We've written several times about how much we love the children's books of Seattle author Jessixa Bagley. If you'd like to hear Bagley discuss her life and work, she guest-starred on the All the Wonders podcast earlier this week. Make sure to check it out.
You probably know that Fantagraphics cartoonist Matt Furie's cartoon character Pepe the Frog has become a symbol of the Trump-loving alt-right. Furie is by all accounts a wonderful, easygoing guy who was completely blindsided by the fact that his laid-back cartoon frog has become the rough equivalent of a swastika. Now, an online petition by Furie supporters "implore[s] the Anti Defamation League, ADL, to remove the designation of Pepe the frog or any likeness as a hate symbol." Sign the petition if you agree. I've stated in the past that I don't know how much hope there is for the rehabilitation of Pepe; it's much harder to remove a meaning from a symbol than it is to add a meaning. But you certainly can't fault Furie and his friends for trying.
Remember when we told you that the TSA was testing a program requiring agents to go through books and magazines at airport security checkpoints? Great news! Scott Jaschik at Inside Higher Ed says that the TSA has "abandoned" the program and "there are no plans to restore the pilot or to expand it."
Open Culture examines "The Splendid Book Design of the 1946 Edition of Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire." I saw these books once when I was a used bookseller and, unlike the tens thousands of books that passed over my desk in those years, I remember perfectly what this edition of Decline and Fall looks like. Book design is so important.
The Association for Library Service to Children is looking for people of color who are willing to volunteer to join its awards and media evaluation committees. This paragraph is exactly the kind of thing you want to see from an organization of librarians in 2017:
It is an inconvenient truth for many of us, mostly white, that our industry (which I use here loosely to mean work in children’s books) upholds the systemic racism that is prevalent throughout the wider media industry and most institutions and communities in our country. It can be uncomfortable to confront the foundations of one’s own expertise in and passion for children’s books and examine where some of our judgments of quality we think are “unbiased” are only so when viewed through the lens of white privilege. But this white inconvenience, this white discomfort, is paltry when compared to what we create for communities of color by pretending this problem does not exist, or is not our own job to fix. To do our job, in service of the job of the child, many of us will need to start listening more, speaking less, and using our expertise to make space for and amplify voices that shine, in the multitude of ways a voice can shine.
Flame has regularly worked as an activist and organizer for a diverse number of theatrical, cabaret, queer, and POC communities — both during her time in the Bay Area and since returning to Seattle. Her connections to a broad network of artists and teachers also extends to the growing immigrant community and incarcerated populations through her work with The IF Project, a program funded by the Seattle Police Foundation.
Yesterday, Hugo House also announced their newest Made at Hugo fellows, which is a program that creates a cohort of young Seattle writers and gives them access to all of the Hugo House's mighty educational opportunities. The Made at Hugo program is a great way to take the pulse of Seattle's next generation of literary talent. You'll be seeing more of these names in the near future: "poet Holly DeBevoise, poet and writer Max Delsohn, writer Nia Dickens, poet Kym Littlefield, poet and artist Erin Lynch, and indigenous prose writer D.A. Navoti."
Speaking of mighty educational opportunities! Short Run's summer school looks like a lot of fun, with many free classes and all other classes below $50. Topics include letterpress printing, comics classes for kids, papermaking with local papercraft cartoonist Mita Mahato, and a class titled "How to Be Self-Employed in Seattle" that a lot of you should take.
Last year, some unpaid employees of Emerald City Comicon — who are unfortunately dubbed "minions" by ECCC leadership — sued the convention for compensation. Yesterday, lawyers announced that ECCC reached a settlement with the minions.Brigid Alverson at Smash Pages writes:
Under the settlement, Eitane Emerald Corp. and the Demonakos family will pay almost $500,000 to the volunteers, with the lawyers scooping up $123,300 for their troubles, [former "minion" Jerry Michael] Brooks [who filed the suit in the first place] getting $5,000, and the 250 or so other “volunteers” will divvy up the rest according to how many hours they worked.
