Quake-delayed Writers’ Festival returning to Christchurch

 The Press Christchurch Writers’ Festival is reclaiming its place in the city’s cultural calendar this spring, after a lengthy four-year wait. The biennial festival began in 1997 and is the biggest event of its kind in the South Island. It last ran in 2008 and was postponed in 2010, when the 4 September earthquake struck five days before it was due to start. Organisers were then forced to abandon a scaled-down version in 2011, after the 22 February quake destroyed most of the city’s venues. 
 Since last year, the festival has been running satellite events to keep book-loving Cantabrians satisfied, but with a new venue in the Geo Dome in Hagley Park, the full festival is set to return from 30 August to 2 September. Festival Director Marianne Hargreaves says it's exciting to be staging a festival at last. ‘With so many iconic Christchurch cultural hubs out of commission, we’ve been impatient to bring this great festival back to the city. On the plus side, the delay has allowed us to put together a great programme that we think will make the wait worthwhile!’ 
 The festival’s big drawcards this year include top international writers Joanne Harris (UK), author of Chocolat; John Boyne (Ireland),(left-Line Drawing from Noah Barleywater), author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas; John Lanchester (UK), novelist and financial commentator; author Chris Cleave (UK) and Kate Grenville (Australia). There is also a strong line-up of New Zealand writers, including Emily Perkins, Tim Wilson, Laurence Fearnley, Joe Bennett and Nicky Hager

Joanne Harris, John Boyne and John Lanchester are being shared with the Melbourne and Brisbane Writers’ Festivals, a partnership that Hargreaves says highlights the growing presence of literary events in the arts scenes of major cities. ‘Writers’ festivals internationally are becoming much bigger events with wide appeal. It’s increasingly common for popular books to have movie adaptations, which have a huge reach, and in turn, that’s bringing more people back to the texts and turning writers into celebrities. So these festivals are attracting big, varied audiences and people are finding that you don't have to be a bookworm to get something out of it. It’s really much more about hearing interesting people tell great yarns.’

The full programme for The Press Christchurch Writers’ Festival 2012 will be released on 13 July. Visit http://chchwritersfest.co.nz for more information on sessions and bookings.

Canadian Crime Fiction Awards announced

2012 Arthur Ellis Awards Winners

And the winner is...

robinson-beforethepoisonBest Crime Novel

Before the Poison by Peter Robinson, McClelland and Stewart

The Jury reached a unanimous but very close decision among the five final nominations. Each nominated novel demonstrated many of the inherent qualities that make up an Ellis award winning best novel. Clear, concise story telling, compelling characters shaped by dialogue and action, all carefully drawn in settings that supported the action and plot. In each case the climaxes were exciting and satisfying. The chosen novel, Before the Poison by Peter Robinson was our choice in a photo finish.
hamilton-waterratBest First Novel

The Water Rat of Wanchai by Ian Hamilton, House of Anansi Press Inc.

Ian Hamilton's The Water Rat of Wan Chai is a smart, action-packed thriller of the first order, and Ava Lee, a gay Asian-Canadian forensics accountant with a razor-sharp mind and highly developed martial arts skills, is a protagonist to be reckoned with. We were impressed by Hamilton's tight plotting; his well-rendered settings, from the glitz of Bangkok to the grit of Guyana; and his ability to portray a wide range of sharply individualized characters in clean but sophisticated prose.
michaud-choraledudiableBest Crime Book in French
La chorale du diable by Martin Michaud, Les Editions Guélette
In this well-written crime novel, two main plotlines are intertwined with so many twists and turns that it becomes almost impossible to predict any outcome. The characters are complex and interesting, and we hope to see many of them continue to develop in other stories. Michaud, in only his second novel, shows a lot of maturity and confidence in his writing. He takes the reader on a ride across the province, from one era to another, with the utmost respect for chronology and history but mostly with a vivid depiction of “his” city, Montreal.
wynne-jones-blinkcautionBest Juvenile or Young Adult Crime Book

Blink & Caution by Tim Wynne-Jones, Candlewick Press

Rich characterization, well-crafted language, intriguing use of voice, and a compelling plot make Blink & Caution an intense yet enjoyable story that’s hard to put down. Pacing and tension build steadily through the first half of the book, creating a strong connection with the reader. An uplifting conclusion gives us hope for the future of the two main characters, Blink and Caution.
knelman-hotartBest Crime Nonfiction

Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art by Joshua Knelman, Douglas & McIntyre

Hot Art is a very readable, extremely well researched and written look at the world of art theft full of well drawn colourful characters of art thieves and cops who specialize art theft cases. Knelman succeeds in spades in presenting an inside look as how and why art is stolen and how it is then disposed of through a complex network of dealers (some in the know as to its origins; some not) and criminals. Joshua Knelman is an excellent story teller and Hot Art is a pleasure to read from page one to the end.

