Archive for February, 2010

February 26, 2010

New Website Update

by thiszine

this zine’s new website will go live with our second issue on March 1.

We look forward to celebrating the new site and the new issue with you!

February 19, 2010

Uh-Oh! Deceased Author’s Estate Is Not J/K

by thiszine

The Associated Press writes of (yet another!) lawsuit against Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and her publisher, Bloomsbury. Allegedly, Rowling stole the idea for Harry Potter from the work of the late Adrian Jacobs. At the time of the AP article, Rowling had no comment.

February 18, 2010

How to Survive as an Indie Bookstore

by thiszine

Indie (independent) bookstores rock but the marketplace is hard for small stores trying to compete against the likes of Barnes and Noble and Amazon. What’s a future indie bookstore owner to do?

The Globe & Mail talked with Jason Rovito recently about his soon-to-open Toronto bookstore named Of Swallows, Their Deeds, & the Winter Below. In addition to selling second-hand books, Rovito intends to sublet the space to other groups who share his vision and his quest to “…surround the books with related activities, things that can’t be translated into electronic exchange…” At the moment, that includes a literary journal and a school of writing.

Rovito acknowledges that bookstores, especially independent ones, have much to contend with these days. However, he argues for the bookstore’s continued importance in our culture, adding: “Perhaps bookstores will have to be defined as a place that sells things not otherwise available.”

Read the full article here.

February 16, 2010

Website Update: Countdown

by thiszine

Our new website and look are almost complete! We’re excited to offer an improved and easy-to-navigate layout with our new home and hope that the redesigned site will increase the readership of this. We want our writers to get the reading traffic they deserve!

Our goal is to have the website go live by the end of the month. In the meantime, please continue to submit your stories, poems, art, interviews, and other non-fiction tidbits to the editor at As always, we look forward to reading your work!

February 15, 2010

Want to Tweet Your Day? Here’s Some Tips

by thiszine

A great, concise little blog post from The Fiction Desk for authors (and others!) looking to join twitter. Take the tips to heart tweeters!

February 14, 2010

Passings: Lucille Clifton

by thiszine

Poet Lucille Clifton, who twice won the Pulitzer Prize for her work, passed away in Baltimore, MD on Saturday at the age of 73.

February 10, 2010

Snowed In? Read a Book!

by thiszine

If you live on the East Coast or in the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S., chances are you’ve seen a lot of snow this winter. If you find yourself house bound and filled with snow stress, why not pick up a book and catch up on some (surely long overdue!) reading?

thiszine‘s editor was caught in a snow drift this weekend and managed to finish three books, find time for personal writing, and work on the new website. What did you do while snowed in?

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February 4, 2010

What Does It Take to Be a Judge?

by thiszine

An interesting look at what it takes to be a judge for the Man Book Prize.

February 4, 2010

Amazon vs. Macmillan & The Future of Book Publishing

by thiszine

From a blog post by author Caleb Crain on the Amazon vs. Macmillan debacle:

“What’s perhaps most breathtaking about the Amazon-Macmillan dispute is how little, finally, is at stake: should the highest price of an e-book be $9.95 or $14.95? No one dreams any more that it’s going to be $28. What’s being fought over is control, and the reason control is being fought over so viciously is that the only way such massive cost savings are going to be achieved is by consolidation–by collapsing a few of the intermediary steps somewhere between the creation of a book and the reading of it. Will you some day download your e-books directly from Farrar, Straus & Giroux’s website? Will Amazon some day be the publisher of Jonathan Franzen’s novels? Some future between these two outcomes is more likely to happen, but precisely where the division will fall remains to be seen. Authors, in the meantime, had better ask their agents to negotiate their e-book royalties very carefully, seeing as how, while the titans rage, the financial analysts have already factored into their bottom lines the expectation that someone else will be eating our slice of the pie.”

February 3, 2010

And the Oscar Goes To….

by thiszine

The nominees for the 2010 Oscar Awards were released yesterday and among the nominees for best picture (expanded to ten nominees this year) are several movies that originated as books (see below). Notably, the first screenplay by author Nick Hornby, An Education, which was itself based on an autobiographical essay by Lynn Barber, received a nomination for best picture, a nod for best actress, and Hornby a nomination for best screenplay.

The list is not exhaustive but, even among the big award categories, it’s easy to see how much Hollywood borrows from the literary world, a trend not unusual to this year, as past Oscar awards have shown.

So what are the major nominees and the books they were based on?

Best Picture:
The Blind Side
based on the novel The Blind Side by Michael Lewis

An Education
based on the autobiographical essay “An Education,” originally published in Granta by Lynn Barber

based on the novel Push by Sapphire

Up in the Air
based on the novel Up in the Air by Walter Kirn

Best Actor or Supporting Actor:

Christopher Plummer, ‘The Last Station’
based on the novel The Last Station by Jay Parini

Colin Firth, ‘A Single Man’
based on the novel A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood

Morgan Freeman, ‘Invictus’
based on the book Playing With the Enemy by John Carlin

Stanley Tucci, ‘The Lovely Bones’
based on the novel The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Best Actress:
Meryl Streep, ‘Julie and Julia’
based on the novel Julie and Julia by Julie Powell

Best Animated Feature Film:
based on the young adult novel Coraline by Neil Gaiman

‘Fantastic Mr. Fox’
based on the children’s novel Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roland Dahl