Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Writing Tidbits

The big news in the publishing world this week is BookExpo America, taking place in New York June 3 –5. This is the largest event of the year for the publishing industry. There are more than 20,000 books on display, dozens of publishers, thousands of booksellers, and just as many authors hawking their wares. Robert Gray, who writes the wonderful blog, Fresh Eyes: A Bookseller's Journal, says this about the BEA:

“The Circus is Coming to Town!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls! Children Of All Ages! You are just a few short days away from a weekend of thrills! A weekend of gasps! A weekend of giggles! A weekend at BookExpo America in New York City!

This year's edition of BEA, the publishing world's annual bigtop extravaganza, will happen at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center ("Marketplace to the World"), perched upon the glittering waters of the Hudson River. But unlike Ringling Brothers, our circus won't be limited to three rings. In fact, we'll have dozens, maybe hundreds, of rings, with a nucleus on the convention floor at Javits, but also spreading in concentric circles (and ovals and rectangles and squares) throughout the city's restaurants, bars, and hotels, East Side to West.

Business mixes seamlessly with pleasure, so the work day runs, or feels like it runs, from the dawn to dawn

Welcome, my friends, to the show that never ends.
Or, is it?

Something Wicked This Way Comes

BookExpo really does have a little something for everyone -- clowns happy and sad, ringmasters and stagehands, high-wire artists and tightrope walkers (financially, anyway), lions and tigers and bears.

Oh my!”

I really wish I could go. I get giddy in a room filled with books and authors. Since I have to sit home and pout, I’ll post reports of the BEA from various sources, including from Ed of the Return of the Reluctant, Mark from The Elegant Variation, and Michael Cader of Publisher’s Marketplace.

Other interesting writing news. Remember the group Word of Mouth that sent that letter to Oprah asking her to reinstate her book club? It was made up of a group of published authors, some well known, some not. Well, there has been a move to start a Bay Area version of the group. Ellen Sussman, who wrote the novel, On a Night Like This, took the initiative to start the group and as of Memorial Day weekend, so many female published authors wanted to join that the group threatened to fill up her living room. So now it appears there will be a fiction group and a non-fiction group. I guess the group still hasn’t had a response from Oprah …

In other news, the smart and dedicated people who run the site are hosting a writers conference in Half Moon Bay from July 7-12. Twelve writers will join other writers, agents and publishing professionals for an intesive workshop on improving their craft.

“Algonkian has put together a team of five of the best professionals on either coast to work with our students at the Pt. Montara Lighthouse retreat near Half Moon Bay in California. They include bestselling author, JoAnn Mapson; literary agent, and personal assistant to Sandra Dijkstra, Elise Capron; teacher and award-winning fiction writer Cynthia Gregory; and fiction writer and editor of DEL SOL REVIEW and DEL SOL PRESS, Michael Neff. Students will also get post-conference market analysis from author and editor Charles Salzberg Interactions will be extremely non-conference like, i.e., intimate and relaxed.”

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