The Arts on Sunday for Sunday, 3 June 2012 - Radio NZ National

 12:43 Hundertwasser project in Whangarei 
This multimillion dollar project has got the green light from the council despite the concerns of many ratepayers... we ask one of the councillors who've backed it and a former companion of the reclusive artist why it will be worth such a vast investment in these tight economic times.

12:50 Photographing the London Olympics
Meet two New Zealand photographers who'll be in the thick of the action at the London Olympics... Getty Images' Hannah Johnston and Phil Walter will be looking for that perfect shot.

1:10 At the Movies with Simon Morris

1:35 Actor Dean O'Gorman
Dean O'Gorman takes time out from his role as Fili the dwarf the Hobbit movie to share one of his other passions: photography and recreating scenes from the Vietnam War.

1:41 Aspiring Kiwi opera singers Amelia Berry and Rachelle Pike
For aspiring Kiwi opera singers, there's a well-trodden path to high-level training in the UK. But some choose to go in another direction. Justin Gregory met up with Amelia Berry and Rachelle Pike at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City.

2:25 Listener's Pick - 
The Princess Bride Erin Daldry's pick coincides with a movie that became a cult favourite, The Princess Bride.

2:30 Tribes
A play about a deaf youth who is ignored and misunderstood by his family gets theatre goers talking in England and America. Nina Raine's play is coming to New Zealand.

2:40 Chapter & Verse
Children's illustrator and writer, David Elliot (left), in conversation with John McIntyre from The Children's Bookshop.

2:53 International ballet star Darcey Bussell Dancer Darcey Bussell is in New Zealand for a dream-come-true event for the country's young ballet dancers.

3:05 The Drama Hour
Sonia Sly chats with Christine Cessford, one of the New Shorts playwriting competition winners; Harden Up Miss Havisham by Christine Cessford; Eyes the Colour of Diamonds by Sophie Hambleton; and Skin Writing - Series II Episode 3.

For more information and images visit the Arts on Sunday webpage: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/artsonsunday

A bunch of new website postings from the New Zealand Listener

Don Donovan's World

Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author - 31 May 2012

Great Works Re-Visited 7.


LIANZA Children’s Book Award Finalists 2012

A librarian, finance product manager, cartoonist and a storyteller are among the finalists in this year's LIANZA Children's Book Awards.

Awarded by Librarians for outstanding children’s literature in New Zealand, the LIANZA Awards are for excellence in junior fiction, young adult fiction, illustration, non-fiction and te reo Māori.

LIANZA (The Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa) received over 110 nominations for the 2012 awards.

Convenor of judges and manager of Gisborne district libraries Pene Walsh said there were more publishers involved this year.

"It has been a privilege to read almost all of the previous year’s best New Zealand books for young people. ‘Total immersion’ in a reading pressure cooker for three months intensified the terrific writing we enjoyed, constantly renewing our respect for Kiwi authors and publishers. We were delighted to see a greater number of publishers supporting their authors.”

“We are certain that children, in particular boys, have a great selection of books to choose from this year and we know that librarians are making sure they get into children’s hands.”

Alice Heather, convenor of the Te Kura Pounamu award, said a number of the entries made history, legends and Māori tikanga more accessible to children. 

“However, it was most disappointing to see the sharp drop in the number of te reo Māori titles published this year. Let’s hope this trend does not continue.”

The LIANZA Children’s Book Award 2012 Finalists:

LIANZA Junior Fiction Award – Esther Glen Medal
The Travelling Restaurant by Barbara Else, (GECKO Press)
The Peco Incident by Des Hunt, (HarperCollins Publishers (NZ) Ltd)
The Wolf in the Wardrobe by Susan Brocker, (HarperCollins Publishers (NZ) Ltd)
Super Finn by Leonie Agnew, (Scholastic) Leonie teaches at Sancta Maria Catholic Primary school in Manukau.
The Flytrap Snaps; Book One in The Fly Papers by Johanna Knox, (The Hinterland Press Ltd) Johanna published this book with her partner, designer Walter Moala.

