Sunday, December 31, 2006

January 2007 Publishing Notes

The buzz: The Roundabout Theatre Company is planning a Broadway revival of Craig Lucas’s Prelude to a Kiss. Meg Ryan is signed to star in The Best Awful, an HBO miniseries adaptation of the Carrie Fisher novel. Ms. Fisher recently debuted her one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, at the Geffen Theater is Los Angeles. Simon Spotlight Entertainment will publish Tori Spelling’s memoir in 2008. Daniel Craig is reportedly urging his bosses of the James Bond franchise to include the superspy in a gay scene and a full frontal nude scene. Funny Boy Films is planning a screen adaptation of the off-Broadway hit Naked Boys Singing! Screenwriter/producer David Brind has optioned William Wright’s Harvard’s Secret Court, an account of how officials and faculty members at Harvard in the early 1920s hounded a group of gay students into suicide or shameful obscurity and decades later were still trying to derail the careers of those accused. The literary e-zines Lodestar Quarterly and OutsiderInk have suspended publication. Rupert Everett has been named a special representative for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Mike Jones, the gay escort from Denver whose relationship with Ted Haggard lead to the pastor’s resignation from the National Association of Evangelicals, has secured a book deal with Seven Stories Press. Artist Stephen Mead recently released his first CD of poetry, Safe & Other Love Poems, available at Lulu.com. The first annual Lesbian Book Festival, sponsored by Bold Strokes Books and Casitas Laquita Resort, will take place in Palm Springs, CA February 14-17, 2007. The Peppertree Bookstore will host several events.

Kudos: Time magazine named Alison Bechdel’s illustrated memoir, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, best book of the year. Bechdel’s book also made the Village Voice’s best 25 of the year. Megan Gedris, the artist of YU+ME, a lesbian-themed manga Web comic strip, won a $1,000 Queer Press Grant to produce a print version. The grant was funded by Jane’s World creator Paige Braddock with a matching grant from Prism Comics. Adam Haslett (along with Tobias Wolff) received the Bernard Malamud Award for the short story by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation. Insightout Book Club announced their 2006 Violet Quill nominees for the best LGBT debut novel. They are: The Manny Files by Christian Burch, The Zookeeper by Alex MacLennan, Crashing America by Katia Noyes, Send Me by Patrick Ryan, A Scarecrow’s Bible by Martin Hyatt, and 50 Ways of Saying Fabulous by Graeme Aitken. Pedro Almodovar’s Volver won the best foreign film prize from the National Board of Review. And Jack Kerouac will receive a posthumous honorary doctorate of letters degree in June 2007 from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Kerouac was a 1939 graduate of Lowell High School.

Open calls: The Queer Foundation, a Washington nonprofit corporation, will offer the three winners of its 2007 High School English Essay Contest College scholarships in the amount of $1,000 for studies in queer theory or a related field at a US college. Deadline is March 31, 2007. More details can be found at http://home.comcast.net/~threepennynovel/queerfoundation. ** Ashé Journal is seeking creative and inspirational pieces of short fiction, poetry, art, and photography for its Spring issue. Deadline is March 1, 2007. Submissions can be sent to submit@ashejournal.com. ** Ignavia Press Online is looking for dark and edgy work for their first issue scheduled for the summer of 2007. Email submissions to: ignaviapress@gmail.com. ** Newtown Writers, Chicago’s (GLBT) writing group since 1980, is seeking short fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and memoir for the 13th edition of their print anthology Off The Rocks and for their online zine Swell. For submission guidelines visit: www.newtownwriters.org. ** Tristan Taormino is seeking submissions for Best Lesbian Erotica 2008. Deadline is April 1, 2007. Send two copies of each submission to: Tristan Taormino, P.O. Box 395, Greenville, NY 12083. The Mammoth Book of Lesbian Erotica is looking for stories. Deadline is March 31, 2007. Submissions can be e-mailed to: editor@hotspotbooks.co.uk. ** Trevor Hoppe is collecting submissions for Beyond Masculinity: Essays by Queer Men on Gender and Politics. Deadline is March 31, 2007. For more information and submission guidelines, visit www.beyondmasculinity.com. ** Green Candy Press has extended their submission period for essays for My Gay Brother, edited by Kevin Bentley, to February 1, 2007. Submissions should be sent to Green Candy Press, 610 Van Ness Avenue, E3-918, San Francisco, CA 94102. ** Velvet Mafia is seeking fiction and erotica about gay men thirtysomething and older for its Issue #23. Deadline is June 1st, 2007. Submissions can be sent to editor@velvetmafia.com.

My Favorite Reads of 2006: By chance I stumbled upon a paperback copy of Sylvia Townsend Warner’s The Kingdoms of Elfin, first published in the 1970s and late in the British writer’s career. Beautifully written, it is one of the best collections of adult fairy stories I have read to date. I picked up Rory Stewart’s The Places In Between because I was looking for background material on a short story I was working on. Stewart’s walk across Afghanistan is an amazingly recounted journey. I get sent a lot of GLBT books to read, blurb, and review. Hit by a Farm, by Catherine Friend, about her and her partner Melissa’s sheep farming in Minnesota, was a brilliant surprise -- tender, hilarious, back-breaking, and full of a writer’s desire. A short story by Edward P. Jones in The New Yorker led me to discover both Lost in the City and the newly released All Aunt Haggar’s Children. These short stories, mostly set in the neighborhoods of Washington D.C., are remarkable and comparable to the finest work of Alice Munro and Andrea Barrett, two of my favorite short story writers. Fifth Business by Robertson Davies was another book that I had seen for several years on lists of books to read. It was a superb vacation read while I was in Ireland. Beautifully plotted, I don’t understand why this novel has never been made into a movie. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters is another beautifully plotted novel and I enjoyed watching the film adaptation as much as I did reading the book. And though The Little Dog Laughed, the new play on Broadway by Douglas Carter Beane, was not technically a best read of the year, it was nonetheless a literary and theatrical highlight.