Join Pubslush in celebrating National Family Literacy Day this November 1st. Since 1994, National Family Literacy Day has been organized by the National Centre for Family Literacy (NCFL) to raise awareness around the importance of education through family and reading.
The NCFL runs various programs involving student developmental tools in-class and at home; awards and recognition for competitions; community outreach through book drives and celebrity appearances; and professional development for staff and parents. All in their mission to promote the foundations of childhood education through literacy and family values.
On November 1st NCFL is beginning National Family Literacy Month and launching The Big Give for Families Learning. The NCFL Big Give is a fundraising campaign for various programs and services expanding the overall mission. Pubslush is following progress with the Twitter hashtag #NCFLBigGive. Of course you can also follow @NCFLiteracy.
There are many ways to support the campaign; as a community of people or even as an individual.
To show your support:
OR you could even set up your own campaign to raise funds and compete for prizes.
AND, on November 1st, vocalize your support by sharing your personal literacy story and praise for NCFL’s mission using the #NCFLBigGive hashtag.
Prizes for participants include domestic flights, SeaWorld Fun season passes, books signed by award-winning authors, smartphones and more.
Pubslush is a fan of NCFL and always in support of initiatives that align with on our mission of expanding childhood education, locally and internationally. Literacy is the gateway to education, and something we feel must be prioritised from the beginning.
Pubslush is using bloglovin, an easy way to follow your favorite blogs
<a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/10957981/?claim=b2mhw7y59yf”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>
Twitter has yet another great use: staying connected to the newest books and authors. As readers, we’re always looking to get lost in the next great book. But the ageless question is how do you find that next can’t-put-it-down read?
Thanks to Twitter, you can find plenty of honest reviews of books by readers just like yourself without ever having to leave the comfort of your own bed. What are you waiting for?
Huff Post Books, @HuffPostBooks
Here you’ll find book suggestions and reviews, stay updated on the newest information in the publishing world, and learn about the newest books being turned into movies.
NY Times Books, @NYTimesBooks
Book reviews, author news, links to interviews, updates on which new books are worth reading and an inside look at the publishing world, .
Electric Lit, @ElectricLit
A great connection to new books, author news, and literary events. Electric Lit keeps you deeply involved in all the things readers love.
The description of this online literary journal is “specializing in work that melts faces and rocks waffles.” Love. Enough said.
The Book Club, @thebookclub
An international book club for book lovers everywhere to get together and talk about the books they’re reading. Thousands of people are already talking – join the conversation!
Book Page, @bookpage
Daily book suggestions so you’ll always get your fill on the next great read. Plus, a great community of readers.
Digital Book World, @DigiBookWorld
Stay connected, be a part of the literary world and hear all of the news in the publishing industry. DBW also gives readers links to the newest and most popular ebooks and connects them to the authors.
Net Galley, @NetGalley
Net Galley helps you stay ahead of the curve and learn about great new books before anyone else is talking about them.
Galley Cat, @GalleyCat
A reader’s paradise. Galley Cat gives all you tweeting readers contests for free books, literary events all over and quotes from your favorite writers.
Amazon Kindle, @AmazonKindle
Have a quick connection to all of the deals Kindle has to offer. You’ll be connected to other readers also looking for the Kindle Daily Deals and thrown into great book conversations to get your next recommendation.
Thursday, June 6, 7pm at 52 Prince Street. City Lights Poets, Homero Aridjis, A Time of Angels. Aridjis will be presenting his brand new collection of poetry, A Time of Angels. As one of Mexico’s most respected poets, he writes bilingually and has the artwork of Francisco Toledo accompanying his words.
Friday, June 7, 7-8pm at Barnes and Noble at 150 East 86th Street. Mark Goldblatt, newspaper columnist and professor at FIT, has published his first novel The Unrequited, and is presenting it to interested readers just like you at Barnes and Noble. This mystery novel from the perspective of a journalist will keep you turning the pages until the end as you follow whether or not a murderer and rapist is guilty.
Thursday, June 13, 6pm at 97 Warren Street. For all those James Joyce lovers out there, a James Joyce Tribute with readings from Ulysses and his other works by actors and authors who appreciate Joyce’s masterpieces. Pete Hamill, Adam Gopnik, Malachy McCourt, Larry Kirwan, Jeffrey Frank, Aedin Moloney, Don O’Keefe, and Carolyn T. Hughes will all be participating.
Saturday, June 15, 10am at Port Washington, Long Island. A tour of Manhasset Bay in the spirit of The Great Gatsby and F. Scott Fitzgerald! The tour will last about two hours, and will give you all the history that sparked Fitzgerald’s imagination to create the great work we all know and love. And of course, to honor Fitzgerald’s tradition and memory, BYOB.
Wednesday, June 19, from 7-9pm at KGB Bar on 85 East Fourth Street. The reading series Fantastic Fiction represents great authors and their works for readers to come and listen. The series is continuing, hosted by Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel, as they present Sarah Langan, author of The Keeper, The Missing, and Audrey’s Door.
