Friday, March 30, 2007

April Publishing Notes

The buzz: The Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation—a joint effort between the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles gay and lesbian film festival, Outfest—received more than 1,500 films and 3,000 videos from One National Gay and Lesbian Archives, one of the oldest LGBT organizations in the Western Hemisphere. The films and videos include lectures of Malcom Boyd, Harry Hay, Evelyn Hooker, Morris Kight, and Steve Schulte. Jean Genet’s only film, Un Chant d’amour (1950), has been released on DVD from Cult Epics. The 25-minute silent film portrays a young hustler in prison. Alan Cumming will play the Scarecrow in the upcoming $19 million Sci Fi Channel miniseries The Tin Man, an adaptation of the L. Frank Baum story. Choreographer Matthew Bourne plans to give Romeo a male lover in his new ballet, Romeo, Romeo. Fifty-five year old author Terry McMillan is suing thirty-two year old former husband Jonathan Plummer for $40 million, alleging that he tried to smear her reputation during their highly publicized divorce. Perseus Books Group is launching a new imprint, Basic Ideas. One of their first titles up will be by Gary Indiana. Simon Spotlight will publish Lance Bass’s candid book about his life, Out of Sync, in October 2007. Henry Alford’s new, untitled book has been picked up by Twelve, an imprint of the Hachette Book Group. Carroll & Graf will issue a new novel by Dale Peck in September, The Garden of Lost and Found. Farrar, Straus & Giroux will issue a new young adult novel by Peter Cameron, SomedayThis Pain Will Be Useful to You. And Fun Home by Alison Bechdel has been returned to the shelves of the Marshall, Missouri public library after it was removed when local residents deemed it offensive at a public hearing.

Gay’s The Word: PinkNews.co.uk reported that London’s gay bookstore, Gay’s The Word, is facing closure unless it can raise £20,000 to pay back rent. The shop, located in the Bloomsbury district, first opened its doors in 1979. In an attempt to raise funds, the shop is offering people the chance to sponsor a shelf for £100. “It’s a case of use us or lose us. We are on the verge of closing. It’s tough trading for all independents,” manager Jim MacSweeney told The Times of London. “People came to us when we were the only shop selling gay literature. But times have changed.” To sponsor a shelf, send a cheque (payable to GTW), e-mail your card details or call 0207 278 7654. Your name/organization will be listed in-store as an official Friend of Gay’s The Word and sponsor. For more info e-mail ‘Cash for Honours’ to sales@gaystheword.co.uk.

Kudos: In May, The Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans will present their first “Outstanding Mid-Career Novelists’ Prizes” for LGBT writers. The inaugural honorees are Dorothy Allison and Jim Grimsley. Nighthawks by Evan Guilford Bates is the winner of the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival Playwright’s Contest. Dorothy Allison is also the recipient of the 2007 Robert Penn Warren Award for Fiction and has been selected for membership in the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Julia Philips won the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography for James Tiptree, Jr.: The Double Life of Alice B. Sheldon. Daniel Mendelsohn won for memoir/autobiography for The Lost. The Night Watch by Sara Waters was a finalist in the British Book of the Year Awards. The 19th Annual Triangle Awards will be presented on May 7 at the Tishman Auditorium of the New School for Social Research (66 West 12th Street in New York City) from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m, with a reception to follow. Andrew Holleran is the 2007 recipient of the Publishing Triangle’s Bill Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement. Finalists for the Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction are: Fun Home by Alison Bechtel, Hit by a Farm by Catherine Friend, and Different Daughters by Marcia M. Gallo. Finalists for the Randy Shilts Award for Gay Nonfiction are The Bill from My Father by Bernard Cooper, Butterfly Boy by Rigoberto González, and Covering by Kenji Yoshino. Finalists for the Audre Lorde Award for Lesbian Poetry are The Domain of Perfect Affection by Robin Becker, Sleeping Upside Down by Kate Lynn Hibbard, and Hometown for an Hour by Jennifer Rose. Finalists for the Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry are Gutted by Justin Chin, A History of My Tattoo by Jim Elledge, and The Eros Conspiracy by Greg Hewett. Finalists for the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction are A Scarecrow’s Bible by Martin Hyatt, The Zookeeper by Alex McLennan, and Tomorrow They Will Kiss by Eduardo Santiago. Finalists for the Ferro-Grumley Award for Lesbian Fiction are The Last Time I Saw You by Rebecca Brown, Every Visible Thing by Lisa Carey, and Bow Grip by Ivan E. Coyote. Finalists for the Ferro-Grumley Award for Gay Fiction are Exiles in America by Christopher Bram, A Scarecrow’s Bible by Martin Hyatt, and Alternatives to Sex by Stephen McCauley. This year’s co-winners of the Robert Chesley Foundation Awards are Eric Bentley (Lifetime Achievement Award) and Chris Weikel (Emerging Artist).