Today we speak of "BBC English" as a standard form of the language, but this form had to be invented by a small team in the 1920s & 30s. 1/— Nick Kapur (@nick_kapur) June 26, 2017
The Sub-Committee came up with the following list of possible new words for the users of the television apparatus: 11/ pic.twitter.com/WeNmVYuMIV— Nick Kapur (@nick_kapur) June 26, 2017
Other ideas were...less successful. E.g. Smith proposed the BBC call televisions "view-boxes," call traffic lights "stop-and-goes," and 19/— Nick Kapur (@nick_kapur) June 26, 2017
Hey, Seattle writers! Please remember to apply for the LaSalle Storyteller Award, a fantastic $10,000 award from Artist Trust that goes to "an individual literary artist working in fiction." This is a lot of cash with very few strings attached, so it's one of the finer fiction prizes in the region. More information at Artist Trust's site.
And if you'd like to take a writing class this summer, you should know that today is the last day for early bird pricing for any of the Hugo House's summer class schedule. Sign up here and get anywhere from $10 - $35 off of your classes.
There’s a strong overlap between the women of the anti-Trump resistance and Alexie’s readership, which is primarily composed of college-educated white women. Unlike some male authors (see: Jonathan Franzen) who worry that a female audience will feminize their art, and thereby delegitimize it, Alexie embraces his readers. “They pay my mortgage!” he said. “But they’re also just more open to actually crossing boundaries. They have that perfect combination of privilege — because of their whiteness — and oppression, because they’re women. They’re at the forefront of every battle, and they come into it with both strength and weakness, with both power and pain.”
If you're into best-of lists, Vulture has published a listicle of "The Best Books of 2017 So Far." The usual standards apply — lists are meaningless, you can't really rate literary works, lists provide nothing more than clickbait for media sites that are addicted to clicks at the expense of thoughtful coverage, etc. etc. etc. — but sometimes lists of this sort spur bookstore shopping excursions, and who am I to argue with the buying of (and/or library-checking-out-ing of) new books?
OpenCulture published a great piece about why lowering your productivity might actually lead to better work. If it was good enough for Charles Dickens, it's good enough for you.
The Harry Potter books are now 20 years old.
The Seattle Urban Book Expo is happening on August 26th at Washington Hall. "Last October, the authors and the people showed out and declared that black literature has a place in our community. So much so, that we had to do it again," SUBE founders write on their Facebook page. If you'd like to get a table to exhibit at this year's SUBE, you should send organizers an email and follow the instructions on this post.
Local sci-fi writing organization Clarion West is offering up some neat-looking one-day writing classes this fall, including one on world-building and one class taught by the great Nicola Griffith. You can sign up right here.
Here's a neat idea that may or may not turn into something: Bookshelf is a website that lets you construct "book mix tapes" to share with friends. You can also read through mix tapes made by other readers. And here's a nice touch: rather than the ubiquitous links to Amazon you'll find all over the internet, Bookshelf links to Indiebound, which allows you to buy books from independent bookseller.
Standard Ebooks takes the free-e-library spirit of Project Gutenberg and pairs it with a good sense of design.
Ebook projects like Project Gutenberg transcribe ebooks and make them available for the widest number of reading devices. Standard Ebooks takes ebooks from sources like Project Gutenberg, formats and typesets them using a carefully designed and professional-grade style guide, lightly modernizes them, fully proofreads and corrects them, and then builds them to take advantage of state-of-the-art ereader and browser technology.
I see novel-writing as an opportunity to ask dozens of questions. The question of self-“realization” is going to be among them, but I like to think a novel is a chance to throw dice that ask combinations of even broader questions. “What is the experience of being alone versus being ‘beside’ somebody else?” And smaller ones: “What is the best way to describe that one sensation?” And situational questions, too: “What would this character do if she were trapped in a well and mocked by local teenagers?”
The Sherman Alexie media blitz continues, with this great New York Times profile of the author. (Any piece that says Alexie could pass for "the world’s warmest don" is a winner.) Alexie's memoir You Don't Have to Say You Love Me is available for sale today. We'll have much more to say about it on this site — [winks at reader] — very soon.
