Monthly Archives: May 2013

Bulletin Board

This week’s contests include fiction, poetry, and nonfiction (and one just for women writers), but all four have June 30 deadlines. Check them out!

The Autumn House Poetry, Fiction, and Nonfiction Contests are now open. Fiction and nonfiction submissions should be 200-300 pages in length; poetry submissions should be 50-80 pages in length. The winner of each contest will be awarded publication and $2,500 ($1,000 advance against royalties and $1,500 travel grant to promote his or her book). Entry fee: $30 per entry. Deadline for each contest: June 30, 2013. For complete guidelines about each genre, please visit the website.

Bauhan Publishing is now accepting submissions for the 2013 May Sarton New Hampshire Poetry Book Prize. The contest is open to international residents but the book must be written in English (translations are not eligible). The winner receives $1,000, book publication, and 100 copies of the published book. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: June 30, 2013. For complete guidelines, please visit the website.

Omnidawn’s First/Second Book Poetry Contest is currently open to writers who have never published a full-length book of poetry, or who have published only one full-length book of poetry. Manuscript length should be no longer than 120 pages. Contest judges are open to a wide range of styles, approaches, forms, etc.  Entry fee: $27. Deadline: June 30, 2013. For complete guidelines, please visit the website.

The Women Who Write International Poetry and Short Prose Contest is currently open to women 18 years or older. Prose pieces can be fiction or nonfiction, maximum 3,000 words. All entries must be previously unpublished. The winner receives $300, publication in Calliope, and up to five copies of the publication. Entry fee: $12 per prose piece or per two poems submitted. Deadline: June 30, 2013. For submission guidelines, please visit the website.

Growth in ABA Membership Signals Modest Uptick in Independent Bookselling

As the publishing industry gathers in New York to celebrate itself at BookExpo America, it’s a case of good news-bad news for fans of physical bookstores.

The good news: ABA membership has increased for the fourth year in a row, up 65 members to 1,632, according to an AP story that declares “independent bookselling has become a growth industry.” The AP quotes ABA CEO Oren Teicher as attributing the rise in part to the “buy local” movement, independents’ increasing comfort with technology and a younger generation’s interest in bookselling.

“There was a time when people were ready to retire and couldn’t sell their stores, so they closed them,'” Teicher says. “The fact that these stores are now remaining bodes well for the future.”

The bad news: The increase in independents doesn’t come close to making up for the loss of stores caused by the demise of Borders and the shrinking of Barnes & Noble.

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Along Publishers Row

by Campbell Geeslin

Lydia Davis writes stories that are shorter than short-shorts. Some can be as brief as a single sentence. Last week, Davis, who lives in upstate New York, was awarded the $90,000 Man Booker International Prize. She is the author of a novel, The End of the Story (1995), and four story collections. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis came out in 2009.

One of the Man Booker judges said her work was described as stories “but could equally be [called] miniatures, anecdotes, essays, jokes, parables, fables, texts, aphorisms or even apothegms, prayers or simply observations.”

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New Books by Members

This week’s batch of recent and upcoming releases by Authors Guild members includes books by Deanna Adams, Annamaria Alfieri, Joseph Alton, Maureen Brady, Jamie Cat Callan, Lori Carson, Deborah Heiligman, Victoria Houston, Thomas E. Kennedy, Lauren Kessler, Alexander Kopelman, Sally Koslow, John Manbeck, Wendy Mass, Jenny Meyerhoff, Richard Muti, Dianne Ochiltree, Lesley Poling-Kempes, Frederic Rich, Roxana Robinson, Nathan Szajnberg, Lynn Underwood, Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop, Linda Wolfe, Allen Zadoff. The list of titles can be found under the jump.

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Odds of Passing a National Press Shield Law? A Respectable 17%, Says GovTrack.

By highlighting journalists’ need to protect confidential sources and other information, the Justice Department’s recent seizing of AP phone records without notice may finally lead to passage of a federal press shield law. The Authors Guild, which has long backed the enactment of such a law, is part of a coalition of media organizations calling on Congress to use this as an opportunity to strengthen the First Amendment protection of press freedom. It’s going to be an uphill battle, says legislation monitor GovTrack.us.

