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Archives: April 2010

Christopher Hitchens Replaces Sherman Alexie at PEN World Voices Festival

Yesterday the PEN World Voices Festival announced that journalist, essayist and author Christopher Hitchens will deliver the fifth annual Arthur Miller Freedom to Write Lecture–replacing Sherman Alexie at the last minute.

Here’s more about the event: “Mr. Hitchens will speak on ‘Crucibles: Past and Present’ followed by a conversation with PEN World Voices Festival Chair, Salman Rushdie. Mr. Hitchens replaces Sherman Alexie who was previously scheduled.”

GalleyCat will be there, covering the lecture tomorrow evening. If you want a taste of Hitchen’s intense oration style, check out that controversial clip embedded above from a televised Intelligence Squared debate. Caution: this clip contains strong opinions about organized religion.

Major Restructuring at Crown Publishing Group; Shaye Areheart Books Closed

crown.jpegToday Crown Publishing Group detailed a major reorganization at the Random House division, changes helmed by publisher Maya Mavjee since her December appointment. The division will be divided into three editorial units: “general interest trade nonfiction and fiction; branded/category books; and four-color and lifestyle books, encompassing our cookbook, design, syle, crafts, and visual arts titles.”

Along with the shift, the Shaye Areheart Books imprint will be closed–but publisher Shaye Areheart will continue to serve as editor-at-large. Broadway Books was hardest hit by the reshuffling as publisher Diane Salvatore and senior editor Lorraine Glennnon will both step down.

In addition, the Crown Publishing Group publicity department will now be unified with one leader, and executive director of publicity Katie Wainwright will leave the company. Finally, the publisher has named Tina Constable publisher of the new Crown Archetype imprint, Harmony Books, Crown Forum, and Crown Business (a new imprint that combines Crown and Broadway Business). Also, Tina Pohlman will serve as publisher of Three Rivers Press and Broadway Paperbacks

The whole memo is embedded after the jump.

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Rick Moody Sentence Animated for Electric Literature

Last week the literary journal Electric Literature released a single sentence animation for Rick Moody‘s short story, “Some Contemporary Characters.” You can watch the animation in the video embedded above.

The short video was created by artist Adam Thompson, using a few simple lines to sketch the story. it provides a simple lesson for book trailer makers: keep it simple.

Here’s more about the collaborators: “Thompson’s spare, elegant interpretation of a line from , available in Electric Literature No.3. More of Adam Thompson’s work can be seen at [this site.] Musician Jeremy Mendicino‘s band, Pretty and Nice, can be found at [this site]. Single Sentence Animations are creative collaborations. The writer selects a favorite sentence from his or her work and the animator creates a short film in response.”

What Lit Agent, Molly Lyons is Looking For


Lit Agent, Molly Lyons of Joelle Delbourgo Associates began her career working for such magazines as Working Woman, Gourmet, Elle Decor, SELF and Lifetime magazines. Now, she uses her editorial skills toward her clients and in today’s interview she discusses why it’s more important than ever to lay the ground work for your manuscript before it goes out, why you should do your homework before approaching her for representation and her distaste for bananas.

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Philip K. Dick “Exegesis” & 39 Backlist Titles to be Published by HMH

pkd23.jpgHoughton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) has sealed a deal for North American rights to publish Philip K. Dick‘s unpublished manuscript: The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick. This as-yet-unpublished work contains journal entries the science fiction author (pictured, via) produced after a mystical experience in the 1970s.

The text will be edited by Jonathan Lethem and Pamela Jackson. The conglomerate publisher had more news for Dick fans–they will also bring back 39 titles from Dick’s backlist to republish under the Mariner imprint. The reprints will begin in fall 2011.

Adult Trade publisher Bruce Nichols had this comment: “Philip K. Dick’s books remain as provocative and cutting-edge today as ever … Each generation wants to claim him as its own and we look forward not only to the landmark publication of The Exegesis in fall 2011, but to inspiring a new generation of readers with his significant backlist and its potential in all formats.”

New Literary Agent: Marissa Walsh Joins FinePrint Literary Management

newagent.jpegYesterday FinePrint Literary Management announced that author and publishing veteran Marissa Walsh will now serve as a literary agent at the agency. She will concentrate on children’s picture books, middle-grade and YA.

