Sunday, April 30, 2006

May Publishing Notes

The buzz: The Leslie/Lohman Gay Art and Foundation and Gallery premieres their new exhibition space in Soho this month at 26 Wooster Street. Letters and rare family photos of Truman Capote are now on permanent display in the restored Old Courthouse in Monroeville, Alabama, where the author spent his childhood. Aaron Hicklin, editor in chief of BlackBook, has taken over the role of editor in chief of Out. Christie Hefner, chief executive of Playboy Enterprises, is eyeing the gay market, with a launch targeted first in the UK. Samuel R. Delaney is one of the featured writers this summer at the 2006 Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop in East Lansing Michigan. Achy Obejas will teach a fiction workshop in Sayulita, Mexico in June as part of Talleres Toltecatl. Land in central Wisconsin that was once home to a murderer whose story inspired a novel by Robert Bloch and the movie Psycho (with Tony Perkins as Norman Bates) was pulled from an online auction at Ebay. Vampire Vow, Michael Schiefelbein’s novel of an ancient Roman officer falling in love with Jesus Christ before becoming a vampire, has been option as a film by Shattering Paradigms Entertainment. The next project from Funny Boy Films, the force behind Adam & Steve and Latter Days, will be an adaptation of Neil Miller’s Sex Crime Panic. The Longtime GLBT newspaper in South Florida, The Weekly News, has shuttered. Congrats to Greg Wharton and Ian Philips, the terrific Suspect Thoughts duo, who found a new home in Oakland and will keep the press in San Francisco. Lawrence Schimel’s new collection of short stories, Two Boys in Love, debuts in English after prior publications in Catalan, Spanish, German, and Greek. Carole Spearin McCauley’s 12th novel, A Winning Death, is forthcoming from Hilliard & Harris. Kensington will publish Andrew Beierle’s new novel, First Person Plural, in 2007. Lesbian rocker Melissa Etheridge will deliver the commencement address and receive an honorary doctorate in music at Boston’s Berklee College of Music this month. A suburban New York high school canceled an appearance by noted transgender author and activist Kate Bornstein after complaints from a local businessman. And Rosie O’Donnell could be headed towards The View, replacing Meredith Viera, who replaces Katie Couric on the Today show.

Kudos: Allan Gurganus was awarded a Fiction Fellowship from the John Simon Guggeheim Memorial Foundation. Among the writers receiving fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts were Vestal McIntyre, Andrew Sean Greer, and Patrick Ryan. Authors Krandall Kraus and Richard McCann were awarded fiction fellowships from the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. Sarah Waters new novel, The Night Watch, has been shortlist for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Short story author Alice Munro will receive the MacDowell Medal in August for her outstanding contribution to the arts. The short list for Britain’s new National Short Story Prize includes “Men of Ireland,” a story by 77-year old legend William Trevor. The winner recieves £15,000.

Lambda Literary Update: The Lambda Literary awards will be Thursday May 18. The reception will begin at 6:00 pm, ceremonies at 7:00 pm, and a post-reception party at 9:30 p.m. Location is the Human Rights Campaign Headquarters, 1640 Rhode Island Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036-3278.

Open calls: Alyson Books is collecting stories for Best Date Ever: True Stories That Celebrate Gay Relationships and its lesbian counterpart. Deadline is July 31, 2006. Stories should be sent to Editor Rob Knight is looking for stories for Shifting Again, an anthology about “shape shifters,” and Eternal Darkness, an anthology about vampires, both for Torquere Press. Deadline is June 1, 2006. Stories can be submitted to Author C. Bard Cole has morphed his Six Bricks Press into an online quarterly journal, Six Little Things, each issue with a new theme. Check out the Web site for more details. The summer 2006 issue of cyberzine Hand-Tooth-Nail will focus on alternate images, voices and representations of “Queerness and Masculinity.” Check out the Web site,, for more details. Chroma, the popular British queer literary journal, is launching an international Queer Writing Competition. Categories are Short Story, Poetry, and a TransFabulous Award. Deadline is September 10, 2006. For more details, visit the Web site Zeus, a new national gay men’s magazine is looking for freelance writers. Email for more details. And Velvet Mafia is looking for a few good young men. Writers 35 and under will be the focus of the e-zine’s 21st issue. Submissions must be received before October 1st, 2006 at