LIANZA Young Adult Fiction Award
The Shattering by Karen Healey, (Allen & Unwin)
Pyre of Queens by David Hair, (Penguin NZ) David was inspired to write this fantasy novel by the time he spent living in India. He writes around his work in financial services.
Dirt Bomb by Fleur Beale, (Random House New Zealand)
The Bridge by Jane Higgins, (The Text Publishing Co Australia)
Recon Team Angel: Assault by Brian Falkner, (Walker Books Australia)

LIANZA Illustration Award - Russell Clark Award
Rāhui (Māori  ed) by Chris Szekely and Malcolm Ross, (Huia) Chris is Chief Librarian at the Alexander Turnbull Library. He worked with Malcolm Ross (now deceased) 20 years ago in the School Services department of the National Library. The book is based on their memories of holidays at the beach with whānau.
The Call of the Kokako by Maria Gill and Heather Arnold, (New Holland Publishers (NZ) Ltd)
Fantails Quilt by Gay Hay and Margaret Tolland, (Page Break Ltd)
Bruiser by Gavin Bishop, (Random House New Zealand)
Marmaduke Duck and Bernadette Bear by Juliette MacIver and Sarah Davis, (Scholastic)
Waiting for Later by Tina Matthews, (Walker Books Australia)

LIANZA Non Fiction Award – Elsie Locke Medal
Digging up the Past: Archaeology for the Young & Curious by David Veart, (Auckland University Press)
Nice Day for a War by Chris Slane and Matt Elliott, (HarperCollins Publishers (NZ) Ltd)
Chris Slane is a cartoonist. Matt Elliott is a comedian, historian and biographer.
The Call of the Kokako by Maria Gill and Heather Arnold, (New Holland Publishers (NZ) Ltd)
New Zealand Hall of Fame: 50 Remarkable Kiwis by Maria Gill and Bruce Potter, (New Holland Publishers (NZ) Ltd)

Te Kura Pounamu (te reo Māori)
Rāhui (Māori ed) by Chris Szekely and Malcolm Ross, translated by Brian Morris (Huia)
Te Poiwhana by Te Kauhoe Wano and Andrew Burdan, (Huia)
Ihenga by Aunty Bea – Piatarihi Tui Yates and Katherine Quin Merewether, (Ihenga Charitable Trust)
Kei Wareware Tātou by Feana Tu’akoi and Elspeth Alix Batt, translated by Katerina Mataira, (Scholastic)
 Katerina was a writer, artist and academic. She was created Dame Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 2011 for her services to Māori language. She died later that year. Katerina has been a finalist nearly every year since this award began. 
Nga Taniwha i Te-Whanga-nui-a-Tara by Moira Wairama and Bruce Potter, (Penguin NZ)
 Moira is a storyteller who loves to bring Māori legends to life. This myth was first told to her by Tipene O’Regan over 30 years ago. She was inspired to get it published after her audiences kept asking where they could read it for themselves.

The 2012 Award Ceremony will take place in Wellington on Monday August 6th at Caffe L’affare, College Street. The winner of each category is awarded a medal or taonga and $1,000.

The LIANZA Children’s Book Awards 2012 are supported by Fishpond.co.nz, Caffe L’affare and The Children’s Bookshop, Kilbirnie, Wellington. 

Saturday Morning with Kim Hill: 2 June 2012 - Radio NZ National

8:15 Tom Watson: Murdoch and Britain
8::40 Mike Spratt: grape-a-hol
9:05 William Tobin: the Transit of Venus
9:40 Thomas Lumley: biostatistics
10:05 Playing Favourites with Hamish Clayton
11:05 Ashraf Sewailam: singing and Egypt
11:45 Children’s Books with Kate De Goldi

8:15 Tom Watson
Tom Watson is the MP for West Bromwich East, deputy chair of the British Labour Party, a campaigner against unlawful media practices, and co-author, with Martin Hickman, of Dial M for Murdoch: News Corporation and the Corruption of Britain (Allen Lane, ISBN 978-1-84614-604-6).

8:40 Mike Spratt
Michael F. Spratt is the proprietor and co-founder of Destiny Bay Vineyards and Winery on Waiheke Island, and a former merger and acquisition consultant and partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers and The Rubicon Group. He is the current president of the Waiheke Winegrowers Association, serves as a voting director on the board of New Zealand Wine Growers, and has just published Grape-a-hol: How Big Business is Subverting Artisan Winemaking and the Future of Fine Wine (Dog Ear Publishing, ISBN: 978-1-4575-1030-4), written with Destiny Bay Wine Imports CEO Mark Feldman.

9:05 William Tobin
Dr William Tobin lectured in physics and astronomy at the University of Canterbury for nearly two decades, and was Director of the Mount John University Observatory for several years. He now lives in France, but returns to New Zealand in association with Te Papa and the Royal Society of New Zealand, supported by HP, to give the first lecture in the Transit of Venus Lecture Series, explaining the importance to New Zealand’s history of this rare celestial phenomenon (7 June, Te Papa). Dr Tobin will also speak at the New Zealand International Starlight Conference at Lake Tekapo (10-12 June), a gathering of international astronomers.

9:40 Thomas Lumley
Professor Thomas Lumley spent 12 years in the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Washington, and remains an affiliate professor there while based at the Department of Statistics at the University of Auckland. He has just returned to New Zealand from the landmark meeting of the CHARGE Consortium in Iceland, discussing how genetic variants affect biology and health. He also writes for the educational blog, statschat.org.nz.

