paper trail

Contests are a racket...

Kate Bolick

The New Inquiry is closing in on its $25,000 goal in a fundraising campaign that ends today. If the (excellent) online magazine reaches its goal, an anonymous donor will kick in a matching $25,000 gift.

The writer Kate Bolick, who hosts a literary interview series at Edith Wharton's country estate, the Mount, has compiled a guide to entertaining that takes cues from Wharton's life and literature. Bolick's first tip ("Chapter 1: Police the Guest List") begins: "Only invite people you really like—otherwise there's no point."

McSweeney's is launching a short-story contest for undergraduate and graduate students. The fee to enter is $55, and gets you an annual subscription to the magazine. The winner will receive $500 and their story will be published in the August 2015 issue. (N.b.: Contests are a racket! This is probably a good idea only if you would otherwise subscribe to the magazine, which costs $60.)

The Amazon team has released a statement about their recent dispute with Hachette, which involved Amazon blocking pre-orders of Hachette books. The update piously names lowering the cost of e-books as a key objective.

Former President George W. Bush's biography of his father is set to be released in November of this year. Crown publisher Maya Mavjee describes the book as "heartfelt, intimate, and illuminating." The Charlotte Observer assures its readers that it was written by Bush himself—the only “assistance” he had was with "research.”

Listen to Lynne Tillman speak with Michael Silverblatt on KCRW’s Bookworm about her recent collection of essays, What Would Lynne Tillman Do? Bookforum reviewed her “unruly, personal, and provocative” criticism in our April/May issue.