Literary Hub took a brief tour of James Baldwin's FBI file. Their fear, distrust, and hatred of Baldwin is a testament to the power of writing. He was more powerful than the FBI, in the end.
Did you know that there's a podcast where LeVar Burton reads a short piece of fiction to you? How have you not already subscribed to this one?
Adrea Piazza reports on an interesting new independent bookselling model at the New Yorker:
The C.S.A. model is simple: consumers commit a certain amount of money to a farm up front in exchange for a portion of the future harvest. Farmers use the resources to support themselves during the slower months. Over the past few decades, C.S.A.s have grown in popularity across the United States. Many farms on the Blue Hill peninsula have adopted such programs, and Haskell watched a local brewery, Strong Brewing Company, get its operation off the ground with a community-supported beer program. “The idea of purchasing a season’s or a year’s worth of books seemed like an interesting way to structure thinking about a customer’s relationship to the store,” Haskell said recently. At Blue Hill Books, C.S.B. members can purchase a “share” for a thousand dollars—or partial shares for two hundred or five hundred dollars—and draw on that credit to buy books throughout the year. “It’s not a donation; it’s not an investment,” Sichterman explained. It’s more of a “gift certificate for yourself.”
The idea really coalesced after last year's Short Run festival. I went to that show with a plan to really canvas the show and see what was there. I don't get to actually shop extensively at shows very often, and I ended up dropping close to a couple of hundred bucks, buying anything that looked even remotely interesting. There was a lot of good work that I felt was probably being overlooked because of either the signal to noise ratio or even just the harsh realities of distribution. If you don't live in a region that has a show like Short Run, you're likely to never be exposed to a lot the work that's there. And I came away from that show realizing that Fantagraphics can provide a platform to get the work out there.
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor's talk at Town Hall last night was canceled, Sara Bernard reported at the Seattle Weekly. Taylor had received death threats since publicly criticizing Donald Trump at a commencement address. Funny, isn't it, how one canceled Ann Coulter appearance can inspire the mainstream media to talk endlessly about the snowflakes of the left, but Taylor's experience barely makes a dent in the popular consciousness? Anyway, maybe you should read Taylor's new book, From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation.
Megan Burbank at the Mercury reports that Portland's literary community is coming together to support Micah David-Cole Fletcher, a poet who survived last Friday's white supremacist stabbing attack. Portland poets are hosting a number of benefit readings for Fletcher, including one with an appearance by Seattle-area poet Robert Lashley.
HBO has picked up the Julia Roberts-starring adaptation of Seattle writer Maria Semple's novel Today Will Be Different.
Only eight percent of all literary magazines actually pay their contributors.
Speaking of depressing financial realities: want to make comics for a living? Better marry someone who's got a steady, good-paying job!
Seattle's Office of Arts & Culture is accepting applications for its CityArtist Projects grant, which provides funds for artists seeking to complete a project. The grant changes disciplines every year, and literary artists are up for consideration this year. You have 55 days left to apply, so get to it.
Ted Closson's cartoon at The Nib titled "A GoFundMe Campaign Is Not Health Insurance" is required reading. It seems that every day I see another writer or musician or artist in medical distress whose lives depend on the outcome of a GoFundMe campaign. This, of course, is total bullshit.
Speaking of crowdfunding, here's something: "Neil Gaiman Will Do a Live Reading of the Cheesecake Factory Menu If We Raise $500,000 for Refugees."
At The Atlantic, Asher Elbein writes about the turbulence that Marvel Comics is experiencing at the moment. It turns out that Marvel isn't flailing due to an increased drive toward diversity (as some dipshit white men on the internet claim). In fact, Elbein argues, the company has fallen deep into a negative feedback loop of insularity and ego.
At The Beat, Heidi MacDonald backs up Elbein's column with her own observation:
...I came upon yet another problem for Marvel: working with libraries – another source of easy money for most publishers – isn’t much of a priority for them...As one prominent librarian put it to me, “People [in the library space] ask me is there a way to contact Marvel and I say, ‘nope it’s just impossible.’ Often, they’re people who want to buy 200 copies of something. I say ‘Good luck!'”
