Bulletin Board

April 24, 2014.

This week’s batch of prizes includes two awards for creative nonfiction, a short fiction prize, and a translation prize. Deadlines range from May 26-31.

The BOA Short Fiction Prize will be awarded to a collection of short stories. Translations, novels, and novellas are not eligible. Individual stories from the manuscript may have been published previously in magazines, journals, etc. Entries should range from 90-200 pages. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication by BOA Editions. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: May 31, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.

The Creative Nonfiction Short Memoir Award will be given to an essay that reaches beyond a strictly personal experience for some universal or deeper meaning. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in the Memoir Issue. Essays must be previously unpublished and should not exceed 4,000 words. All essays must tell true stories and be factually accurate. Entry fee: $20 (or $25 for a subscription). Deadline: May 31, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.
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Along Publishers Row

April 22, 2014.

by Campbell Geeslin

“The Science of Stories” was the title of a workshop held at Stanford University.  It was mentioned by Alison Gopnik in The Wall Street Journal.

Gopnik said that “scientists and scholars talked about why reading Harlequin romances may make you more empathetic, about how 10-year-olds create the fantastic fictional worlds called ‘paracosms’ and about the subtle psychological inferences in the great Chinese novel The Story of the Stone.”

That Chinese novel, a love triangle, is also called Dream of the Red Chamber. It begins: “When the Goddess Nugua undertook to repair the Dome of Heaven, she fashioned at the Great Mythical Mountain under the Nonesuch Bluff 36,501 pieces of stone, each 120 feet high and 240 feet around. Of these she used only 36,500 and left the remaining piece in the shadow of the Green Meadows Peak. However, the divine hands of Nugua had touched off a spark of life in the Stone and endowed it with supernatural powers. . . ”

She also touched off a tale that continues to be read after more than a century and a half.
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New Books by Members

April 22, 2014.

This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles by David A. Adler, Barbara Taylor Bradford, Mary Higgins Clark, Stephen Cox, Gwen Edelman, Patricia Lakin, Dinah Lenney, Wendy Mass, Jamie Michalak, Judith Nies, Duke Robinson, Phyllis Root, Gloria Whelan, Stuart Woods, and Susan Wyler. Titles under the jump.
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Bulletin Board

April 17, 2014.

This week’s batch of contests includes a prize for military veterans and active duty members as well as a poetry prize and short story contest. The deadline for all prizes is May 15.

The Iowa Review’s Jeff Sharlet Memorial Award is open to U.S. military veterans and active duty service members. Submissions may be poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. There is no theme. Work must be previously unpublished. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in The Iowa Review. Second place will receive $750 and three runners up will receive $500 each. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: May 15, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.

The Academy of American Poets is currently accepting submissions for the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, which is awarded to the most outstanding book of poetry published in the United States in the previous year. The contest is open to any book of original poetry, in English, during 2013 in a standard edition by a living American citizen. A standard edition is 40 pages or more in length. Self-published books are not eligible. The winner will receive $25,000. Entry fee: $75. Deadline: May 15, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.

The Raymond Carver Short Story Contest is currently accepting submissions. The prize is open to both U.S. and international entrants but stories must be written in English. Only literary fiction will be considered. Entries should not exceed 6,000 words. The winner will receive $1,500 and publication in the fall issue of Carve Magazine. Second place will receive $500, third place will receive $250, and two Editor’s Choice picks will receive $125. All runners up will receive publication. Entry fee: $17 online; $15 by mail. Deadline: May 15, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.

The Anti-Google Mass Book Digitization Campaign Goes Global

April 16, 2014.

Authors Malcolm Gladwell, J.M. Coetzee, Michael Pollan, Margaret Atwood, Peter Carey Support Lawsuit Against Google’s Theft of Books Through Digitization

New York, NY- Prize-winning authors, international rights organizations, and legal experts Monday joined the Authors Guild in fighting what they call Google’s dangerous and unprecedented violation of copyright law. They filed eight stinging friend-of-the-court briefs in support of the Guild’s appeal in Authors Guild v. Google, agreeing that Judge Denny Chin’s decision in the case should be overturned. The briefs can be viewed in their entirety at the end of this blog post.

“Google’s ambitions respected no borders,” said Authors Guild president Roxana Robinson. “Millions of copyrighted books by authors from every major country were swept in to Google’s scheme. As the new filings demonstrate, not just authors but also photographers, visual artists, songwriters, and publishers around the world find it particularly galling that a wealthy American company would try to find a way to use their creations for free.”

Authors from Australia, Canada, and South Africa joined one brief, including Margaret Atwood, Thomas Keneally, J.M. Coetzee, Yann Martell, Peter Carey and Michael Frayn. In a separate filing, an array of international rights organizations warned that if this massive expansion of “fair use” is allowed to stand it turns the United States into a rogue nation, in violation of international norms of copyright.

Copyright experts, including Marybeth Peters, Former U.S. Copyright Register, Jon Baumgarten, Former General Counsel, U.S. Copyright Office, and professor Raymond T. Nimmer, filed briefs as well.

American authors Malcolm Gladwell, Michael Pollan, Karen Russell, Ursula K. Le Guin, Ron Larson, Taylor Branch, Tracy Chevalier, Lawrence Hill, Diane McWhorter, Robert Christopherson and Tracy Kidder submitted a brief that highlights how Google has left little room for authors and publishers to develop partnerships and licensing opportunities of their own.

