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All stories relating to Margaret Atwood


Wattpad teams up with Margaret Atwood to launch Atty Awards for international poetry

Wattpad, a Toronto-based online community for international writers and readers, has put out a call for submissions for its first ever Atty Awards recognizing work by undiscovered poets. Winning entries will be selected by Margaret Atwood, the prize’s namesake, who in July began posting a new series of poems to the site under the title Thriller Suite.

“We want to create a digital-first opportunity for poets to share their work and for audiences to discover the genre. Poems can be submitted from anywhere, and we anticipate that some entries will be written on mobile devices,” says Wattpad CEO and co-founder Allen Lau in a press release.

Award hopefuls are encouraged to enter their English-language work as either a competitor or an enthusiast. Competitors are to put forward a collection of 10 poems, each one following a different poetic form. Prizes for the competitor category include $1,000 (U.S.), feedback sessions with Atwood via Fanado, copies of The 2012 Griffin Poetry Prize Anthology (House of Anansi Press), subscriptions to Sarah Selecky’s Story is a State of Mind online writing courses, and participation certificates signed by Atwood.

Enthusiasts are required to submit one poem, and will be entered in a draw for prizes such as a Nexus 7 tablet and a special-edition Atty Award t-shirt signed by Atwood. All entries in both categories will be considered for a draw to name a character in Atwood’s upcoming novel, MaddAddam.

The deadline for entries is Oct. 31. Details can be found via Wattpad.

In addition to the Attys, Wattpad offers more than $10,000 worth of prizes through its annual Watty Awards, which celebrate the most popular and well-liked stories posted to the online community.

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Atwood raises $54,000 to take the LongPen mobile

First there was the LongPen. Next, the LongPen went digital as iDoLVine LiveSign. Now, Margaret Atwood and a team of techies are looking to bring fans and artists even closer with the rollout of Fanado mobile.

Last month, Fanado (formerly iDoLVine), launched its Fanado Goes Mobile campaign on crowdfunding site Indiegogo. Fanado — which combines LongPen’s remote signature technology with video conferencing and social media — is aiming to raise $85,000 to develop two apps for a range of mobile devices. In a press release, Fanado says that with the apps “every iPad, iPhone, and Android device will become the stage door – providing access behind the scenes, on the tour bus, in the recording studio, and wherever artists are creating.”

The press release goes on to describe Fanado events as “built around a backstage environment where fans with common interests can hang out, take part in public text chats, hold private video chats, discover new artists, learn about upcoming events, and make new friends.” This differs from On Stage events, in which participants meet the artist and receive a video clip of the experience, which can be shared via social media. True to its LongPen roots, participants also receive personalized collectibles with the author’s authenticated signature.

To date, Fanado has raised more than $54,000. Among the perks offered to funders are a subscription to an Atwood-penned comic strip series ($1), a three-pack of Byliner original stories ($50), a signed limited edition of a section of Atwood’s forthcoming novel, Maddaddam ($350), a personalized Fanado channel ($5,000), or a Maddaddam character named after you ($10,000). According to Fanado, organizations such as House of Anansi Press, Indigo Books & Music, Random House of Canada, and the Scotiabank Giller Prize have ponied up thousands of dollars each to support the venture and own a Fanado channel.

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Crowdfunding website Kickstarter becomes big player in graphic novels

Rich Burlew raised over $1 million on Kickstarter to self-publish his Dungeons & Dragons comic, The Order of the Stick

According to research conducted by Publishers Weekly, crowdsourcing website Kickstarter is now one of the top revenue-generating graphic-novel publishers in the U.S.

From February to April of this year, graphic novelists and comic artists who used the Kickstarter platform to raise funds for their projects brought in $2.2 million. By comparison, Marvel Comics brought in $6.9 million in gross revenue and DC Comics made $4.3 million. When PW compared the profits each publisher actually received, Kickstarter moved into second place with $1.9 million.

The comparison might seem like a head-scratcher, but PW calculated the amounts by multiplying Kickstarter’s pledges by 90 per cent (the website gives 90–92 per cent back to creators) and the other publishers’ sales by 40 per cent (most publishers keep that amount of a book’s list price).

