Blog

The Authors Guild

Bulletin Board

This week’s batch includes a residency, as well as prizes for fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Deadlines range from Nov 1-Nov 16.

The Table 4 Writers Foundation, dedicated to honoring the memory of Elaine Kaufman, is currently offering grants of $2,500. Submissions must be previously unpublished prose (fiction or nonfiction) that deals with some aspect of New York City in a meaningful way. Entries can be short stories, essays, or book excerpts, and should be limited to 4-10 pages or 1,000 to 2,500 words. Collaborative pieces are not allowed. Applicants must be at least 21 years old. Entry fee: $10. Deadline: November 15, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.

Read More…

Rasenberger to Succeed Aiken as Authors Guild Executive Director

NEW YORK, NY, October 9, 2014 — Mary Rasenberger, a six-year Copyright Office and Library of Congress veteran and partner at the media law firm Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams and Sheppard, will succeed Paul Aiken as Authors Guild Executive Director on November 3rd. Rasenberger’s selection follows a national search by a committee of the Authors Guild Council, the Guild’s governing board. Her candidacy received the unanimous support of the Council. Aiken will work for the Guild as a consultant for the next two years.

“Mary brings with her exactly what the Guild needs today,” said President Roxana Robinson. “She’s a proven leader, a brilliant copyright lawyer and—especially important to us—a devotee of the written word.”

“I’m delighted to hand the reins to someone of Mary’s caliber,” said Paul Aiken. “I’ve known her for years. She’s energetic, very smart, and knows her way around Washington. She’s a perfect fit for the job. And I have a new cause,” said Aiken, who announced a year ago that he has ALS.

Read More…

Along Publishers Row

by Campbell Geeslin

Steven Pinker, a Harvard psychologist and prolific writer, is the author of a new book, The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.

In an interview with Scientific American, Pinker said, “The main difference between good writing and turgid mush—academese, corporatese, and so on—is that good writing is a window on the world. The writer narrates an ongoing series of events which the reader can see for himself, if only he is given an unobstructed view.”

Scientific American said of The Thinking Person’s Guide that Pinker “shows readers how to take apart a piece of fine writing to see what makes it tick.”

Read More…

New Books by Members

This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles by Tasha Alexander, Cordelia Frances Biddle, Rex Burns, Elaine DePrince, Kate Flora, David M. Friedman, Jack Gantos, Amy Gibson, Donna Jo Napoli, Katherine Paterson, Charles Salzberg, and Meryle Secrest. Titles below the jump.

Read More…

Bulletin Board

This week’s batch offers a range of contests covering poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The deadline for each is Nov 1.

Alice James Books is accepting submissions of poetry manuscripts to the Alice James Award (formerly the Beatrice Hawley Award). Submissions from emerging as well as established poets are welcome; however, entrants must reside in the U.S. The winner will receive $2,000, book publication, and distribution through Consortium. Manuscripts must be 48-80 pages in length. Individual poems from the manuscript may have been previously published in magazines, anthologies, or chapbooks of less than 25 pages, but the collection, as a whole, must be unpublished. Entry fee: $30. Deadline: November 1, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.

Read More…

Authors Guild Makes Public its Call for Antitrust Scrutiny of Amazon

The Authors Guild’s mission, since its founding in 1912, has been to support working writers.

The Guild has consistently opposed Amazon’s recent and ruthless tactics of directly targeting Hachette authors, which have made these authors into helpless victims in a business dispute between two big corporations. This action has caused thousands of writers to see a significant drop in their royalty checks. The Authors Guild challenges this threat to the literary ecosystem, one that jeopardizes the individual livelihoods of authors.

The Guild started its own initiative to invite governmental scrutiny of Amazon’s outsize market share and anticompetitive practices in the publishing industry. Last summer the Guild prepared a White Paper on Amazon’s anticompetitive conduct, circulating it to the United States Department of Justice and other government entities. As a result of our request for the initiation of an investigation of Amazon, we hosted a meeting with the DOJ in our offices on August 1 so that a group of authors could make their case directly to the government, as the Wall Street Journal reported today (subscription required).

The Guild has been working closely with the grassroots group Authors United—founded by Authors Guild Council Member Douglas Preston—which will be making another request to the Department of Justice to investigate Amazon for potential antitrust violations.

Our mission is to protect and support working writers. When a retailer, which sells close to half the books in the country, deliberately suppresses the works of certain authors, those authors are harmed, and we speak out. We will continue to oppose any business tactics, from publishers or retailers, that interfere with working writers’ ability to present their products in a fair marketplace and to flourish within their chosen field. Our goal is to ensure that the markets for books and ideas remain both vigorous and free.

Along Publishers Row

by Campbell Geeslin

The lives of real-life writers are being turned into fiction. Novelist Thomas Mallon, author of Fellow Travelers and, most recently, of Watergate: A Novel, wrote in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review, “This territory seems to be expanding of late.”

Mallon lists Colm Toibin’s The Master (about Henry James), Jay Parini’s The Passages of H. M. (about Herman Melville), David Lodge’s A Man of Parts (H.G. Wells) and the newly published Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut, based on the life of E.M. Forster.

“In Arctic Summer,” writes Mallon, readers “will find a narrative voice reminiscent of Forster’s own calm, percipient one. Galgut depicts the novelist participating in ‘buttoned-down conversation about books and travel and opera and architecture’ all the while unable to ‘keep his gaze from sliding sideways, to the figure of the servant who bent in to clear the plates.’”

Read More…

New Books by Members

This week’s recent and upcoming books by our members include titles P.M.H. Atwater, Linda Coleman, Beverly Lanzetta, David Madden, Alberto Ruy-Sánchez, Robert Seidman, Susan Sussman, J.E. Thompson, SF Tomajczyk, and Jamie Langston Turner. Titles below the jump.

Read More…

Bulletin Board

This week’s batch of contests is brimming with poetry prizes. The deadline for each is Oct 31.

The James Hearst Poetry Prize is currently open for submissions. Entries may include up to five previously unpublished poems. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication in the Spring 2015 issue of the North American Review. Entry fee: $20 (includes a one year subscription to the North American Review). Deadline: October 31, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.

The Poetry Society of the United Kingdom is currently seeking submissions for the National Poetry Competition. The competition is open to anyone aged 17 or over at the time of entering. International entries are welcome. The winner will receive £5000, publication in The Poetry Review, and will be invited to read at the Ledbury Poetry Festival in July 2014. Poems should not exceed 40 lines and should be written in English. Entry fee: £6 for the first entry and £3.50 for each subsequent entry. Deadline: October 31, 2014. For more information, please visit the website.

Read More…

Along Publishers Row

by Campbell Geeslin

“Writers are starting to realize that in predicting the future, they have actually helped shape it,” wrote Nick Bilton in The New York Times. He suggested that some sci-fi writers may have contributed “to dark advances in technology.”

H. G. Wells first wrote about atomic bombs in 1914. George Orwell predicted an N.S.A.-like surveillance state. “And writers have been envisioning incredibly destructive weapons of all shapes and sizes, for centuries,” Bilton said.

Back in 2011, Arizona State University president Michael Crow challenged Neal Stephenson, the author of several sci-fi novels, to stop writing dystopian stories and offer ideas with a brighter outlook.

Last week, the university released Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future. There are no dark stories. Co-editor Kathryn Cramer told the Times, “We’re hoping to show that there are a lot of things we can do better.”

Read More…