Tuesday, 29 July 2008

The ‘Man Booker Dozen’ announced

The Longlist for the Booker Prize was announced today.

They are:

Adiga, Aravind The White Tiger. Atlantic

Arnold, Gaynor Girl in a Blue Dress. Tindal Street Press

Barry, Sebastian The Secret Scripture. Faber and Faber

Berger, John From A to X. Verso

de Kretser, Michelle The Lost Dog. Chatto & Windus

Ghosh, Amitav Sea of Poppies. John Murray

Grant, Linda The Clothes on Their Backs. Virago

Hanif, Mohammed A Case of Exploding Mangoes. Jonathan Cape

Hensher, Philip The Northern Clemency. Fourth Estate

O'Neill, Joseph Netherland. Fourth Estate

Rushdie, Salman The Enchantress of Florence. Jonathan Cape

Smith, Tom Rob Child 44. Simon & Schuster

Toltz, Steve A Fraction of the Whole. Hamish Hamilton

The shortlist will be announced on 9th Sep with the winner announced on the 14th October.

For more info click here.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Winner of the Luke Bitmead Writer’s Bursary 2008 Announced

Unpublished author Andrew Blackman, from North London, was announced as the winner of the 2008 Luke Bitmead Writer’s Bursary last night and awarded £2,500 as well as a publishing contract with Legend Press for his novel On the Holloway Road.

Two additional prizes were awarded to 2nd and 3rd place writers James Higgerson and Andrew Kirby. The shortlist of 11 authors were selected by a judging panel comprising Legend Press, best selling authors Sam Mills and Zoe Jenny and Luke’s family, from hundreds of submissions.

The Luke Bitmead Memorial Fund was founded by Luke’s family, in association with Legend Press, shortly after Luke’s tragic death in 2006 at the age of just 34. Luke’s book White Summer was the first novel to be published by Legend Press. Legend Press say they are "delighted" to be working with Luke's family and that, "Luke would have loved the idea of another struggling talented writer being supported on the arduous road to securing their first publishing deal."

Novelist, and judge of the Bursary, Sam Mills remarked:

"Andrew has a mature prose style with a lovely turn of phrase. His writing showed great flashes of wit and insight. I am proud to have been involved in selecting such a worthy winner and feel he has the potential to go onto great things."

Tom Chalmers, Managing Director of Legend Press, commented:

"We are delighted to announce Andrew as the first winner of this fantastic award. From working with the unforgettable Luke, I know he will be delighted at the opportunity the bursary creates and we can’t wait to start working with Andrew on his superb novel.”

Picture: Andrew being awarded his cheque by Luke's mother and sister.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Entries on a Postcard

Waterstones have announced the 4 Booksellers winners of their What's Your Story Competition.

I joked last week in the magazine about editing down a novel's manuscript to a postcard to send to publishers. Well it seems Waterstones had a similar idea and people were invited to write a story that fitted on a postcard. Some of the more famous people to take part were Neil Gaiman, J K Rowling and Sebastian Faulks.

With nearly 6000 entries, Waterstones will print a limited edition postcard book with the Booksellers winning entries plus 4 winners from customers which will be on sale at Waterstones from August. The original celeb postcards were auctioned off for charity.

The winners were:

Tessa Farlow of Bath Waterstone's for The Day a Robot Appeared in the
Vegetable Patch

Gemma Laws of Waterstone's Durham for A Sense of Disappointment

Martin Kelly of Waterstone's Bradford University for Mr Darcy, We Hardly
Knew Thee

Ellis Ni Raghallaigh of Dublin Jervis Centre for How I Met Your Father

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Amazon UK launches Rising Stars

Amazon UK launched Rising Stars yesterday as a way of highlighting new authors and increasing customer interaction and community on their site.

Amazon has received submissions from a wide array of publishers and will be reviewing a new title each week for 8 weeks. Every title was selected by their Rising Stars panel as being the very best in new and emerging literature. An overall winner will be announced at the end of the period based on the best customer reviews.

To help increase activity around the page, Amazon will include author interviews and videos.

The 8 selected novels are:

City of the Sun by David Levien (Bantam)
The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer (Faber)
The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway (Heinemann)
Gardens of Water by Alan Drew (Bloomsbury)
The Good Plain Cook by Bethan Roberts (Serpent's Tail)
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (Fourth Estate)
The Eyes of the King by Catherine Banner (Corgi Children's)
The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson (Canongate)

Visit Rising Stars here.

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Winner of BBC 4 Short Story Announced

Winner announced.

Clare Wigfall
has been announced as the winner of this year’s BBC National Short Story Award, with Jane Gardam named as runner up.

