This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles by Rex Burns, Eliza Freed, Parnell Hall, Chip Jacobs, Peter James, Glenn Kurtz, Susan Marsh, Peter Joffre Nye, Lila Perl, Randall Platt, Curt Smith, and Lisa Unger. Titles below the jump.
This week’s batch of contests includes Columbia’s three Lukas Prizes. Deadlines for all contests range from Dec 1-10.
The Columbia School of Journalism is offering their annual Lukas Prizes. The J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award is given annually to aid in the completion of a significant work of nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern. The winner will receive $30,000. Applicants must already have a contract with a publisher to write a nonfiction book and should send a copy of their original book proposal, a sample chapter from the book, photocopy of the publishing contract, and an explanation of how the award will advance the progress of the book. There is no entry fee for this award. The J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize is given annually to a book-length work of narrative nonfiction on a topic of American political or social concern that exemplifies the literary grace, commitment to serious research, and social concern that characterized the distinguished work of the award’s namesake. The winner will receive $10,000. Books must have been published between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Entry fee: $75. The Mark Lynton History Prize is awarded to a book-length work of history on any topic that best combines intellectual distinction with felicity of expression. The winner will receive $10,000. Books must have been published between January 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Entry fee: $75. Deadline (for all three prizes): December 10, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.
by Campbell Geeslin
If ever there was a man who is quotable, it is Clive James, 75, the London critic, poet, TV host and guest, stage personality, novelist, autobiographer—and then some.
He was the subject of a profile titled “A Writer Whose Pen Never Rests, Even Facing Death” by Steven Erlanger in The New York Times.
James is suffering from leukemia, emphysema and kidney failure. He said he could “use up a lifetime supply of anything in two weeks.”
He told the Times, “like all writers who write poems, I would like it most if I were remembered for those—but it might not happen.”
He once compared Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie “Pumping Iron” to “a brown condom filled with walnuts.”
A recent James book is Unreliable Memoirs. He said, “the Australians and British see it as a vision of Arcadia, although the Americans have never taken to it. They don’t like that word ‘unreliable.’ For the U.S. edition, I should have called it Totally Reliable Memoirs.”
This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles by Adria Bernardi, Larry Duberstein, Ju Ephraime, Michael de Guzman, Jean C. Joachim, Marilyn Johnson, Stephen Krensky, Glenn Kurtz, Ann M. Martin, Laura Pedersen, Aurelie Sheehan, and Martha Seif Simpson. Titles below the jump.
This week’s batch of prizes is mostly for poets and fiction writers. The deadline for each contest is November 30.
The BOA Editions’ A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize is awarded to honor a poet’s first book. Poets must be at least 18 years of age and legal residents or citizens of the U.S. Manuscripts must be unpublished and 48-100 pages. Individual poems from the manuscript may have been published previously in magazines, journals, anthologies, chapbooks of 32 pages or less, or self-published books of 46 pages or less, but must be submitted in manuscript form. The winner will receive $1,500 and book publication by BOA Editions. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: November 30, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.
The Cider Press Review Book Award offers $1,500 and publication to a full-length book of poetry. The winner also receives 25 author’s copies. Submissions should be between 48-80 pages in length, written in English, and previously unpublished in book form (individual poems may have been previously published in journals, anthologies, etc.) Entry fee: $25. Deadline: November 30, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.
by Campbell Geeslin
“I was born in a large Welsh town at the beginning of the Great War—an ugly, lovely town (or so it was and is to me) . . .”
It seemed only right to let a Dylan Thomas quote help mark the centennial of his birth, October 27, 1914. Cultural institutions in the U.S. and Britain “set the dial to Thomas nonstop, “ wrote William Grimes in The New York Times. In Swansea, his hometown in Wales, there was a Dylathon—36 hours of poems, letters and short stories read by Ian McKellen, Jonathan Pryce and Matthew Rhys. Prince Charles recorded “Fern Hill” for the occasion. A week-long festival was held in London.
In New York, the Poetry Center opened “Dylan Thomas in America: A Centennial Exhibition.” Thomas’s radio play “Under Milk Wood” was presented here and broadcast live in Wales. Actor Michael Sheen said, “Thomas is just hard-wired into the Welsh psyche. The poetry is everywhere.”
So let’s give Thomas the last words too: “Now I am a man no more no more/And a black reward for a roaring life.”
This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles by Paul Austin, Ron Barrett, Bridget Birdsall, Betty Bolté, Larry Dane Brimner, Patrick A. Durantou, Russell Freedman, Alan Jacobson, Michael Largo, Bryon MacWilliams, Albert Russo, Linda Gray Sexton, and Robert W. Stock. Titles below the jump.
This week’s batch of prizes includes the multi-genre New England Book Festival prizes, a contest for those living west of the central time zone, and others. Deadlines range from Nov 18-30.
The Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition offers two prizes for two poetry collections by U.S. poets. The winners receive $4,000 each and publication by Southern Illinois University Press. Manuscripts are recommended to be a minimum of 50 pages to a recommended maximum of 100 pages of original poetry. No more than one poem should appear on a page. Entry fee: $28. Deadline: November 18, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.
Simon & Schuster and Amazon have reached a multi-year contract covering both print and digital books, reports Jeffrey Trachtenberg of the Wall Street Journal (subscription required).
This is the first deal Amazon has struck with any of the five publishers who settled with the government after having been charged with e-book price-fixing in 2012. Notably, Simon & Schuster has negotiated an agreement that “preserves the basic construct and terms of agency [pricing],” according to a source who spoke to Publishers Lunch (subscription required). This will allow the publisher to set the prices of its e-books in most cases, as Amazon’s right to discount will be confined to specific situations, according to an Amazon source quoted in the same report.
Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy said in a letter to authors that, although deals like this are not usually announced, “the high level of public speculation over the status of these talks made it important to let you know about this positive development.” She refers, of course, to the ongoing Amazon-Hachette dispute, in which Hachette authors have found themselves held hostage by the e-tailer.
by Campbell Geeslin
“A handful of new studies,” The New York Times reported on Page 1 last Tuesday, “suggest that reading to a child from an electronic device undercuts the dynamic that drives language development.”
“There’s a lot of interaction when you’re reading a book with your child, said pediatrician Pamela High. “You’re turning pages, pointing at pictures, talking about the story. Those things are lost somewhat when you’re using an e-book.”
The Times quoted from a study presented at the White House last week that stressed the power of that engagement. “The quality of the communication between children and their parents and caregivers, the researchers say, is of much greater importance than the number of words a child hears.”
Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, a psychology professor and lead author of the study said, “It’s not about shoving words in. It’s about having these clued conversations around shared rituals and objects, like pretending to have morning coffee together or using the banana as a phone. That is the stuff from which language is made.”