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Margaret Atwood Fans Invited to Take Part in a Wattpad Writing Contest

Stone MattressRandom House has released Margaret Atwood’s new short fiction collection, Stone Mattress. One of the nine tales, “The Freeze-Dried Groom,” has been posted on Wattpad. This particular piece leaves the reader with many unanswered questions.

Some of these queries include “Will Sam be a killer or a victim?” and “What are the other characters’ versions of events?” Fans are invited to take part in a writing contest to answer these questions. Follow this link to learn about all the rules.

The deadline has been set for October 31st at 11:59 p.m. EST and a winner will be announced on November 18th. The grand prize winner will receive a signed Stone Mattress anthology, a tweet from Atwood, and loot from Wattpad. Two runner-ups will also receive autographed of copies of Atwood’s book.

How To Craft a Wreath With Old Books

Autumn is in full swing! Don’t feel like going to the craft store? YouTuber Jenna DeAngeles shares her design for a door wreath using old books.

If you want to make this seasonal decoration, watch the video tutorial embedded above. Follow this link to learn how to make a DIY book-themed pumpkin statue. What Fall decor pieces do you enjoy making?

Coloring Books Could Help Adults De-Stress

Art-thérapieFeeling a bit tense and anxious? Perhaps picking up a coloring book may be the solution.

Many psychologists recommend that adults cast aside the notion that only children should color.  These experts theorize that “when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries.” According to The Huffington Post, “the practice generates wellness, quietness and also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity.”

A number of publishers throughout Europe and North America have released these types of books for adult readers. Some of these publications have become bestsellers in France and the United Kingdom. What do you think?

Paul Krugman Speaks Out Against Amazon

NYT_Twitter_KrugmanNobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has written a New York Times op-ed criticizing Amazon. For book selling, he goes so far as to say that it has a “robber-baron-type market power.”

In his piece, Krugman (pictured, via) compares Amazon with Standard Oil and talks about the consequences that may ensue should the online retail giant continue its current standard of operations. He feels that Amazon has abused its powers to retaliate against Hachette throughout the dispute between the two companies. Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“So far Amazon has not tried to exploit consumers. In fact, it has systematically kept prices low, to reinforce its dominance. What it has done, instead, is use its market power to put a squeeze on publishers, in effect driving down the prices it pays for books — hence the fight with Hachette. In economics jargon, Amazon is not, at least so far, acting like a monopolist, a dominant seller with the power to raise prices. Instead, it is acting as a monopsonist, a dominant buyer with the power to push prices down.”

The British Library Hosts Exhibition on Gothic Storytelling

The British Library is hosting a display focused on gothic storytelling called “Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination.” It will run until January 20, 2015.

The United Kingdom’s “biggest ever Gothic exhibition” features 200 rare objects; some of these pieces shine the spotlight on works by writers Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, and Clive Barker. Visitors will see ”posters, books, film and even a vampire-slaying kit.”

We’ve embedded a video about this exhibit—what do you think? Click here to learn more about it. Follow this link to read an essay by Neil Gaiman entitled “My hero: Mary Shelley.”

‘Batman vs. Superman’ Movie May Feature a Female Robin

bvsBatman’s famous sidekick, Robin, may be played by a female in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Rumors have been swirling in Hollywood that Catching Fire actress Jena Malone will be taking on that role. According to Variety, the movie studio has not confirmed this to be true. The theatrical release date has been scheduled for March 25, 2016.

Here’s more from Time: “Making Robin a woman, though, isn’t all that drastic. Zack Snyder’s Batman v. Superman movie is reportedly based largely on Frank Miller’s comic The Dark Knight Returns, in which Batman’s sidekick is a woman named Carrie Kelley. In the comics, a raven-haired Kelley—obsessed with the Dark Knight—saves him from some bad guys in order to win his trust and become the new Robin.”

Emily St. John Mandel & George R.R. Martin Get Booked

The World of Ice & Fire.jpg 200Here are some literary events to pencil in your calendar this week.

To get your event posted on our calendar, visit our Facebook Your Literary Event page. Please post your event at least one week prior to its date.

Emily St. John Mandel will read from her new book, Station Eleven, and sit for an interview with Lev Grossman. Hear her on Thursday, October 23rd at Macaulay Honors College starting 7 p.m. (New York, NY)

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John Leguizamo Inks Deal For ‘Ghetto Klown’ Graphic Novel

Ghetto KlownActor John Leguizamo has landed a deal to create a graphic novel adaptation of his hit one-man Broadway show, Ghetto Klown. ComicArts, an imprint at ABRAMS, has scheduled a release date for Spring 2015.

Cartoonist Christa Cassano has signed on to create the artwork. Executive editor David Cashion negotiated the deal with Foundry Media literary agent Anthony Mattero.

Leguizamo had this statement in the press release: “Ghetto Klown is the history that I probably never should have told anyone but my therapist, but it’s a real lesson that even if you suffer a certain amount (a lot) of self-doubt and anxiety, you can still accomplish great things. It’s a lesson I’m really excited to impart to a whole new audience and in a whole new way with the help of artist Christa Cassano and Abrams Books. My life’s work took me my whole life to figure out, but, hey, better late than never”

J.K. Rowling to Erect a Summer House Modeled After Hagrid’s Hut

HagridHarry Potter series author J.K. Rowling plans to build “Hagrid’s Hut” on the grounds of her estate in Scotland.

Rowling intends to erect a summer house that features a stone bench, a stone structure, and a slate roof. The dwelling will resemble the home of Hogwarts keeper of keys, Rubeus Hagrid.

Here’s more from The Telegraph: “Like the fictional home of Hagrid – the ground-keeper of Hogwarts, played in the Harry Potter films by Robbie Coltrane – the proposed hut will be built on the edge of a forest of the 162-acre estate. Rowling bought the house and grounds for £1.9 million in 2001, and married husband Dr Neil Murray in the library in the December of that year.” (via Entertainment Weekly)

TED Curator Chris Anderson Lands Deal For Public Speaking Guide

Chris Anderson 200TED curator Chris Anderson (pictured, via) has inked a deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Talk This Way! The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking.

Senior executive editor Rick Wolff handled this acquisition. This project will be the first in Wolff’s new line of business books.

Anderson gave this statement in the press release: “Many people have something important to say, but are terrified by public speaking. Yet the skills to deliver a compelling talk are teachable. Over the last 10 years, my team and I have had access to the preparation process of many of the world’s best speakers. It’s thrilling to have this opportunity to share what we’ve learned with a broader public, and I look forward to working with Rick and his colleagues at HMH.”

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