10:05 Playing Favourites with Hamish Clayton Hamish
 Clayton is completing his PhD on the New Zealand writer David Ballantyne, at Victoria University. His debut novel, Wulf (Penguin, ISBN 978-0-14-320649-1), mixes nineteenth-century New Zealand history with a cryptic tenth-century British poem, and is the winner of the NZSA Best First Book Award for Fiction at the 2012 NZ Post Book Awards.

11:05 Ashraf Sewailam
Egyptian bass-baritone Ashraf Sewailam is an in-house soloist with the Cairo Opera Company and has performed with a number of US opera companies. He sings the role of Sparafucile in the NZ Opera production of Rigoletto, which plays in Auckland on 7, 9, 13, 15 and 17 June.

11:45 Children’s Books with Kate De Goldi
 New Zealand writer Kate De Goldi is the author of a number of books, including the multi-award winning novel, The 10pm Question. She will discuss two novels and an ABC book:
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green (Penguin ISBN: 978-0-14-356759-2); Wonder, by RJ Palacio (Random House, ISBN: 978-0-370-33229-1); A Long Piece of String, by William Wondriska (Chronicle Books, ISBN: 978-0-8118-7493-9)

On Saturday 2 June 2012 during Great Encounters between 6:06pm and 7:00pm on Radio New Zealand National, you can hear a repeat broadcast of Kim Hill’s interview from 26 May with economist Steve Keen.

Preview: Saturday 9 June
Kim’s guests will include Jane and Wyn Davies, and Nigerian writer Teju Cole.

Producer: Mark Cubey
Wellington engineer: Carol Jones
Auckland engineer: Ian Gordon

More information follows on Saturday's guests, repeats of previous interviews, next week's programme, and this email list. As this is live radio, guests and times may change on the day.

Camp Nano starts June 1, plus related quotes from Steinbeck

Two Novembers ago I participated in NaNoRiMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the first time. For the uninitiated it is a month-long writing event, where people from all over the world join together online to help cheer each other on to get a draft of their novel done, or almost done, in one month--to reach a total of at least 50 K words. The experience was enlightening. I didn't know I could write that fast, or write one scene after another, without going back to edit. You have no time to edit each chapter. Heck, I didn't even divide the writing into chapters. Just scenes, labeled "New Scene". It was crazy! But it worked, and it was exhilarating to watch my word count shoot up every day, and to cheer others on. There is magic in pounding out that shi*ty first draft, and magic in writing without obsessively reading your daily output.

I skipped last November, because I had just finished polishing a novel, and I badly needed a break. But now... I want to write a sequel and I need and want outside structure and a cheering committee.
Camp is on! There's Camp Nano June, and Camp Nano August, and I can't wait to meet my fellow cabin mates! Hey, we don't even need bug spray or sunblock! And we don't have to eat gloppy oatmeal or burned smores. Here is Galleycat's take on the event, including 60 tips. Click to read.

Here are inspiring Steinbeck quotes that Nano folks would heartily agree with:

1. Abandon the idea that you are ever going to finish. Lose track of the 400 (or so) pages and write just one page for each day, it helps. Then when it gets finished, you are always surprised.
2. Write freely and as rapidly as possible and throw the whole thing on paper (or on your laptop). Never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down. Rewrite in process is usually found to be an excuse for not going on. It also interferes with flow and rhythm which can only come from a kind of unconscious association with the material.
3. Forget your generalized audience. In the first place, the nameless, faceless audience will scare you to death and in the second place, unlike the theater, it doesn’t exist. In writing, your audience is one single reader. I have found that sometimes it helps to pick out one person—a real person you know, or an imagined person and write to that one.
4. If a scene or a section gets the better of you and you still think you want it—bypass it and go on. When you have finished the whole you can come back to it and then you may find that the reason it gave trouble is because it didn’t belong there.

Are you doing Camp Nano? If so, come say hi (At CatherineStine). If not, what kind of discipline do you employ to get yourself writing regularly and profusely?

"Narratives of the Reformation" by John Foxe (1516-1587)

Narratives of the Reformation by John Foxe (1516-1587), an oddly indifferent issue for American Anglicans, is discoverable at:

The Prince of Soul and The Lighthouse - NZ sci-fi novel to be published in Germany

SteamPress is very pleased to announce that its first title, the comic sc-fi novel The Prince of Soul and The Lighthouse, has been sold to the German Random House imprint btb.

 "We are really excited about this news," said Steam Press publisher Stephen Minchin. "It's great that The Prince of Soul is heading to Germany, and I am sure that they will love it."

The book's author, Swedish-born Dunedinite Fredrik Brounéus (right), said that the sale was "super sweet".

Locally, the book is now on its third print run, while Steam Press's second title, Mansfield with Monsters, is due for release in early July.