I just want to confirm MacDonald's experience and add that Marvel never supplies the media with review copies, a weird policy held by virtually no other publisher in the business. Additionally, I've talked to multiple writers over the years who argue that, for a company that likes to brag about the high value of its intellectual property, Marvel pays its contributors very little. Maybe if they actually invested in their people, Marvel wouldn't be suffering from low sales?
Yesterday, Amazon opened its first Amazon Books brick-and-mortar store in New York City. Thu-Huong Ha from Quartz didn't enjoy the experience:
The store doesn’t let you escape the noise of shopping online: One section is for books with more than 10,000 reviews; another display is for “page-turners,” based on ebooks that customers have read in three or fewer days; with a few exceptions, books need a 4-star review to be in the store; to enter, you have to walk around a table showing books 4.8 star-rated or higher.
Of course, the Seattle Review of Books visited the very first Amazon Books store in University Village when it opened two years ago. We were horrified.
We've visited Amazon Books a few more times in the intervening years, too.
We're still horrified.
There's still time to nominate a Seattle writer you love for the Mayor's Arts Awards! You have until May 25th to "recognize the accomplishments of artists, arts and cultural organizations and community members committed to enriching their communities through the arts." All you have to do is head over here and fill out the form.
And if you'd like to be Washington State Poet Laureate, you can find more information about that in this PDF. The position pays $10,000 per year, with up to $3,500 in expenses paid for travel and materials.
The Spokesman-Review reported on Sherman Alexie's commencement speech at Gonzaga University:
“So ask yourself, graduates, and families and friends: Do you want to be the person suspicious of strangers? Do you want to be the person who turns away strangers from your front door?”
I've talked about how podcasts were my gateway to audio books. I suspect I'm not alone, and publishers are finally getting wise to that.
Scarecrow Video published a wonderful comic by Seattle cartoonist Ben Horak about video stores and horror movies and fear.
Here's an awful headline out of Washington DC that seems entirely believable: "House Votes to Limit Powers of First Black Librarian of Congress."
Fantagraphics cartoonist Eleanor Davis was arrested for protesting the Trump Administration's immigration policy, Bleeding Cool reports.
Many of the blogs who migrated to blogging platform Medium last year are now leaving Medium again.
It has been, to say the least, a crazy week. Locally, everybody is running for mayor. Nationally, our president's brain seems to be degrading at an alarming rate. So let's end the week with a piece of unabashed good news and a pair of excellent poems by Seattle poets, okay? Be good to yourself — and the moms in your life — this weekend. Spend a few hours at a bookstore. Read a book. Don't go on the internet on Mother's Day.
Seattle poet Jane Wong recorded part of her poem "Pastoral Power" with KUOW. It's lovely and you can listen to it here.
Cody Walker's book of Trump-inspired poems The Trumpiad, which I reviewed last week, has already raised $1,368.60 for the ACLU, Walker reported yesterday on Facebook. You can do your part by picking up a copy at Open Books this weekend.
Lit Hub published an incredibly moving poem from Sherman Alexie's upcoming memoir You Don't Have to Say You Love Me.
You can add poet Sarah Galvin to the short list of Seattle authors who have gone on a European tour. Starting on Sunday, Galvin will be traveling to bookstores in Amsterdam, Krakow, Paris, Berlin, and Reykjavik in support of her terrific new collection out from Gramma Press, Ugly Time. If you know anyone in or near those cities, let them know by sending them a link to the tour page.
Heidi MacDonald at the Beat broke some pretty big news this morning: Jim Demonakos, the Seattle-area comics retailer who started Emerald City Comicon, has left the organization. Two years ago, Demonakos sold ECCC to ReedPop, an international producer of comic book conventions. "I’m not leaving for another job, I don’t have an immediate new project," Demonakos wrote in a Facebook post announcing the change. This means that next year's ECCC will be the first time the show is not produced by its founder. It'll be interesting to see if the convention can maintain its essential Seattle-ness without Demonakos at the lead.
