The [Icelandic] volcano was essentially a fan of literature,” said Salman Rushdie at the official opening of the sixth annual PEN World Voices Festival last night. “It relented in time and almost everyone made it to the festival.”

He also pointed to an empty chair beside the podium, a symbol of imprisoned and repressed writers around the globe, like imprisoned Burmese blogger Nay Phone Latt. “The reason why this chair is here is to remind us there are writers who cannot be here–we should remember the absent writer,” Rushdie concluded.

The reading featured writers from around the globe reading in their native languages. Italian journalist Daniele Mastrogiacomo read a grim passage about his own kidnapping in Afghanistan. Alberto Ruy-Sanchez read a sexually-charged excerpt from his novel. Finnish-Estonian author Sofi Oksanen read from her debut novel Purge in a fierce and urgent pace. “The themes of the novel are quite hard,” she said. “And quite often readers have trouble sleeping.”

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