Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Two international writing prizes now open for entry

Two international writing prizes, administered by Proverse Hong Kong are now open for entry:

They are:

The Proverse Prize (book-length work), closing date, 14 June.

The Proverse Poetry Prize (single poems), closing date 30 June 2017.

The prizes are publication and one or more cash awards. Winners are invited to showcase their work at one of the two annual Proverse events, one in April, one in November, traditionally held in a lovely heritage building, in Hong Kong Central District.

Details and entry forms are available at

(You can see the video of the recent April event at:

Aotearoa Reads, your A-Z of lively written, audio and video content on Aotearoa books and writers.

Five Terrific, Must-Read Kiwi Crime Novels Set in Otago
Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel founder Craig Sisterson recommends five must-read Kiwi crime novels set in Otago.
New Zealand's favourite library books revealed
Even in the age of e-readers Kiwis love libraries - patrons of libraries in New Zealand's main centres checked out nearly 26 million items in the year to June 2016. Read more.
Link to Aotea Reads for much more here

Childrens Books Roundup with PW

In the Spotlight

Next week, the book publishing community will gather at New York City's Javits Center for the annual BookExpo convention. We've rounded up all the highlights of the many children's book events, appearances, booths, giveaways, and more.

BookExpo 2017:
A Children’s Books Guide

Here is our guide to the children’s book-focused programming—from Editors’ Buzz Panels to author talks, and more—that attendees can look forward to next week.


From the New Yorker:
The Children's Authors Who Helped Us Grow Up.
Click here
From Entertainment Weekly:
Shannon and Dean Hale to write mashup of Monster High and Ever After High.
Click here
From the Scotsman:
Harry Potter fans are risking their lives on famed rail track.
Click here
From Entertainment Weekly:
Nicola Yoon explains how her cameo almost went wrong.
Click here
From Literary Hub:
Why We Do Need Another Adaptation of Little Women.
Click here
From the Guardian:
Ten Things Anne of Green Gables Taught Me.
Click here
From the Bookseller:
Anthony Horowitz's U.K. publisher says it did not warn author off creating black character.
Click here
From the Detroit News:
Jack White pens children's book based on White Stripes song.
Click here
From the New York Times:
Drag Queen Story Hour Puts the Rainbow in Reading.
Click here
From Brightly:
Four Truths About Reading I Learned from My Children.
Click here

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day celebrate 20 years with diverse poetry collection


To mark the 20th anniversary of Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day (NPD), 20 leading Kiwi poets were asked to select one of their own poems, something they felt spoke to New Zealanders now. They also chose a poem by an emerging poet, writers they feel make essential reading for us in 2017.

The result is the 20/20 Collection – 40 poems by New Zealand poets who represent the diversity and vibrancy of talent in our contemporary national literature. The list includes Poet Laureates, Ockham New Zealand Book Awards winners, and strong new voices from recent collections and anthologies.

NPD has been running continuously since 1997 and is always celebrated on the last Friday in August. Poetry enthusiasts from all over New Zealand organise a feast of events – from poetry slams to flash and pop-up events – in venues that include schools, libraries, bars, galleries, surf clubs, and parks. This year’s NPD will be held on Friday 25 August.

Launched today, the 20/20 Collection will be published in groups of ten poems between now and NPD. Featured poets are: Jenny Bornholdt and her pick, Ish Doney; Paula Green and Simone Kaho; Vincent O’Sullivan and Lynley Edmeade; Apirana Taylor and Kiri Piahana Wong; Alison Wong and Chris Tse; Tusiata Avia and Teresia Teaiwa; Kevin Ireland and Gregory Kan; Diana Bridge and John Dennison; Andrew Johnston and Bill Nelson; Michael Harlow and Paul Schimmel; C.K. Stead and Johanna Emeney; David Eggleton and Leilani Tamu; Elizabeth Smither and Rob Hack; Richard Reeve and Michael Steven; Robert Sullivan and Ngahuia Te Awekotuku; Bill Manhire and Louise Wallace; Selina Tusitala Marsh and Reihana Robinson; Cilla McQueen and David Holmes; James Norcliffe and Marisa Capetta; and Brian Turner and Jillian Sullivan.

Paula Morris, NPD spokesperson for the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, said that she was “excited to see the range of voices selected here, and the ethnic and geographic diversity in the poets chosen by our twenty established writers. This list speaks to a 'new' New Zealand literature, and reflects how much our culture is changing and growing.”

Many of the poets featured in the 20/20 Collection will take part in events on 25 August, Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day 2017. Event organisers are encouraged to register their poetry event online as soon as possible:

Now into their second year of naming rights sponsorship of National Poetry Day, Phantom Billstickers will support NPD and 20/20 on the ground, online and in print, with funky billstickers that celebrate our nation’s poets. Business Development Manager Kelly Wilson says, “If given a platform, poetry speaks to people. We are very proud at Phantom to support National Poetry Day and provide platforms all around the country for the poetic voice of  New Zealand.”

Latest News from The Bookseller

Manchester Arena
Manchester-based independent presses have spoken of their sombre mood following the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena last night, as the literary community expressed solidarity with the victims and their families on social media.
David France
David France's insider account of the AIDS epidemic, How to Survive A Plague: The Story of How Activists and Scientists Tamed AIDS (Picador), has been named the "unanimous" winner of the Green Carnation Prize.
Chloe Coles
Hot Key Books has acquired a new teen series from debut author and Foyles bookseller Chloe Coles.
The Times’ commissioning books editor Fiona Wilson and Titan Books’ managing editor Beth Lewis are joining crowd-funding publisher Unbound.
Ruth Ware
Harvill Secker has signed Ruth Ware to write another two books in a deal that will be keeping the author busy until 2020.
John Leahy, executive vice president and chief financial officer at Cengage, is to step down at the end of the year, the company has said.

