August 16

Just Published: Strangle the White Goose

White_swan-gooseHere is a little shout-out to me. I’ve just published my first eBook, Strangle the White Goose. It’s a novella about an anti-capitalist named Matt who tries to navigate his way back into society as a social media expert after a long hiatus. He quickly falls for a corporate lawyer named Jessica who might have had criminal dealings with his potential new employer. With the help of his hacker friend, Ren, Matt begins to unravel a mystery that nobody asked him to solve. Along the way, Matt runs into a criminal, a cop, and a crazy person, all while falling deeper in love with Jessica.

If you’re interested, please check out http://www.lulu.com/shop/son-of-sappho/strangle-the-white-goose/ebook/product-22318319.html

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August 2

Free Web Writing and Editing

Cobbet Elementary School
Cobbet Elementary School (Photo credit: Office of Governor Patrick)

My old man used to tell me there is no such thing as a free lunch. Well I sure showed him when I literally won a free turkey lunch in elementary school. Even the contest was free, so it didn’t cost me anything to enter.

Although not as free as a turkey lunch, for a short while, I’ll be offering free web writing and editing services. There is no real “catch,” but this is a mutually beneficial situation. As long as you’re not peddling anything that I consider morally offensive, we’ll agree to the number of pages and amount of revisions that I’ll be writing or editing. In return, you will graciously offer me a small site wide link on the footer of your site that reads: “Written by: Son of Sappho” and links back to my site. I can even help you add it, if you need that.

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May 1

Exploring The Culture And World Of Books

English: Mary Higgins Clark at the Mystery Boo...
English: Mary Higgins Clark at the Mystery Bookstore in Los Angeles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Beginning Friday, May 17 at 10 PM ET, RLTV, the only cable network and online destination for adults 50+, premieres Bookmark, a fast-paced weekly series that explores the culture surrounding books in America today. Hosted by author, columnist and former CNN anchor Daryn Kagan , Bookmark presents intriguing book-centric features that include stories on how books have shaped people’s lives, surprising, sometimes-quirky aspects of literary culture, and compelling interviews with America’s best-selling, most interesting authors.

Bookmark encompasses literature of all flavors, including fiction, lifestyle, celebrity, cooking, and biography. Among the best-selling and award-winning authors who appear are:

  • Mary Higgins Clark  – Prolific suspense novelist whose books have sold more than 100 million copies in the U.S. alone discusses recent books Daddy’s Gone a Hunting and The Lost Years
  • Kerry Hanon – Award-winning author reveals many insights of her books Great Jobs for Everyone 50+: Finding Work That Keeps You Happy and Healthy … And Pays the Bills.  And What’s Next? Follow Your Passions and Find Your Dream Job. Hanon is AARP’s Jobs Expert and writes the “Second Verse” column for Forbes.com
  • Lisa Scottoline – Edgar Award-winning author of 20 novels discusses her newest novel Don’t Go
  • Delia Ephron – the celebrated author, playwright and screenwriter talks about her latest book, The Lion is In
  • Bob Dotson  NBC News and Today Show correspondent talks about some of the fascinating 50+ people who are featured in his new book American Story, including the boss who came out of retirement to start a new company for his former employees who could not find work.
  • James McBride – The writer and  musician discusses his autobiographical The Color Of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother and his latest novel Song Yet Sung; and

Film and theater critic Jeffrey Lyons joins Kagan each week for “Touche,” where he compares classic books and the movies made from them, and pronounces which is better.

Additional segments include:

  • Tweetly Noted – tweet-sized, quick-fire mini-book reviews
  • Book Notesinteresting  facts about books and writers today;
  • Book-related survey questions for viewers; and a
  • Weekly report from contributors Tricia Springer and Bobby Rivers , who explore the extraordinary world of book culture, covering such events and subjects as
    • The art and science of book covers;
    • Book Auctions
    • Mystery and Romance Writers’ Conventions; and
    • Enhanced e-books and next generation reading platforms.

“My recent career has been spent in pursuit of inspiring and positive stories, and hosting Bookmark fits perfectly into this agenda,” said Kagan. “Books can make such a difference in someone’s life; I am delighted to join with RLTV to bring viewers this unique and lively show that captures the magic and power of books.”

Americans’ love of books translates into a robust publishing business, with total 2012 industry revenues having increased 6.2% over 2011 to $7.1 billion, of which $1.54 billion came from e-books. According to Pew’s Internet & American Life survey from November 2012, one in every three people owns a device — tablet, e-reader or both — for e-reading.

“We know that reading is an abiding interest for Generation 50+, and Boomers read more than any other age group,” said RLTV President and CEO Paul FitzPatrick . “And, with each passing year, more of that reading is done on tablets and e-readers, as research shows that Boomers make up more than 25 percent of the tablet audience.”

For more information on Bookmark and/or more airtimes, as well as clips of the series, go to www.rl.tv.  Bookmark is produced for RLTV by Jay Garfinkel . Executive in Charge of Production is Elliot Jacobson .

About Daryn Kagan

Daryn Kagan is the creator and host of DarynKagan.com, an online site that features a daily webcast of inspiring stories that “Show the World What’s Possible!”DarynKagan.com is a daily destination for thousands of Internet users who seek news stories that inspire.

Before launching her website, Daryn spent 12 years as a news anchor at CNN. She also reported live from several major events around the world, including the war in Iraq, the September 11th terrorist attacks and many presidential elections.

In addition, Daryn is an accomplished book author with “What’s Possible! 50 True Stories of People Who Dared To Dream They Could Make a Difference,” published by Meredith Books in April 2008. Daryn’s second book — “Paw Prints on My Heart,” featuring inspirational pet stories — will be published in 2013.

About RLTV

The only cable network and online destination created specifically for adults 50+, RLTV (www.rl.tv) offers unique, inspiring programming that focuses on topics that matter to Generation 50+, from relationships, reinvention, rediscovering passions and retirement, to finances, health, and current events. At RLTV, it’s all about rethinking life for 50+.  RLTV.  Experience Matters.

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April 30

Alliance to Benefit Authors

English: Collage of photos of authors
English: Collage of photos of authors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A new alliance between two award-winning companies, DocUmeant Publishing (www.documeantpublishing.com) and EMSI Public Relations, aims to make sure authors aren’t left floundering on their own once their books are published, say pioneering businesswomen Ginger Marks and Marsha Friedman.

“This relationship streamlines the next step for my clients when my job as a publisher is complete,” says Marks, CEO of DocUmeant, who counts New York Times bestselling authors among her clients.

“One of the big missing pieces for authors is that few publishers offer them help market their books. And without marketing, no one knows about their book! Some authors have wasted tens of thousands of dollars on firms that ultimately did nothing for them,” she says.

Marks further offers that she partnered with EMSI because Friedman was a pioneer in the pay-for-performance publicity model. The approach ensures that authors get what they pay for, whether it’s exposure in publications, radio or TV interviews, or social media connections.

“I’ve worked with authors for more than 20 years, so I understand their needs,” says Friedman. “And I’m happy to partner with a publisher who publishes well-designed, quality books — books that my firm can be proud to represent.”

Marks and Friedman have a total of nearly a half century of experience in their industries.

About Ginger Marks

Ginger Marks owned and operated a multi-million dollar surgical facility for 23 years. A division of Calomar, LLC, DocUmeant Publishing was selected for the 2012 New York Award in the Publishing Consultants & Services category by the U.S. Commerce Association (USCA). Through her ability as a published author and business owner, she has helped realize the efforts of her diverse clientele, which includes authors, business owners and students. Marks was named as the Covinginton’s Who’s Who Executive of the Year for 2013.

About Marsha Friedman

Marsha Friedman is a 23-year veteran of the public relations industry. She is the CEO of EMSI Public Relations (www.emsincorporated.com), a national firm that provides PR strategy and publicity services to authors, corporations, entertainers and professional firms. Marsha is the author of Celebritize Yourself and she can also be heard weekly on her Blog Talk Radio Show, EMSI’s PR Insider every Thursday at 3 p.m. EST. Follow her on Twitter: @marshafriedman.

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April 29

Digital Journalism Stars

JOURNALISTS
JOURNALISTS (Photo credit: drinksmachine)

The Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, opened applications for the 2013 MJ Bear Fellowships for early career digital journalists, in honor of founding member MJ Bear.

For the third year of the Fellowships, the search committee will again select three promising, up-and-coming digital journalists — two in the United States or Canada and one internationally, in partnership with MSN International — who are just beginning to make their voices heard in the industry.

Selected Fellows will be paired with a digital news leader as a mentor; receive a free three-year ONA membership and an expense-paid trip to the Online News Association Conference & Awards Banquet, Oct. 17-19, in Atlanta, where they’ll have a chance to share their fresh perspectives.

Last year’s Fellows — Hagit Bachrach, Council on Foreign Relations; Tricia Fulks, freelance digital journalist and founding story director of “Hollow,” an interactive documentary, and Denise Hassanzade Ajiri, Radio Free Europe — are posting weekly blogs on journalists.org that chronicle their progress over the year, showcasing their work and the tools and technology they use. Learn more about the Fellowship and past Fellows here.

Applicants must be working journalists between the ages of 23 and 30 and fluent in English. They will be asked to describe recent concepts, experiments or projects that move digital journalism forward or resulted in valuable lessons or outcomes, and provide a recommendation and a personal statement. Application deadline is May 31, 11:59 p.m. ET.

Review the criteria and apply here.

“There’s no shortage of talented young journalists out there with big, bold ideas on how to transform the craft,” said ONA Board President Jim Brady, Editor-in-Chief, Digital First Media. “But many of them are finding it difficult to get financial support for those ideas. The MJ Bear Fellowship provides that, while honoring a journalist who made a career of embracing exactly these kinds of innovative ideas.”

Bear, whose wide-ranging career took her to pivotal roles at Microsoft’s MSN Portals and MSN International, NPR and American University, was renowned for her kindness and digital know-how. She played a vital role in ONA’s history as a member of the original Board of Directors, helping to incorporate the organization in 1999 and serving on the Education, Fundraising, Conference and Legal Affairs committees until 2003.

For more information on the Fellowship, contact [email protected].

The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of digital journalists. ONA’s mission is to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public. The membership includes news writers, producers, designers, editors, bloggers, developers, photographers, educators, students and others who produce news for and support digital delivery systems. ONA also hosts the annual Online News Association conference and administers the Online Journalism Awards.

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April 29

Award to Recognize Excellence in Caribbean Literature for Young Adults

Port of Spain Trinidad cityscape Date: 24th Ap...
Port of Spain Trinidad cityscape Date: 24th April, 2008 Location: Kapok Hotel, POS (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An exciting global initiative in Young Adult literature is coming to the Caribbean! The Burt Award for Caribbean Literature was launched at the NGC Bocas Lit Fest in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Part of a unique global literary award and readership initiative aiming to give youth everywhere with access to books they will want to read, the Award was established by CODE – a Canadian charitable organization that has supported literacy and learning for over 50 years – in collaboration with William (Bill) Burt and the Literary Prizes Foundation and in partnership with the NGC Bocas Lit Fest. The Award will be accepting submissions from publishers from May 13 until August 23, 2013.

“In the Caribbean, as in many other places around the world, the call for quality, locally authored reading materials for young people is constantly growing. Supporting the development of books that reflect the lives of readers, providing opportunities for emerging writers to develop and showcase their talents, and stimulating the growth of the regional publishing sector is crucial,” said CODE Executive Director Scott Walter. “And that’s exactly what this Award aims to do – it helps address these issues by celebrating the literary achievements of Caribbean authors and improving young readers’ access to books that are engaging and meaningful to them.”

The Award will be given annually to three English-language literary works for Young Adults by Caribbean authors. A First Prize of $10,000 CAD, a Second Prize of $7,000 CAD and a Third Prize of $5,000 CAD will be awarded to the winning authors. The publishers of each winning title will also receive a guaranteed purchase of up to 3,000 copies, ensuring the books will get into the hands of young people in schools, libraries and community organizations across the Caribbean.

For this new initiative, CODE will build on the success it has achieved in implementing the Burt Award in four African countries, as well as its long-established partnerships in the Caribbean.

“Oftentimes, the only books Caribbean youth have access to are the textbooks they use in school. But textbooks don’t encourage them to develop a love of reading,” said William (Bill) Burt, who was instrumental in its founding and financially supports the Award. “I hope that the high-quality books that will emerge from these annual awards will make young people love to read, build their language skills and, eventually, help them to make a lasting difference in their communities.”

Since its start in 2008, the Burt Award for African Literature has resulted in the publication of nearly 150,000 copies of 24 titles for young adults in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania. The inaugural Call for Manuscripts for the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature was launched in September 2012 in Canada and the first winners will be announced in the fall of 2013.

The winners of the Inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature will be announced at the Bocas Lit Fest in April 2014.

For further details on the Burt Award for Caribbean Literature, go to www.codecan.org/burt-award-caribbean

April 28

Stephen King and Owen King to headline literature promoting event

Stephen King, American author best known for h...
Stephen King, American author best known for his enormously popular horror novels. King was the 2003 recipient of The National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Taken at the 2007 New York Comicon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thirty-nine years, 50 books, and 350 million copies into his literary career, Stephen King will discuss the writing life with his son, first-time novelist Owen King on the opening night of the 34th International Festival of Authors.

In his only scheduled Canadian appearance, Stephen King and his son, Owen King, will headline PEN Canada’s annual benefit to take place on Thursday, October 24th, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. in the Fleck Dance Theatre at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto. Award-winning mystery writer Louise Penny will moderate the discussion.

“We are thrilled that Stephen and Owen King are supporting the work of PEN,” said Charlie Foran, President, PEN Canada. “The evening promises to be a rare glimpse of an intimate father-son conversation about life and art.”

Stephen King will present his new novel, Doctor Sleep, which returns to the characters and the territory of his first best-selling hardcover novel, The Shining, including the now middle-aged Dan Torrance. Owen King will present his début novel, Double Feature, which explores the creative life and the complicated relationship between a B-movie actor and his filmmaking son.

Tickets to the event are $100 with all proceeds going to PEN Canada. Advance tickets will be available to PEN Patrons and the International Festival of Authors Patrons at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16th by calling the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416-973-4000. Tickets for the public will be available on Thursday, April 18th at 1:00 p.m. by calling the box office or by visiting www.readings.org. For information on how to become a PEN Canada Patron call 416-703-8448. For information on how to become a Patron of the International Festival of Authors call 416-973-4760.

About the authors

Owen King is a graduate of Vassar College and the MFA program at the Columbia University School of the Arts. He is the author of Double Feature: A Novel and We’re All in This Together: A Novella and Stories. His writing has appeared in Fairy Tale Review, Guernica, One Story, and Prairie Schooner, among other publications. Owen has also taught creative writing at Columbia University and Fordham University and is a working screenwriter with a script in development by the producer of Winter’s Bone. He is married to the novelist Kelly Braffet.

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world’s most successful writers.

Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities.

Louise Penny is the New York Times and Globe & Mail bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Gamache crime novels of which How the Light Gets In is the most recent, set in Quebec and translated into 25 languages. Her books have won the American Anthony, Agatha, Barry and Macavity awards, the Canadian Arthur Ellis and the British Dagger. CBC Television is turning her works into a series of films. Louise lives with her husband Michael outside a village in southern Quebec.

PEN Canada is a nonpartisan organization of writers that works with others to defend freedom of expression as a basic human right, at home and abroad. PEN Canada promotes literature, fights censorship, helps free persecuted writers from prison, and assists writers living in exile in Canada. http://pencanada.ca

International Festival of Authors
Each October, the IFOA presents a wide range of readings, round table discussions, on stage interviews, book signings and a number of special events featuring the most exciting authors in contemporary literature. Administered by Authors at Harbourfront Centre, this year’s 34th annual IFOA takes place from October 24 to November 3, 2013. www.readings.org