Isobel Abulhoul, director of the new Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature (EAIFL), recently informed British novelist Geraldine Bedell that she could not be a part of the event because one of the characters in her forthcoming novel is gay.
After a week of uncertainty, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today that members of the House and Senate conference committee have negotiated to keep the fifty million dollars that the House of Representatives had designated for the NEA in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funding, which the House approved on January 28 as part of the stimulus package put forward by president Barack Obama, was cut from the Senate's version of the bill last Friday.
Two months after Markus Dohle announced a dramatic restructuring of Random House imprints, a move that eliminated Stephen Rubin's position as publisher of Doubleday Publishing Group, the Random House chairman yesterday named Rubin publisher at large.
Page Six Magazine, the New York Post's celebrity and gossip supplement, published on Monday a feature in which the editors named the fifty "hottest bachelors" in New York City. Among the rock stars, real estate moguls, and fashionistas on the list are two authors, Salman Rushdie and Keith Gessen.
Publishing giant HarperCollins joined the industry-wide restructuring movement on Tuesday, announcing the closing of an imprint and the dismissal of two of its top executives.
Don Williams, the editor of the annual literary magazine New Millennium Writings, recently established a new contest that offers a thousand dollars for the best creative writing on the subject of president Barack Obama.
After receiving an outpouring of response to an essay about the newly inaugurated commander in chief that he posted last month on his own Web site, Williams decided to accept online submissions "for a once-only special contest to mark this moment in our still-young millennium." The Special Contest on Obama is open to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers. One winner, who will receive a thousand dollars, and at least three runners-up will be published in the next issue of New Millennium Writings and on the journal's Web site.
Writers may submit as many poems, stories, or essays as they'd like, but the entry fee for each is $17. Work that has already been published elsewhere, either online or in a magazine with a print circulation under five thousand, will be accepted. The deadline is March 1. Complete guidelines are available on the New Millennium Writings Web site.
Okay, so this contest doesn't offer literary fame or fortune—or much of anything, really, beyond a little fun. But if you're into poetry and movies, Entertainment Weekly is holding a contest in honor of Hollywood's biggest self-congratulatory party—the Academy Awards—that might be of interest.
After the editors of the popular culture magazine received a letter in the form of a poem celebrating Oscar season from a reader in McHenry, Illinois (who somehow manages to reference Revolutionary Road, Milk, Gran Torino, Frost/Nixon, My Bloody Valentine, Fantasia, Slumdog Millionaire, Marley and Me, Liar, Liar, Yes Man, The Wrestler, and The Dark Knight, all in thirty-four lines) they posted it on Entertainment Weekly's Web site and invited poets to submit their own Oscar-themed verse.
So go ahead, put your film critic's hat on and submit a poem before those little gold statues are handed out on February 22.
The United States Senate voted on Friday to cut funding for the arts from the economic recovery bill. The amendment to the bill, offered by Republican senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, passed by a wide margin, seventy-three votes to twenty-four. The House of Representatives had approved fifty million dollars in supplemental grants funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) as part of the $819 billion economic stimulus bill put forward by president Barack Obama.
Google announced last week that it has made available to users of advanced mobile phones an additional five hundred thousand titles from its Book Search digital library.