Still, the moment seems right. Amid the uproar over the DOJ’s actions, President Obama has asked New York Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to revive shield law legislation that was shelved in 2009. Last week Schumer said he would reintroduce the bill,  The Free Flow of Information Act, and Texas Republican Rep. Ted Poe introduced shield law legislation in the House. Here’s the text of the bill from THOMAS (Library of Congress) and an analysis of the bill’s sections by the Newspaper Guild.*

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Bulletin Board

This week’s contests include both poetry and fiction, with deadlines ranging from June 15-June 30.

The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Competition is currently accepting submissions for an unpublished manuscript of poetry. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication. Manuscript must range between 48 and 80 pages in length and be written in English. Translations do not qualify for this award. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: June 15, 2013. For complete submission guidelines, please visit the website.

The Red Hen Press Short Story Award is currently accepting submissions for an original short story of any theme. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in the Los Angeles Times Review. Entry fee: $20 for two stories, 25 page limit per story. Deadline: June 30, 2013. For complete guidelines, please visit the website.

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Stephen King’s Paperback-Only Crime Novel: Back to the Future?

Anyone who has been around publishing long enough to remember the events of 2000 may feel a bit nostalgic reading the stories about Stephen King’s decision to publish his next book, Joyland, in print only. He’s jolted the industry before.

Thirteen years ago — pre-iPad, Nook, and Kindle — he rocked the book world by releasing Riding the Bullet as the first mass ebook, attracting so many downloads that servers crashed. He followed that success with The Plant, selling it directly from his website in installments. Readers paid by the honor system (and many chose to download it for free).

In 2000 King was quoted in the New York Times:

“I’ve continued to say yes to these things rather than kind of pulling back and saying, Well, I’m going to write a book a year, and that’s what I’m going to do,” he says. “I dislike writers who behave like old cart horses, dozing their way back to the stable.”

Now, in this age of accelerating ebook sales, King’s focus on print looks almost radical. But it wasn’t long ago that publishers held back digital versions to avoid cannibalizing sales of more expensive hardcovers. In this case, that’s not the motivation; Joyland is a $12.95 paperback. King told the Wall Street Journal he wanted to send consumers back to bricks-and-mortar bookstores.

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Along Publishers Row

by Campbell Geeslin

Virginia Woolf, Lewis Carroll and Ernest Hemingway did their writing standing up, with a tall piece of furniture serving as a desk.

Now, Susan Orlean, author of The Orchid Thief and Rin Tin Tin, reports that she works at a tall desk—not just standing, but walking many miles on a treadmill while writing.

In an essay for The New Yorker, Orlean writes that her research revealed that sitting “for more than two hours causes the presence of good cholesterol to drop, and, in time, insulin effectiveness plummets. This can lead to cardiovascular problems, certain kinds of cancer, depression, deep-vein thrombosis, and type-2 diabetes.” If you want to avoid all those pitfalls, tall desks and special treadmills are now available on the market.

These words are being typed as my laptop sits on a tall chest of drawers. I stand, bouncing up and down on my toes, hoping to avoid deep-vein thrombosis.

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Congress Begins Copyright Review, Hoping for Consensus, Civility

Lawmakers looking to overhaul U.S. copyright law heard testimony on Thursday that underscored a crucial difference between the present and any other time in history: Copyright is now something the general public is aware of daily, which makes the issue far more contentious.

In the first in a series of hearings on copyright, the House Judiciary Committee invited five members of a study group, The Copyright Principals Project, to testify, Adi Robertson of The Verge website reported.

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New Books by Members

This week’s round up of new and recent releases by Authors Guild members includes books by Michael Agar, Julia E. Antoine, Ardie A. Davis, Barbara T. Dreyfuss, Clyde Edgerton, Kevin Emerson, Thomas C. Foster, Nora Gallagher, Enid Harlow, Alice Hoffman, Eloisa James, Daphne Kalotay, Robert Kuttner, John Manbeck, Penney Peirce, Toni Ortner, Fred Reed, Seymour Simon, Megan Stine, Daniel Weiss, Fay Weldon, and Jasenn Zaejian. See the list of titles after the jump.

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