Walsh is the author two books, the memoir Girl with Glasses: My Optic History and the YA novel A Field Guide to High School. In the past, she has worked at Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, the Ellen Levine Literary Agency, and seven years at Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books. In addition, she now teaches Children’s Writing and Creative Writing 101 at Gotham Writers’ Workshop.

Follow this link to find out how to query Walsh. Here’s more from the release: “She has worked as a bookseller at Mobile Libris, an independent bookseller for special events, and currently teaches Children’s Writing and Creative Writing 101 at Gotham Writers’ Workshop. In addition to her interest in children’s books, Walsh will be looking for pop culture, humor, narrative non-fiction, and memoir.”

Malcolm Gladwell, William P. Young, & Dan Brown Top “Most Highlighted Passages of All Time” List on Amazon Kindle

kindlebeta.pngAmazon recently launched a “Popular Highlights” feature that showcases the book passages underlined by Kindle readers–a 21st Century twist on literary quotation.

So far, the list has been dominated by bestselling books: The Shack by William P. Young, Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, and The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown.

Here’s more about the program: “AmazonKindle also introduces a “Popular Highlights” feature that identifies the passages that are most highlighted by the millions of Kindle customers. We combine the highlights of all Kindle customers and identify the passages with the most highlights. The resulting Popular Highlights help readers to focus on passages that are meaningful to the greatest number of people.”

After the jump, check out the Most Underlined Passage of All Time (at least since Amazon launched the program).

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99-Year-Old Poet Celebrates iPad in Viral Video

We’ve showed lots of cute iPad videos: iPad meets cat, iPad meets dog, and iPad meets toddler. Today, 99-year-old Virginia Campbell scored a viral hit with the video embedded above–capturing her experience of reading and writing poems on her brand new iPad.

Filmed inside Mary’s Woods Retirement Community in Oregon, this video shows the elderly reader exploring the iPad–apparently the device makes it easier for her to read despite glaucoma. UPDATE: As of this writing, the video earned more than 473,154 views–almost 10,000 views overnight.

Here’s more about the video: “Campbell, widow of former Lake Oswego Mayor C. Herald Campbell, has never owned a computer before–or a Kindle. But when she heard all the hype about the iPad she wanted one … Campbell has been writing and reading on it ever since. ‘She’s writing all of her poetry on her iPad now,’ [her daughter] said.”

Howard Stern Show Producer Gary Dell’Abate Scores Book Deal

bcbb.jpgHoward Stern Show producer Gary Dell’Abate landed “a mid-6 figure book deal” for his new book, They Call Me Baba Booey. He will co-write the autobiographical book with author Chad Millman, and it is listed in Amazon with a November 2010 release.

According to Deadline New York, the deal was negotiated by Tony Burton from Don Buchwald & Associates’ and Richard Abate from 3 Arts. The report also states that the Random House imprint Spiegel & Grau will publish the book. Dell’Abate (pictured with former President Bill Clinton) has served as a producer on Stern’s show since 1984 and maintains his own site.

Here’s more from Deadline: “I understand that Howard mentioned something about this on his Sirius show this morning — and the book has already jumped to No. 1 on Amazon’s ‘Movers And Shakers’ based on book pre-orders. So let’s see: Howard himself had 3 bestsellers, Robin Quivers had 1, Artie Lange had the most recent and now it’s obvious that Baba Booey will have one as well.”

Nancy Drew Celebrates Her 80th Anniversary

nancydrew227.jpgEver since this GalleyCat editor cracked a classic Nancy Drew book’s yellow spine in the 1980s, we’ve been hooked on detective stories–from the Hardy Boys to Paul Auster.

Today’s guest on the Morning Media Menu was Nancy Drew expert Jennifer Fisher–celebrating the 80th anniversary of the world’s most famous girl detective (pictured in a fancy new edition). In 2000, Fisher founded Nancy Drew Sleuths, an organization of “American and international fans and scholars” dedicated to the 80-year-old detective. Fisher talked about the life of ghostwriters in the 1930s, fan conventions, and how authors can build community online and in the real world.

Press play below to listen.

Here’s an excerpt about the life of a Nancy Drew ghostwriter: “The first ghostwriter, Mildred Wirt Benson, she wrote 23 of the first 30 books. For this particular kind of work, the ghostwriters were paid a flat fee. The fee was actually the equivalent of several month’s salary for a couple of weeks of work. It was actually pretty good money for what the job was … she definitely had to work for that paycheck, especially in the mid-1930s when her first husband became an invalid–she really had to step up the output to help the family.”

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