Friday, September 17, 2010

In the News This Week

Fridays on the SCBWI blog, I share snippets of and links to some of the publishing/media-related news I've read during the last week that I found interesting, helpful, and/or fun. Click titles to get to the full articles.

Among this week's news: dictionary additions (unfriend and defriend among them), mind-altering vampire lit, industry job moves, a new imprint at Candlewick, the President's picture book, Roald Dahl Day, new-and-improved Twitter, Facebooking from your car, the release of Blio (which is pretty cool--I saw a preview at Digital Book World), an article against bashing multi-taking millenials, and more.

My BFF just told me “TTYL” is in the dictionary. LMAO. (OUPblog)
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for… New words, senses, and phrases have been added to the
New Oxford American Dictionary! Now, I’m not going to list every addition, but here’s a sampling I think you’ll all find interesting.

Good girls and vampires: 'Twilight' altering teen minds? (MSNBC.com)
It's a potentially sucky situation. The vampire craze in teen literature – exemplified by the "Twilight" book series – could be affecting the dynamic workings of the teenage brain in ways scientists don't yet understand. "We don't know exactly how literature affects the brain, but we know that it does," said Maria Nikolajeva, a Cambridge University professor of literature. "Some new findings have identified spots in the brain that respond to literature and art."

Slattery to Become Agent with Pippin (PW)
Joan Slattery will join Pippin Properties as literary agent and contracts manager, as of November 1. She has spent nearly 20 years at Random House, most recently as senior executive editor at Knopf Books for Young Readers. Among the authors Slattery has worked with are Jerry Spinelli, Philip Pullman, Cynthia Voigt, Adele Griffin, and Jane Smiley.

Lewis Joins Disney-Hyperion (PW)
Starting September 20, Kevin Lewis will join Disney-Hyperion Books as executive editor, where he will acquire and edit picture books, as well as middle-grade and young adult novels. He will report to Stephanie Owens Lurie, editorial director at Disney-Hyperion. Until May 2009 Lewis was editorial director at Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; he was hired there in 1997 by Lurie, when she was S&S associate publisher.

Barack Obama to Release Children's Book (GalleyCat)
Weeks after the general election, President Barack Obama will publish his first children's book: Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters. With Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope, Obama already has two books under his belt. The 40-page children's book will be released on November 16th. Random House's Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers will initially print 500,000 copies.

Candlewick Partners with Toon Books (PW)
On October 1, Candlewick Press will launch a Toon Books imprint, a partnership with the already existing Toon Books, a press founded by New Yorker art editor Fran├žoise Mouly in spring 2008 with the mission of getting kids to read using comics. The inaugural Toon Books list at Candlewick features 11 hardcovers, all of them Toon backlist titles, including 2010 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! by Geoffrey Hayes; two Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Books: Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith and Stinky by Eleanor Davis; and eight other titles.

In Honor Of Roald Dahl Day, A Lesson On Author Immortality (Ypulse)
We're a little late on this one, but it was too good to pass up: Apparently, Roald Dahl Day takes place every year on the scribe's birthday, Sept. 13. And while we in the States might not celebrate the day as heartily as they do in the UK--just check that 'What's On' section of the official website or visit the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre for a sense of the fervor the late author still generates on his native side of the pond--it’s safe to say he’s among the most beloved children's authors of the last century.

Twitter Site Revamped and Simplified (NY Times)
Twitter unveiled a new Web site on Tuesday that it hopes will be user friendly, Claire Cain Miller and Miguel Helft report in The New York Times. The redesigned site, which will be available to all users in the next few weeks, makes it simpler to see information about the authors of Twitter posts, conversations among Twitter users, and the photos and videos that posts link to.

Why Bashing Millennials Is Wrong (FastCompany)
Lazy. Entitled. Fickle. Freighted with their own inscrutable agendas. These are the kinds of things people say about cats--and millennials. For today's managers, the generation born after 1980 is a favorite punching bag.

Just What We Really Need: More Distracted Drivers--OnStar Facebook App Announced (MobileContentToday)
Note to PR types: If you write a scary looking email subject line like this, I may force myself to read it: Update Facebook While Driving" Yes, OnStar is introducing what may potentionally be a new source of distracted driving. Here's the rest of the press release:

Brooklyn Book Festival Panelists Agree The Book Is Evolving, Not Dying (eBookNewser)
While the Brooklyn Book Festival was much more about print than about eBooks, in a session called “The Transformation of the Book” poets and artists discussed the evolution of the book. Poet/critic John Yau spoke about using a wiki to edit a recent book. “The idea of the book is more fluid, as it becomes a part of a mass media communication,” he said. “The book is more of a communicative gesture these days.”

Blio e-Reading Software Set For Release September 28 (PW)
It looks like the release of Blio, the much anticipated e-book reading software developed by technologist Ray Kurzweil, is getting close. In partnership with Baker & Tayor, Kurzweil’s firm KNFB Reading Technology says the free e-book reading software will be available for download beginning September 28 for Windows-based devices, with iOS (Apple devices) and Android to follow at a later date. Also on Sept. 28, the partnership will launch a Blio-branded e-book store offering a million for-pay and free titles, including the latest bestsellers.

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