Friday 17 October 2014
- The big news in books this week was of course that Australia’s Richard Flanagan won the Man Booker Prize 2014 for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North. In his acceptance speech he said:
I do not share the pessimism of the age about the novel. They are one of our greatest spiritual, aesthetic and intellectual inventions. As a species it is story that distinguishes us, and one of the supreme expressions of story is the novel. Novels are not content. Nor are they are a mirror to life or an explanation of life or a guide to life.Novels are life, or they are nothing.
Read the full speech here.
- In other awards news, the finalists for the National Book Awards 2014 have been announced. The fiction list features Rabih Alameddine, Anthony Doerr, Phil Klay, Emily St. John Mandel and Marilynne Robinson. According to Matthew Specktor ‘Doerr should win, but Robinson will’.
- On Wednesday we posted our Opportunities for Writers post for November and December. It has over 100 competitions, fellowships and publication opportunities for writers at all stages of their careers.
- McSweeney’s Publishing has announced that it will begin operating as nonprofit. The move aims to ensure the long-term future of McSweeney’s, with the help of an expanded community of donors, writers, and readers.
- NaNoWriMo starts in just over two weeks. Literary agent Nephele Tempest has some helpful advice for anyone planning to undertake the herculean task of writing a novel in a single month.
- Australian Book Review’s $5000 Calibre Prize for an Outstanding Essay is now open for entries; writers from around the world are eligible to submit their work.
- Seven Stories, the national centre for children’s books in the United Kingdom, has created a list of the 50 best books for cultural diversity. The list aims to promote books that explore diversity, either in terms of its story or the ethnic and cultural origins of the author or illustrator.
- Harvard Professor Elisa New is teaching a free, open online course on American Poetry (1700 – 1850). The course starts next Wednesday and runs for seven weeks.
- Each week the So You Want to be a Writer podcast shares news and advice from the writing and blogging worlds. The latest episode discusses the reason why some blogs succeed, taking criticism and the best places to do an interview.
- Ninth Letter is accepting submissions until 1 November for a special online edition featuring the work of creative writing students. Undergraduate and graduate students may submit up to three poems, or one piece of short prose (fiction and non-fiction) of up to 3500 words.