Saturday, February 28, 2009

March Publishing Notes

The buzz: Two bookstore closings of note: Oscar Wilde Bookshop in Manhattan, the world’s oldest gay and lesbian bookstore, will close in March. A Different Light bookstore in West Hollywood, Calif., is closing this spring. The gay and lesbian store's branch in San Francisco will remain open; a branch in New York City closed in 2001.

British author Geraldine Bedell was banned from the first Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature in Dubai because one of the characters in her new novel, The Gulf Between Us, set in the Middle East, is gay. The Gulf Between Us tells the story of a single mother trying to raise three boys in the Gulf emirate of Hawar in the summer of 2002, shortly before the invasion of Iraq. Author Margaret Atwood pulled out of festival in the wake of the fair's decision to cancel the launch of Bedell's book, then decided to participate in a debate on censorship to be hosted at the festival via video link-up.

Bold Strokes Books and Casitas Laquita Resort are presenting the Third Annual Lesbian Book Festival in Palm Springs California, March 5-8, 2009, featuring over twenty authors, including Radclyffe, Jane Fletcher, Andrews & Austin, Kim Baldwin, Jennifer Fulton, and Justine Saracen. For more information visit or The resort is located at 450 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264.

Among those spotted at New York Comic Con was Tim Fish at the booth for Poison Press, “a teeny, tiny publishing house offering gay and gay friendly comics.” Fish’s latest work in his Cavalcade of Boys volumes is Love is the Reason.

Robert Cabell, author of the novel Hair-Raising Adventures of Jayms Blonde, filed suit in Manhattan Federal Court, accusing Adam Sandler, Happy Madison Productions, Sony and Columbia Pictures for copyright infringement for ripping off his idea for a blow-dried public avenger and turning it into the film You Don't Mess with the Zohan.

Casperian Books will publish Paul G. Bens, Jr.’s first full-length novel Kelland this fall.

Vanilla Heart Publishing will publish Collin Kelley’s forthcoming novel, Conquering Venus, this summer.

This month RID Press is releasing Assembly Required: Notes from a Deaf Gay Life by Raymond Luczak. Luczak has included an American Sign Language clip that’s subtitled in English on his Web site:

Out this fall from Haiduk Press: The Lost Library: Gay Fiction Rediscovered. Editor Tom Cardamone has gathered essays by gay writers discussing their favorite works of forgotten gay fiction. Contributors include Christopher Bram, Alexander Chee, Philip Gambone, Aaron Hamburger, Paul Russell, Rick Whitaker, and others. Cardamone’s collection of his dark, speculative fiction is also forthcoming later this year in Pumpkin Teeth, published by Lethe Press.

Lethe Press is also rereleasing the first two books in Lev Raphael’s Nick Hoffman mystery series. Lethe will also be reprinting Jim Tushinski's novel Van Allen's Ecstasy, which has been optioned by Guest House Films.

In October, Llewellyn will publish Christopher Penczak's The Witch’s Coin: Prosperity and Money Magick, a comprehensive manual on achieving a balanced life - pursuing your soul's purpose but not consigning yourself to living in poverty to do so - including practical tips on herbs, stones, charms and meditations for wealth alongside solid financial advice.

Harper will publish Jack Kerouac's The Sea is My Brother: The Lost Novel, edited by Dawn Ward, along with correspondence and commentary illuminating the author’s development as a young writer, including correspondence with his friend, the poet Sebastian Sampas. Manhattan Films has also optioned the film rights to Kerouac's The Dharma Bums.

Page Six reported that editor Neal Boulton has left Genre magazine to pursue his dream of becoming a best-selling author. Boulton recently sold his motorcycle-trekking book, Sex Across America, and is working on a memoir about being a married bisexual dad of two.

Ballantine will publish comedian Kathy Griffin's memoir. The deal was reportedly made "for more than $2 million."

My Trip Down the Pink Carpet, a solo show written and performed by Leslie Jordan, will begin previews at the Westside Theater in Manhattan on April 15. Jordan recently published a memoir with the same title.

An Evening at La Cage, the world-famous drag revue at The Riveria in Las Vegas, closed in February.

