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Archives: April 2011

Alan Rickman Reads ‘Sonnet 130′ by William Shakespeare

Happy National Poetry Month!

To end the month, we’ve dug up a video featuring Alan Rickman and his recitation of William Shakespeare‘s “Sonnet 130.” While many have come to know Rickman for playing Harry Potter potions master Severus Snape, he is also a respected stage actor.

Shakespeare wrote this piece in iambic pentameter and it follows the the AB-AB/CD-CD/EF-EF/GG rhyme scheme. What’s your favorite sonnet?

Mediabistro Course

Nonfiction Book Proposal

Nonfiction Book ProposalStarting September 4,work with a literary agent to complete a full proposal that wins an agent and a contract! Ryan Harbage from The Fischer-Harbage Agency, Inc. will teach you how to convey your idea in a winning book proposal format, write your proposal letter, understand the nuts and bolts of the nonfiction book industry, and more. Register now! 

Take Your Time: Script Frenzy Tip #29

As the Script Frenzy writing marathon draws to a close, we need to remind ourselves that finishing a script is not a race. Screenwriter James D. Solomon took 18 years to finish his script about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln!

Here’s more from the writer: “I looked at as many primary sources as possible. There are press accounts. There are some first-person accounts of what took place, but it’s limited. Then I looked at diaries of individuals who were in similar circumstances whether it was a union officer or a woman who ran a boarding house. I did not show a draft to anyone for three years as I researched and wrote and rewrote. This was a story no one knows wrapped in a story everyone knows.”

To help all the aspiring screenwriters, comic book writers, and playwrights participating in the Script Frenzy writing marathon, we will feature a new script writing tool or tip every day this month. Read all the advice at this link.

Elizabeth Gilbert, Ben Westhoff, & Kelly Cutrone Get Booked

Here are some literary events to jump end your week. To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page.

Ben Westhoff will host a reading and signing event at Domy Books on Saturday, April 30th starting 8 p.m. (Houston, TX)

MTV star Kelly Cutrone is celebrating her first book, Normal Gets You Nowhere on Tuesday, May 3rd at the Bookmark Shoppe starting 7 p.m. (Brooklyn, NY)

Elizabeth Gilbert will be in conversation with Paul Holdengraber on Thursday, May 5th. Hear them inside the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building starting at 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

Jody Hedlund on Marketing Your Work

Landing a book deal is just the beginning; all writers have to play a role in marketing their work. Author Jody Hedlund (pictured, via) offered some advice on her blog.

Here’s an excerpt from the post: “Start by loving the readers we already have (including followers on social media sites). We may want more. But first we have learn to take care of those that are already sitting in our stadium…When we’re loving and taking care of the readers and followers we have, they’ll WANT to support us…They’ll be excited to promote for us, essentially taking a large part of ‘self’ out of self-promotion.”

According to Hedlund, “loving your readers” can be broken down into three steps. Connect with them through internet venues, engage them with social media conversations, and then care for them by showing appreciation. What do you think?

Newcomer Actors Join the ‘Hunger Games’ Cast

Only minutes ago, the actors who will portray the District 5 tributes in The Hunger Games movie adaptation were announced on Facebook. A special “Who Are the Tributes?” page seems to have been created especially for these announcements.

Most of the people chosen for the tribute roles are newcomers to acting. In the books, a majority of the tributes do not get a lot of time in the spotlight so it’s understandable that newcomer actors can fulfill these roles. But what about the newcomers with more substantial parts to play?

For instance, Amandla Stenberg has been hired for the part of Rue; she has completed two acting jobs so far. That character has action scenes and shares poignant moments with Katniss Everdeen. Only time will tell about the quality of these performances. What do you think?

Children’s Book Creators Celebrate National Doodle Day

Publishers Albert Whitman & Company, Chronicle Books, Gibbs Smith Publishers, and Running Press, have joined together to celebrate this year’s National Doodle Day. In preparation for the May 12th event, several authors and illustrators of children’s books have donated doodles for its annual eBay auction.

Here’s more from the press release: “Daniel Pinkwater, Annie Barrows, Tom Lichtenheld, Calef Brown, Peter Reynolds, Eric Carle, Jon Scieszka, Mo Willems, and Lydia Bastianich all agreed to create unique doodles for the auction. Doodles can be viewed at doodledayusa.org until the launch of the eBay auction on May 12.”

Some authors, like Kurt Vonnegut, have attracted as much fame for their doodles as they have for their writing. Reportedly, this is the first year publishers have participated in National Doodle Day. The publishers will host public events on that day in the following cities: Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Sausalito.

More Posthumous Publications from Shel Silverstein?

College Humor published “I Think They’re Running Out of Material For New Shel Silverstein Books,” a list of imaginary books from the late author’s archives.

In the satirical piece, these imaginary Silverstein books contain poems that were never meant to be read, half-finished musings and illustrations, unused material from previous works, and grocery lists written in verse.

Here’s a snippet from List #47: “Sunscreen for my head and a comb for my beard / So much mayonnaise that people look at me weird / Oh and Funyuns.” What items make up your rhyming grocery list?

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Are Greek Myths the Next Trend for Teens?

Publishers are always on the lookout for the next big trend as evidenced by the wave of vampire and dystopian stories throughout the last few years. In the coming months, teen fiction readers can expect several new titles inspired by Greek myths.

The video embedded above features a clip chronicling the rise of debut novelist Josephine Angelini who inked a seven-figure deal with HarperCollins for her fantasy trilogy. The first book, Starcrossed, stars demi-gods in a modern-day version of The Iliad and will be released on May 31st. According to Publishers Weekly, Angelini’s agent Mollie Glick pitched it as “a Percy Jackson for teenage girls.”

Writer Meg Cabot recently released the first title of her new paranormal series Abandon. The Wall Street Journal reports that this series drew inspiration from the tale of Persephone and Hades. Back in December we interviewed Kody Keplinger who revealed that her Fall 2011 title, Lustruck, is “a modern re-imagining of the Greek play Lysistrata.” What do you think of this trend?

Digital Publisher Talks eBooks In Italy

While the Italian eBook market is still only about 1% of the market, the eBook business is beginning to grow in Italy. Want proof? Amazon is currently developing a Kindle store in the European nation.

We interviewed Marco Ferrario, CEO of 40k a new digital publisher in Italy, for eBookNewser, and he told us how Italians are taking to eReaders. “There are likely 150,000-200,000 people using eReading devices and 20 plus stores selling eBooks. Considering that less than 50% of Italians buy at least a book a year, these are pretty good numbers for a six month old market.”

To read the entire interview, follow this link.

Peter S. Beagle to Write More ‘Unicorn’ Stories

More than four decades ago, children’s author Peter S. Beagle published his novel The Last Unicorn. The title was adapted into an animated film in 1982 and has since been re-released in a blu-ray/DVD combo pack. We caught up with Beagle and learned that there are more unicorn stories in the works for the future. Here are the highlights from our interview.

Q: How did you first get The Last Unicorn published?
A: I wasn’t worried about getting it published — maybe naively — because by then I’d been getting published since I was seventeen, which was most of a decade. I was worried about getting the bloody thing right. Of all the books I’ve ever written, that’s the one I remember as being a trial by fire.

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