Open calls: Editor J.A. Deveaux is looking for stories for his anthology of queer-themed fantasy Touched, to be published by Haworth Press. Deadline is June 15, 2007. Stories should be between 3,000 to 5,000 words and should be mailed to Jeff Deveaux, Box 501, 1514 Bellevue Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122. ** Editor Sacchi Green is looking for stories for Time Well Bent: Queer Alternate History, an anthology of speculative fiction in the sub-genre of alternate history, to be published by Haworth Press. Deadline is June 30, 2007. Stories may be submitted to sacchi@sff.net.

Warning: Editorializing Ahead: Bravo to the national gay cable network Here! for withdrawing their support as a major sponsor of the recent GLAAD’s Media Awards and citing the organization’s failure to include and recognize gay programming in their nominations. Here! sent a letter to GLAAD saying that GLAAD’s policy is “archaic, short-sighted and ghettoizing,” and added “in the absence of strategic change from GLAAD, the organization’s largest event is on the verge of becoming irrelevant.” GLAAD, which was founded in 1985, has long served as a “watchdog” for the mainstream media depiction of GLBT characters and issues, and has achieved many significant strides in their notable history, including guiding The New York Times and other national news outlets in their editorial use of the word gay and including same-sex union announcements alongside other wedding listings. And GLAADD continues to express outrage and issue calls to action over the irresponsible comments of media darlings such as Ann Coulter. But in recent years the organization has gained more notoriety for its celebrity galas than for its policing efforts. While GLAAD has made several upgrades in their award recognitions and nominations in the past couple of years, including adding Spanish language categories, it still continues to ignore programs that have aired on a gay network and the gay media cannot submit programs for consideration. While the organization champions and awards the achievements in comic books and the theater, including off-off-Broadway theater, GLAAD has also continued to ignore the achievements of the GLBT press and queer publishing industry on both a local and national level, as if GLBT newspapers and queer books and lesbian novels and gay memoirs are not part of the larger media family (and this in an era where many gay newspapers and gay bookstores, part of our community’s greatest assets, are shuttering and closing their doors.) In its defense, GLAAD has created a catch-all category, a special award to honor the LGBT media — the Barbara Gittings Award — to recognize those who have made substantial contributions to the development of LGBT media. Among the past honorees were Logo, here!, Q Television, The Advocate, PlanetOut, and In the Life. Hopefully this year’s outcry over their narrow policies and exclusive awards will serve as a wake-up call to GLAAD to re-organize and re-envision itself to better serve and reflect the current GLBT community, though the future seems a bit dim if you regard a press release issued by the organization on March 23, 2007. The statement, issued by GLAAD President Neil G. Giuliano, indicated that “for a short time in the late 1990s, GLAAD nominated and presented GLAAD Media Awards in LGBT media categories. This created significant tension in GLAAD’s relationship with LGBT media outlets. Many of the outlets believed that GLAAD shouldn’t be in the business of monitoring, evaluating and judging their work. That criticism, combined with the fact that the vast majority of LGBT outlets did not submit material for nomination, resulted in a decision to discontinue those awards in 1999. GLAAD reviewed this issue in mid-2006, and after consultation with a wide group of stakeholders — including representatives from LGBT broadcast media outlets — the GLAAD Board of Directors chose not to amend the existing position with regard to the GLAAD Media Awards program. This was communicated to all who were consulted in that process by August of 2006.” At the most recent GLAAD awards event in New York, 26 awards were handed out in 42 media categories. (Additional west coast awards ceremonies are planned for April in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and a May event is scheduled for Miami.) Honored in Manhattan were Patti LaBelle, Tom Ford, Kate Clinton, The Los Angeles Times, Frank Rich, and Project Runway. Rosie O’Donnell’s HBO documentary All Aboard! Rosie’s Family Cruise was honored as outstanding documentary and Details was also cited for its magazine coverage.

Friday, March 02, 2007

March Publishing Notes

The buzz: Suze Orman, the television financial guru and author of several best-selling personal finance books, disclosed her relationship with her partner in a recent issue of The New York Times Magazine. Yale University Press will publish Janet Malcolm’s Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice, a nuanced account of the legendary couple and their survival of World War II. Atria will publish Terrance Dean’s memoir titled Hiding in Hip-Hop: Confessions of a Down Low Brother in the Entertainment Industry, which will chronicle “the author’s life as a closeted homosexual working in the film and music industry and his relationships with other closeted homosexuals—film stars, rap artists, and music producers,” according to RadarOnline.com. Dean is the founder of a New York nonprofit group called Men’s Empowerment that works to help men of color. Publishers Weekly reported that John Robison, the older brother of Augusten Burroughs, received a $1.1 million advance from Crown for his memoir of growing up (and old) with Asperger’s syndrome. Robison, eight years older than Burroughs, was not living at home when his younger brother was shipped off to live with the family depicted in the best-selling Running with Scissors. The Canadian Family Action Coalition and followers are bashing the Maple Leaf hockey team and the makers of the film Breakfast With Scot for “promoting the homosexualization of small children.” The film is based on the 1999 novel by Michael Downing about a gay couple who become guardians to an 11-year-old boy. The 32-year old Houston Voice has ceased publication and the literary e-zine CreamDrops has suspended publication. Erotica writer and blogger Nathan James is planning a twelve-state book tour for Summer 2007. Matt Bernstein Sycamore (aka Mattilda) is blogging about his tour for Nobody Passes: Rejecting the Rules of Gender and Conformity at http://nobodypasses.blogspot.com. Author Dan Woog is now the sports columnist of “The Outfield,” distributed by Q Syndicate. Publicist Mark Fortier, formerly of Goldberg McDuffie Communications, has launched his own company, Fortier Public Relations. The Queer Media and Entertainment Conference will be holding its second annual convention in Los Angeles the weekend of April 13-15, 2007. Q-ME CON was created last year by PunkMouse, a New York City-based queer-owned and operated media and entertainment group.

