Monthly Archives: April 2014

Along Publishers Row

by Campbell Geeslin

Memorial services were held in both Colombia and Mexico last week for Gabriel Garcia Marquez, who died April 17 in Mexico City, where he had lived most of his life.

The Colombia ceremony was held in Aracataca, the remote town that served as the setting for One Hundred Years of Solitude. The New York Times reported that Marquez had said it “was his grandmother’s matter-of-fact way of telling the most fantastic stories that inspired the narrator’s voice in One Hundred Years of Solitude.”

Elena Romero, 33, a Cataquero housewife, told The Times, “Because Gabriel Garcia Marquez won the Nobel Prize, Aracataca is known throughout the world.”

“We gave him his nationality,” said Jorge Polo, 54, a Colombian merchant who had met Marquez, “and he gave us recognition. We thank him for the happiness of having been born in Aracataca.”

The other memorial service was held in Mexico City’s Palace of Fine Arts with thousands attending. The ceremony was broadcast live on TV. After Marquez’s widow and two sons placed an urn with his ashes on a black pedestal, “A long, loud applause rose up, for more than a minute,” the Times said.

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New Books by Members

This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles by Beth Baker, Janie Chodosh, Doreen Cronin, Lisa Doan, Karen Heuler, Donna M. Jackson, Lee A. Jacobus, John B. Manbeck, Gillian McCain, Genevieve Morgan, Marissa Moss, Susan Pearson, Carla Perry, Chris Raschka, and Lea Wait. Titles below the jump.

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Calling All MacAdam/Cage Authors

As of March 4, MacAdam/Cage is out of business. After undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, the former publisher closed down shop and, by mid-March, officially reverted all print and subsidiary rights to its authors. However, under a 2009 license affecting 180 titles, the U.K.-based publisher MP Publishing is still exploiting MacAdam/Cage e-books through e-tailers in the U.S. and abroad. The legal status of this license agreement is questionable; many affected authors assert that MacAdam Cage was never granted electronic rights. The list of titles can be found here.

The Authors Guild will assist any MacAdam/Cage author who wants to challenge MP’s claim to his or her titles. To discuss the matter with our legal team, send an e-mail to staff@authorsguild.org, attaching a copy of your MacAdam/Cage agreement. Now that MacAdam/Cage is defunct, we will hold MP and its owner Mark Pearce directly accountable for e-book titles that have been exploited without authorization or compensation.

For details of the MacAdam/Cage bankruptcy, please see the following report from the Guild’s legal department.

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Bulletin Board

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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