Putting paid to notions that it takes years to write a book (damn! There goes my excuse) is the 24 Hour Book Project, a groundbreaking new initiative that’s challenging a bunch of writers, editors and publishers to take a book from pie-in-the-sky concept to published material in JUST ONE DAY.
The brainchild of the folks over at Completely Novel , the 24 Hour Book Project will kick off with a group of experienced writers putting their heads together via online collaborative writing tools. The squad includes Kate Pullinger (who’ll be heading up the project as the lead writer), Sarah Butler and Chris Meade, with the narrative being based around a group of city centre allotments, the exploration of communal spaces and the literal and symbolic walls built and smashed by individuals within a community.
Pens hit paper tomorrow (3rd October) from 10am, with volunteer editors and publishers taking the baton on Sunday to take the story to publication. And the best bit is that not only can you follow it all live online, but you can get involved – throw suggestions into the mix via Twitter (follow @24hrbook and use the hashtag #24hrbook); upload media including videos, music and images here; or help edit the book online from 10am BST on Sunday (email firstname.lastname@example.org for the skinny on that.)
If that all sounds too much like hard work but your not averse to quaffing free champers, you might still be able to bag yourself a ticket for the book’s launch on Monday 5th October, 6pm, at Soho’s House of St Barnabas, where you’ll also be able to buy a copy of the book and see highlight’s of the weekend’s frantic authoring activity.
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On the day Dan Brown’s new novel dominates the books blogs – and the financial concerns of booksellers the world over – you wouldn’t blame the humble short story writer for having spent the past 10 hours with their head hung over a frequently refilled brandy glass, bemoaning their supposed drawing of the literary short straw when it comes to opportunities of making a mint.
News of The Sunday Times' award is yet to reach Russia's short story authors
But, dear Bind reader, the short story writer doesn’t need your pity. Oh no, in fact, the short story writer has tossed the brandy glass, turned on their heels and left your compassionate countenance in the dust in their dash for what is being touted as the world’s richest prize for an individual short story.
Short fiction's Fairy Godmother: Lynn Barber
The Sunday Times‘ literary editor Andrew Holgate, and writers Lynn Barber, A S Byatt, Nick Hornby and Hanif Kureishi are the fairy godparents who will bestow this prize, the Sunday Times/EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. But who cares what it’s called?! Not the potential entrants, I’d wager, who are more fussed about the fact that, come March 2010, when the winner is announced at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival, they could be £25k richer. And five runners up will receive £500 each. Which they will probably spend on brandy and Dan Brown books with which to fuel both their stoves and their all-consuming bitterness.
The award is open to authors to have been published in the UK and Ireland, with the winning stories will be published in The Sunday Times Magazine and online with additional podcasts/audio download. Tell your friends! The Bind, meanwhile, is off to learn about sustainable fish farms from Hugh.
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Photo: Steve Forrest/Rex Features
Britain’s best-loved bookish eccentric, techy Twitterer and fantasy uncle (imagine the Christmas party games!) Stephen Fry has long worn his Oscar Wilde-loving heart on his sleeve. Brian Gilbert’s 1997 film Wilde saw Fry cast as the exuberant author, and recently he noted the formative influence of Wilde’s work in his navigating that pot-hole riddled road between awkward adolescence and a more assured adulthood relatively unbruised.
In 1973, a 16-year-old Stephen Fry penned a letter to his middle-aged self (published in 1997’s autobiography Moab is my Washpot) and in response to his teenage self Fry recently wrote, via The Guardian:
“I know what you are doing now, young Stephen. It’s early 1973. You are in the library, cross-referencing bibliographies so that you can find more and more examples of queer people in history, art and literature against whom you can hope to validate yourself. Leonardo, Tchaikovsky, Wilde, Barons Corvo and von Gloeden… So many great spirits really do confirm that hope! It emboldens you to know that such a number of brilliant (if often doomed) souls shared the same impulse and desires as you.”
And now Fry’s calling the rest of us over to the Wilde side with him, having just selected his favourite Oscar Wilde stories for a new collection acquired by Harper Collins. The collection’s as yet untitled, but The Bind gathers that it’s due to be published in October, in hardback (yum) and in addition to 33 mouth-watering illustrations by Nicole Stewart. Fry will also be penning a general introduction to the collection, and foreword to each of the stories.
Oh, and as if we needed any more reason to launch efforts to trace our lineage to the Fry family tree, today saw the kick-off of the second series of Fry’s English Delight on Radio 4. The programme title? ‘So Wrong it’s Right’. In reference to my level of excitability over your new show, Stephen, how very correct you are.
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Posted in Discovery of the Week, Footnotes, Writers, tagged Arts Council, Cadaverine, interviews, new writers, poetry, prose, young writers on May 11, 2009|
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It slipped off the radar when I slithered down to the south of England, but due to a rather timely Facebook group invitation (at the very minute The Bind gets its socks pulled back up after a rather too long hiatus…) it’s back: the brightest beacon of young British writing this side of a printing press, Cadaverine.
Poetry, prose, interviews, and open to submissions from those under the age of 25, Cadaverine is dishing out the textual highs for surfacing new talent and those who love sniffing it out. Plus the layout won’t make your eyes bleed. And I like that.
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Just when it seemed that folks with an appetite for a good yarn were doomed to wonder the World Wide Web with nothing juicier than the amateur book reviews of romance novel aficionados to wrap our slobbery chops around, I am pointed in the direction of Untitled Books (thanks, TJ) – online bookshop, literary magazine and news feed… in short, a reader’s web dream.
Undercover mission: Untitled Books provides insight into the working lives and methods of today's greatest writers
But that’s not the best of it: not only do we get to bolster our voyeuristic leanings with features like the How I Write series (two things I have learnt today: Julian Barnes’ pile of unpaid bills serves as a makeshift coaster and Ali Smith would, in an alternate universe, be raiding orchards) but we can chortle at the highly entertaining and brilliantly written Literary Lonely Hearts section, my current favourite loner being the “Good looking undiscovered treasure trove of writing talent, male, 26,” who “seeks older lady in the publishing industry. Age and looks not important. Must wield reasonable level of power.”
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Jack Kerouac's first novel finally gets aired
The manuscript of Jack Kerouac’s first work, the unpublished The Sea is My Brother, has been acquired by Harpers in the US and is set to be published in its entirety for the first time.
The 158-page handwritten manuscript of The Sea is My Brother was penned by Kerouac during his time as a merchant seaman. In his notes on the project, he had written that the novel’s characters numbered “the vanishing American, the big free by, the American Indian, the last of the pioneers, the last of the hoboes”. The plot follows sailor Wesley Martin, who, Kerouac said, “escapes society for the sea, but finds the sea a place of terrible loneliness.”
In addition to the manuscript, Harper US has its hands on correspondence and commentary from a young Kerouac, which further illuminates the writer’s style, motivation and development. A deal for the book’s publication in the UK is still to be agreed.
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