Twenty-five Things Writers Should Stop, James Franco's First Novel, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

Famed Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti has written an appeal to help build a Poets Plaza in San Francisco. "Inspired by the lovely piazzas of Italy, this public square will be an oasis for San Franciscans and a national site for poets, with a permanent poets’ podium built in one corner of the square."

Author Chuck Wendig lists twenty-five things writers should stop doing. Number two: "Stop Stopping." (Terrible Minds)

The latest entry of critic Jessa Crispin's advice column, Kind Reader, tackles the thorny issue of enviable peers: "I am an unpublished writer…this year I had to buy drinks to congratulate my friends who got book deals, who sold movie rights, who showed up on those best-of lists. I hate being this bitter little soul, cursing my friends under my breath, and feeling like I should just give up. But what's a failed writer to do?" (Barnes & Noble Review)

A substantial rent hike combined with high property taxes are forcing the oldest independent bookstore in Toronto, Canada, The Book Mark, to shutter. The store opened in 1965. (Globe and Mail)

Meanwhile, the New York Daily News discusses New York City's great bookstores, and laments one now closed, Gotham Book Mark, which once employed Allen Ginsberg, and hosted poets such as W.H. Auden, Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, Delmore Schwartz, and Randall Jarrell.

Drawing on a recent interview with Jeff Bezos in Wired, author Mac McClelland (fake) interviews the Amazon CEO for Mother Jones.

Rounding out the best-of lists: Coldfront magazine selects its top thirty books of poetry for 2011; and poet David Orr lists his 2011 favorites for NPR.

Actor and polymath James Franco has sold his first novel to acquiring editor Ed Park at Amazon Publishing. (People)

In light of James Franco's news, Vol. 1 Brooklyn examines "when celebrity books go horribly wrong."