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Online Literary Events for June

June 1-30 all day: Online Book Club. Join fellow readers in this monthly online book discussion with people from all over the country. This month, the group will be discussing And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, so join the discussion this month, or post your vote for the book the group will be talking about in July, and get opinion from all over.

June 11 at 1pm: Summertime Listening. Learn all about all the new books that are coming out this summer on ebook and audio book in this quick one hour free webinar to give you great summer reading suggestions.

June 13 at 1pm: What All Agents Want in a Great Young Adult Novel, by Carlie Webber. Participants can submit the first 500 words of their novel and get it critiqued by the literary agent Carlie Webber. You will get first hand exactly what agents are looking for when they are choosing authors to represent, and how you can improve your novel to get you that much closer to publication!

June 18 at 1pm: What an Agent Really Thinks While Reading Queries, by Kate McKean and Jim McCarthy. Every attendee can submit their work that could be critiqued live on this webinar, getting honest feedback from these two agents and a look inside of how agents treat submissions. McKean and McCarthy will also request more writing after the event from those participants that they deem excellent and may want to represent, giving you an inside look into the minds of agents, and a chance to get one of these two to represent you!

MAY I Please Have Some Literature In My Life?


Calling all book lovers! New York City always has something to do, and the literary community is no different. Here’s a list of some of the literary events happening in the city for the month of May to help you get out into the community, hear your favorite authors speak about their work, and maybe get some tips for your own. Most of these events are free or only have a requested donation, so you have no reason not to join the rest of those book lovers out there in New York City and share your love of all things literary.

April 29-May 5: The PEN World Voices of International Literature is an ongoing, all day, annual event to commemorate newly published authors, share success stories, get acquainted with publishers, hear lectures on how to get to that success stage in your own work, and meet other readers and writers from all over the world.

May 1, 7-8pm, Housing Works: The debut of Housing Works’ new monthly series of literary readings, beginning with Lucy Knisley, Max Messier, Sydney Kramer, and more. It is only a suggested donation, and not only do you get your fill of readings from contemporary authors, you also get to hang out with other book lovers.

May 2, 7pm, 192 Books: Get acquainted with Ken Kalfus and his new book Equilateral. Kalfus will be sharing parts of his intellectual, eccentric comedy based on the science and politics between Egypt and Britain in the nineteenth century, arguing for proof of life on Mars.

May 6, 8-10pm, Franklin Park: Come and celebrate the launch of Ben Greenman’s novel The Slippage at Franklin Park. Learn all about this new fiction novel and hang out with the author. With a $4 pint special, there’s no reason not to.

May 8, 6:30pm, Brooklyn Academy of Music: Hear the author of the popular comic Dykes to Watch Out For Alison Bechdel talk about her newest tragicomic memoir, Are You My Mother? Join the discussion on this book and learn about the future of her memoir series.

May 97pm, PowerHouse Arena: Anton Nocito shares his experiences in his success from developing his own all-natural soda, following the release of his book Make Your Own Soda. Learn about the steps he took to succeed in his own company and how he translated that into a memoir.

May 10, 8pm, 92Y’s Poetry Center: Witness the rare poetry reading by W.S. Merwin and hear firsthand some of his brand new poetry following the release of his new collection.

May 13, 8pm, Franklin Park: A new monthly event starting at Franklin Park in Brooklyn! The Reading Series brings five authors to Prospect Heights to share pieces of their new works of fiction.

May 14, 7pm, The Strand: Tiziana Lo Porto presents his new biography, Superzelda: The Graphic Life of Zelda Fitzgerald.

May 15, 6:30pm, Symphony Space: Jane Gardam, British author of Old Filth and The Man in the Wooden Hat, makes a rare appearance to New York City to present some of her work and discuss the future for her series.

May 15, 7pm, Barnes and Noble on 17th Street: Paul Farmer presents his new book To Repair the World: Paul Farmer Speaks to the Next Generation and his comments on how to solve the social issues in the world through the next generation.