Whatever this equation really means, there’s no denying crowdsourcing websites are changing the ways artists cover their creation and marketing costs. Even high-profile author and entrepreneur Margaret Atwood has seen the potential, raising almost $55,ooo on Indiegogo for her new Long Pen and interactive fan-club platform, Fanado.

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In the July/August issue of Q&Q: fall’s most anticipated books


A first look at the season’s most anticipated books

Fiction: Susan Swan’s long-awaited prequel to The Wives of Bath; Alice Munro’s new collection; Matthew Tierney’s science-inspired poetry; and more

Non-fiction: Neil Young’s rock ’n’ roll memoir; Andrew Nikiforuk’s oil-industry polemic; Julie Devaney’s unique medical memoir; and more

Books for young people: Orca’s adventure series debut; Margaret Atwood’s latest alliterative picture book; Susan Juby’s dystopian vision; and more

International books: Chinua Achebe’s civil war memoir; Ian McEwan’s literary spy novel; Zadie Smith’s new fictional direction; and more

For Literary Press Group: the good news came just in time

The delicate art of the author photo

How metadata improves online visibility

Emily Schultz’s blonde ambition

Northern retailer Chat Noir Books’ community-oriented approach

Snapshot: Black Bond Books co-owner Cathy Jesson

Cover to cover: Fran Kimmel’s The Shore Girl

Inside by Alix Ohlin

Signs and Wonders by Alix Ohlin

People Park by Pasha Malla

Gay Dwarves of America by Ann Fleming

Y by Marjorie Celona

Above All Things by Tanis Rideout

Mr. Churchill’s Profession: The Statesman as Author and the Book that Defined the “Special Relationship” by Peter Clarke

PLUS more fiction, non-fiction, and poetry

Uncle Wally’s Old Brown Shoe by Wallace Edwards

Old MacDonald Had Her Farm by JonArno Lawson; Tina Holdcroft, illus.

Hemlock by Kathleen Peacock

PLUS more fiction, non-fiction, and picture books


THE LAST WORD Pasha Malla on why the most affecting literature thumbs its nose at the rules

Subscribe to Q&Q
Get the digital edition

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Rolex pairs U.K. novelist Naomi Alderman and Margaret Atwood in mentorship program

Margaret Atwood will spend the next year mentoring U.K. novelist Naomi Alderman. The partnership is a product of the Rolex Arts Initiative, which pairs masters with emerging arts professionals in the areas of literature, theatre, film, dance, music, and visual arts.

Oxford-educated Alderman, 37, is the author of three novels — Disobedience, which won the 2006 Orange Award for New Writers, The Lessons (2010), and The Liars’ Gospel (forthcoming in August). She was named The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year in 2007, and is also credited with writing a number of computer games and mobile apps. Alderman says she turned to writing full-time after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre prompted her to leave an unfulfilling job in Manhattan and through the mentorship she hopes to figure out “how to shape the next 20 years.”

Alderman will spend a minimum of six weeks working with her mentor, and will receive US$25,000 for expenses and another US$25,000 to finance a larger project. Atwood hand-picked the British writer after interviewing a pool of candidates.


Ryerson University confers honorary doctorates on Mistry, Atwood, Gibson

Toronto’s Ryerson University is confering honorary doctorates on three CanLit heavyweights at the school’s spring convocation ceremony.

This morning, Rohinton Mistry received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the Faculty of Communication and Design, and treated soon-to-be Ryerson grads to a speech that bordered on a “brilliant, political fairy tale,” according to one tweeter in the audience. Mistry has previously received honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto, York University, and the University of Ottawa.

Margaret Atwood and partner Graeme Gibson will be presented with their Doctor of Letters degrees from the Faculty of Arts at convocation events on Tuesday afternoon. Atwood is no stranger to honorary doctorates, having received recognition from U of T, Trent University, and the National University of Ireland Galway, among others.

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CBA announces Libris Award nominees

The Canadian Booksellers Association has revealed the shortlists for this year’s Libris Awards, which recognize literary achievement as well as behind-the-scenes contributions in the book industry, as voted on by independent booksellers.

