The Authors Guild has been the published writer's advocate for effective copyright, fair contracts, and free expression since 1912.

Bulletin Board

July 24, 2014

This week’s batch of prizes includes fiction and poetry. Deadlines range from Aug 8-31.

The Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize is open to residents of Upstate New York. Submitted work must be a book of poems in English, at least 48 pages long, published between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014. Books may be submitted either by the author or the publisher. The winner will receive $3,000 and publication by Red Hen Press. Writers who have been previously published by Red Hen Press are not eligible. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: August 31, 2014. For complete guidelines, please visit the website.

The 11th Annual Gival Press Short Story Award is now accepting submissions of previously unpublished original short stories written in English. Stories must be between 5,000 and 15,000 words. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication on the Gival Press website and in a future anthology of short stories. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: August 8, 2014. For complete guidelines, please visit the website.

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Amazon-Hachette Debate Yields Diverse Opinions Among Authors

July 23, 2014

The Authors Guild is committed to an inclusive, big-tent approach to its mission as the published writer’s advocate. The recent clash between Amazon and Hachette Book Group has called attention to the contrasting viewpoints of traditionally-published and self-published authors. During this dispute the Guild has spoken out against Amazon’s tactics—which needlessly imperil the livelihoods of authors who are not involved in the negotiations—while also challenging the major publishing houses to revisit the parsimonious stance they’ve taken on authors’ e-book royalties.

The Guild recognizes all authors’ rights to make a living from their books and to pursue the most suitable audience for them. It is a sign of the strength and diversity of our membership that two of our Council Members, Douglas Preston and CJ Lyons, have taken different public stands in defense of serious authors.

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Along Publishers Row

July 22, 2014

By Campbell Geeslin

“Sadly overlooked is . . . the summer non-read,” wrote Jordan Ellenberg in The Wall Street Journal, “the book that you pick up, all full of ambition, at the beginning of June and put away, the bookmark now and forever halfway through chapter 1, on Labor Day. The classic of this genre is Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, widely called ‘the most unread book of all time.’”

Ellenberg, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and author of How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, provided his list of this summer’s candidates for most unread: Flash Boys by Michael Lewis, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty.

Of Capital, Ellenberg commented that at 700 pages it may replace Hawking’s Brief History as the most unread book of all time.

BIG ADVANCE: James Rollins’s 20 novels have 6.7 million copies in print. He’s just been paid $15 million to write four more. The New York Times describes his books as “mostly science-fiction action and adventure thrillers.” The new books will be a continuation of his best-selling “Sigma” series. His tenth in that series, The Sixth Extinction, will be out in next month.

Rollins is a veterinarian and he said, “I can still neuter a cat in under 30 seconds.” He volunteers his vet services near his home in Lake Tahoe, Calif.

He also continues to meet with a dozen writers every other week. He said that his success has not inhibited his fellow writers: “Every time I come in, they tear me apart.”

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New Books by Members

July 21, 2014

This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles by Carol Bradley, Erzsi Deak, J. Syndey Jones, Gordan Korman, Malcolm Mc Neill, Sherry Shahan, Anne Rivers Siddons, Patrick Taylor, Ben H. Winters, and Stuart Woods. Titles below the jump.

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Amazon Launches E-book Subscription Service

July 17, 2014

Earlier this week vigilant browsers of Amazon.com were treated to a preview of its new e-book subscription service, Kindle Unlimited. The page, which was quickly taken down, announced that the service would offer “unlimited access to over 600,000 titles . . . for just $9.99 a month.”

Now it’s official. An Amazon press release confirms the numbers above, and announces some high profile offerings in its catalogue.

Subscription services, which allow readers to pay a monthly fee for unlimited access to all the e-books in the service’s catalogue, have been on the rise in recent months. The two leading firms in the subscription market—for now—are Oyster and Scribd, who both released statements welcoming the competition, according to a report by Digital Book World.

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Bulletin Board

July 17, 2014

This week’s batch includes several contests and an artists’ residency. Deadlines range from July 31-Aug 1.

The Glimmer Train Very Short Fiction Award is open to all writers. Stories cannot have appeared in print before. Submissions cannot exceed 3,000 words. The winner receives $1,500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of that issue. Second place wins $500 and third place wins $300. Entry fee: $15 per story. Please do not submit more than three stories. Deadline: July 31, 2014. For complete guidelines, please visit the website.