The Women's Bookshop

 are delighted to announce - Ladies' Litera-Tea

Sunday 19 August 1pm - 5pm at Raye Freedman Arts Centre, Epsom Girls' Grammar

Exciting authors confirmed so far:
Emily Perkins, acclaimed author of The Forrests.
Kim Evans from the famous cafe & book Little & Friday.
Tina Grenville with her autobiography A Life in Three Acts.

Tickets $55,(includes a divinely indulgent afternoon tea),on sale now. Phone 376 4399 or email books@womensbookshop.co.nz or online www.womensbookshop.co.nz

Stephenie Meyer on E. L. James & Fan Fiction: ‘Obviously, She Had a Story in Her’

By Jason Boog on Galley Cat - May 31, 2012 

When asked about the bestselling success of E. L. JamesFifty Shades of Grey trilogy (a series that began as Twilight fan fiction) Twilight creator Stephenie Meyer told MTV News: “Good on her — she’s doing well. That’s great!”
In the short video interview embedded above, the novelist admitted she hadn’t read the erotica bestseller, but wished her old fan luck. Even though the book has its roots in fan fiction, Meyer said James would have been a writer no matter what inspired her. Here’s more from MTV:
“Fifty Shades” follows the sadomasochistic affair of college graduate Ana Steele and dominant billionaire Christian Grey … Christian represents Edward Cullen, a brooding, self-deprecating and impossibly good-looking man with a few secrets, while Ana is an adaptation of the clumsy and shy Bella Swan. Without Meyer’s novel, “Fifty Shades” might not exist. “It might not exist in the exact form that it’s in,” Meyer said. “Obviously, [James] had a story in her, and so it would’ve come out in some other way.”

Lauren Weisberger Inks Deal for The Devil Wears Prada Sequel

By Jason Boog on Galley Cat - May 31, 2012 

Novelist Lauren Weisberger has landed a book deal for a sequel to her bestselling 2003 novel, The Devil Wears Prada. Simon & Schuster will publish Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns in April 2013.
U.K. rights for the book went to HarperFictionUK. ICM agent Sloan Harris negotiated the U.S. deal and Curtis Brown agent Vivienne Schuster handled the U.K. deal. Here’s more about the book, from the release:
Eight years after saying goodbye to Runway, and escaping the clutches of Miranda Priestly, it seems as though Andrea “Andy” Sachs has the perfect life. The lowly assistant is herself now tabloid fodder. She edits The Plunge, the hottest bridal magazine on newsstands, and works side-by-side with Emily, her old Runway colleague and new BFF. Andy is madly in love with Max, a dashing scion of a storied media company, and planning to tie the knot. But Andy is still haunted by her days at Runway, and the specter of Miranda Priestly. Andy can hardly know that all her efforts to build a bright new life will lead her directly to the one she fled — and into the path of Miranda. (Photo via Julie Brothers)

Dr. Seuss World War II Cartoons Reflect Author's Politics And Imagination

Check them out at Huff Post

 Seuss World War II Cartoons

1 of 31

Economist Paul Krugman Is a Hard-Core Science Fiction Fan

Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman has been a fan of science fiction since he was a teenager.
Photo: Fred R. Conrad

If you follow the news at all, you’ve probably seen Paul Krugman — Princeton professor, New York Times columnist, and Nobel Prize-winning economist — championing the idea that government spending can lift us out of the economic crisis. What you may not know is that Krugman is also a huge science fiction fan.

Here is part of the interview with Krugman from Underwire:

Wired: Back in 2009 you appeared as a guest at the World Science Fiction Convention in Montreal. Was that your first science fiction convention?
Krugman: Yeah, it was. And I really went because I thought it would be fun — as it was — to talk with Charlie Stross. That was a really interesting experience, and I may do it again if schedules mesh. The science fiction world has a lot of people doing seriously imaginative thinking, and my usual world is one where, you know, I like to hope that my friends and the people whose work I admire are adventurous thinkers, but we do tend to stick pretty close to the ground on a restricted set of issues, and it’s great to get to talk to people … I mean, Charlie, of course, more than basically almost anybody on the planet, but people who are really willing to think outside of any box that you can imagine.
Wired: How did you end up doing that? Did you see that Charlie Stross was going to be there, and you got in touch with them? Or did they reach out to you?
Krugman: They reached out to me, because I’ve written about him. I’m actually somewhat involved with the guys at Crooked Timber, which is an interesting blog that’s a mixture of economists and political scientists and philosophers, and actually many of them science fiction fans, and they do book symposia, and some of them knew me and knew that I was a Charlie Stross fan, so I went in, they had a symposium on Charlie Stross, and I think things keyed off from there.
Wired: So how did you become a Charles Stross fan?
Krugman: I think I probably was just browsing in a bookstore. As I’ve often said, you can shop online and find whatever you’re looking for, but bookstores are where you find what you weren’t looking for. I think I stumbled across The Family Trade, but then discovered that there’s much more.
Wired: Yeah, I saw you described those books as “economic fiction worth reading.” What is it about the economics in those books that you thought was interesting?
Krugman: The Family Trade novels involve some people who, for reasons that are not entirely clear, are able to step between alternative histories and move back and forth, and the world they come from is actually one where basically civilization has not done too well, where North America is a collection of medieval kingdoms and pretty backwards. And they of course have access to 21st-century America, so they can bring back this technology and catapult their society into the modern world.
Full interview here.

