Mawell Perkins Award Winner
Ther Mercantile Library announced that it will give its Maxwell Perkins Award to Gary Fisketjon of Knopf Publishing. Fisketjon has worked with Bret Easton Ellis, Raymond Carver, Patricia Highsmith, Jay McInerney, and Cormac McCarthy. Last year the library presented the award for the first time to Nan Talese. The award will be presented in early November along with the yet announced Clifton Fadiman Award for Excellence in Fiction and the Annual John Sargent Sr. Award.

Meek Gets Scottish Arts Council Award
James Meek, author of
The People’s Act of Love, won his second prize for the novel from the Scottish Arts Council. The novel also won the Ondaatje Prize and was on the Booker long list.

Writers’ Camp
In a
New York Times essay, entitled “What I Did at Summer Writers’ Camp,” Rachel Donadio explores the reactions of writers attending such famous colonies as MacDowell in Peterborough, NH, and Yaddo in Saratoga, NY.

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Following Hollywood’s Lead?
In the
Poets & Writers
essay, “Imperative: The Pressure to Be Exotic,” Azita Osanloo writes: In her report for the National Arts Journalism Program,
Best and Worst of Times: The Changing Business of Trade Books, 1975–2002, Gayle Feldman, a veteran of the publishing industry since 1976 and a recent contributor to Publishers Weekly, wrote that “whether publishers like to admit it or not, an author’s telegenicity, promotability, and age enter increasingly into the acquisition equation, particularly for new authors whose careers need to be ‘made.'” Osanloo also wonders when the inflated bubble regarding the publication of memoir will pop.

Guardian Releases Longlist for its First Book Prize
The
Guardian has released its 10 competitors for its First Book Prize: For fiction: Everyman’s Rules for Scientific Living by Carrie Tiffany, Harbor by Lorraine Adams, and In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar; For biography: John Donne: The Reformed Soul by John Stuffs and A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveller by Jason Roberts; For memoir: Running for the Hills by Horatio Clare; For poetry: Waiting for the Night-Rowers by Roger Moulson; For stories: A Thousand Years of Good Prayers by Yiyun Li.

Quill Award Nominations

August 23, 2006

Quill Award Nominees Announced
It’s best described as the people’s choice awards for writing, not necessarily the best criteria for judging the value of a work but it is a measure. Starting yesterday and through September 30th, people can vote for their favorites. Nominees are as follows: Debut author of the year: William Alexander for
The $64 Tomato, Debra Dean for The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel, Raymond Khoury for The Last Templar, Julie Powel for Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, Mike Leonard for The Ride of Our Lives: Roadside Lessons of an American Family; General Fiction: David Mitchell for Black Swan Green, Christopher Moore for A Dirty Job, E.L. Doctorow for The March, Irene Nemirovsky for Suite Francaise, Sara Gruen for Water for Elephants; Poetry: Maya Angelou for Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem, Garrison Keillor for Good Poems for Hard Times, Mary Oliver for New and Selected Poems: Volume Two, Pablo Neruda for Still Another Day, and Billy Collins for The Trouble with Poetry.
There are also categories for audio books, children’s books, young adult books, graphic novels, myster, romance, science fiction, religion, biography, business, cooking, health, history, humor, and sports.
Winners will be announced on October 11th.

Fry-ing Poetry

August 22, 2006

Fry Helps with Poetry
Stephen Fry is an actor who has appeared in
Gosford Park, Jeeves and Wooster, and V for Vendetta. He’s also a poet. He believes that “poetry is a primal impulse within us,” as he attempts to prove in The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within.

Fair Use Copyright Doctrine Up for a Test
It has nothing to do with writing
per se, but Kirby Dick will test the “fair use” doctrine of the copyright law with the release of his documentary This Film Is not Yet Rated. A century ago a copyright lasted 28 years. Today it’s the life of the author plus 70 years.
But who owns an idea. John Sutherland explores that question in a recent
Guardian essay.

Didion Talks
Sean O’Hagan talks with Joan Didion while she is in London.

Writing Again and a Booker Nomination to Boot
After 9/11 Claire Messud thought she would never write another novel. Gaby Wood talks to her about The Emperor’s Children, which was long-listed for the Booker.

Chicago Trib Announces Lit Award
Novelist Joyce Carol Oates won this year’s Chicago Tribune Literary Prize for lifetime achievement. Winners of the paper’s Heartland Prize include
At Canaan’s Edge by Taylor Branch and The Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich.

What about New Authors
In his report entitled “Another Turn of the Screw,” Barry Turner asks: Why, if more books are being published, are new authors being left out in the cold?

Kate Bingham’s Poetry Workshop
In yesterday’s Guardian, Kate Bingham, award-winning poet of Cohabitation, Quicksand, and Mummy’s Legs, started her workshop with this thought: “Repetition is something we usually try very hard to avoid, and the search for “another word for it” often leads poems into interesting new territory. It keeps us alert to lazy writing and the dangers of using only the everyday language we have at our fingertips.”

How Is the Middle East Affecting Regional Writers?
That’s the question that Richard Lea puts to writers such as Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury and Israeli writer Orly Castel-Bloom.

Profile of ‘Newer than New’ David Mitchell
The Guardian profiles Booker favorite David Mitchell, who has written Ghostwriten, Number9Dream, and Black Swan Green (this year’s Booker nomination), claiming that “the heady narrative trips of the 37-year-old’s first three novels owe a debt to the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami.”

Can Creative Writing Be Taught?
It’s an ancient question. In a recent posting by Atlantic Unbound (the online publication of Atlantic magazine), the writer recalls the advice of Wallace Stegner, Francine Prose, John Galbraith, and others.

Why Fiction Matters
In a
New York Sun essay, “Matters of Imagination,” Eric Ormsby explores the practicality of literary fiction, despite the pressure of literary theorists efforts to rob it of such. Ormsby focuses on Edward Mendelson’s The Things that Matter: What Seven Classic Novels Have to Say about the Stages of Life.

Keillor Reads Skloot
Garrison Keillor is reading from Floyd Skloot’s newest collection of poems,
The End of Dreams. He’s doing it on Writers Almanac, a public radio program. Today the reading is “Brahms” by Robert Bly.

Brooklyn—A Literary Mecca
For me, Brooklyn has and will always represent something special. I great up in the borough, and on September 16 Borough President Marty Markowitz will host Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicole Krauss, Jonathan Lethem, Jhumpa Lahiri, Rick Moody, Colson Whitehead, and many others. Between 5000 and 15,000 people will celegrate Brooklyn’s literary stars. It’s nothing new for Brooklyn, it being the home for writings for centuries, such as Walt Whitman and Thomas Wolfe of
Look Homeward Angel.