May 18: In Cobble Hill Brooklyn, the annual Lit Crawl brings writers and readers together to appreciate all of the classics in the community of other lit buffs just like you and I through bars all around Brooklyn.

May 20, 7pm, Barnes and Noble on Broadway: Judith Regan interviews Laura Antoniou, author of The Killer Wore Leather and discusses the implications of this book and others on the use of sexuality in women’s literature in the modern age.

May 23-25 at the Radisson Martinique: The Backspace Writers Conference is a great opportunity, exposing writers to a community, publishers, and lectures to help them workshop their own books. Registration and payment is required for this event, but for writers looking to publish their work, this conference is a perfect local opportunity to get that jumpstart assistance.

May 29, 6:30pm, Brooklyn Academy of Music: Richard Russo presents his brand new, witty and award-winning memoir Elsewhere. Come and join the following and learn all about his switch from fiction to memoir, and learn all about his hilarious and emotional account of his childhood.

Amazon + Goodreads, The New Literary Lovechild

Oh, Amazon. At it again. As many of you know, the corporation bought Goodreads last week, creating a new literary lovechild. A good ol’ literary scandal.

With Amazon purchasing many of the big websites today, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’ve recently merged with Goodreads, a book recommendation community for readers. As a platform to recommend books, Goodreads is an ideal place for book sales (i.e. perfect for Amazon).

This new merger will still keep much of the layout of the website the same and preserve the Goodreads community. The only major changes to the site will be in customizations for Kindle users and their new ability to preview books and purchase directly from the website. For users reading on all other kinds of e-readers and in print, the rest of the site’s navigation and the social aspect of sharing books will stay.

There will still be links to other retailers besides Amazon because of the variety of users, and according to both Amazon and Goodreads, the site will still remain a place to share books, but now with the ability to start reading them directly on the site without going to a third party.

So, the site will remain the same for the most part. The only major difference will be behind the scenes—Amazon will have access to all the books you’ve read, are reading, or want to read. Perfect for a website that’s trying to sell you books, no?

Are some users going to leave the site in an active boycott of Amazon? Definitely. Has Amazon gone a little “Big Brother” in the literary world? Yup. But the more important question is will Goodreads remain the same online literary community it has been? Looks like it.

Literary Spotlight: Beatdom


In this week’s Literary Spotlight we had the chance to speak with David Willis, editor for long running beat magazine Beatdom.  He talks about beat literature, finding your inspiration, and how to get published.

How long has your journal been running?

6 years.

What motivated you to run a journal centered on the beat generation?

I was going through a Beat phase at the end of my time in university, and it seemed like a subject with a wide range of possibilities. Admittedly, in the beginning it was more “beat-inspired” and I anticipated it being filled with political stuff, but in the end it turned into a more traditional literary journal. 

Where do you look for new contributors?

Our website is actually very popular and so people usually stumble upon it via Google (or nowadays Facebook and Twitter) and from there they tend to submit their ideas. We get most of our poetry from PW, though.

What’s the importance of magazines like yours to aspiring writers?

We get a lot of submissions but we try not to place too much emphasis on a person’s experience, and so we’ll read all submissions. It can be hard to crack this market, but we like to give everyone a fair chance. Once they have something published with us it opens a few doors for them. 

What, to you, defines beat literature?

Tough question. There are a few definitions and even at our magazine no one really agrees. I think the simplest is that the Beats were a group of men and women in the 1940s who hung out and tried to create their own little space. The literature, then, is what they created. The problem is that their literary aims were so different. Burroughs, especially, noted that they shared very few stylistic elements. People nowadays, however, tend to think of “beat” as different, alternative. So therefore Bukowski was Beat, and Bob Dylan, and people like Pete Doherty, etc. That definition is problematic, too, because you can just apply the term wherever you see fit. 