Rent, the spring musical production at the Corona del Mar high school in Newport Beach, California, was canceled after the principal disapproved of its gay characters, but after a controversy arose on the Web and in the media, the school will go ahead with the production of the musical.

Elton John’s Rocket Pictures is hoping to reinvent the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice by having an alien crash-landing disrupt the life of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy in Pride and Predator.

Gerald Clarke's Get Happy: The Life of Judy Garland, has been optioned by The Weinstein Company.

Michael Luongo will be holding an all day class on the ins and outs of travel writing, Saturday May 2, at the Smithsonian in Washington DC. To register for the class and for more information, visit: A Roadmap to Travel Writing, Smithsonian Resident Associate Program:

Tom Goss, a gay singer-songwriter based in Washington, DC, has posted his new music video “Till the End” on his music channel at You Tube -- Check his Web site for the release of his upcoming CD Back to Love.

Equality Forum 2009 will showcase the first-ever Richard Amsel Retrospective Exhibition, featuring artwork by one of Hollywood’s most highly-acclaimed illustrators. The exhibition runs at the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, April 15 – May 14, 2009. Equality Forum 2009, the largest annual national and international GLBT civil rights forum, will be held April 27 to May 3 in Philadelphia. Amsel, a native of Philadelphia, began his career when he won a national competition at art schools to create a poster design for the movie Hello Dolly!

The first issue of Collective Fallout has been released with art by Stephen Mead, fiction by Sandra Gail-Lambert, and poetry by Lawrence Schimel and Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhran.

The financial investment firm that owns The Washington Blade and other gay papers has gone into federal receivership.

Los Angeles's two gay magazines, Frontiers and In, have merged into a single biweekly paper.

Lambda Literary Foundation is launching a new directory of professional literary services this month. The directory will provide a list of working professionals in the following areas: editors, literary agents, publicists, graphic designers, Web designers, writing workshops, and writers to hire. To be listed in the directory, the annual fee is $25.

Kudos: Dustin Lance Black won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Milk. Black also won the award for Best Original Screenplay from the Writers Guild of America.

Among the fiction nominees for the Barnes & Noble annual Discover Great New Writers Awards was Benjamin Taylor for his novel The Book of Getting Even.

The American Library Association’s Rainbow List committee, a joint initiative of the ALA’s GLBT and Social Responsibilities Round Tables, has published its second annual list of recommended books for young readers from birth through age 18. The committee chose four titles for special recognition: 10,000 Dresses, written by Marcus Ewert and illustrated by Rex Ray; Skim by Mariko Tamaki (text) and Jillian Tamaki (artwork); Down to the Bone by Mayra Lazara Dole; and Last Exit to Normal by Michael Harmon. For a full list of titles, visit the Rainbow List Web site.

Gun Brooke, Jane Fletcher, Nicola Griffith, and Lesléa Newman received the 2009 Alice B. Medal, a lifetime achievement award recognizing authors of lesbian fiction, given by the Alice B. Readers' Appreciation Awards. The 2009 Lavender Certificates, presented to authors of the best “maiden” novel of the previous year, were awarded to Del Robertson for Taming the Wolff and Gill McKnight for Falling Star and Green-eyed Monster.

Among the nominees for the 2008 Nebula Awards is Ursula K. Le Guin for her novel Powers.

Open calls: Don Kilhefner and Mark Thompson will co-edit an anthology of writing to celebrate thirty years of Radical Faeries. Submissions can include personal experiences, academic “think pieces,” or writings about the impact of the Faeries on gay culture. 2,500 word maximum is suggested. Deadline is July 1, 2009. Entries should be sent as an attached Word Document to either or

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore has initiated a public art project entitled Lostmissing, a public expression of grief in order to feel hopeful again. For more details visit the blog

Dustin Brookshire is sponsoring Project Verse, a 10-week poetry competition with the winner announced in week 11. Judges will be Brookshire, Beth Gylys, and Dana Guthrie Martin. The winner will receive a contract for a limited edition chapbook published by Limp Wrist, and a weeklong residency at Soul Mountain Retreat. For more details visit:

Passages: Robert Anderson, the American playwright and screenwriter, died February 9, 2009 at his Manhattan home. He was 91 years old. Among his plays were Tea and Sympathy, I Never Sang for My Father, and You Know I Can't Hear You When the Water's Running.