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Refudiate Word of the Year
Sarah Palin’s linguistic skills have been given the highest honour as the New Oxford American Dictionary has picked her made-up refudiate as the 2010 Word of the Year.
Palin first used the word when she was tweeting about a mosque being built at Ground Zero. Pushing the 140 character count and the bounds of the sensibility, Palin tweeted “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it…
Music to Melbourne’s Ears
Campaigning Premier John Brumby has announced that a $24.7 million headquarters for contemporary music will be established in Melbourne.
The organisation will host Australian Independent Records Labels Association and youth music organisations The Push and FreeZA. The Age reports that the new Australian Music HQ will be located in the city and feature live gigs. The proposed package also includes support for music venues…
Solving the Puzzling DA
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Geoffrey Rush called him “the Sergeant Pepper of cryptic crosswords” but crossword maker David Astle dances with words daily. If you ever wondered how Saturday’s cryptic is created then this is the insight into the mind and madness of the country’s toughest setter better known by his initials DA. Some say it stands for “Don’t Attempt” and as a setter…
Digital Lit Journal Has Arrived
As Australia grapples with the future of lit journals online, a recent Guardian blog post says there has been “a renaissance rooted in technology” for the UK’s little magazines.
Interestingly, they’re not looking to existing print journals as the future. The London Review of Books is “currently £27m in the red” with an aging readership. “In fact, mention the LRB to anyone under 50…
Zadie Smith vs Facebook
Poster from the film, The Social Network
The New York Review of Books has published a scathing review by novelist Zadie Smith on the film, The Social Network.
Smith damns the bio-pic of Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg not for its portrayl of the boy genius but as “a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of…
EWF in the UAE
Emerging Writers' Festival director Lisa Dempster
I have just returned from United Arab Emirates after taking part in the Sharjah International Book Fair . It was an interesting literary festival, not just because it is bilingual (Arabic and English), but because it mixes book fair with trade fair and throws in writers’ festival programming as well.
The Sharjah Book Fair is traditionally, and remains…
Hannie Rayson on the “Worst Election Campaign in History”
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Playwright Hannie Rayson is over our politicians. “There’s something excessively enervating about opinion polls,” she argues as she sees our politicians becoming less about leading as they focus on focus groups and soundbites. She wants more inspiration and more “saying what matters” that she’s seen in the arts.
As the Victorian state election approaches, Rayson reckons “We need the arts…
Julia Gillard Delivers the PM’s Lit Prize
The winners for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have been announced:Fiction
Dog Boy by Eva Hornung
What the judges said: “Hornung challenges us to believe that an abandoned child in a decaying city in deep winter can sympathetically enter the small, embattled but protective society of a dog pack. The resonances of the novel are bleak and unsettling…”Non-fiction
The Colony: A History…
Seuss Still Finding New Places To Go
An unfinished manuscript by Theodore Geisel, better known to children for generations as Dr Seuss, has recently been sold at auction and there’s excitement that it will add a new word to dictionaries.
The manuscript, All Sorts of Sports, introduces the word “blumf” to the world. The book follows athlete Pete who at one point exclains “There are so many sports, let’s see……
Wendy McCarthy on the Gains of Feminism
As part of our Intelligence Squared debate on feminism, Wendy McCarthy argues that the gains of feminism are not to be overlooked.
Cooks Source Was Plagiarism
US-based magazine Cooks Source has reproduced an article by Monica Gaudio without her permission, according to the blog How Publishing Really Works.
Gaudio was informed by a friend that her 2005 article “A Tale of Two Tarts” had been re-published by Cooks Source. When Gaudio contacted the publication’s editor Judith Griggs, she was reportedly told, “Well, it was on the Internet. Didn’t…
At Home With Monica McInerney
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Toni Jordan kicks off this interview with Monica McInerney by reading one of her favourite extracts from At Home With The Templetons. As Australia’s bestselling female author McInerney talks about her writing process of “ambling about the streets of Dublin talking to myself”. She explores her motivations for writing books about family such as Those Faraday Girls and The…
Hold the Print
Anyone fortunate enough to have had work published in Meanjin will testify to the thrill of knowing their writing has shared in a history that their writer heroes have also shared. Now, the word is that Meanjin may become an online only journal.
Books Illuminating the Future
Click to watch video (Image by Dan Hallett)
Jonathan Walker challenges what a writer is with his illuminated novel, Five Wounds, which mixes images and text, writing and illustrating. He likens his book to an “analogue iPad” but doesn’t think it would work on the Kindle, so how will books evolve with new technology? And what is the future for writers?
Gay Alcorn Says Feminism Hasn’t Made a Dent in Society’s Sexism
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In the penultimate installment in our Feminism Has Failed debate, Sunday Age editor Gay Alcorn sees women pushed off the agenda. She argues that “sexism is so embedded we barely notice it” from body image to stories about pole dancing being empowering. Alcorn can’t see how women are coming into power in the workplace.
This speech follows Monica Dux’s argument…
If you start seeing clusters of laptops in cafes or your writer friends get particularly surly this month, it’s because November is National Novel Writing Month (commonly contracted to NaNoWriMo).
The idea is the brainchild of San Franciscan Chris Baty who wanted to dedicate more time to his writing but couldn’t seem to find the time. In 1999 Baty devised a schedule with a…
Barry’s Movie Deal
Writer and now executive producer Max Barry
Yesterday a relieved Max Barry tweeted about his online book being made into a film by director Darren Aronofsky. Barry tweeted “For months I have borne the terrible weight of knowing Darren Aronofsky was attached to direct my movie without being able to brag about it.”
Barry serialised Machine Man posting it on his website as he…
Peter Doherty on his Life in Science
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Nobel Laureate Professor Peter Doherty spoke to Jennifer Byrne as part of our Matter of Life and Death series about how science has found its conscience. When asked about capitalism’s growth he responds, “As a biologist, the only continuous growth I know about is cancer.”
New Nook Shares Reading Around
US book chain Barnes and Noble have announced they’ll release a new e-reader that’s creeping closer to being an iPad, according to GalleyCat.
Unlike the Kindle the Nook Color promises a new high quality colour screen and links in with social networking sites. The NOOKFriends feature lets you copy passages of a book into Facebook or Twitter so you can tell everyone what you’re…
A Brief History of Shoe Protest
Last night during ABC TV’s Q and A programme saw former Prime Minister John Howard dodging not just questions but also the odd bit of footwear.
A member of the audience stood up excusing himself by saying “Sorry, Tony, take it as a comment” before lobbing two shoes at Howard. The protester told Howard “That is for the Iraqi dead” linking his protest with…
Symphony for the Devil: Music and Advertising by Ben Birchall
Singer/songwriter/ad man, Ben Birchall
Okay, I’ll admit it. I dance with the devil. He’s good looking, he pays for the drinks and he’s got the best record collection.
I’m a musician and I work in advertising.
But I’m on a dancefloor that’s fast filling as a new generation of musicians struggle to cope with a changing media landscape.
Advertising has always used music to…
Aden Rolfe Talks Us Through his Forthcoming Anthology
Ahead of the release of Emerging Writers' Festival The Reader, editor Aden Rolfe gives a sneak peek into the publication with this excerpt from his editorial:
Aden Rolfe, editor of 2010 edition of The Reader
I’ve been wondering what a writers’ festival is for. I haven’t been wondering what one is, or whether there’s a distinction between a writers’ festival and a readers’…