A LONGTIME literary award that was once a rival to the Booker Prize is no more.
The Commonwealth Foundation announced last week that the Commonwealth Book Prize has been discontinued. The foundation, through its Commonwealth Writers program, will continue to offer a short-story prize for writers from Commonwealth countries.
In the past, each of several regions of the Commonwealth offered a regional Commonwealth prize and one book was chosen as the overall winner from all the regions.
The award was reworked a few years ago into a "best first book" prize, and more recently the foundation decided to combine Canada and the United Kingdom into one region, presumably in an effort to give poorer Commonwealth countries a better chance.
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Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s most recent public embarrassment — a video at a street festival that purportedly showed him slurring his words — has prompted a response from the writer who wrote the book on juggling addiction and major responsibilities.
Writing in the webmagazine Hazlitt, Jowita Bydlowska, author of the memoir Drunk Mom, discusses her own self-destructive spiral and failure to learn from her mistakes.
The headline for her piece, "Don’t Make Rob Ford Go To Rehab," sounds like a defence of the Toronto mayor. But instead it ends with the warning that if Ford — bête noire of the city’s arts and culture crowd — were to admit to a problem and go to rehab, he’d probably be re-elected.
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The province that outlawed yellow margarine as recently as 2008 is preparing to take on Walmart, Costco and the Internet over the price of books.
CTV News reports that Quebec, which has long had more interventionist governments than the rest of Canada, is considering a law limiting discounts on the marked price of books to 10 per cent. The proposal is part of the discussion at a parliamentary commission that began Aug. 19.
Regulating the price of books is being considered as a way to help independent bookstores to stay alive.
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When an author is giving a reading to an armed audience, it’s more of a relief than usual if it goes over well.
The viking village at this summer’s Icelandic Festival in Gimli provided a receptive audience for the first volume in Chadwick Ginther’s Norse-mythology- themed Thunder Road. Not long after that, the Winnipeg author, who set his first novel mostly in Winnipeg and The Pas, took part in a literary festival in Alberta and detoured through the Red Deer River badlands, a landscape he plans to use in the third book in his series.
The groundswell of interest in his series will build Oct. 15, with the launch of Vol. 2 in the series, Tombstone Blues.
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Hey, 25-year-old creative writing students, guess what?
Penguin Books has just signed 13-year-old Jake Marcionette for a two-book North American rights deal, with an option for a third, for a series called Just Jake, about a middle school boy dealing with being the new kid.
The story, and a photo of Marcionette flashing his braces, is on the Publishers Weekly website, which reports that the first book will be published by Penguin’s Grosset & Dunlap imprint in February.