At Strong Towns, Kea Wilson wrote a piece about why urbanists need to talk about Amazon:
Amazon has made it their business model to make you think that way: they market themselves as your friendly, invisible big box store, with all of the benefits and none of the massive, concrete drawbacks of the K-Marts of the world that you’ve (rightly) come to distrust. All you see is the website, algorithmically manipulated to show you everything you want and need—and two days later, a little brown box on your doorstep with a smile printed on the side.
Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, is launching an interesting new news organization. I don't know if Wikitribune will actually work, but it's always worth your attention when people try new models of journalism.
The bookstore that trolled Piers Morgan on Twitter is now in the middle of a crowdfunding campaign to stay open.
This 2011 video of a carwash for books is making the rounds on Twitter and it's so terrific that you should watch it again:
Speaking of librarians, I just want to make sure that you appreciate how librarians dragged Ivanka Trump for her all-talk "support" of public libraries at the same time that her dad is trying to defund them.
The good people at Artist Trust are launching a "Night School" program of short classes for artists. Classes include "Promotion Fundamentals" and "Business Fundamentals."
Open Culture published a neat look at what children's books were like in the Soviet Union.
Seattle-area newsletter The Evergrey is looking for your input on local small businesses to profile. We're not saying you should go and suggest your favorite small bookstore or anything, but...you should go and suggest your favorite small bookstore. Deadline is Monday April 17th, and the businesses will be profiled on May 1st.
Brangien Davis at Crosscut explains what happened when a title from Seattle publisher Wave Books won the Pulitzer Prize.
The arts levy, a proposed King County ballot issue which would have funded "arts and science programming targeted at poor people and seniors," didn't survive a committee hearing this week.
The TV Writers Guild might be going on strike soon. We stand with all unionized writers.
Whatever happened to Google Books?
Some men's rights dipshit reviewed Harry Potter and his review is virtually unreadable, unless you enjoy bird-brained sentences like this:
Harry Potter was perhaps the first major shitlib touchstone to vault willing cuckoldry into the wider culture as some kind of moral imperative; it was beta orbiter Snape, a man with the worst case of oneitis imaginable because he was in love with a dead woman who when alive wanted nothing to do with him, who vowed to look after Harry, (the child of his oneitis by another man Snape hated), out of a misplaced sense of loyalty and maybe hope for an afterlife consummation.
If you're the kind of person who prefers to read series once they're through, you're in luck! Last week's series of pieces profiling new Seattle publisher Mount Analogue is over. You should read my interview with Mount Analogue publisher Colleen Louise Barry and my reviews of Mount Analogue's books: the erasure series now on display at Open Books, the terrific collection of poetry by Ted Powers, the amazing tone poem constructed solely from captioned screenshots of episodes of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, and the pamphlet series that reimagines the idea of magazines using an ancient form of political communication.
Awful news: conservative writer J.D. Vance's very bad book Hillbilly Elegy, which has become popular as a kind of Rosetta Stone for Trump voters but which is really just agitprop for Vance's brand of conservatism, has been optioned for a movie. Ron Howard is slated to direct.
Over the weekend, it was discovered that an Indonesian comics artist named Ardian Syaf included some coded religious messages in the first issue of a new X-Men series. Abraham Riesman writes for Vulture about the reference to a Quran verse hidden on the shirt of X-Men character Colossus:
That verse is difficult to translate precisely into English, and there has been an array of attempts over the years, many of which you can read here. Generally, it says something along the lines of what the Hilali-Khan translation schema maps out as “O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as awliya (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), they are but awliya to one another. And if any amongst you takes them as awliya, then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the zalimoon (polytheists, wrongdoers, unjust).” Whatever your interpretation, it’s not very nice to Jews and Christians.