The Narrative Spring Story Contest is open to fiction and nonfiction writers. Entries may be short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, literary nonfiction, or excerpts from longer works of both fiction and nonfiction. Entries must be previously unpublished and should not exceed 15,000 words. The winner will receive $2,500, second place $1,000, third place $500, and up to ten finalists will receive $100 each. Entry fee: $22. Deadline: July 31, 2014. For complete guidelines, please visit the website.

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Along Publishers Row

July 15, 2014

by Campbell Geeslin

Mindell Dubansky, a librarian at the Metropolitan Museum, collects objects that look like books—but aren’t books. They are made from wood, plastic, soap, granite, coal, slate, metal, ceramic, wax, and plaster.

The New York Times said, “She once paid $1,200 for an 18th century tea caddy disguised as a stack of books.“ She has “books” by the authors Y.B. Untidy, R. U. Laffin and Dusty Evsky. E. Raser is the author of Right the Wrong. It contains an eraser.

Mock volumes have been produced since 1411. Dubansky said, “Books make you feel important. Books make you feel learned. They reflect to others how you feel about yourself.”

CURSE & BLESSING: Joyce Carol Oates wrote an introduction for a 1988 Writers at Work collection of interviews that had appeared in The Paris Review.

Oates wrote, “Flannery O’Connor, attacked by critics for her ‘dark’ and ‘pessimistic’ vision of life, observed that no writer is a pessimist; the very act of writing is an act of hope. And so it is. And so do most writers perceive it, as a vocation, a privilege, a curse that nonetheless contains a blessing. John Hersey puts it most simply, and most honorably: ‘Writing is the only real reward’.”

DRAMA: The main character in a new Broadway play, Sex With Strangers, is “a 40-ish female novelist.” She has “retreated from the publishing world after being stung by the indifferent reception to her first novel.”

The actress who plays her, Anna Gunn, told The New York Times, “When you feel so deeply about what you’ve chosen to do as a career—that’s a calling and you can’t do anything else—and then you kind of get slapped the first time out, and you see the people around you skyrocketing to fame . . . “

Playwright Laura Eason said the character ”is not someone who’s insecure. She actually feels and knows she is very talented. She just hasn’t gotten the acknowledgment she believes she deserves.”

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New Books by Members

July 14, 2014

This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles by Arthur Allen, Keith Baker, Bonny Becker, Amy Bloom, Loretta Chase, Sandra M. Gilbert, Katherine Howe, Jo-Ann Mapson, Elizabeth Mitchell, and E.M. Schorb. Titles below the jump.

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Letter from Richard Russo on the Amazon-Hachette Dispute

July 10, 2014

We want to share with you an open letter on the Amazon-Hachette, written by Richard Russo, novelist and co-Vice President of the Authors Guild.

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The primary mission of the Authors Guild has always been the defense of the writing life. While it may be true that there are new opportunities and platforms for writers in the digital age, only the willfully blind refuse to acknowledge that authorship is imperiled on many fronts. True, not all writers are equally impacted. Some authors still make fortunes through traditional publishing, and genre writers (both traditionally published and independently published) appear to be doing better than writers of nonfiction and “literary” mid-list fiction. (The Guild has members in all of these categories.) But there’s evidence, both statistical and anecdotal, that as a species we are significantly endangered. In the UK, for instance, the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society reports that authors’ incomes have fallen 29 percent since 2005, a decline they deem “shocking.” If a similar study were done in the U.S., the results would be, we believe, all too similar.

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Bulletin Board

July 10, 2014

This week’s batch of prizes includes a mix of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Deadlines range from Aug 1-15.

The Malahat Review invites emerging and established writers from Canada, the United States, and elsewhere to enter the Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Contest. A prize of $1,000 will be awarded to the best work that embraces, but is not limited to, the personal essay, memoir, narrative nonfiction, social commentary, travel writing, historical accounts, and biography, all enhanced by such elements as description, dramatic scenes, dialogue, and characterization. All entries should be previously unpublished, and between 2,000-3,000 words in length. Entry fee: $35 for Canadian entries, $40 for U.S. entries, and $45 elsewhere. Additional entries are $15 per submission. Deadline: August 1, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.

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