Lammy Retreat: The Lambda Literary Foundation is launching a one-week intensive Writers Retreat for emerging LGBTQ writers of any age. The Writers Retreat will take place August 5 -12, 2007, in Los Angeles at the Conference Center at the University of Judaism. The faculty will include Dorothy Allison, Fenton Johnson, and Eloise Klein Healy. Other writers, including Michael Nava, John Rechy, and Bernard Cooper, will give readings or lectures. Attendees will be responsible for their own transportation to Los Angeles, in addition to the retreat’s tuition ($800) and room/board ($700). Scholarships are available. Applications and scholarship requests must be postmarked by April 15, 2007. For more details, visit the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Web site.

Kudos: The winners of this year’s Alice B. Medal, awarded to outstanding writers of lesbian fiction, are Alison Bechdel, Gerri Hill, Lori L. Lake, Lee Lynch, Marijane Meaker and Jane Rule. Daniel Mendelsohn was a finalist for Barnes & Nobles 2006 Great New Writers Awards for Nonfiction for The Lost. Among the finalists for the annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes are: Daniel Mendelsohn in Biography for The Lost, Ian Buruma for Current Interest for Murder in Amsterdam, and Terri Jentz for Current Interest for Strange Piece of Paradise. The Lambda Literary Foundation has announced the finalists of their 25 categories. Visit the Foundation Web site for a complete listing of the finalists.

Open calls: Ashé journal is looking for creative and inspirational pieces of short fiction, poetry and artwork for their issue on techno shamanism and youth culture. Deadline is March 15, 2007. Visit the Web site for more details. ** Blair Mastbaum and Will Fabro are looking for short stories and novel extracts for Cool Thing: Fiction by Gay Writers Under 30 to be published by Carroll & Graf in 2008. Word limit is 10,000 words. Deadline is May 31, 2007. Send submissions as Word documents to: fictionanthology@gmail.com. ** Editor Rachel Kramer Bussel is looking for personal essays and reportage for the 2008 edition of Best Sex Writing. Articles must have been published between September 1, 2005 and December 31, 2006. Deadline is May 1, 2007. E-mail subs to: bestsexwriting2008@gmail.com. ** Eric Summers is looking for submissions for his erotica anthology for StarBooks Press titled Don’t Ask, Don’t Tie Me Up -- Military BDSM Fantasies. Deadline is September 15, 2007 and can be sent to eric@starbookspress.com. ** Jack Hart is editing a fifth volume of My First Time: Gay Men Describe Their First Same-Sex Experience. Deadline is April 15, 2007 and submissions can be sent to alysonanthology@planetoutinc.com. ** Richard Labonté is editing another volume Best Gay Romance for Cleis. Deadline is April 30, 2007 and submissions can be sent to BestGayRomance@gmail.com. ** A new adult lifestyle publication aimed at the gay bear, leather, and kink culture is looking for lively, entertaining articles and fiction. E-mail redfurrybear@gmail.com for more details.

Passages: Gay rights pioneer Barbara Gittings died February 19, 2007, at the age of 74 of breast cancer. Gittings first came to the public spotlight in 1965 when she and a handful of gay men and lesbians held demonstrations outside the White House and Independence Hall seeking equal rights for homosexuals. These were the first such demonstrations in American history and began an era of gays coming out of the closet. Gitting’s involvement in the gay rights movement started in the late 1950s when she helped organize the New York City chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis (D.O.B.). It was there she met her life partner Kay Lahusen. Gittings was also the head of the American Library Association’s Gay Task Force. In 2003 The American Library Association presented Gittings with its highest honor, a lifetime membership. She was an active cornerstone in the campaign that led to the American Psychiatric Association dropping its categorization of homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973. In 2005, she was recognized by the Publishing Triangle with its Leadership Award. Gittings was also an early community journalist. She edited the D.O.B. publication The Ladder from 1963-66 and worked with Lahusen on her 1973 book The Gay Crusaders. Along with Lahusen, Gittings’s partner of 46 years, she is survived by her sister Eleanor Gittings Taylor of San Diego, California. Lahusen has asked that donations be made in Barbara’s memory to Lambda Legal Defense Fund.