3rd annual Best American Poetry Challenge

Best American Poetry has issued its 3rd Annual Poetry challenge. This year’s challenge is to write an inaugural ode of 16 lines, in quatrains (rhyming optional) which features one line lifted verbatim from the The Best American Poetry 2008 (forewords and introductions included) and at least three of the six following words: honor, integrity, faith, hope change, and power.

The contest will be judged by a former Best American Poetry guest editor, who’s name will be announced along with the winning poem.

The winning poet’s name will appear on the Best American Poetry website and blog, along with the winning poem. Prizes include a cloth bound copy of The Best American Poetry 2008, signed by the series editor and several contributors, as well as other Scribner title. The poem will also be featured in a broadside created by artist Jenny Grassl.

There is no entry fee or purchase necessary to enter and win the contest.

Contest deadline is Midnight EST on December 5, 2008.

For more details and full information on how to enter, visit The Best American Poetry Blog.

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Michael Crichton dies at 66

Michael Crichton, best-selilng author of such novels as Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain and the TV show ER, died unexpectedly this morning at his home in Los Angeles.

Crichton started on he path a career as a medical doctor, but turned to writing his science-fiction novels while he was in medical school in 1969. He has written more than 20 novels on a wide range of topics–from time travel to genetic engineering to nanotechnology, most of which have been on numerous bestseller lists and over a dozen which have been made into films. His most recent novel will be published posthumously on May 4, 2009.

The author, who has been privately struggling with cancer, is survived by his wife Sherri and daughter Taylor.

Authors Guild V. Google to be settled

Roy Blount Jr., the current president of the Authors Guild, has announced that the class-action lawsuit the Authors Guild filed against Google in September 2005 will finally be settled.

The suit was filed when Google began scanning books in their entirety and making copies of these books available online through Google Book Search. Most of the books were out-of-print and public domain, however Google was also displaying copy’s of books which will still in print.

The settlement that has been reached, which still must be approved by a Federal Judge, will allot at least $45 million for authors and publishers whose work was scanned and displayed without permission.

Additionally, there is an included proposal that Google continue to scan books, with permission, and make these books available for persons with paid subscriptions. This would allow for libraries to access an enormous amount of books and, academically, expedite the research of students across the country as they would be able to view and print any book that has been made available. The project would also make many out-of-print books easily accessible.

For more information visit the Authors Guild official statement and Google’s Book Search Copyright Settlement page.

The Splinter Generation

The Splinter Generation, a new website containing works of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction, was launched on Monday.

The website, currently, is not accepting any submissions, and it is unclear whether or not they will open submissions in the future. It appears that it may simply act as a one-time online anthology.

The site contains writing “for and by those [who are] under 35” and includes an interview with a survivor of the Iraq war as well a very interesting analysis of “The Splinter Generation”–the name the editors of The Splinter Generationhave given to the generation commonly referred to as “Generation Y,” the “Google Generation,” “Generation DotNet,” etc…

Check out the writings at http://splintergeneration.com/index.html.

BOOM Chapbook Competition announced

Bateau Press, publisher of Bateau, has recently announced their 3rd Annual BOOM Chapbook Competiton.  The competition is open to all writers and the winner will receive a $500 cash prize.

Previous winners of the competition include Instructions from the Narwhal by Allison Titus, and Novas by Ryan Flaherty.

For complete contest guidelines please visit http://bateaupress.org/index.php?page=boom

Swiss Library Brings Old Books to New Format

In St. Gallen, Switzerland, is one of the most valuable collections of old manuscripts in the world. Stiftsbibliothek–the library of the town’s abbey–contains more an astonishing number of handwritten manuscripts, many dating back before 1000 AD. Now, with a grant of $1 million fr om the Andrew W. Mellon foundation, those books are going online.

Scanning library collections has become more and more commonplace with the spread of technology–last month the European Union announced the appropriation of $175 million to digitize European libraries. The advantages are clearly seen when looking at the history of libraries being destroyed by fire, flood, or negligence: a history that by no means has ended. As recently as 2002, floods demolished a number of books and artworks in Dresden, Germany. Of course, the digitizing of these files makes them more accessible to scholars and bibliophiles around the world.

200 manuscripts are already in the database, and 144 already available online at the library’s website, www.cesg.unifr.ch.

National Book Award nominees announced

The finalists for the 2008 National Book Award were announced Wednesday, October 15. This year’s nominees include a diversity of writers, both new and veteran authors are featured, as well as books published by some of the nation’s largest publishing houses as well as works from smaller independent presses.

On November 19, at a ceremony in New York, the winners will be announced. One winner in each category will receive a bronze sculpture and a $10,000 cash prize.

Read on »

Germans turn to Marx during economic crisis

In the midst of the current international economic crisis, the writings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels are experiencing a resurgence.

Jörn Schütrumpf, the manager of Karl-Dietz, the Berlin publishing house responsible for the German works of Marx and Engels said that “We’re seeing a very distinct increase in demand for his books, a demand which we expect to rise even more steeply before the year’s end.”

Schütrumpf also noted that those purchasing Marx’s books are generally “those of a young academic generation, who have come to recognise that the neoliberal promises of happiness have not proved to be true.”

Some German political figures have even recently outed themselves as Marxist sympathisers. Oskar Lafontaine, the head of Germany’s rising left-wing party, Die Linke, said he planned to write Marxist theory into the party’s manifest and Peer Steinbrück, Germany’s finance minister, was quoted saying “Generally one has to admit that certain parts of Marx’s theory are really not so bad.”

For more information visit the original article at The Guardian.

Indian Writer Wins Man Booker Prize

Aravind Adiga’s first novel, The White Tiger, took home the Man Booker Prize last night (as well as £50,000). The prize aims to recognize the very best in fiction each year, and Adiga was one of six authors shortlisted for the award. He is the fourth debut novelist, and second Indian debut author, to win in the forty years the prize has been awarded. The novel itself tells of an Indian man’s rise from rural village life to entrepeneurial success, which the judges described as “compelling, angry, and darkly humorous.”

Prior winners of the Man Booker prize include Yann Martel (Life of Pi), Roddy Doyle (Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha), and V.S. Naipaul (In A Free State), among many others.

Two Hawks Quarterly, submission call

Two Hawks Quarterly, has put forth a call for submissions for their Fall 2008 issue. The quarterly, which is produced by the B.A. students in Creative Writing at Antioch University, Los Angeles, calls itself “a literary uprising.” In addition to be student-run, the journal was also created by students at Antioch. The editors aim to “inspire and publish new voices and new work.”

The journal accepts fiction, creative non-fiction and memoir, poetry, cross-genre, and multi-media submissions. The editors have put forth change as a suggested theme for the upcoming issue.

Deadline for submissions is 31 October 2008.

For more information, or to view an archive of all the journal’s previous publications, please visit Two Hawks Quarterly online at www.aulapress.com.