Selected Shorts XVI

Lyn Hawks, one of my writing colleagues and fellow writers-in-residence at Peace College in ’03, has finally crashed the fiction market. Not that she needs to, you understand. She teaches creative writing to blooming youth, has co-written a book, The Compassionate Classroom, and maintains two blogs, A Writer’s Journey, and Lyn Hawks. Having her own fiction published should put icing on all those cakes. Congratulations, Lyn, and may your writing successes proceed apace. Oh, and that’s Lyn above.
Yours truly is branching out in the blogosphere. I’ve begun a new blog, called Wordsmith, which will allow me to natter away on subjects other than reading and writing. I hope you like it, and would be happy to hear from one and all regarding this new venture. And there may be yet another one in the works….
The latest edition of Hitch News reports that, according to Baker Publishing Group, book buying is picking up, despite wallet-choking gas prices and looming inflation. Maybe with less money to put into America’s automotive love affair, the public will return to reading as a recreational outlet.
Writer’s Chronicle, for my money, the best mag for writers, reports in its September 2008 issue two items of note:
Congress may soon be passing The Orphan Works Act of 2008 (H.R. 5889), which would require all artists (writers, this means you) to record their works with private registries, and to pay for the service. Supposedly intended to place works in the public domain when copyright owners are hard to locate, this Act could be abused to spirit your works’ proceeds away from you if you can’t afford the registration fees. If this seems an outrage, a petition is available for all literary revolutionaries to sign.
The CEO of Random House, Peter W. Olson has resigned. Random House is the largest consumer publisher in the world, and according to this blurb, Bertelsmann, the parent conglomerate, exerted pressure to force this resignation, due to a 6% slip in sales over the past year.
Companies such as Bertelsmann are not the sort to nurture writing talent, preferring to give their bean-counters guaranteed book profits. But maybe – just maybe – the bean-counters will now see the long term benefits in developing fledgling writing talent.
Next week – a return to books—this one a bit more contemporary than War and Peace.


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