And fifteen U.S. groups, representing textbook authors, songwriters, visual artists, illustrators and photographers, filed briefs of their own. These organizations collectively represent thousands upon thousands of individuals dependent on copyright for their livelihoods. Their conclusion sums up the strong case against Google: “One group cannot simply be allowed to take from creators and give works to the public for free with impunity. This undermines the very purpose of copyright law and ultimately of fair use.”

The Authors Guild first sued Google in 2005, citing “massive copyright infringement” in developing its Google Book Search database. The Guild filed its brief on April 11, 2014 with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Court in Manhattan.
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Along Publishers Row

April 15, 2014.

by Campbell Geeslin

Adam Begley’s biography of John Updike was published last week. Begley wrote, “He wasn’t despairing or thwarted or resentful; he wasn’t alienated or conflicted or drunk; he quarreled with no one.” Doesn’t sound like Hemingway, Fitzgerald or Faulkner or anyone else on the short list of great American authors, does it?  The quotes are from a review in The New York Times.

On the sensitive subject of sex, Begley wrote: “That Updike had affairs, sometimes with his friends’ wives, is not news.”

On that subject, Rebecca West, who wrote two biographies, observed: “Just how difficult it is to write a biography can be reckoned by anybody who sits down and considers just how many people know the real truth about [the subject’s] love affairs.” Her subjects were St. Augustine and Henry James.
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New Books by Members

April 14, 2014.

This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles by Alex Beam, Robert J. Begiebing, Paul Buhle, Sarah Campbell, Jan Carr, Lydia Davis, Arthur Dorros, Susan Middleton Elya, Beth Fehlbaum, John Gierach, Bill Harley, Phoebe Hoban, Marthe Jocelyn, Seymour Morris, Jr., and Laurence Pringle. Titles under the jump.
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Authors Guild: Amazon was Google’s Target

April 11, 2014.

Authors Guild: Google Yanked Readers out of Online Bookstores Through Mass-Digitization Program

Amazon was Google’s prime target, says appellate brief

NEW YORK, NY – In a sharply worded appeal, the Authors Guild today renewed its contention that Google has enhanced its search engine, driven customers away from online booksellers, increased its advertising revenue and stifled its competition by digitizing, distributing and monetizing millions of copyright-protected books without permission or payment.

Roxana Robinson, Authors Guild president, issued the following statement:

“Authors and authors alone have the right to decide whether and how their books are converted to e-books. Yet in its effort to gain commercial advantage over competitors, particularly Amazon, Google chose to usurp that basic right, putting authors’ works and livelihoods at risk. Without the permissions that Amazon had painstakingly acquired for its Search Inside the Book program, Google digitized authors’ works in order to lure book buyers away from online booksellers to its turf, seeking to bring countless eyeballs to its ads. Google is yanking readers out of online bookstores.

There’s a far better way forward. Congress should create a National Digital Library that would be available at every campus and in every community. Libraries, research institutions, authors and corporations can all coexist peacefully, but the first step is to stop the theft of books.”

The Authors Guild first sued Google in 2005, citing “massive copyright infringement” in developing its Google Book Search database. The Guild filed its brief this afternoon with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Court in Manhattan.

A National Digital Library
The Authors Guild proposes that Congress establish a collective management organization, similar to ASCAP, to license digital rights to out-of-print books. Authors, publishers and other rights holders would be paid for the use of their works, and they would have the right to exclude their books from any or all uses. The collective management organization’s authority would be strictly limited, however. It would not license e-book or print book rights (only the author or other rights holder could do that), and it wouldn’t collect its administrative fee until it paid the rights holder.

The National Digital Library would display full book pages, not mere “snippets.” It would be the equivalent of a great research library that anyone can view from their dorm room or through access to a high school, public library or other subscribing institution. It would be a level-the-playing-field leap for small colleges, remote libraries and communities everywhere. It would help level other playing fields, as well. The National Digital Library’s digitized text and digital page images would be fully accessible to the visually impaired.

Bulletin Board

April 10, 2014.

This week’s batch of contest includes awards for poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. The deadline for each is May 15.

The James Laughlin Award is given to honor a second book of original poetry, in English, by a citizen of the United States. To be eligible, a book must have come under contract with a United States publisher between between June 1, 2013 and June 1, 2014. Suggested length is between 40 and 75 pages. The winner will receive $5,000. Deadline: May 15, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.

The Georgia Review is currently accepting submissions for the Loraine Williams Poetry Prize for a single poem, originally written in English and never before published either in print or online. Work previously published in any form or submitted simultaneously to other journals will not be considered. Entries may include up to three poems, but no more than a total of ten pages. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in The Georgia Review. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: May 15, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.
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Along Publishers Row

April 8, 2014.

by Campbell Geeslin

The deep lines of a life of adventure—of “searching”—are vivid in a photograph of Peter Matthiessen’s face in Sunday’s The New York Times Magazine.

The 86-year old author died April 5 in Sagaponack, N.Y. He is the only writer ever to win the National Book Award for both nonfiction and fiction. His last novel, In Paradise, was published April 8.

Matthiessen had leukemia. He was interviewed at his Long Island home just before being hospitalized. The photograph was by Damon Winter.

Jeff Hemelman’s account of the author’s life ended with a quote from one of his more than 30 books, The Tree Where Man Was Born (1972). Matthiessen wrote: “Lying back against these ancient rocks of Africa, I am content. The great stillness in these landscapes that once made me restless seeps into me day by day, and with it the unreasonable feeling that I have found what I was searching for without ever having discovered what it was.”
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