This verse is subject to a truly fantastical amount of bullshittery in the modern era. And that bullshittery takes on a particular flavor depending on the agenda of whoever is translating the verse. Keep in mind that 75% of Muslims are non-native speakers of Arabic (I’m one of them), and of that 75%, most know a few phrases of Arabic at most; just enough to be able to perform the five daily prayers, plus some tangentially related religious terminology (I know a bit more). To put it more simply, the vast majority of Muslims around the world do not read the Quran in the original Arabic. They read an interpretation rendered into their local language. And this is where the bullshittery starts.
In the aftermath of all the upset comics fans calling for his blood and some unspecified disciplinary action from Marvel, Syaf published a post announcing, "My career is over now."
Joe and Jill Biden have signed a book deal. Hopefully Joe Biden's book will have a chapter on how to hotwire a Camaro.
Speaking of politicians we love, Wonkette's Doktor Zoom runs down the nerdy books that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (siiiiiiigggghhhhh) adores:
You’ve got your Stephen King of course, and your Neal Stephenson, the master of erudite cyberpunk who gave us Snow Crash (the main character is a guy named Hiro Protagonist), and your Tad Williams, who goes more toward the sword-n-sorcery stuff. The two novels Trudeau names are also science fictional — Ready Player One is a dystopian SF story about adventures in virtual reality, which is a far preferable place than the dying overheated Earth of 2044 that Donald Trump is helping to build right now. And La Part de l’autre is a 2001 alternate-history affair (never published in English as far as we can tell) about the life of a young man named Adolf H. who in 1908 gets accepted to the Vienna School of Fine Arts, becomes a painter, and never bothers with politics. But he does meet a nice doctor named Freud who helps him work through some issues.
The party may be ending this year with a send-off event, but it leaves having made its mark on the local literary scene. “APRIL took readings out of bookstores and into bars, onto the street,” says Paul Constant of The Seattle Review of Books, who started noticing younger crowds at readings after 2012.
Blogging service Medium announced yesterday that they're going to start selling memberships for $5 per month. A whole lot of blogs that we like, including The Awl and Electric Literature, moved over to Medium last year. Then, Medium laid off a bunch of employees. Hopefully, they'll figure this out, because there aren't very many blogging options available to people anymore. I remain skeptical that a subscription, which offers "exclusive stories" and an "offline reading list," is going to be lucrative enough to support the company, but I wish them luck.
The latest issue of Evidence Based Library and Information Practice features an article titled "A Comparison of Traditional Book Reviews and Amazon.com Book Reviews of Fiction Using a Content Analysis Approach.” The idea is to determine whether traditional book reviews or Amazon reviews are more helpful for librarians. Here's the conclusion from the abstract:
Although Amazon.com provides multiple reviews of a book on one convenient site, traditional sources of professionally written reviews would most likely save librarians more time in making purchasing decisions, given the higher quality of the review assessment.
Help support Short Run’s Micropress by joining our Mini-comics Club! Want mini-comics delivered to your door every month? Donors at the $120 level will receive a Short Run tote bag and 1 mini-comic every month to fill it up. We have curated a selection of Pacific Northwest artists who represent the look and feel of Short Run.
Tickets for the May 23rd Seattle appearance of Arrested Development and Transparent actor Jeffrey Tambor went on sale yesterday. Seattle Arts and Lectures is bringing him to town to celebrate the publication of his memoir Are You Somebody?
Cory Doctorow is launching an online ebook retailer codenamed Shut Up and Take My Money, which he bills as the world's first "fair trade" online store.
As an author, being my own e-book retailer gets me a lot. It gets me money: once I take the normal 30 percent retail share off the top, and the customary 25 percent royalty from my publisher on the back-end, my royalty is effectively doubled. It gives me a simple, fair way to cut all the other parts of the value-chain in on my success: because this is a regular retail sale, my publishers get their regular share, likewise my agents. And, it gets me up-to-the-second data about who's buying my books and where.
Amazon is not just threatening bookstores anymore. Turns out, according to Naked Capitalism, Amazon might be putting 12 million non-book retail jobs at risk, too. Amazon's growth is increasing, mall retail stores are collapsing, and Amazon only needs half as many employees as brick-and-mortars.
