Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Otago academic awarded prize for meticulous work on historic journalism

A University of Otago academic has received a prestigious award for his work on 18th century writer James Boswell.

Senior English lecturer Dr Paul Tankard was awarded, in absentia in New York, the sixth triennial William L. Mitchell Prize for Bibliography or Documentary Work on Early British Periodicals or Newspapers this week for his book Facts and Inventions: Selections from the Journalism of James Boswell.

The book provides a lengthy, insightful introduction to Boswell’s career, strategies, manner, and achievement as a frequent writer for the British press and also to the 14 newspapers and magazines of London and Edinburgh to which he contributed.

Although Boswell is well known for his Life of Johnson, several other books and his private journals, Dr Tankard’s work reveals him as a “busy professional writer with an almost constant presence in the British press”, to which he contributed more than 600 pieces.

Dr Tankard edited, with assistance from colleague Lisa Marr, 130 pieces of Boswell’s journalism dating from 1758 to 1794, grouped by theme. The great majority have been unpublished since the 18th century.

“The material for the book was hiding in plain sight; it has all been previously published, but not for over 200 years, and in old newspapers which are very hard to find, much less look through. It’s never been gathered before and considered in a body,’’ he says.

Annotating and contextualising such material was a challenge, especially as it was all written by Boswell to be teasing and topical.

“It is mostly not about things in the history books and takes us very close to history as it happens. As well as giving — for most readers, including scholars — a new view of Boswell, I see the book as a contribution to the history of journalism.

“Newspaper culture was just taking off in the 18th century, and now that it is so rapidly changing with new media, its origins are well worth considering. Some of what Boswell is doing is strangely up-to-date — there’s some genuine fake news there!”

Dr Tankard’s book was unanimously selected for the US award from several worthy nominations.

The judges described the work as a “stunning achievement”, “stupendous in its detail”, and a book which ``richly contextualizes the often-obscure historical references and allusions found in Boswell’’.

The Mitchell Prize for Research on Early British Serials was endowed to honor William L. Mitchell, a former rare-books librarian at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas.

The prize, of $1000 and a year’s membership to the society, serves as an encouragement to those engaged in bibliographical scholarship on  18th century periodicals published in English or in any language but within the British Isles and its colonies and former colonies.

* Dr Tankard’s publications include more than two dozen essays in books and research journals, a great many on Samuel Johnson and James Boswell, as well as Samuel Johnson’s Designs: A Facsimile of the Manuscript, with a New Transcription and an Introductory Essay, the 2008 annual keepsake of the Johnsonians of New York.

Important recent articles include “Nineteen More Johnsonian Designs:  A Supplement to ‘That Great Literary Projector’” in The Age of Johnson (2015), building on his lengthy 2002 article on Johnson’s “Catalogue of Projected Works” in that journal.
He is the editor of 15 volumes of The Johnson Society of Australia Papers.

The 24th annual conference of the New Zealand Studies Association (NZSA)

Regional Identities

& Coastal Communities

of the Pacific


The 24th annual conference of the

New Zealand Studies Association (NZSA),

together with the University of Aveiro


Aveiro, Portugal, 27-30 June 2018


Keynote speakers:

Dr Felicity Barnes

Chief John Kasaipwalova

Elizabeth Knox

Professor Martin Lodge

Dr Malcolm Maclean

Associate Professor Anthony Ritchie

Associate Professor Margaret Werry

Professor Rob Wilson


A 4-day international conference,

with coach excursion, wine tasting and conference dinner.

The conference venue is the University of Aveiro,

near to the Atlantic Ocean and the white sandy beaches of the Costa de Prata


The New Zealand Studies Association has a long and strong history in promoting New Zealand Studies, which now extends within the region through its twice-yearly Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies. Building on the successes of the conferences in Strasbourg (2017), Lugano (2016), Vienna (2015), Oslo (2014), Nijmegen (2013), Gdansk (2012), Frankfurt (2009), Florence (2008), London (2007), and Paris (2006), this major event will be held at the University of Aveiro.