Saturday, June 22, 2pm beginning at the White Horse Tavern at 567 Hudson Street. The Greenwich Village Literary Pub Crawl, happening every Saturday, takes you on a great tour of the Greenwich bars filled with literary history, giving you both your fill of your favorite historical authors that have lived and written in this area, along with all the drinks the greats used to create their great works of literature.
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 9, 7pm, 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.
Pubslush had the chance to speak with Junot Diaz, fiction editor of the Boston Review and author of Drown, This Is How You Lose Her, and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.
Diaz shares his insights as an author and editor below!
What is the mission of Boston Review?
Trying to publish the kind of work that might be useful to the future. The kind of work that helps to make clear our present. These are the days where spaces of deliberation are few and far between. Boston Review seeks to be one.
Boston review is “a magazine of political, cultural, and literary ideas.” How does that translate into what you are looking for in fiction submissions?
Fiction is composed of politics, culture and literary ideas so our section is perhaps the truest daughter of the Review and its most representative tribune.
But to be less pompous: in our section we’re trying to publish fiction people can’t put down, that starts conversations; also we’re trying to publish as many first-timers as possible. Keeping an eye always for that flash of wildness that someone else might miss but that makes reading such a joy.
What, in your opinion, makes for a powerful piece of writing?
News of the world. Formalistic experimentation and an ineluctable sense of the human. I love to be brought to wonder when I read, to be shaken, to be reminded of what it means to be a person. But most of all I want to leave my skull and be in communion, intimately, briefly with another living mind. Something we don’t often do outside of art and love.
As an author that has bounced back and forth between the short story form and novel form, do you think there are stories that should be told in only one form or the other? And how does an author know which form is best for a particular story?
In this case it really is all about length. There are some stories where the length IS your canvas and other stories where the short connection, severed ruthlessly at the end, best communicate your project. A lot of times you have no idea which will suit your story best. This is something that sucks about the art—sometimes you don’t know until you first make a run at it. The journey teaches you what’s possible. And plenty of stories grow into novels so it’s a dynamic process of learning and feeling out how much life your narrative has in it.
Language. Just talk to us about language.
What a question! So straightforward and yet so impossible to answer well. Don’t know what to say except that I love wrestling with all my languages, trying to make an ark for them all. And for me there is no greater enjoyment than when I read someone who uses their languages well, who describes something so perfectly that I will always refer to their vision of the thing in my mind.
How do you think a person makes the transformation from “aspiring author” to “writer”?
There are ten billion ways. Reading helps most of them.
1. Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a published author with Simon and Schuster?
Sure! Well, I tried going the traditional route in getting published—getting an agent, the agent getting me a publisher, the publisher giving me a deal—and only got rejected. After 9 years of rejection, I decided to change my goals when it came to writing. I realized I write because I love it and feel compelled to do it, and all I wanted was to get my books out there to readers. And if this was my ultimate goal, then I wasn’t accomplishing it by letting all my books sit on my computer desktop.
So, I decided to give this website called Wattpad a try. Wattpad is like a YouTube for writers. Anyone can write and post stories on this writing community site and people can read them, comment on them, vote for them, etc. I began to write an original story called, LIFE’S A WITCH, January 1, 2011. It was a YA novel based loosely on the Salem Witch Trials but set in modern day. And it became really popular. After six months of having it up on the site, I had six million reads of the book. Then, after a year I had 18 million reads of it and people were asking where to buy it. So, I decided to self-publish.
Luckily, right around this time, a kind reporter from Publisher’s Weekly heard about my story and interviewed me for the site. Because of this article, the traditional publishing industry came calling, along with foreign publishers and Hollywood. After only about a month of having the book available for purchase, I went into an auction between four publishing houses and then ultimately decided to go with Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers! And as they say….the rest is history!
2. What is your new book about?
WHAT THE SPELL? is the first book in my LIFE’S A WITCH series. It’s a prequel/spin-off to the book I published online, and takes place a year before LAW and with a different main character. In WTS, Brooklyn Sparks feels like she’s been invisible her whole life. Luckily, she’s also a witch—who’s about to come into her witchy powers—and can do something about it. So she gives herself a magical makeover, which catches the eye of the popular group at school, called “The Elite,” and the guy she’s been crushing on for like, ever. But Brooklyn quickly realizes that you have to be careful what you witch for, because your biggest dreams in life might not turn out to be a dream come true after all.
3. What kind advice would you give authors who are struggling to get their stories read?
Do whatever you can to spread the word. Tell everyone, everywhere that you write and about your stories. Include links on all your social media (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Wattpad, & other social sites), and if you’re not on social media, get on it. Consider it a necessary evil of running a business if you’re opposed to being on there to begin with. Interact with your potential fans….the more they feel they know you and connect to you, the more likely they’ll be to help spread the word.
