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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Literature festival crippled by politics

The BBC reports that Israeli police have shut down a Palestinian theatre in East Jerusalem, preventing the closing event of an international literature festival from being staged.

Police said they were acting on a court order, initiated by Israel's internal security minister. Saturday's opening event was also closed down.

East Jerusalem has been occupied by Israel since 1967, when the area was annexed.

The British consul-general in Jerusalem, Richard Makepeace (an ironic name, if there ever was one), was attending the event. "I think all lovers of literature would regard this as a very regrettable moment and regrettable decision," he said.

He added that the closing event will now be staged at the British Council in Jerusalem.

Groundbreaking writers' conference in NYC

The Mercantile Library Center for Fiction is proud to announce its first Writers’ Conference, a full day of presentations dedicated to helping writers understand and thrive in the rapidly changing world of publishing.

The one-day conference will be held June 27, 2009 at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, 113W 60th St.. All conference attendees will receive one month free writing space at the Center’s Writing Studio at 17 East 47th Street and 10% off the first 3 months thereafter, a $130 value. The cost to attend is $200.

The event’s keynote address will be given by Daniel Menaker, a veteran New Yorker fiction editor, former Random House executive editor-in-chief, accomplished short story author and novelist and host of the groundbreaking Internet talk show Titlepage.

Featured authors will include New Yorker editor Ben Greenman, author of Please Step Back, Jennifer Weiner, author of In Her Shoes, Marlon James, author of The Book of Night Women, Stefan Merrill Block, author of The Story of Forgetting, Amanda Stern, founder of the Happy Ending Music and Reading Series and author of The Long Haul, Peter Cameron, author of Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You, Touré, author of the novel Soul City and Maryann McFadden, author of So Happy Together.

Featured editors will include Jonathan Karp, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Twelve, Richard Nash, consultant and former publisher of Soft Skull Press, Sara Nelson, former Editor-in-Chief of Publishers Weekly, Laurie Chittenden, executive editor at William Morrow, Sarah Crichton, publisher of Sarah Crichton Books at Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Featured agents will include Kate Lee of ICM, Renee Zuckerbrot and others. Panels will include topics like: Beyond the Desk: Finding Your Community of Writers, What Good Are Book Reviews, Anyway?, How To Get Your Foot in the Door, Creating Your Own Buzz, What Editors Are Looking For, and After the Book Deal.

Why couldn't they have staged this stellar event when I am in New York in August! A don't-miss event if you can make it.