Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Walkers Illustrated Classics


From The Guardian: Walkers have republished some of some of the best-loved children's stories using  the best illustrators to produce a beautiful collection of books. They intend to publish one book a month throughout 2009. These beautiful, critically acclaimed books of children's literature are targeted at the 'new generation'.

The collection, so far, includes:

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, illustrated by Inga Moore
Classic Poetry, selected by children's laureate Michael Rosen, illustrated by Paul Howard
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
The Secret Garden by F Hodgson Burnett, illustrated by Inga Moore
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, illustrated by Nicola Bayley

I so want to buy a collection (for myself, never mind the children).

The Guardian

9,000 books missing from the British Library

Alice in WonderlandThe Guardian reports: More than 9000 books, some valued at more than GBP 20,000.00, have been reported missing from the British Library although not all of them are thought to be stolen. Some have been 'mislaid' for over 50 years in the library's over 650 kilometres of shelves!

Among the books mislaid or stolen are:

• Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 1876 illustrated edition. Missing since 1976. Valued at GBP 350 by Abe Books.

• Wolfgang Musculus, Of the Lawful and Unlawful Usurie Amongest Christians, 1556. Missing since 2007. British Library valuation GBP 20,000.

• Moses Ben Maimon, Letter on Astrology, 1555. By 12th-century Jewish philosopher and Torah scholar. Missing since 1977. Nothing comparable on market.

• Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891. First edition missing since January 1961. Valued by Bookride at over GBP 1,300.

• Ezra Pound, Canzoni, 1911. First edition of poetry collection, missing since 1999. Copy on Amazon at GBP 425.

The Guardian

Silverfish News on Twitter

Twitter logoSome may have already noticed the Twitter sidebar in the News, New Books, Writings, Events and Short story pages of our website. When we started these pages, there was just about enough material for fortnightly updates. There is a lot more now, especially books, new Malaysian books.

We used to be hard pressed to find one new Malaysian book every two weeks to feature. Now we receive so many every week, we have difficulty choosing. Hence, the SilverfishNews Tweets. We will still continue to feature one favourite Malaysian book of the fortnight, but our tweets will list the rest that are worthy of note. And since we already have the sidebar for the Tweets we will also list other interesting stories we come across that you might wish to check out (including some of not exactly literary nature).

But our bias will be towards things regarding reading, writing and publishing. You choose to follow 'SilverfishNews' on Twitter for which you need an account, or you may merely follow it on our website without one. (But, I think you need to be a twitterati to post replies -- I am not sure of that, maybe someone can clarify).

And, speaking of replies, please use the direct mode. Responses will not be automatically displayed on the website but we will be able to read it on our desktop client before posting them -- we are using Twirl, but there are many out there -- because, like we said before, this is a literary website and we would like to keep it that way. Mostly. Anyway, we believe most readers will not be interested in who had what for breakfast. Friends might, not others. You may also communicate with us by email. Send us interesting things you read or see and we will Tweet it, with or without your name. You decide.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Short story competition for women

Harper's logo"Are you the most exciting new female voice in fiction -- but, as yet, unpublished? At Harper's Bazaar, we love discovering great new writing, and are thrilled to be teaming up with Orange to invite you to write an original short story for our annual competition, says the Harper's Bazaar oficial Short Story Competition 2009 website. Winners stand to pick up a prize of GBP 1000.00 in the presence of top editors, publishers and agents (oh yes, that writer's 'a' word for the gods) in June 2009.

The story says, "Previous successes include Clare Allan in 2002, who went on to write the acclaimed Poppy Shakespeare. Last year's winner, Sukhraj Randhawa, was taken on by literary agent Zoe Waldie (Rogers, Coleridge & White) on the strength of her entry, and is currently working on a novel." Enough for you?

The requirements are:
  1. Imaginative and stylish writing of an original 2,000-word story on the subject of 'Mother'.
  2. A 200-word autobiography. (I believe this means the author's biography.)
  3. A passport photograph of yourself, attached to a sheet of A4 bearing your full name, address, telephone number (mobile number where possible), occupation and date of birth.
Amongst the rules:
  • All entries should be submitted no later than Tuesday 14 April to: Naomi West, Commissioning Editor, Harper's Bazaar, National Magazine House, 72 Broadwick Street, London W1F 9EP.

  • Entrants must be unpublished female writers aged 18 or over (in this instance please take "unpublished" to mean that entrants do not have an existing or previous contract with a publishing house.)
Read the rest on their official website (link below). (Thanks for the story Angela.)

Harper's Bazaar

Arrested for seeking female writer's autograph

Riyadh book fairThe CNN story says that two Saudi male novelists have been detained for questioning for trying to get autograph of female writer at a book fair in Riyadh. Quoting local media reports, the report says, "According to the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Watan, Abdu Khal and Abdullah Thabet approached female writer Halima Muzfar when they were stopped by police."

Both men were held for questioning but not charged with any crime. They are demanding an apology from Saudi's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the much feared commission made up of several thousand religious policemen. They have the power to enforce, amongst other things, dress codes, mandatory observance of prayer times and segregation of the sexes.

The report also says, "Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz announced in February a major Cabinet reshuffling in which many hardline conservatives, including the head of the commission, were dismissed and replaced with younger, more moderate members." These new appointments were welcomed in the Saudi Arabia media as progressive moves by their king, who took was installed in 2005 and is seen by many as a reformer.


New excuse for skipping classes

Lit2GoSaw this on the NewScientist website: "New psychological research suggests that university students who download a podcast lecture achieve substantially higher exam results than those who attend the lecture in person."

Apple's iTunes university was launched less than two years ago, It offers college lectures on everything from Proust to particle physics to students and the public. Some universities make their lectures available to all, while others restrict access to enrolled studunts. Some professors even limit downloads to encourage class attendance.

Now, thanks to the University of South Florida's Lit2Go program, parents and teachers can find a wealth of great literature to share with children. Ready for iPod are the fables, fairy tales,
novels, nursery rhymes, poems, short stories, and lectures which all come in MP3 format and are free to download. And kids -- from kindergarden to twelfth grade -- will find hundreds of stories
and books to enjoy. Printable version are available, too. You can:
  • Download the files to your Mp3 player and listen on the go,
  • Listen to the Mp3 files on your computer,
  • View the text on a webpage and read along as you listen,
  • Print out the stories and poems to make your own book.
If you have iTunes software installed on your computer, you can download many of the selections directly into your iTunes library.

Looks like schools are on the extinct list too. Who needs lecturers and teachers anymore?