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"Books are the DNA of a culture."
"Books are the DNA of a culture," stated Pat Schroeder, former Congresswoman and current President and CEO of the Association of American Publishers (AAP), at the Publishers Association of the South Fall Conference on Jekyll Island, Georgia, in September.
Schroeder had flown out of the Hurricane Isabel aftermath in Washington, D.C., to speak to the regional publishers. She suggested one outcome of such storms would be for everyone to pull out a flashlight and read. "This was a five book storm."
She also talked about the current lobbying and programs of the AAP. The move to a thirteen digit ISBN has been delayed. There is a move to increase publishing in the Spanish language. The Get Caught Reading program has been a success and could be made more local by photographing people reading in their hometown newspaper. The AAP has set up a site for those seeking careers in publishing at www.bookjobs.com .
Another program that the AAP is lobbying for the addition of book stamps to the USDA Food Stamp program. The book stamp would allow for the purchase of books at the grocery store. Pat Schroeder gave those present a mission -- "If we don't bring people to books, we deserve to die."
Pat Conroy 2003 Recipient of the Thomas Wolfe Prize
Pat Conroy claims that "Thomas Wolfe hit me like a thunderclap. He came to me in my teenage years and changed my entire life." Conroy credits Wolfe with helping him find his literary voice. Conroy connected to Wolfe's home life, where love was mixed with abuse. Both have been able to channel their childhood pain into literary art.
The Thomas Wolfe Prize, established in 2000 by the Thomas Wolfe Society and UNC, honors writers who share the same ambition, talent and strength as Thomas Wolfe. Past recipients include: Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test; Larry Brown, Billy Ray's Farm; and Elizabeth Spencer, No Place for an Angel.
The Thomas Wolfe Society will present the 2003 Thomas Wolfe Prize to Pat Conroy at UNC October 7th.
SWWC 2003 Emerging Writers Contest Winners
The Southern Women Writers Conference panel received over two hundred submissions for the Emerging Writers Contest. The first place winner in each category will read their work at the conference on October 18th and will be presented with $500.
At the Southern Women Writers Conference on Saturday, October 18th, Pam Kingsbury and Joyce Dixon of Southern Scribe along with Karin Glendenning of the Chattanooga Times-Free Press and Teresa Weaver of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, will present a program on the process of book reviewing, trends in southern writing and what it means to be a southern woman writer.
UGA Press Flannery O'Connor Awards Named
The University of Georgia Press have named Gary Fincke and Barbara Sutton as the 2003 Flannery O'Connor Award winners. Gary Fincke, a professor of English at Susquehanna University, won for his collection of stories entitled Sorry I Worried You. Barbara Sutton, a book editor for commercial and academic publishers from Somerville, Massachusetts, won for her ten-story collection entitled Empire of Light. Both collections will be published in 2004 by the UGA Press.
The Flannery O'Connor Awards will be presented on October 18, 2003 in Macon, Georgia.
Brian McHale Named as Winner of Elizabeth Agee Prize
The University of Alabama Press is pleased to announce the winner of the 2002 Elizabeth Agee Prize. This prize, awarded annually since 1987 by The University of Alabama Press Editorial Board, is given to the manuscript chosen as “Outstanding Scholarship in the Field of American Literary Studies.” This year’s selection, The Obligation Toward the Difficult Whole: Postmodernist Long Poems, by Brian McHale, Professor of English at The Ohio State University, is scheduled for publication in January 2004.
The Obligation Toward the Difficult Whole addresses the tradition of the long poem as practiced by postmodern poets today. McHale studies and compares individual poets and works, such as James Merrill’s The Changing Light at Sandover and John Ashbery’s Flow Chart. He makes clear the many characteristics and impulses that fall under the class of postmodernism.
David Nelson Duke Named Winner of McMillan Prize
The University of Alabama Press announces the winner of the 2002 Anne B. and James B. McMillan Prize. Given annually since 1995, this honor is awarded to the manuscript chosen as “Most Deserving in Alabama or Southern History or Culture” by The University of Alabama Press Editorial Board. Selected this year is In the Trenches with Jesus and Marx: Harry F. Ward and the Struggle for Social Justice, by the late David Nelson Duke, former Professor of Religion at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri.
The work, published in May of this year, is a gripping and insightful biography of a passionate, stubborn, and zealous religious and political leader. Harry F. Ward grew from a young idealistic Methodist minister to an influential leader whose position and comments caused him to be viewed as a zealous prophet or a heretic. David Duke used extensive archival sources to build a comprehensive story of Ward’s long and colorful career.
This prize was established to honor James B. McMillan, founding director of The University of Alabama Press, former chairman of the university’s English department, and a renowned dialectologist. The topics of recognized books have ranged from civil rights to religion, from southeastern archaeology to politics. The University of Alabama Press Editorial Board, which consists of scholars from all Alabama state universities that award a doctoral degree, confers the endowed prize on the basis of scholarly excellence.
The Sound and Fury of Literary Competition (Deadline: November 15, 2003)
The Small Town in Literature, Film, and Song (Deadline: November 15, 2003)
Texas Culture (Deadline: November 15, 2003)
Southern Literature (Deadline: November 15, 2003)
Eudora Welty and the War (Deadline: November 15, 2003)
Biography, Autobiography, Memoir, and Personal Narrative panel (November 15, 2003)
Journal of Kentucky Studies (Deadline: none)