This tweet is making the rounds:
Kafka's diaries show the real fun side of writing. pic.twitter.com/h7UWC7UFVR— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) March 19, 2017
The longtime owner of Seattle’s only black-owned bookstore, Lem’s Life Enrichment Bookstore, in the Columbia City neighborhood, was laid to rest in a funeral attended by more than 600 people, including local officials and community luminaries, and a large swath of the black community.
If you’re an independent comics creator in the Seattle region, Anne Bean wants to stock you. Bean—a comics writer, indie publisher and freelance writer—is launching Emerald Comics Distribution, a solo operation that will represent and distribute indie comics regionally.
Shelf Awareness celebrates Secret Garden Bookstore's upcoming 40th birthday a few weeks early.
Rare Seattle media job opening alert! Local news site Crosscut is hiring a staff writer.
Seattle Public Library's own David Wright wrote about the best/worst storytime ever over at Literary Hub:
When we opened our new downtown library with its large auditorium, back in 2004, I stood looking up at the empty seats and immediately felt that I needed to do a story time for adults there. Ours is one of the most childless cities in the country. Every library has children’s story time. Don’t adults deserve the same? Our need for story doesn’t go away at a certain age. Not surprisingly, turnout has been good for over a decade, and spinoff programs such as ghost storytelling in bars are standing room only. Last year, I added another narrative element by pairing story readings with screenings of film adaptations in a program I called Page to Screen.
The company is considering a few options, including reopening in another location or focusing solely on its Web business. Also under consideration are the possibilities of adding a coffee shop or wine/beer bar, or services like travel consulting "if we can find a different location that is already set up for these types of activities.... A partnership to share space with an existing café or coffee shop would also be of interest to us."
The UW Press has an outstanding opportunity for a Senior Acquisitions Editor to acquire and transmit 20-25 high-quality trade manuscripts annually for publication for regional and national audiences. Areas for acquisitions will complement the press's existing editorial program in regional and U.S. history and culture, Asian and Asian American studies, environmental history, women's, gender, and sexuality studies, visual culture, and Native and Indigenous studies, with the opportunity to build distinguished lists in other areas.
The University of Washington Press has an outstanding temporary opportunity for a MELLON DIVERSITY FELLOW.... Through this temporary, full-time entry-level position, the Mellon diversity fellow will be immersed in the acquisitions department of a leading scholarly press, working closely with senior acquisitions editors, authors, and projects through the entire acquisitions process. In this experience, the fellow's main role will be to coordinate and support the work of evaluating, developing, and acquiring book-length manuscripts for publication by UW Press.
"A branch of the Seattle Public Library is named after two African-American icons who never set foot in the Pacific Northwest," begins this report by historian Feliks Banel at MyNorthwest.com. The branch in question, of course, is the The Douglass-Truth Library.
It has been life-affirming to see so many writers bless us with some of their first professionally published pieces — women writers of color, trans writers, queer writers, disabled writers — talking about some of the most important issues of the day with actual lived experience. I have loved knowing that every piece is edited with integrity, and that every writer is paid for their labor. To be a member of the founding team of a rare platform that is fair and equitable and treats all writers with respect has given my work more purpose and satisfaction than I could have ever imagined.
Seattle writer Anca Szilagyi announced yesterday that her debut novel, Dirty, will be published by Lanternfish Press "in late 2017 or early 2018." She describes the book as "a magical realist work about a teenage runaway whose father is disappeared during Argentina’s Dirty War."
Tomorrow, to celebrate International Women's Day, Tor.com will publish new flash fiction by a host of great sci-fi authors — including Charlie Jane Anders, Maria Dahvana Headley, Nisi Shawl, Carrie Vaughn, and many more — on the theme "Nevertheless, She Persisted."
Jillian Kay Melchior at Heatstreet writes: "To draw attention to female authors, a Cleveland bookstore celebrated Women’s History Month by turning every male-written book in the fiction room backward on its shelf." Go look at the picture of what the bookstore looked like, now imagine what your shelves would look like if you did the same. Better yet, actually try it on your own bookshelves. It only took Loganberry Books 2 hours to do this with their 10,000 titles.