Proposals for 20 minute papers to be sent by 15 February 2018 to Ian Conrich (ian@ianconrich.co.uk). Abstracts need to be between 200 and 250 words with a bio added of 100-150 words. Papers can consider all topics related to the Pacific and New Zealand, with priority given to papers that address the themes of ‘regional identities’ and/or ‘coastal communities’. We are particularly interested in papers that consider space and place in relation to the coast, beaches and beyond. However, interpretations of the theme are broad and can include national, urban and rural identities, town and country, gender and ethnicity, cultural expressions and local industries, the environment and climate change. The conference fee includes annual membership to the NZSA, which for 2018 includes a twice-yearly journal. A selection of papers from the conference will be published in the refereed Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies, published by Intellect.


The conference will accept proposals on a range of subjects including the following: literature, history, film, music, art, cultural studies, sociology, geography, tourism, war studies, politics, international relations, identity and multiculturalism, anthropology, Māori Studies, Pacific Studies, archaeology and museum studies.

Catherine Chidgey Workshop SOLD OUT

Wow. The Catherine Chidgey workshop on Saturday 17th February is already sold out by way of registrations.

We will accept names for a wait list in case some registrants are unable to attend or fail to make payment.
So if you are really keen to go, please send us a reply email that you would like to be on the waitlist.

If there are any spaces, we'll approach you in order of receipt of interest.
Thanks everyone for your amazing support! 

Janet Frame Eden Street Trust

McNally Jackson Opens in Brooklyn

Shelf Awareness

New York City's McNally Jackson, which has several stores in Manhattan, has opened its first store in Brooklyn. The store, at 76 North 4th Street in Williamsburg, is in the Lewis Steel Building, a former factory that has been under renovation for years, causing delays in the store's opening.

In an announcement, McNally Jackson wrote, in part: "Are there still little piles of sawdust here and there? Yes. Rogue pieces of blue tape? Probably, but we're working on it. Do we have every book on the shelves? Not yet, but we're getting there. We do have James Baldwin, we have Proust, we have Richard Feynman and Mary Beard. The new n+1 is here, and so are those weird little art books you love. We have Fire and Fury, kids books galore, stationery for days, and, yes, Moby-Dick.

"We've been working hard, and we can't wait to sell you some books. Come and see."

Publishers Lunch

Today's Meal

Liz Gorinsky is leaving her position as a senior editor at Tor Books on February 2. She will continue to handle some of her authors as a consulting editor at Tor and edit short fiction at Tor.com.

Alissa Nigro has joined Simon & Schuster Children's as associate marketing manager. She was most recently marketing associate at Random House Children's.

Elias Altman will join Massie & McQuilkin as an agent starting February 1. He has been with Aevitas Creative Management for three years

Michael O. Campbell will join The University of Washington Press as sales director starting February 6. He was most recently the US sales manager at Lone Pine Publishing.


At the Grammys on Sunday evening, Carrie Fisher won a posthumous award for Best Spoken Word Album for her narration of her 2016 memoir The Princess Diarist (Penguin Audio). Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury garnered extra attention in a segment where several celebrities, as well as Hillary Clinton, read excerpts of the book.


McNally Jackson opened its first Brooklyn location, on North 4th Street in Williamsburg.

The Roundup wih PW

On Amazon's 'Error' Royalty: Writing in 'Forbes,' Adam Rowe explores the larger implications, for indie publishers, of a recent error with Amazon's KDP royalty rate.

Barnes on Flaubert and His Latest Novel: Booker winner Julian Barnes discusses his current release, 'The Only Story,' and other topics with 'The Guardian.'

Making the Case for the 'Subway Read': With beach reads, cabin reads and airplane reads established things, Adam Sternbergh asks in the 'NY Times,' why subway reads aren't on that list.

Musicians Set for Royalty Rate Bump: The National Music Publishers’ Association says musicians and songwriters are set for an increase in the royalty rate they're receiving from music subscription services like Apple Music and Spotify.

Kentucky's University Press Under Threat: University of Kentucky Press is facing the chopping block, with the state's governor proposing a budget that will slash public education funding.