Royal Rumble: Reuters reported that two sets of parents filed a lawsuit on in April against the town of Lexington, Massachusetts and its public school system after a teacher read King & King, a gay-themed fairy tale, to a classroom of about 20 children, most of whom were 7 years old, without notifying the parents first. The lawsuit also charges that the school broke a 1996 Massachusetts law requiring that parents be notified of sex education lessons. King & King, written by two Dutch women, Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland, and published in 2002 by Berkley California publisher Tricycle Press, tells the story of a crown prince who rejects a bevy of beautiful princesses, rebuffing each potential mate until falling in love with a prince. The two marry, sealing the union with a kiss, and live happily ever after. King & King was ranked eighth among the top 10 books people wanted removed from libraries in 2004, according to the American Library Association. Complaints about the 32-page book first surfaced in 2004 in North Carolina. The book has sold about 15,000 copies in the United States. A sequel, King, King and Family, about a royal gay family, was published two years later. Paul Ash, the superintendent of schools for Lexington, said that reading King & King was not intended as sex education but as a way to educate children about the world in which they live, especially in Massachusetts, the only U.S. state in which gay and lesbian couples can legally wed. It was read during a lesson about different types of weddings. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. district court in Boston, alleges violations of the federal civil rights of the two sets of parents, David and Tonia Parker and Rob and Robin Wirthlin. It also accuses the town and school officials of violating the Massachusetts civil rights code and the state’s parental notification law, according to the parents’ attorney, Boston law firm Denner Associates. The dispute erupted when Robin Wirthlin complained to the school’s principal after her 7-year-old son told her about the reading last month. She then turned to the conservative Massachusetts-based advocacy group Parents Rights Coalition. David Parker has been at odds with the town’s school system since he was arrested a year ago for trespassing when he refused to leave school grounds until authorities promised to excuse his son from classroom discussions on same-sex parents. His son, who at the time was about 5 years old, had brought home a “diversity book bag” that included the book Who’s in a Family? The book includes pictures of same-sex parents along with other types of families.

Passages: Elizabeth Maguire, a publisher of noted wit and passion who in a 25-year career worked with historians, theologians, and other nonfiction authors, died April 8, 2006, of ovarian cancer. She was 47. She is survived by her partner, Karen Wolny. Born in the Bronx on Dec. 12, 1958, and raised in Harrison, NY, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Harvard in 1980. Since 2002, Maguire had served as publisher of Basic Books, an imprint of Perseus, after previously working at numerous publishers including Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Addison Wesley Longman, and the Free Press. A champion of African-American nonfiction, she was also responsible for publishing many gay authors, including historian George Chauncey. She was also the author a novel, Thinner, Blonder, Whiter, published by Carroll & Graf in 2002.

Gerard Reve, considered one of the Dutch postwar literary greats, died April 8, 2006. He was 82. Reve, whose full name was Gerard Kornelis van het Reve, published his first novel, De Avonden (The Evenings), in 1947, about a disaffected office worker. Reve’s controversial books Op Weg Naar Het Einde (Approaching the End, 1963) and Nader tot U (Nearer to Thee, 1966) dealt openly with the author’s homosexuality and his conversion to Roman Catholicism. Nader tot U sparked controversy because Reve wrote about having sex with God, who appeared to him in the guise of a donkey. He was prosecuted for blasphemy, but cleared in 1968. He published many autobiographical books that were often a mixture of letters and novels. He won top literary honors, including the P. C. Hooft Prize in 1968 and the Prize of Dutch Letters in 2001. His books have been translated into French, German, English and several Eastern European languages. Reve, who had Alzheimer’s disease, spent his final two years in a nursing home in Belgium.