Tag Archives: awards and prizes

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The Literary Oscars, Amazon Strikes, and Inspire!

Toronto Welcomes a New Book Fair

Toronto is set to launch Inspire! a new international book festival next November.  Plans for the festival have come together quickly, gathering excitement and anticipation along the way.  Unlike Word on the Street, the September book festival Toronto plays host to, Inspire! will be held indoors at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, and organizers are hoping for a complementary relationship, rather than a competitive one.

Amazon Prepared for German Worker’s Strike

Verdi, The German service sector union is preparing for a full worker strike against Amazon, effecting the retail giant’s central Germany facility.  The union is hard fighting for the wage raise of its distribution centre workers, as currently, they are being paid less than the standard wages for distribution work.  While Amazon is claiming to be “well-prepared” the story is one of many surfacing about sub-par wages and working conditions:

The National Book Award Goes To…

The American Nation Book Awards were hosted this week at the This year’s winners include:

  • Maya Angelou, for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community
  • E. L. Doctorow for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters
  • James McBride won the Fiction award, for his book, The Good Lord Bird
  • George Packer won the  Non-Fiction award for his book, The Unwinding
  • Mary Szybist won for Poetry, for her collection, Incarnadine: Poems
  • Cynthia Kadohata won for Young People’s Literature, for her book, The Thing About Luck

World’s Biggest Bookstore To Close Its Doors

The World’s biggest bookstore will close up shop in February 2014, Toronto Star reports. Developers who have bought the land have no current plans for the location.  Toronto has been the happy home of the Indigo owned building for thirty-three years, and will not be the only historic bookshop closing it’s doors in the near future: Indigo will be closing it’s Runnymede chapter’s location, built inside a heritage theatre.  That bookstore will be replaced by a Shopper’s Drug Mart.

Diary of Malcolm X Remains Unpublished 

The publication of The Diary of Malcolm X has been postponed by a restraining order, requested by  X Legacy LLC.  The corporation representing  the heirs of Malcolm X claim that the publishers of the diary, Third World Press, lack the rights to publishing it.  The diary was written by Malcolm X in 1964, documenting his activities in Africa, and has been co-edited by his daughter Ilyasah Al-Shabazz, and  journalist Herb Boyd.

The Word of the Year Is…

Finally,  the word of the year for 2013 is selfie, a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

What’s your favourite publishing story from this week?  Tweet it to us @sumbolacosi!

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A Kobo Quarantine, an Unhappy Gallagher, and Other News…

This week in the publishing world…

Kobo Quarantines Self Published Authors

After highly unflattering news coverage regarding several pornographic publications, Kobo pulled several self-published titles from the digital shelves on October 15, BBC News reports. A spokesperson for Kobo has insisted that the move is not a form of censorship, but an effort to “protect the reputation of self publishing as a whole”.  Self-published

McDonald’s Celebrates Literacy with Happy Meals

From  November 1st to November 14th, McDonald’s will be distributing an expected 20 million books with their happy meals, according to Publisher’s Weekly.  Four original titles will be released with the popular kids meals and will not be sold outside of the promotion.  This promotion will position the fast food chain as one of the top children’s book distributers.

Neil Gaiman: “We Have an Obligation to Imagine.”

Author Neil Gaiman gave a lecture earlier this week discussing the importance of libraries, reading fiction for pleasure, and daydreaming.  Gaiman spoke at The Reading Agency’s annual lecture series at the Barbican in London, England on Monday, October 14th.  An edited version of his lecture can be found on The Guardian.

Eleanor Catton Wins the Man Booker Prize

Catton, the youngest author ever to win the prestigious award was honoured for her book, “The Luminaries”.  The Luminaries is a stylistic tale of mysterious and seemingly linked occurances in a New Zealand gold-mining town.  It is also the longest book to ever receive the Man Booker Prize, a hefty read at 848 pages long.  Publishing Perspectives has the full story available.

Noel Gallagher:  “Fifty Shades of Grey? Fifty shades of s–t.”

The 46 year-old musician, known for his previous successes with the rock band, Oasis doesn’t like fiction.  At all.  In an interview with GQ Magazine, Gallagher expresses his extreme distaste for fictional books and their authors, book sellers, and owners, completely baffled by their use and offended by their “snobbery”.

Did we miss one of your favourite publishing news stories of the week? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @sumbolacosi.

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Empathy, Courage and Guilty Librarians

This week in the news….

This years Nobel Prize for Literature went to none other than the renowned short story writer, Alice Munro.  She is the first Canadian recipient ever for the prestigious literary award. You can read more about it here.

Literary fiction makes you more empathetic and perceptive, studies find, according to Publishing Perspectives.  Those who read it are more likely to determine the facial expressions of those around them.  If they are reading in public, they should be able to determine if the stranger beside them approves of their high brow novel, or is considering them pretentious.

20th Century Fox gets serious with Boom Comics.  The pair have arranged an innovative first look deal which would allow Fox the first opportunity in vetting any Boom comics for film development.  You can read more about it here on Publisher’s Weekly.

The PEN Pinter Prize has been awarded to international journalist, Iryna Khalip as this year’s “writer of courage”, the guardian reports. Khalip is a Belarusian writer, reporter and activist.  She has faced harassment, beatings, and detainment for her criticism of Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko.  You can read more about her work documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In lighter news, Librarians aren’t perfect.  http://librarian-shaming.tumblr.com/  Check out the Tumblr Librarian Shaming  for reasons to gasp and “tut-tut”.

Please leave any questions, comments or empathy-inducing literature worth sharing in the comment section below, or tweet them to us @sumbolacosi.

Alice Munro Makes Canadian History

image credit: Paul Hawthorne/AP

Alice Munro, 82, has won the Nobel Prize for Literature, making her the first Canadian recipient of the award in history.  She is the thirteenth woman in the long-running history of the prestigious award to win for her literary contributions.

Munro is renowned for her short story writing, not only among her fellow Canadians but on an international stage as well.  She has previously won notable awards such as the Booker Prize, The Giller Prize (twice) The Governor General Award for English Fiction (three times), the WH Smith Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, to name a few.

Alice Munro decided retire from writing with her latest collection of stories, Dear Life.  That being said, we would like to borrow one of her quotes, as it truly is quite fitting for a long and celebrated writing career.

That’s something I think is growing on me as I get older: happy endings.

Congratulations, Ms Munro, from all of your dedicated readers.