Off the Shelf

14 Remarkable Immigrant Stories You Can Find in a Favorite Museum's Gift Shop
One of my favorite museums is the New York Tenement Museum, which explores the immigrant history of New York City’s Lower East Side between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries. Housed in two original tenement buildings that were home to over 15,000 working-class immigrants from more than 20 countries, the museum allows visitors to walk through meticulously re-created apartments representing the different time periods of former inhabitants with historical accuracy. The book selection in their shop is richly diverse and has something for every reader, with fiction and nonfiction books on topics ranging from the immigrant experience to food and beyond. Here are 14 of my favorites from their shop.

Words with Douglas McLennan

What Happens When You Publish A Novel
     from Literary Hub
Why Language Struggles To Express Science
     from Thew New Atlantis
The Antidote To Fake News Is…?
     from Entropy

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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Auckland Writers Festival - 15-20 May 2018


15 - 20 May 2018
Happy New Year! Here in the Festival office, we are hard at work on the final stages of the 2018 programme: confirming writers, wrestling with event timetables, editing bios and booking travel from all over the world. We can't wait to share it all with you when we launch the programme to the public on Wednesday 14 March. Tickets will be on sale from 9am Friday 16 March with early release to Patrons on 13 March and Friends on 15 March. If you don't already receive a print programme by post, please add your contact details on our sign up page and we will make sure you are added to the list. Any subsequent Festival announcements or updates will be made by email or social media so please make sure you don't miss out.        


There is a very limited number of tickets still available for our Nigella Lawson event on Wednesday 7 February, so get in quick if you don't want to miss this exclusive Auckland event. Nigella started work as a book reviewer and restaurant critic, going on to become the deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times before embarking on a career as a freelance journalist. She has now become one of the world’s most loved food writers and broadcasters and is the author of numerous award-winning books including How to EatHow to Be a Domestic GoddessNigella Bites and most recently At My Table. The session will be chaired by award-winning New Zealand writer Paula Morris, and together they discuss food, its culture and history, as well as Nigella’s varied writing career.
Book online via 
Ticketmaster or call 0800 111 999
Patrons & Friends $33.50, General Admission $37.50, Students $18.75.


We offer huge congratulations to Festival trustee (and Deputy Chair) Nicola Legat, who has been recognised in the 2018 New Year Honours as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the publishing industry. During her impressive career, Nicola has worked as a senior writer for North & South and Editor of Metro. She was publishing director at Random House New Zealand, overseeing the publication of some 100 New Zealand books a year. Nicola is now the publisher for Massey University Press, Te Papa Press and the Poetry NZ journal. She has also held several senior governance roles in the New Zealand arts sector including 10 years on the Auckland Writers Festival Board and three years as Chair of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust.


In December, we farewelled long-serving Board member Carole Beu, who has retired as a trustee after 16 years. Carole has been on the Festival Board since the Trust was formed and has made a significant contribution, she will be greatly missed. However, we are pleased to announce the appointment of a new trustee, Tony Moores, to replace Carole. Tony has broad publishing and bookseller experience, is a Board member (and past Chair) of Booksellers NZ, and is the owner of bookstores. In addition, Anna Connell will be co-opted onto the Board (in an ex-officio capacity). Anna is a digital creative strategist and columnist, with significant experience in marketing, brand and communications and for many years she was the Development & Partnerships Manager at Auckland Theatre Company.


Critically acclaimed Scots writer, journalist and founding editor of the Scottish Review of Books Alan Taylor has been announced as the international judge who will assist the local panel in selecting the winner of the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize in the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Taylor and his wife, author and literary editor Rosemary Goring, will be in New Zealand in May as guests of the Auckland Writers Festival, with their visit supported by Festival Platinum Partner Heartland Bank. Taylor brings considerable experience to the judging table; he was a member of the Booker Prize’s management committee and a judge of the prize in 1994. His own books include The Assassin’s Cloak: An Anthology of the World’s Best Diarists, Glasgow: An Autobiography and Appointment in Arezzo: A Friendship with Muriel Spark. The Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize and other winners of the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards will be announced at the Festival event on 15 May.


An annual AWF Friend membership is just $100 per person, and includes: an  invitation to our March programme launch, priority booking ahead of public ticket sales, access to a dedicated booking line with no transaction fees, reserved seating at all ticketed events and special offers and discounts all year round. Numbers are strictly limited, so don't miss out, further details available online.


