– Halloween is over and done with guys and gals, and it’s now time for NaNoWriMo! (No, this is neither a new dance craze, nor a Minion’s greeting) It’s your chance to try your hand at getting all those pent up creative juices flowing and put pen to paper, fingers to keyboards, or, if you’re so retrospectively inclined, to typewriters. It is National Novel Writing Month, an annual project wherein participants across the world are encouraged to write a 50,000 word novel draft in one month, starting November 1st. The project title says it all really. For anyone who has always wished to do so, but has lacked the motivation, confidence or knowhow on where to begin, this global scheme could be a great way to combat that terrible affliction –procrastination – without fear that the final product will be an embarrassing pile of ****. It’s a draft, people; embrace the errors and imperfection that this concept implies. For the UK, check twitter @LondonNaNo or see the website for more information: http://nanowrimo.org/
– The World Fantasy Convention, held in Brighton on Sunday 3rd November, played host to the 2013 British Fantasy Awards. Some of the lucky winners were…drumroll…Graham Joyce’s Some Kind of Fairy Tale (Best Fantasy Novel), Adam Nevill’s Last Days (Best Horror Novel), The Nine Deaths of Dr Valentine by John Llewellyn Probert (Best Novella), ‘Shark! Shark!’ By Ray Cluley (Best Short Story), Robert Shearman’s Remember Why You Fear Me (Best Collection), and Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Best Comic/Graphic Novel). The Special Award was awarded posthumously to Iain M. Banks.
– The Toast has created a new post for their ‘Texts from’ feature. This time see the ‘Texts from Emma’ for some Jane Austen inspired messaging. The response to a Jane Fairfax voicemail is inspired – Emma Woodhouse can be so very mean sometimes: The Toast
– Neil Gaiman has now got a teaching post in New York at Bard College, where apparently the author will be leading an advanced writing workshop focusing on fantasy fiction. I think the Bard English department will have no trouble recruiting new students for the foreseeable future.
– Number 6 in The Observer’s chronological charting of the best English-language novels is Laurence Stern’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (1759).
– In another type of literary listing starting on Monday 4th November, Entertainment Weekly in the US will be challenging readers to choose the number one spot for the best ever Young Adult novel. The popularity factor here could provoke myriad responses, particularly from fans eager to assert the superiority of their Favourite. Ever. Book. Who will get your vote? Will the recently completed Divergent trilogy come out on top, can John Green’s books win out, or shall Twilight inevitably rain on everyone’s parade? Either way, this should incite a lot of ire from contesting fandoms, which is always worth a few laughs. Also, with the burgeoning trend for ‘New Adult’ fiction, is this EW survey simply a curtain call to the YA splurge of recent years? EW
On a final note, did anyone dress up for Halloween? If so, any literary characters/creatures amongst you?