This year’s awards ceremony takes place on Sunday, June 3, at the Toronto Congress Centre. The event kicks off the CBA’s annual conference, which is being held in conjunction with the Retail Council of Canada’s Store 2012 conference. Bookseller-oriented programming includes presentations and panels devoted to sidelines and ebooks, and a “moderated member forum.”

Margaret Atwood will be on hand to accept a lifetime achievement award.

The nominees are:

Patrick deWitt
Esi Edugyan
Michael Ondaatje

The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (House of Anansi Press)
Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (Thomas Allen Publishers)
The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay (Knopf Canada)

Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis (Knopf Canada)
Eating Dirt: Deep Forests, Big Timber and Life with the Tree-Planting Tribe by Charlotte Gill (Greystone Books)
The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary: A Canadian Story of Resilience and Recovery by Andrew Westoll (HarperCollins Canada)

Young reader:
I Am Canada: Deadly Voyage by Hugh Brewster (Scholastic Canada)
This Dark Endeavour by Kenneth Oppel (HarperCollins Canada)
The Dragon Turn by Shane Peacock (Tundra Books)

Picture books:
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (Candlewick/Random House)
Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid (Scholastic Canada)
Ten Birds by Cybèle Young (Kids Can Press)

Blue Heron Books (Uxbridge, ON)
Bryan Prince Bookseller (Hamilton, ON)
Mabel’s Fables (Toronto, ON)

Campus bookstore:
Queen’s University Campus Bookstore (Kingston, ON)
King’s Bookstore Co-operative (Halifax, NS)
York University Bookstore (Toronto, ON)

Louise Dennys, Knopf Random House Canada
Jim Gifford, HarperCollins Canada
Lynne Missen, Penguin Canada

Sales rep:
Penny Mason, Penguin Canada
Dot Middlemass, Ampersand Inc.
Michael Reynolds, Michael Reynolds & Associates

HarperCollins Canada
North 49 Books

Small press:
Arsenal Pulp Press
Coach House Books
Nimbus Publishing

Dundurn Press
HarperCollins Canada
Penguin Canada
Scholastic Canada

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Atwood, Gibson meet with Windsor Star editorial board

Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson met with the editorial board at the Windsor Star on Thursday to talk ferries, farming, and living anonymously on Pelee Island.

The couple stopped in at the newspaper’s offices on their way to Springsong, an annual event held on Pelee Island, about 100 kilometres southeast of Windsor, Ontario, on Lake Erie. Now in its 11th year, the fundraiser is put on by the Pelee Island Heritage Centre in celebration of local bird populations and Canadian literature. Atwood and Gibson,who have owned property on the island since 1987, regularly take part in the festivities. They will be joined this year by authors Wayne Grady and Merilyn Simonds.

In a video posted to the Star‘s website, Atwood discusses how the lack of transportation to the island (the area’s ferries have been out of service since April) has had devastating effects on the community. “The people who are really being hard hit at the moment are the farmers, because they cannot get their seed onto the island so they can’t plant anything,” Atwood says. Gibson adds: “And no one seems prepared to do anything realistic for them.”

Later in the interview, Atwood explains the island’s appeal to a CanLit icon: “Tourists go over and say, ‘You’re Margaret Atwood.’ … People on the island say, ‘Margaret who? … When people say, ‘Come and do such-and-such,’ I say, ‘Well, I actually can’t because I’m on the island.”

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Book links roundup: Audible’s new author services; book your Hunger Games theme wedding; and more

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The Walrus launches new book imprint with Margaret Atwood short story

Zenia, the notorious liar from Margaret Atwood’s 1993 novel The Robber Bride, has resurfaced.

Atwood returns to her villainous character in “I Dream of Zenia with the Bright Red Teeth,” the first short story to be published by the Walrus Foundation’s new imprint, The Walrus Books.

Printed by Coach House Books, the limited-edition, 32-page story is available for $35 (and comes with a subscription to the magazine), exclusively to new and renewing subscribers of The Walrus magazine’s print, digital, and tablet editions. Atwood will sign and number the first 100 copies of the 2,000 being produced.

The story will also appear in the magazine’s Summer Reading issue, on newsstands June 11.

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