Clare Wigfall will receive £15,000 – the largest award in the world for a single short story – for her story The Numbers and Jane Gardam £3,000 for a work titled The People on Privilege Hill. The three remaining authors on the shortlist – Richard Beard, Erin Soros and Adam Thorpe – will all receive £500.

Announcing the winners, chair of the judging panel, broadcaster and writer Martha Kearney, said:

"It's exciting that a relatively unknown voice, in fact the youngest writer on our shortlist, has distinguished herself amongst some very well known authors as a leading talent in the world of storytelling. Clare’s evocation of superstition and frustrated lives on a remote Scottish island is an act of historical ventriloquism. She shows just what the short story can achieve, conjuring up a whole world in microcosm. The strength of our shortlist ranging from the gothic to the comic demonstrates that the short story is alive and well, the perfect art form for a time hungry age."

More on the Award:

The BBC National Short Story Award is an annual award celebrating the best of the contemporary British short story.

The award is, now in its third year, is funded by the BBC and administered in partnership with the Booktrust and Scottish Book Trust. The winning author will receive £15,000, the runner up £3,000 and the other three short listed stories £500 each. While the short story continues to thrive on Radio 4, it has recently enjoyed less prestige in print. The Award aims to redress the balance and enhance the genre’s profile across the literary world.

This year the Award attracted over 600 submissions. In showcasing the Award BBC Radio 4 promises a week of outstanding storytelling and demonstrates the BBC's real commitment to the short story.

Source: BBC Radio 4

Friday, 11 July 2008

Lit - Crit Shifting Towards the Web.

John Sutherland has said that literary criticism is in decline, siting the role as un-sexy. Its hard to sex up he says and mentions author Amanda Foreman (opposite) who posed naked for Tatler as an exception.

"Last legs" is no exaggeration. I spend up to half the year in the US, where my daily paper there, the Los Angeles Times, has amputated its once distinguished literary supplement and grafted a stump thereof onto the "Opinion" (ie current affairs and editorial) section. The result is a dog's dinner. Crap-crit."

He blames the academics who give dull reviews.

"Many would sell their children into slavery to pay for the privilege of a lead piece in, say, the Saturday Guardian Review."

But, and here's the good bit, he says, "The liveliest opinion and the sharpest exchanges are currently to be found on the weblog."

Bring it on!

Source: Guardian

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Salman Rushdie Wins Best of the Booker

Salman Rushdie was today named winner of the Best of the Booker award for Midnight's Children.

The shortlist of six books was selected by a panel of judges - the biographer, novelist and critic Victoria Glendinning (Chair), writer and broadcaster Mariella Frostrup, and John Mullan, Professor of English at University College, London. The decision then went to a public poll. Midnight's Children won with 36% of the votes.

Victoria Glendinning commented, 'The readers have spoken - in their thousands. And we do believe that they have made the right choice.'

Midnight's Children won the Booker Prize in 1981. It was then chosen as the Booker of Bookers in 1993 - the only other time a celebratory prize has been awarded.

For full details of the award visit the Man Booker Prize website.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The Offbeat Generation

The Offbeat generation is a loose association of like-minded writers working across different styles but united by their opposition to a mainstream publishing industry driven by marketing departments.

In August 2007 Arena Magazine wrote of them: "Young, untamed, good-looking and as influenced by punk rock as they are by Proust, a new wave of loosely-linked writers dubbed The Off-Beat Generation have been blitzing the net with stories and poems via MySpace and supportive sites such as 3:AM Magazine to organise events and gain publicity."

Website: http://www.myspace.com/offbeatgeneration

Here's Tom McCarthy in a video done by them:

Sunday, 6 July 2008

2 days left to vote for Best of the Booker

The Best of the Booker, a one-off award to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, will be announced on 10 July at the London Literature Festival. With the voting closing on 8 July there is only two days left to vote for your favourite.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Literary Agency Sues Wikipedia

Barbara Bauer is suing bloggers and administrators of various websites, including Wikipedia and YouTube, claiming they are ruining her business.

Preditors & Editors do not recommend them as amongst other things they charge a fee. And Writers Beware list them in their top twenty worst agents.

According to the lawsuit, "Barbara Bauer has been impaired in her ability to earn a living as a literary agent and has sustained and will continue to sustain loss of income in amounts that will be established at trial."

Mike Godwin from Wikipedia said,

"We provide a platform through Wikipedia for smart citizens to give their knowledge back to a larger culture. Our ability to offer citizens that platform is what's at stake in this case."

Wikipedia have now removed their page but it still can be viewed at the moment in their archives here.

Source : NJ.com