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Posts Tagged ‘Mitchell Kaplan’

Kenneth Branagh May Adapt ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer has been picked up by Fox 2000. The article described the book as “a love story set in London and on the island of Guernsey shortly after WWII.”

According to Variety Marley & Me screenwriter Dan Roos wrote the script. Paula Mazur and Mitchell Kaplan have signed on as producers. Fox 2000 has approached Thor director Kenneth Branagh to helm the project.

In the video embedded above, Barrows discussed her novel. Branagh has directed and starred in adaptations of Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Hamlet and Henry V. He also played Professor Gilderoy Lockhart in Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets.

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Now You Can Spend Your Offshore Account Money At A Bookstore

PW Daily’s Edward Nawotka broke the news Friday that Books & Books, Mitchell Kaplan‘s Miami bookstore minichain, is opening a fourth location, this one in the Cayman Islands. The new 5,000 sq. ft. store is part of Camana Bay, an upscale retail and housing development on Grand Cayman, and a joint venture with the local developer, Dart Realty. The store is scheduled to open in the first weekend of November, just a few weeks after Books & Books celebrates its 25th anniversary.

Kaplan said he was initially approached by Dart Realty executive v-p Jackie Doak, who was been a regular customer of Books & Books in Miami. “She invited me down, I visited the site, and committed,” said Kaplan. In a press release, Doak said, “We are particularly excited to be included on their literary event circuit, which we hope will bring authors from all around the world to Cayman.” So far, said Kaplan, publishers and writers, “have been very receptive” to the idea of extending their book tours to the Caribbean. Which might be the understatement of the week, to be sure…

Mary Gordon Wins Story Prize 2006

Where there are literary awards, there is the Tishman Auditorium at the New School. And while the place wasn’t filled to full capacity, an enthusiastic crowd showed up for yesterday’s awards night, giving equal weight to bestowing its goblet prize and $20,000 cheque to winner Mary Gordon (for THE STORIES OF MARY GORDON) as to celebrating the short story. “It’s such an honor to accept an award for the short story, which is becoming somewhat of an endangered species,” Gordon said to open her acceptance speech, mentioning how many fine writers known for their story skills – like John Cheever, Katherine Ann Porter and Flannery O’Connor – all turned to novels because they were deemed to be the “real thing.”

But the readings by each of the three finalists and subsequent Q&As with Story Prize co-founder Larry Dark demonstrated the story’s ability to be real to the point of naturalistic (in the case of Rick Bass, reading “Her First Elk” from his collection THE LIVES OF ROCKS) or comically absurd (demonstrated with continued hilarity by Gordon’s “My Podiatrist Tells Me A Story About a Boy and a Dog” and George Saunders‘ speculative tale of a verbally idiosyncratic teen named “Jon”.) The biggest laugh came when Saunders admitted, upon Dark’s probing, that he does indeed laugh at his own writing, “but I never like to admit it because it’s absurd. Here’s this balding, middle-aged man reading something he likes and ‘oh isn’t this funny!’. It’s ridiculous.” What wasn’t ridiculous was how close the vote was; we understand judges Edwidge Danticat, Mitchell Kaplan and Ron Hogan had their work cut out for them, trying to decide between three excellent yet radically different collections—at least they only had three to deal with, after they’d been culled from a shortlist of 65 story collections that, in Dark’s words, were extremely difficult to pare down. “I actually had to stop reading short stories about two months before Larry gave us the finalists,” Ron said about his approach to the judging process, “because there was so many great collections coming out that I couldn’t think of any other way I’d be able to look at the actual nominees with a fresh set of eyes, not comparing them to everybody else. Since I’ve already read these three books, the first thing I’m going to do this weekend is finally crack open All Aunt Hagar’s Children by Edward P. Jones, and then I’ve got at least six others lined up after that…”

The Story Prize Names its Finalists

Fiction collections by authors Mary Gordon, Rick Bass and George Saunders have been named finalists for the third annual Story Prize, given to the year’s outstanding book of short fiction. Bass was nominated for THE LIVES OF ROCKS (Houghton Mifflin), Gordon for THE STORIES OF MARY GORDON (Pantheon) and Saunders for IN PERSUASION NATION (Riverhead.) The winner, to be announced at an awards ceremony at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium on February 28, receives $20,000. Finalists will each be given $5,000.

GalleyCat‘s own Ron Hogan was one of the three judges (along with author Edwidge Danticat and Books & Books owner Mitchell Kaplan) and has dipped into each of these collections, along with many other potential candidates, as they’ve been published over the last several months. “I’m looking forward to devoting a lot more time to these three authors in the following weeks,” Hogan said, “and I’m glad I’ve got two other well-informed judges to help make what will undoubtedly be a tough decision.”