Writers Guild Joins Occupy Wall Street, Journals of Spalding Gray, 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:

Yesterday, in New York City, the Writers Guild East joined the protest movement Occupy Wall Street (along with many other unions), to march in a show of solidarity. (GalleyCat)

Today, the Observer published fifty interviews and portraits of the myriad protestors. Among them was a group who named themselves "Minor Literary Celebrities for Economic Equality."

Meanwhile, the New Yorker reports on yesterday's march, and provides a rundown of protest signs, such as “DON’T MACE ME BRO. MY MOM IS HERE.”

The Perseus Books Group has created a new distribution division called Argo Navis Author Services that allows authors to self-publish e-books. It's only available to those represented by a literary agency contracted with Perseus. So far, Janklow & Nesbit and Curtis Brown Ltd. have signed on. (New York Times)

Meanwhile, Author Solutions, an e-book self-publisher, who have in excess of 145,000 titles, has secured funding for a film division. (Deadline)

It's been seven years since the death of writer, actor, and monologist Spalding Gray (a presumed suicide by drowning); today the New York Times published an excerpt from The Journals of Spalding Gray, which will be released by Knopf this month. "To be famous is to be stuck in an inflexible place. But at least it is to be stuck with money. Money is not everything but it is something."

In the ongoing battle with Amazon over sales tax, the Tennessee attorney general says online retailers must collect sales taxes if they run a warehouse within the state. (Tennessean)

With the sad news yesterday of the passing of Steve Jobs, much will be written about the contributions the Apple innovator made to our culture. Here are two simple gestures of remembrance; some thoughts from InReads, and photos of Mr. Jobs working at his home office, published in Time in 2004.

And last, a quote from Steve Jobs: "Ultimately, it comes down to taste. It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things that humans have done and then try to bring those things in to what you’re doing…part of what made the Macintosh great was that the people working on it were musicians and poets and artists and zoologists and historians who also happened to be the best computer scientists in the world."