As many will have now noticed, Christmas adverts are in full swing on the TV, and Sainsbury’s have undoubtedly pulled off the most winning entry into this year’s festive race. While John Lewis opted to join forces with AgeUK, supermarket chain Sainsbury’s chose to promote a literacy campaign together with Save the Children. Their advert, which aired last week, features Judith Kerr’s famous feline Mog the cat, calamitously destroying his family’s Christmas due to mishap after accidental mishap early Christmas morning (beginning with burning the turkey).
The Nebula Award nominations are now open for its 2016 competition. Members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) can vote for works they wish to see in the running for next year’s categories for Best Novel, Short Story, Novella and Novelette.
A new literary scheme for commuters has appeared in Grenoble, France. A publisher has installed eight vending machines across the city, each of which serves free short stories to people. Pushing a button on the machines prompts them to print out a roll of paper with a story on it. Readers can choose time options for the stories – reading material that takes one minute, three minutes or five minutes – but they cannot choose the genre of the story. Although with a collection of 60,000 stories on file, the publisher (Short Editions) has many to serve to the public.
A never-before-seen work by Charlotte Bronte has been discovered inside a book owned by Maria Bronte, the author’s mother. The Bronte Society recently acquired the book, which also includes annotations and small illustrations by the Bronte children, and unearthed the unpublished manuscript by the Jane Eyre author. The work itself features the land of Angria – the imaginary land conjured by Charlotte Bronte and her brother Branwell that the pair wrote about in tiny books. It is thought that the story was written in 1833 when Charlotte Bronte was seventeen years old.
— Flavorwire (@flavorwire) November 13, 2015
Government cuts to arts projects have caused outcry among the public and high-profile industry figures, including popular authors. Jeanette Winterson delivered a speech on Thursday 12 November about the value of arts in society, and how more needs to be done to make the industry more economically viable for those working in it.
Finally, Waterstones has revealed its Book of the Year shortlist. The eight titles include a children’s book (The Fox and the Star), four fiction novels – Girl on the Train, Go Set a Watchman, A Little Life and My Brilliant Friend (by Italian novelist Elena Ferrante, the only non-Brit on the list) – and three non-fiction books: SPQR by Mary Beard, Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig and The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks.