Monthly Archives: January 2013

Twitter Fiction Festival

In the literary world, there are all kinds of events and festivals — book festivals, author signings, book readings, book sales, the list goes on and on. But just a few weeks ago, the world of literature merged with social media for the first ever Twitter Fiction Festival.

According to The L.A. Times, the festival was an online, virtual gathering that included authors from 20 different countries selected by a group of “experts.” One writer, for example, had to write a Greek myth in 100 characters. It was less of a lesson in great writing, and more of a lesson in concise writing. The festival also included some live events.

Personally, I think it would be kind of cool to read how the authors brought these elaborate stories down to just a few characters. In a nerdy way, I think it was probably a fun event. But part of me also wonders what the point is? Other than teaching writers how to connect on Twitter, I don’t see how a fun festival like this serves any purpose — unless it was just that, a fun festival.

Thoughts?

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NYPL Unveils Controversial Renovation Plans

It’s been almost a year since the New York Public Library announced plans to renovate the historic space on 5th Avenue in Manhattan. But until last month, they still hadn’t released any design plans to the public. Now those plans have been released, and it’s stirring up controversy.

According to The New York Times, the $300 million renovation includes plans to replace the stack space with shelf space, sitting areas, and desks, while allowing people to view Bryant Park from inside the library for the first time since 1911. The initial plan was to move the iconic stacks to a storage facility in New Jersey, thus stirring part of the controversy. But those plans have since been scrapped; thanks to another $8 million acquired by the library, the majority of the stacks will move underground and remain on site.

The plan also calls for a consolidation of some of its other branches, which will save money and allow the library to enhance the flagship location, by adding more books, operating hours, and librarians.

Second-floor offices and storage rooms will be turned into a work space, children’s room, teen center, and education center. The renovation is expected to be completed by 2018.

While library officials say this is a positive way to modernize the century-old staple, others are upset that any part of the famous building is being changed.

I’m personally a huge fan of the New York Public Library, but don’t have a problem with the changes, especially if it means saving money, offering more space for education and scholarly work, and will add hours, books, and job opportunities. What do you guys think?

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‘Fifty Shades’ Meets ‘Harry Potter’: The New Adult Genre

When you walk into a bookstore, you see shelves for fiction and for young adults. But these days, there’s a new genre developing that fits on both shelves: new adult.

As it turns out, sexier young adult fiction is experiencing a spike in sales right now. Thanks to popular young adult books that adults are now reading, like The Hunger Games and Twilight, and sexy books that teens want to read, like Fifty Shades of Grey, young adult fiction is starting to grow up a bit. According to The New York Times, publishers have labeled the steamier, sexy young adult novels as “new adult.”

It’s the fiction geared to an 18-to-25 age bracket, for those who like the emotional intensity of young adult fiction, but also want the sex of adult novels. Some authors have re-released their YA books, with new sexually explicit scenes included. Others are just starting to include sex in their stories from the beginning — unlike  Twilight for instance, which moves past the big Bella-Edward sex scene and doesn’t include any details about it.

Publishers are eating it up. Labeling the books “new fiction” has made it easier to market, and they’re continuing to see sales rise, as Leslie Kaufman explains.

The goal is to retain young readers who have loyally worked their way through series like Harry Potter, “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight,” all of which tread lightly, or not at all, when it comes to sexual encounters…Providing more mature material, publishers reason, is a good way to maintain devotion to books among the teenagers who are scooping up young-adult fiction and making it the most popular category in literature, with a crossover readership that is also attracting millions of adults. All while creating a new source of revenue.

Others say it’s just the publishers trying to find a way to make money.

What say you?

 

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