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Pan Macmillan has poached Ronnie "The Rocket" O’Sullivan after his debut, Framed, published last year with Orion. 
Amazon is putting on an event for self-published authors in Edinburgh today in partnership with the Alliance for Independent Authors.
William Keegan
Biteback Publishing is to release a "major" new work by veteran journalist William Keegan.
Jenny Colgan
Sphere has acquired two new books in Jenny Colgan's School by the Sea series: Lessons and Studies. 

The Roundup with PW

Bookseller Charity Raises $224,000
All Big Five publishers have made significant contributions to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation this year, prompted by authors Ann Patchett and James Patterson.
more »

Appeals Court Orders Expedited Hearing in ReDigi Case
The order, issued by Denny Chin, the judge who presided over Google’s library book scanning litigation, could mean oral arguments in the copyright case could be heard this summer.
more » »

What Amazon Charts Means for You: Amazon’s new rating system for the book market is seeking to challenge the decades-long dominance of the 'New York Times' bestseller status.

Elizabeth Warren's Book Advance: Senator Warren banked a $200,000 advance for her latest book, according to her newly filed Senate financial disclosure forms.

Tales of the Mysterious Bookshop: Is Otto Penzler the most important figure in the history of mystery fiction who’s never written a mystery story?

Polish Poetry, American Resistance: After President Donald Trump was elected on November 8, many sought out poetry—and Polish poetry in particular.

One Hundred Years of Success: When Gabriel García Márquez’s most famous novel was published, it faced a difficult publishing climate and baffled reviews. 50 years later, it's a classic.


The Rome Affair

The Rome Affair

Karen Swan

 RRP $34.99, Pan Books Trade Paperback

The glamorous capital city of Italy is brought to startling life in The Rome Affair, a compelling novel by Karen Swan.

1974 and Elena Damiani lives a gilded life. Born to wealth and a noted beauty, no door is closed to her, no man can resist her. At twenty-six, she is already onto her third husband when she meets her love match. But he is the one man she can never have, and all the beauty and money in the world can't change it.

2017 and Francesca Hackett is living la dolce vita in Rome, leading tourist groups around the Eternal City and forgetting the ghosts she left behind in London. When she finds a stolen designer handbag in her dustbin and returns it, she is brought into the orbit of her grand neighbour who lives across the piazza – famed socialite Viscontessa Elena dei Damiani Pignatelli della Mirandola. Though the purse is stolen, Elena greets the return of the bag with exultation for it contains an unopened letter written by her husband on his deathbed, twelve years earlier.

Mutually intrigued by each other, the two women agree to collaborate on a project, with Cesca interviewing Elena for her memoirs. As summer unfurls, Elena tells her sensational stories, leaving Cesca in her thrall. But when a priceless diamond ring found in an ancient tunnel below the city streets is ascribed to Elena, Cesca begins to suspect a shocking secret at the heart of Elena's life.

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest in Sussex, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs. Her books include Christmas at Tiffany's, Summer at Tiffany's, The Perfect Present, Christmas on Primrose Hill, Christmas Under the Stars and The Paris Secret.


Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

At Doubleday, John Pitts has been promoted to vice president and executive director of marketing. Judy Jacoby has been named vice president and creative marketing director. Lauren Weber has been promoted to assistant marketing director, while Sarah Engelmann moves up to marketing manager.

Michael Barrs will join Hachette Books as marketing director starting May 30. Most recently, he was marketing director for Dey Street Books. Betsy Hulsebosch's role as marketing director will now be devoted to the Black Dog & Leventhal list.

In promotions at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Cheryl Dickemper moves up to director of school supply and reference sales, while Olivia Wilson is now sales manager for specialty retail and international. Carissa Ray, recently appointed sales representative, now manages HMH's relationship with Raincoast Distribution in Canada. Jackie Sassa, moves up to lead sales coordinator for national accounts.

Additionally, Kate Mills will retire from her position as vice president of contracts, as of June 1, after working at HMH and Houghton Mifflin for 35 years. She can be reached at

Cengage evp and chief financial officer John Leahy will step down at the end of the year, "after helping to ensure a smooth transition of his responsibilities to his successor." They say in a release that the "transition is aligned with the company's strategic focus on executing a digital business transformation."

Matti Shem Tov will succeed Kurt Sanford as ceo of ProQuest in the third quarter of 2017. Shem Tov has been president of ProQuest subsidiary Ex Libris.

Digital subscription reading service Scribd has added select articles from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and "more than a dozen top-tier news brands." More notably, as part of the press rollout, Scribd ceo Trip Adler
tells NiemanLab they have more than 500,000 monthly subscribers paying $8.99 a month.

Simon & Schuster is launching a summer-long#WhatBeachWhatBook
promotional campaign, using video, retail, email, content, partner marketing, social media and "street teams"/"beach teams" to introduce over 200 titles to beachgoers.

Off the Shelf

By Tolani Osan    |   Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Since she was a little girl, Jane Gloriana Villanueva has always done everything by the book—including vowing to remain a virgin until marriage at her abuela’s admonishing. Who would have guessed that as a 23-year-old virgin, getting “accidentally” artificially inseminated (and all the crazy shenanigans that naturally follow) would threaten to derail her entire life’s plan? I know! Straight out of a telenovela!
As season three of the CW hit “Jane the Virgin” comes to a close and Jane’s life continues to spin out of control, I’m craving more stories like this one. An unimaginable tale told in chapters (with twists you don’t see coming), it’s only right that we offer a “Jane the Virgin” reading list. Whether you’re a superfan of the hit TV show, or if you’re just in the mood for a great new read, you’ll love these 9 books. READ MORE