Any advice to authors looking to get published?

Once you’ve written something, put it aside and re-read it months later. Only then can you really experience what other people will think of your work. I think it was Burroughs who said that writers are notoriously poor judges of their own work.

What resources do you recommend to writers looking to improve?

Read as much as you can, and read widely. If you read too much Kerouac, you’ll sound like a cheap Kerouac rip-off, for example. Read some Kerouac and then follow it up with something totally different. If you read something bad, ask why it was bad. If you enjoy it, figure out why. 

What’s the best way to purchase your journal?

We release our journal on Kindle, but it’s much better in paper. The images - even though they’re all black and white - really look better in print. I’m a big Kindle fan, but in this case I have to say the paper copy is a better experience. It’s available on Amazon and from our website.

What’s the best route or advice for those who want to write for Beatdom?

Take a look at the magazine, or at the website (we put all of our essays online eventually) and if you think you can produce something that would fit, drop me an e-mail at Tell me a bit about yourself and why you’re applying, and what it is that you want to submit. Please don’t send a blank e-mail with an attachment! About a quarter of our poetry submissions come in that way. Those are the only submissions that don’t get a reply.

Literary Spotlight: The Bacon Review

Rather than being a pork-based compendium, The Bacon Review seeks to publish authors who are passionate about high quality literature in any form.  Those looking to submit can do so here, though they should read the guidelines first.  We got a chance to speak with Eric Westerlind, editor at The Bacon Review, about his experience with the industry.

How long has your journal been running?

Our first issue came down the chute one year ago in October. Once a month since then.

What is the focus of your journal?

Selective literature. Four pieces each month, poetry, prose, or non-fiction depending on the selection. We like a blend of grit and craft, one for glue, the other for texture.

What attracted you to working on this journal? 

'Being part of the conversation' as a mentor put it. Publishing the work that we want in a place of our designing allows us to help further work that we see as essential for the voice of today’s writer and culture. 

Any advice to authors looking to get published?

1) Make your work look good. 2) Send in your best pieces– don’t save it for the big break you think you’re going to get at (insert amazing magazine of your dreams). You can always write better than your best again if someone gobbles that up. 

What resources do you recommend to writers looking to improve?

Peers. Peer review. Writing groups. Re-reading. Read aloud. Take a class, sure, but most: don’t write everything down in one day. Stop yourself at 7/8ths of the way to done, walk away while you’re still hungry, and the well will replenish itself so you can write again the next day, ad infinitum.

What’s the best way to purchase your journal?

It’s so free. If you feel some moral need to send money, we have a donate function, but that’s fairly underused. 

Literary Spotlight: Atticus Review


Atticus Review is a weekly online journal with a unique sense of style and eclectic tastes.  A subset of Atticus Books, the journal embraces unique writing of all kinds. We got to speak with Dan Cafaro, Chief Imagination Officer at Atticus, for his take on the industry. Writers looking to submit can head here, or can reach out to Dan with ideas for regular columns.                             

How long has your journal been running?   

It’s been alive and kicking for 18 months. It’s still learning how to walk and most days resorts to crawling. But oddly enough it knows the tarantella. And prefers whiskey over mother’s milk.  

What is the focus of your journal? 

To patch together the imaginative tissue that the adult world has torn asunder. To shatter conventions and awaken the sleeping observer within. To reinvent fabric, shred fig leaves and mock fashionable wardrobes. 

What attracted you to working on this journal? 

I dig writers.  And Katrina Gray and Libby O’Neill promised that they would do all the work. Then Jamie Iredell, Michael Meyerhofer and Matt Mullins stepped up and made it even better. And now all I need to do is look pretty and smile for the cameras. 

Any advice to authors looking to get published?   

Wait your turn. And then wow ‘em. 

What resources do you recommend to writers looking to improve? 