Our volunteers are an essential part of each Festival’s success. While there are no particular skills or work experience required for you to become a volunteer, a love of literature and books is a good start. If you are enthusiastic, generous, reliable, friendly, motivated, tactful and available for 3 or more shifts (of 4-5 hours) from 15-20 May and would like to be considered, please email and register your interest.


Auckland Arts Festival is just around the corner, running from 8-25 March and we’re excited! We have a double pass to give away to each of these fabulous AAF events.

April, 1984. 13:00. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is always watching. One of the 20th century’s greatest has its New Zealand premiere at Auckland Arts Festival. Set in a world where an invasive government keeps a malevolently watchful eye on its citizens, this radical and much-lauded staging explores surveillance, identity and why George Orwell’s vision of the future is as relevant now as ever. Seen by more than 500,000 people, this stage adaptation of Orwell’s dystopian classic has enjoyed three hugely successful West End seasons and is a current hit on Broadway. This Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse and Almeida Theatre production of 1984 is presented by Auckland Arts Festival and GWB Entertainment in association with Auckland Theatre Company and State Theatre Company South Australia. Enter here *

The Far Side of the Moon 
To see a show from Canada's visionary director Robert Lepage is to experience pure theatrical magic. Recognised internationally as his masterpiece work, The Far Side of the Moon is a spellbinding, funny and technically exquisite exploration of inner and outer space. Publicly the race to the moon is consuming Americans and Russians, while privately two estranged brothers are brought together by their mother's death. Don’t miss this visually stunning production with compelling storytelling, ingenious effects and an atmospheric score from composer Laurie Anderson. Enter here *

Bless The Child 
A searing new work from acclaimed New Zealand playwright Hone Kouka that's part compelling urban thriller, part unflinching social commentary. Eight lives and three worlds collide in this urgent, thought-provoking play; a story of life and death and good vs. bad. After a child is found dead, a hotshot lawyer is dragged into the case to defend the demonised mother. As the whānau closes ranks, the question of who killed the baby - and whose prejudice is exposed - is brought provocatively to the surface. Directed by Mīria George and presented by Tawata Productions, this passionately realised play confronts the hard truths of our shared humanity. Enter here *

* The winners will be drawn on Thursday 1 February and contacted by email. The winner can select an event date of choice provided there is ticket availability and excludes opening nights.

For details on the 50+ shows and events in Auckland Arts Festival visit www.aaf.co.nz


When ‘Lady’ Sandra Abbott discovers that her husband of forty years is having an affair with her best friend, she seeks refuge in London with her estranged, older sister Bif. The two could not be more different – Sandra is a fish out of water next to her outspoken, free-spirited sibling. But different is just what Sandra needs. As the sisters begin to reconnect, Sandra lets Bif drag her along to a dance class, where gradually she starts finding her feet... and romance. Featuring star-studded cast Finding Your Feet is a hilarious and heart-warming comedy proving that it’s never too late to start again. We have 5 double passes to give away: email to enter the draw by Wed 31 January.


The Party is a sharply funny satire of modern politics and the upper-middle class from acclaimed British director Sally Potter. Featuring a stellar ensemble cast headed by Kristin Scott Thomas, Patricia Clarkson and Timothy Spall who shine in the most comedic roles of their career. The film is a comedy wrapped around a tragedy, in which a celebratory gathering of friends goes violently wrong in a very short space of time. Love, friendships and political convictions are soon called into question in this hilarious comedy of tragic proportions. We have 5 double passes to give away: email to enter the draw by Wed 31 January.


Who was at our sellout #awf14 event with our Booker winner Eleanor Catton?
Flashback to when The Luminaries took out the 2013 Man Booker Prize and catapulted its author into stardom. Eleanor Catton discusses writing, storytelling and literary success with broadcaster John Campbell. 
View it now
We have loaded a selection of videos and podcasts to our Look, Listen & Learn page so you can enjoy the magic at home. Revisit your favourite writer's sessions, or catch up on the events you missed. There's something for everyone! Podcasts are also available on itunes so you can download and listen on the go.