Bloomsbury orders a 35,000-copy reprint of The Song of Achilles

More Miller for Bloomsbury - The Bookseller - Katie Miller - 31 May, 2012

Bloomsbury has ordered a 35,000-copy reprint of Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles, which won the Orange Prize for Fiction last night. Editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle said: "We've already had absolutely massive interest from the retailers." The title is already the bestselling book on the shortlist since the six were announced. At the last ceremony to be sponsored by Orange, co-founder Kate Mosse hinted at a global future for the prize.

Orange Prize Winner Madeline Miller On Why The Classics Deserve Their Revival

Huffpost UK 31/05/2012 

Last night a new star of fiction was born out of an ancient story.
In a quiet room in the back of London's Southbank Centre, where moments before she’d been awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction for her debut novel The Song of Achilles, Madeline Miller is excited and animated - particularly as she discusses her love of the classics.
“When I was very young, my Mother used to read the Iliad and the Greek myths to me as bedtime stories,” she explains.
miller flowersMadeline Miller receives the Orange Prize for Fiction at an awards ceremony last night

“Then, when we lived in New York, she’d take me to the Metropolian Museum of Art to see the amazing statues there. My love for the period just grew and grew.”
The Song of Achilles develops the story of Patroclus, the brother-in-arms of Achilles who appears briefly in Homer’s Illiad.
Inevitably, Miller’s victory has already been cited as evidence of a cultural classics revival, as David Malouf’s Random (which retells the Iliad from books 16 to 24) did last year after it was shortlisted for the Dublin Literary Award.
If we are about to undergo a revival of interest in the stories of the ancient world - something that certainly appears to be happening in film and computer games - the unassuming Latin teacher from Boston will be as pleased as anyone.
“Some of these old stories, like Homer, have developed a reputation for being a bit elitist. That’s not how they were when they were written and composed - they were for everyone. I’d love to see that become the case again,” she says.
Full story at HuffPost UK

The 50 Worst Synonyms in Fifty Shades of Grey

By  - Vulture

Remember grade school, when you wrote papers and used big words because you thought that meant you were smart? And now when you look back on those papers, you cringe a little? Well, not E.L. James! The Fifty Shades of Grey author loves her a fancy synonym. And since you probably missed most of her obvious Thesaurus.com moments by skipping to the sex parts, Vulture compiled a list of them for you. Note: In some cases, James's word choices may have to do with the fact that she's British. But her protagonist, Anastasia — and Ana's insufferable subconscious and inner goddess — are not. So we're calling the author out for them anyway, and even offering up some simple edits, all of which show that, sometimes, less is more. Unless you're Christian Grey.

“I wanted to run my fingers through his decadent, untidy hair, but I’d been unable to move my hands.” »

New Ideas on the Old Problem of Making Money - Publishing Perspectives

Nickelodeon Global Publishing SVP Paula K. Allen discusses the most important financial considerations children's publishers face in a digital age. 

Peggy Intrator of Intrator Associates will monitor a panel on the role of agents at Publishing Perspectives' Children's Publishing Conference today.  

Authors Abroad and Caboodle Books help authors plan school visits around the globe, sell more books, and make a better profit while they're at it. 

Canadian YA author Deborah Ellis writes books about young people who bravely confront dangerous situations and donates her royalties to help them. 

