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Posts Tagged ‘essays’

Occupy Wall Street Library Essay on Kickstarter

Writer Melissa Gira Grant hopes to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter to publish Take This Book, an essay about the People’s Library at Occupy Wall Street. Above, we’ve embedded a video about the project–what do you think?

Here’s more about the project: “Take This Book is ready to publish, and as soon as this project is fully funded, I will release the digital edition (in epub and Kindle formats) to all backers. Then, Glass Houses, [a media label founded by Grant], will publish the print edition, to be released in February 2012. By backing this project, you will ensure that the print edition of this book is available for free to every Occupy library we can find.”

Welcome to our Kickstarter Publishing Project of the Week, a feature exploring how authors and publishers are using the fundraising site to raise money for book projects. If you want to start your own project, check out How To Use Kickstarter to Fund Your Publishing Project.

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Joan Didion Week at The Los Angeles Review of Books

The Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) dedicated an entire week of essays to Joan Didion and her new memoir Blue Nights. Six writers shared their thoughts about the new book; one essay was published each day this week.

The group includes LARB senior fiction editor Matthew SpecktorTake One Candle Light a Room author Susan Straight, literary journalism professor Amy Wilentz, Cool Shades author Amy Emphron and LA Times columnist Meghan Daum. The last piece, written by Los Angeles Without a Map novelist Richard Rayner, will be published tomorrow.

LARB editor-in-chief Tom Lutz gave this statement in the release: “Didion is an icon of literary L.A. despite living in New York much of her life. In 1976 she wrote that ‘[t]o shift the structure of a sentence alters the meaning of that sentence, as definitely and inflexibly as the position of a camera alters the meaning of the object photographed.’ That attention to style, structure, perspective, and meaning animates the essays we’re featuring this week.”

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‘How Harry Potter Changed My Life’ Essay Contest Counts 300 Submissions

With one more day until the final Harry Potter film, fans are reminiscing about growing up with the young wizard. The Plain Dealer hosted a “How Harry Potter Changed My Life” essay contest for its local readers.

The judges highlighted 15 essays out of 300 submissions. Ten of them received honorable mentions, four were deemed runner-ups and one was named the grand prize winner. They will publish the winner tomorrow. Prizes included a preview screening of Deathly Hallows Part 2 and $100 gift certificates from Half-Price Books.

Here is a (spoiler-free) excerpt from 13-year-old Jamie Vidumsky‘s essay: “Harry, Ron and Hermione taught me that even the best of friends can fight and make up. Sirius Black taught me that there’s more to people than just good and bad. Professor Remus Lupin taught me that chocolate can make anything better. Severus Snape taught me that in the end, helping others is worth it, no matter the cost.”

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National Peace Corps Association Launches $5,000 Essay Contest

The National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) has teamed up with the the SEVEN Fund to launch the Enterprise Solutions to Global Poverty Essay Contest. One grand prize winner will receive $5,000.

Here’s more about the rules: “Solutions to poverty require innovative technology and communications, greater attention to women, increased job generation and the promotion of sustainable grassroots efforts. We invite authors to share their first person accounts of enterprise solutions to poverty and the topics above.”

The winner will be announced at a panel event in Washington D.C. on September 24th during a week-long celebration commemorating the Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary. The contest closes on July 31st.

The Importance of Marginalia

Did you know that President Thomas Jefferson, novelist Mark Twain, and evolutionary biologist Charles Darwin all wrote in the margins? According to the New York Times, marginalia was denounced in the 20th century as a form of graffiti. These days, scholars love marked up books.

The article offers these observations from University of Toronto professor Heather Jackson: “Books with markings are increasingly seen these days as more valuable, not just for a celebrity connection but also for what they reveal about the community of people associated with a work…examining marginalia reveals a pattern of emotional reactions among everyday readers that might otherwise be missed, even by literary professionals.”

The Caxton Club and the Newberry Library will host a symposium in March to debate this subject; Jackson will be speaking there as well. The event will spotlight on a new essay collection entitled Other People’s Books: Association Copies and the Stories They Tell. This title contains 52 essays and 112 illustrations.