And above all else…you need to write a good story. One that people actually want to read. If you can’t even get people to pick up your book because it’s about a topic that no one is interested in or it’s unedited, then it’s never going to become popular. If your book is riddled with spelling mistakes, incomplete sentences and a storyline that zigs and zags all over the place, it will take away from the experience of someone reading it. You never want a reader to put down a book after the first page or two, simply because you didn’t spell-check or get a trusted person’s feedback on the story first.
4. What’s next for you?
Well, WHAT THE SPELL? is available to buy everywhere now. LIFE’S A WITCH (the new and improved version) will be available July 9th, followed by THE WITCH IS BACK in January 2014. I’m also going to be at BEA (Book Expo of America) this summer, will be speaking on panels and at events, visiting schools in the tri-state area and will HOPEFULLY start working on a new series that I’ll be pitching soon. And then, cross your fingers…but I would love to get LAW made into a movie or TV show!
5. If you had to describe yourself in three words only, what would they be?
Determined, Goofy, Creative
Christmas may be long go, but baby, it’s still cold outside and the chill in the air probably won’t be warming up anytime soon. However, let’s look one the bright side. You get to wear fabulous and warm scarves in the winter. Okay, and it’s a great excuse to hibernate and start knocking books off your reading list. At Pubslush, we know your reading list can never be too long, so we’ve compiled some of our favorite cozy reads to help you get through the winter blues.
Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson
The Pubslush team passing out books for World Book Night 2012.
What is World Book Night?
World Book Night is an annual celebration dedicated to spreading the joy of reading, person to person. Each year on April 23, tens of thousands of people go out into their communities and give half a million free World Book Night paperbacks to light and nonreaders.
World Book Night is about giving books and encouraging reading in those who don’t regularly do so. But it is also about more than that: It’s about people, communities and connections, about reaching out to others and touching lives in the simplest of ways—through the sharing of stories.
World Book Night is a nonprofit organization. We exist because of the support of thousands of book givers, booksellers, librarians, financial supporters, and corporate sponsors who believe in our mission.
Where did the idea originate?
World Book Night was successfully launched in the U.K. in 2011. The idea was born in an Industry conference in 2010, the purpose of which was to imagine a way to encourage more adults to read. After the great success it had in 2011 in the UK, the idea spread across the world to the USA, Ireland, and Germany. The first World Book Night USA was held on April 23, 2012. Thank you to our U.K. friends for such a wonderful idea!
How did you spread the word for the first U.S. WBN?
We had a strong social media marketing campaign that was complemented by some local press. Additionally, the booksellers took it upon themselves to contact their local press and get the word out about World Book Night. We were lucky to also have some national press and support from all our sponsors. Finally, the book community united to help us spread the joy of reading and the mission of World Book Night.
How are the books chosen?
Each year, an independent council of booksellers and librarians selects the books. Their decision is informed by the nominations of thousands of passionate readers. Each year, the previous year’s givers are given the opportunity to nominate books for consideration.
What feedback did you receive after the first U.S. WBN?
We’ve heard heartwarming stories from hundreds of givers and recipients, some of them include:
- Chris Cander’s article on her experience at a shelter for homeless and runaway teens:
- “Gave a book to a woman this morning, who took it with tears in her eyes. She told me that she rarely gets to the library and cannot afford to buy new books on her own. She graciously took the book, opened it up, smelled the pages, said ‘God bless you, my child,’ and walked away clutching her new found treasure. Makes me tear up too, thinking about what a difference we are making today!” – Adrian
- “I’d like to let you know that just this night I received a packet of thank-you letters hand-written by most of the recipients of my 20 copies of The Hunger Games. These letters come from inmates at a local correctional facility, to whom I donated copies of my WBN book. … My favorite part of any letter was probably: ‘I think the idea for World Book Night is [a] beneficial concept to help people because for myself, I don’t like reading. By you giving us this book, it was the first book that I ever read. I liked the book, and now I’m reading book two Catching Fire.’ (This man stated to my friend, who works at the facility, that this was the first full-length book he had ever read to completion in his life.)” - Heather
Will there be any changes for the upcoming WBN?
After gathering very important feedback from our 2012 givers we’re aiming to make World Book Night an even better experience for 2013. We’re making it easier for the new readers to get feedback to us while encouraging givers to get feedback themselves, whenever possible. Additionally, we’re suggesting to the bookstores and libraries to host receptions in the week prior to April 23rd. There are some other ideas in the works that we wish will be possible for 2013… we strive to improve each year after listening closely to our volunteers.
How can people get involved?
People can apply to be givers. Book givers are people that volunteer to give out 20 copies of a book to light or non readers. Additionally, people can help spread the word on World Book Night through their social media or by sharing it with their community. Other ways to help us is by donating or informing us of local foundations that might be able to give some financial support.
Bookstores and libraries can sign up to be pick up points, and we encourage the booksellers and librarians to be givers themselves as well!
A big thanks to our friends at World Book Night for sharing this wonderful information with us! For more information, visit www.us.worldbooknight.org/.