Headline of the day: "The New Yorker’s new bot will tweet 92 years worth of poetry at you."
Print magazine sales declined 12.4 percent last year. It's not as steep a drop as the year before, but it's still bad news for print media.
Always warms our hearts to see book reviewers start out young:
The Seattle Public Library has announced that they've made public a dataset which "includes a count of checkouts by month of both physical and digital items, and spans from 2005 to the present." You can find that list here.
The Nebula Awards ballot has been announced. We couldn't be more pleased to announce that Seattle Review of Books contributor Nisi Shawl's novel Everfair is on the ballot for best novel. We're bummed to see that Seattle author Cat Rambo's short work "Red in Tooth and Cog" was bumped from the novelette category because it's a little too short to meet the word count.
A novel by Walt Whitman has been discovered. (To quibble: At 36,000 words, it's more of a novella than a novel.) It sounds positively Dickensian:
...Life and Adventures of Jack Engle, is a first-person narrative following an orphan on his journey through New York, which included a full cast of colorful, diabolical money-and-power-hungry characters, as well as “virtuous Quakers” and a “sultry Spanish dancer.” Researchers believe that the work was never reprinted after it was published anonymously in the New York–area newspaper The Sunday Dispatch.
You should apply to be the Mall of America's writer-in-residence.
Sometimes you just need a title to know that you should read something: "Xenu’s Paradox: The Fiction of L. Ron Hubbard and the Making of Scientology
“This offering represents a unique opportunity to invest in a 100% leased property with a stable retail income stream and future development potential located in one of Seattle’s hottest and growing neighborhoods,” the pitch from the Jones Lang LaSalle real estate firm concludes.
"An average of five people are kicked out of Seattle Public Libraries (SPL) each day," Nathalie Graham writes at the South Seattle Emerald. Her full report on SPL's anti-homeless policies is a must-read.
Shockingly, Milo Yiannopolous's agent, who recieves a portion of Yiannopolous's income as a writer, has written an editorial for Publishers Weekly titled "In Defense of Milo Yiannopoulos's Book." Thomas Flannery Jr writes:
When protesters try to silence Milo, when they show up to his events and physically threaten him, or scream and smear fake blood all over themselves, or riot and destroy property, they are using tactics I, as a self-described progressive, have always chided others for using. I won’t stand for it when religious groups try to silence transgender supporters, and I won’t stand for it when so-called progressives try to silence conservative voices.
Regarding the above quote: Flannery is confusing freedom of speech with a right to a platform. Just as Yiannopoulos has a right to speak, protesters have a right to protest him. And if Yiannopoulos threatens students, as he did in Miluaukee colleges have a right to not give him a platform. Remember, while Flannery whines about people raising their voices, it was a Yiannopoulos fan who shot a protester when Yiannopoulos spoke at the University of Washington. So who's doing the intimidating, here? And why should Publishers Weekly have given a platform to someone who is financially vested in Yiannopoulos's success? Maybe it's because Flannery is the only person in the publishing industry willing to stand up for his client?
Video footage of Marcel Proust has been discovered. If In Search of Lost Time was inspired by a cookie, imagine what Proust would have written in response to a clip of archival footage.
I was reading this blog that mocks old library books, and the most recent entry is a sexual health guide for youth written by Dr. Ruth Westheimer. The writer, Holly Hibner, writes, "The cover image attached features an endearing but very old lady who looks way too much like my grandma." The fact that young writers don't know who Dr. Ruth is makes me feel very, very old. One day, Hibner will probably be reading a post written by a young writer mocking one of Dan Savage's books. On that day, she might understand how I feel right now. That is all.
Most comics blogs only cover actual comics news less than a third of the time, Heidi MacDonald at The Beat discovered. The rest of the posts are about "toys, wrestling, video games and what I’d call 'related business news' like conventions, collectibles and human interest."
I loved reading this super-nerdy post tracking the changes of a minor-but-useful spell through the many editions of Dungeons & Dragons.