Penguin is teaming with for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. They're taking submissions through Nov. 5, and the winner receives a publishing contract and a $25,000 advance from Penguin! If only we had participated in last year's NANOWRIMO. We're a bit more preoccupied by short stories lately, although Stephen King's Sunday Book Review essay made us think twice:

"Last year, I read scores of stories that felt ... not quite dead on the page, I won’t go that far, but airless, somehow, and self-referring. These stories felt show-offy rather than entertaining, self-important rather than interesting, guarded and self-conscious rather than gloriously open, and worst of all, written for editors and teachers rather than for readers. The chief reason for all this, I think, is that bottom shelf. It’s tough for writers to write (and editors to edit) when faced with a shrinking audience."

Does that have anything to do with the rise of MFA programs? Because they make everyone sound the same, and too workshop-y?

We couldn't even find N+1 the last time we checked the local chain bookstore, but it seems the anti-McSweeney's lit mag now has a Version 2.0, called Paper Monument, and it's all about art.

Does anyone want to start a photo-copied zine with Word Up? We're open to title suggestions.

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