There are these things called literary magazines — you can hold ‘em in your palms or get ‘em on your palm tablet — they’re the latest craze, I hear.  And if you act now, I think some editors are throwing in an apple corer and, in some genre-bending circles, an exercise pulley.  They’re a wonder to behold — these bound and unbound reading devices — and they’re quite illustrious too. 

What’s the best way to purchase your journal?   

It’s free and easy, like the breeze at sunrise, only less predictable. 

However, if you insist on buttering our bread, then by all means, please visit our deadbeat parent’s website, browse our titles and purchase some mind-altering, life-affirming material.   

Stuff We Love: LitReactor

What is LitReactor?

LitReactor is an online community for readers and writers. It was born out of Chuck Palahniuk’s official website,, which grew to host interviews by other authors, a writing workshop, and online writing classes. It was growing so fast, the decision was made to spin some of those elements off into their own entity, independent of Palahniuk (though indebted to his influence).

LitReactor offers a lot of great things, but essentially, if you want to be a better writer, find something new to read, or connect with literary-minded individuals, this is where to do it.

How does the online classroom environment help writers meet their goals?

The classes are highly collaborative. It’s not a couple of written lectures and then you’re left to your own devices. Our teachers answer questions and critique work. There are phone conferences and video chats. We’re introducing new formats, and covering different disciplines and genres.

The online environment is flexible, too. If you have to work during the day and you can’t check in until later in the day, or even the middle of the night, the lectures and assignments are there.

The most important thing, though, is that you’re not just interacting with your instructor—you’re working with your classmates. They’re critiquing your work, taking part in discussions, and encouraging you to push yourself.

What can writers expect to get out of the classes you offer?

Our goal is to provide writers with an a la carte approach to a writing education. Going to an MFA program is out of reach for a lot of people—they’re expensive, they’re a huge time commitment, they’re far away. We wanted to do something a little more democratic. If you want to work with a particular author, or focus on a particular discipline, you can do it here. If you want to take one class or all of them, you can do it.

Ultimately, we want writers to leave these classes with confidence, with polished work, and with better tools and resources.

Who teaches the classes?

Our teachers are established authors and industry professionals—from writers like David Corbett, Jack Ketchum, Craig Clevenger, Lidia Yuknavitch and Christa Faust, to agents and publishers. You can see the full run of courses that we’ve offered at this link. We’ve had some really fantastic people teach for us, and we’ve got some exciting people lined up.

Do you offer any other resources for writers?

We have an online workshop, where in order to post your work, you have to review the work of other people. You earn points based on how helpful your critiques are, and when you earn enough points you can post your own piece. This is to encourage people to engage, rather than post their stuff and move along.

We also host essays and columns on craft and the publishing industry. There’s also a discussion board, which has a life of its own. We have a very close-knit community, and they host flash fiction challenges and develop projects together.

How can writers sign up for classes?

We put out new classes through the website, as well as our social media accounts and our newsletter. If people are looking for a particular class, or want to learn more, they can visit the site, or just e-mail us, at We try to take requests into account—we’ve gotten a lot of requests for classes covering erotica and non-fiction, and we’re working on developing them. 

Flavorwire » 10 of the Greatest YA Series of All Time

What are some of your favorites?

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland Catcher in the Rye The Girl with the Dragan Tattoo Moby Dick Oliver Twist


Famous meals from literature…

More here.

(Source: vintageanchorbooks)



Welcome to our second installment of our favorite pets with their favorite books. Every FRIDAY we’ll post a new set so be sure to send us your pictures all summer long! And don’t worry, it’s not just for dogs! If you have a turtle, or an aquarium, or hey, even if you have a pet rock, grab that book you’ve been meaning to read and set up a photoshoot. 
Send your pictures to! 
Ozzie loves Dr. Seuss, but sometimes questions the Cat’s choice in headgear. 
John (the person) and Otto (the dog) spend some quality time with the written word. 
Next time, this canine won’t try reading War and Peace in one sitting.