OPPORTUNITY FOR AUTHORS
Richard Flanagan, an Australian , won the 2014 Man Booker Prize for fiction for his sixth novel: The Narrow Road to the Deep North. The book tells the story of a surgeon in a Japanese POW camp on the Thailand-Burma railway. The Prize was anounced on October 14. American writers were eligible for the prize for the first time this year. Two were among the final six contenders: Karen Joy Fowler for "We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves" and Joshua Ferris for "To Rise Again at a Decent Hour."
For more on the story, see themanbookerprize.com
PANEL BRINGS PUBLISHERS, WRITERS TOGETHER
The Boston Chapter’s September Publishing Alternatives panel drew 30 writers and four publishers: Candlewick Press (Somerville, MA, UK and Australia); Gemma Media (Boston); Hobblebush Books (Brookline, NH); and Cognoscenti, National Public Radio/WBUR’s online commentary page (Boston). During the Q&A, our business-savvy members focused on what matters most: What’s in the contract; turnaround times; advances; and openness to issues that mainstream publishers may consider too controversial (e.g. abortion). Biggest takeaway: Editors are impressed by queries that show a writer has thoroughly perused—and even better bought and read—the books on a publisher’s website. That way, potential authors have a sense of the kinds of material a publisher is likely to want. Thanks to event organizers and steering committee members Jim Kates and John Hodge.
— Barbara Beckwith
ILHAM TOHTI SENTENCED TO LIFE
Ilham Tohti, who won the 2014 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith ‘Freedom to Write’ award, was sentenced to life in prison by a court in China. PEN's denunciation of the verdict was cited in the NY Times. A writer, scholar, and leader in Uyghur PEN, Tohti founded Uyghur Online, a forum for dialogue between China’s Muslim Uyghur minority and its majority Han populations. The author was arrested in a violent raid on his home back in January, and charged with “separatism”—an allegation that his writings firmly reject.
As he was dragged out of court that morning, he spoke the last words we may hear from him in a long time: “This is not just! I won’t give in.” PEN is working with its partners to provide material support to Tohti's family, whose assets have been seized as a result of his conviction. —PEN AMERICA
‘NOT NO, BUT HELL NO!’
As we move into October and National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I’m reminded of a couple of things: (1) In Washington, DC, the No. 1 Management Rule is: “Don’t do anything you don’t want to read in the New York Times.” (2) I got involved in disability politics in the mid-1980s because Justin W. Dart Jr. and others inspired me in my fight against associational discrimination within the US Department of State. But in 1993, after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had become law, and after I had passed my exams for the Foreign Service, I was still denied an appointment to travel abroad, owing to my daughter’s cardiac disability.
Government officials tried to waive my medical clearance, but the ADA had abolished "waivers" on medical clearances for health conditions and disabilities. That is called associational discrimination based on disability, and was now prohibited. So when the bureaucrat asked me, “Don’t you want a waiver?” I responded, “Not no, but hell no!” I insisted that they enforce the ADA. Then, in early 1995, after the government spent millions of dollars to discriminate against my daughter and me, I was appointed to the Foreign Service. The NY Times covered it: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/01/22/business/at-work-promotions-and-family-matters.html.
Alex Baker Patterson lived to be 17. She enjoyed looking at photographs of eagles in flight. So do I. My favorite eagle is Alex.
INTERNATIONAL DAY TO END IMPUNITY
The International Federation of Journalists has launched an End Impunity campaign and is asking the NWU, as its sister union, to help increase awareness about this issue in the US on November 2.
Vicious attacks against journalists over the last month continue to attract media attention. Yet, more than 1000 journalists and media staff have been killed around the world over the last two decades—more in peace time than during wars and conflicts. Credible statistics estimate that out of 10 killings, only one gets investigated. The UN General Assembly recently passed the strongest resolution supporting journalists and marked November 2 as the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
NWU chapters can ...
● Download the campaign banner at IFJ.org and publicize it on your website and pubilcations.
● Post protests, slogans and demands on Twitter with the hashtag #EI_IFJ.
● Hold press conferences or meetings dedicated to End Impunity against Journalists and publicize the problem.
● Hold a minute of silence or another special event, such as a film screening.
Find out more: daytoendimpunity.org