Amazon 'predatory', Penguin tells DoJ

31.05.12 | Lisa Campbell - The Bookseller

Penguin and Macmillan have hit back at US government claims that they colluded to fix the price of e-books in court papers filed on Tuesday (29th May), with Penguin accusing Amazon of “predatory” and “monopolist” behaviour which could ultimately harm the publishing industry.
The two US publishers are the subject of a lawsuit by the US Department of Justice which accuses them, along with Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and Hachette, of violating antitrust laws by conspiring with Apple to fix the price of e-books in the agency pricing model.
S&S, Hachette and HarperCollins agreed to settle with the government last month but Macmillan and Penguin refused to, filing defence papers in United States District Court in New York on Tuesday.
In its papers, Penguin accused Amazon of being “predatory” and a “monopolist”, saying the online retailer's anti-competitive behaviour was poised to damage the bookselling industry. Penguin added the company was “concerned that Amazon’s below-cost pricing strategy for certain new release titles would be detrimental to the long term health of the book industry".
Penguin also stated that most of the conversations between publishers cited as evidence of collusion in e-book price-fixing were actually discussions about “Project Z’ – now revealed as aNobii – and “Project Muse”, which is Bookish. “These joint ventures were and are legitimate competitor-collaborations among Penguin and other publishers – including Random House and Harper Collins with respect to aNobii, and Hachette and Simon & Schuster with respect to Bookish—and were conceived as a way for publishers to replicate online the ‘book finding’ function that brick and mortar stores historically performed,” Penguin said.
Macmillan’s response said: “[In the absence of] any direct evidence of conspiracy, the government’s complaint is necessarily based entirely on the little circumstantial evidence it was able to locate during its extensive investigation, on which it piles innuendo on top of innuendo, stretches facts and implies actions that did not occur and Macmillan denies unequivocally.”
Last week, Apple filed its own response to the lawsuit, saying the government was siding with “monopoly, rather than competition".

What Is To Become Of The Book Cover In The Age Of The E-book?


What book covers were originally meant to do, and what to do with "covers" in the age of the e-book.



Authors demand protection from royalty-cutting book chains

Oz, Grossman, 270 others sign letter urging Culture Minister Limor Livnat to press passage of 'Book Bill.'

By Maya Sela  - Haaretz

Israeli author David Grossman.
Israeli author David Grossman. Photo by Kobi Kalmanovitch

Over 270 writers, translators and editors signed a letter to Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, urging her to continue pressing for protection of Israeli authors' royalties.
The letter was written as Livnat prepares to submit a bill that would bar retailers from discounting new books for the first 18 months after publication. It provides authors with an eight percent royalty on the first 6,000 copies sold, and 10 percent thereafter. Retailers would be allowed to lower prices for Hebrew Book Week and before holidays.
Despite the limits on discounting new books, the authors say it would reduce book prices because publishers would price their offerings reasonably to start with, rather than relying on cut-rate sales to generate demand.
The writers said the intense competition between the two largest bookstore chains, Tzomet Books and Steimatzky, is endangering the viability of many publishers and severely reducing author royalties. Signatories included Yoram Kaniuk, A.B. Yehoshua, Amos Oz, David Grossman, and Sayed Kashua. 
Full story at Haaretz     

News from Publishing Perspectives:

An English teacher can teach you grammar, but they can also put your books in students’ hands, serve as your Pied Piper and help you sell many more books. 

The theme of Publishing Perspectives' inaugural children's book conference is "What Makes a Children's Book Great." Follow the event on Twitter at #PPKids. Read more »
University of Chicago press' extraordinary journey to bring Rómulo Gallegos' early 20th century Venezuelan classic novel Doña Barbara back into print in English. Read more »

E-books represent just 0.25% of the Russian book market and growth has been hampered by piracy, legal issues, and reticence, still consumer demand is growing. Read more »

Statistics suggest that even as print reading is in decline, the internet and e-books have increased our consumption of the written word. 

The Riddle of the Rifleman

Wellington writer John McCrystal, entrepreneur and adventurer Bill Day (above - photo Unlimited) and maritime artefacts conservator Jack Fry spoke to a group of maritime heritage enthusiasts on Tuesday night, in the process of launching ‘The Riddle of the Rifleman’, a report published by the Maritime Archaeologists’ Association of New Zealand (MAANZ). 

In 1986, Bill Day was a member of an expedition searching for the fabled gold ship, the General Grant, on the west coast of Auckland Island. The divers located a shipwreck in a site that roughly matched the presumed location of the General Grant, and another expedition that Day led in 1996 performed a comprehensive salvage of the site. As they worked, it became clear that this was a smaller, previously unknown vessel. 

John McCrystal heard Bill telling this story on a visit to the Auckland Islands in 2008, and his curiosity was piqued. Lavishly illustrated with images supplied by leading photographer Mike ‘Wilco’ Wilkinson, ‘The Riddle of the Rifleman’ presents an account of the salvage, the conservation of the artefacts raised and McCrystal’s four-year search through documentary sources for clues to the ship’s identity. 

The report is available from MAANZ for $25: for a copy, contact  Malcolm McGregor, MAANZ secretary, on malcolm.mcgregor@paradise.net.nz.

Don Donovan's World

Ramblings of a much published New Zealand author - 30 May 2012

Great Works Re-Visited 6.


10 Risqué Books Worth Buying a Kindle to Read

by .  Tuesday May 29, 2012 - Flavorpill

Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys, Edited by David Henry Sterry and R.J. Martin, Jr.
Although society views sex workers as fringe, something “other” and extremely far away, prostitution is a billion dollar industry, and pervades every country and every social class. Hos, Hookers, Call Girls, and Rent Boys is a collection of vignettes, poems, rants, confessions, and journalism written by former or current sex workers. The book runs the full gamut of the industry, from the $10 prostitute to the elite escort, from sexual freedom to sexual shame. This book is an intriguing panorama of the world’s oldest profession in all its iterations — be it phone sex, stripping, or “massage” parlors. The tone ranges from laugh-out-loud to dark and depressing. A  fascinating read.
Read the rest at Flavorpill

Stephen King: ‘We’re Going to Hold Off on e-Publishing This One’

By Jason Boog on Galley Cat, May 30, 2012 

Stephen King will release a new novel with the pulp fiction publisher, Hard Case Crime. Publication is set for June 2013, and there will be no eBook edition initially.
King explained in a statement: “I love crime, I love mysteries, and I love ghosts. That combo made Hard Case Crime the perfect venue for this book, which is one of my favorites. I also loved the paperbacks I grew up with as a kid, and for that reason, we’re going to hold off on e-publishing this one for the time being. Joyland will be coming out in paperback, and folks who want to read it will have to buy the actual book.”
The mystery will include a cover art from James Bond poster artist Robert McGinnis and Hard Case Crime cover artist Glen Orbik.
Here’s more about the book, from the release: “Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, JOYLAND tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever.” (Picture via)

Madeline Miller wins 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction

19.15pm, London, 30 May 2012 – American author Madeline Miller has won the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction with her debut novel The Song of Achilles (Bloomsbury). 

2012 marks the seventeenth year of the Orange Prize, which celebrates excellence, originality and accessibility in women’s writing from throughout the world.  

At an awards ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London - hosted by Orange Prize for Fiction Co-Founder and Honorary Director, Kate Mosse - the 2012 Chair of Judges, Joanna Trollope, presented the author with the £30,000 prize and the ‘Bessie’, a limited edition bronze figurine.  Both are anonymously endowed.

Joanna Trollope, Chair of Judges, said:“This is a more than worthy winner – original, passionate, inventive and uplifting.  Homer would be proud of her.”

The Orange Prize for Fiction was set up in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction written by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible. The Orange Prize is awarded to the best novel of the year written in English by a woman.

The judges for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction are:

Joanna Trollope, (Chair), Writer

Lisa Appignanesi, Writer, Novelist and Broadcaster

Victoria Derbyshire, Journalist and Broadcaster

Natalie Haynes, Writer and Broadcaster

Natasha Kaplinsky, Broadcaster

Stuart Jackson, Communications Director at Orange, said: “This year’s shortlist was wonderfully varied and international but even from such an exceptional shortlist, there can only be one winner – many congratulations to Madeline Miller.”

Madeline Miller
Madeline Miller was born in Boston, MA, and grew up in both New York City and Philadelphia. She attended Brown University, where she graduated magna cum laude with a BA and MA in Classics. She has also studied at the Yale School of Drama specialising in adapting classical tales to a modern audience.  Since graduation she has taught Latin, Greek and Shakespeare, both at her high school, The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA, and elsewhere. Madeline began writing fiction when she was in high school, and has been working on The Song of Achilles, her first novel, for the last ten years. She currently lives in New England, where she teaches Latin and writes.

The Song of Achilles
Greece in the age of Heroes.  Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to Phthia to live in the shadow of King Peleus and his strong, beautiful son, Achilles.  By all rights their paths should never cross, but Achilles takes the shamed prince as his friend, and as they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper – despite the displeasure of Achilles’s mother Thetis, a cruel sea goddess.  But then word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped.  Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus journeys with Achilles to Troy, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they hold dear.

Previous winners of the Orange Prize are Téa Obreht for The Tiger’s Wife (2011), Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna (2010), Marilynne Robinson for Home (2009),  Rose Tremain for The Road Home (2008), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Half of a Yellow Sun (2007),  Zadie Smith for On Beauty(2006),  Lionel Shriver for We Need to Talk About Kevin (2005), Andrea Levy for Small Island (2004), Valerie Martin for Property (2003), Ann Patchett for Bel Canto (2002), Kate Grenville for The Idea of Perfection (2001), Linda Grant for When I Lived in Modern Times(2000), Suzanne Berne for A Crime in the Neighbourhood (1999), Carol Shields for Larry’s Party (1998), Anne Michaels for Fugitive Pieces(1997), and Helen Dunmore for A Spell of Winter (1996).

The awards took place in The Clore Ballroom of the Royal Festival Hall, central London and guests toasted the announcement of the winner at a champagne drinks reception courtesy of Taittinger.  In addition to the Orange Prize for Fiction winner announcement, aspiring novelist Jennifer Cullen was named as the winner of the Orange/Grazia First Chapter Competition for unpublished writers.