Welcome to Buzz Worthy News where the stories are awesome and not at all well-written. Need your YA industry news? Never fear Kat Kennedy is here to give it to you straight.
In this week’s Buzz Worthy News: Harry Potter Themed Toronto Bar is a hit! Patrick Ness raises over 200K Pounds for Syrian Refugees, New Zealand Backlashes after Book is banned.
Buzz Worthy News is Cuddlebuggery’s weekly news post bringing you all the best information about the book and blogging world, particularly for the venn diagram of people who overlap between the two. For new releases and cover reveals of all the best Young Adult fiction, check out our Tuesday post: Hot New Titles.
The Bar Has Been Set High|Harry Potter Bar to Open in Toronto!
Described as a casual Neighborhood Bar, The Lockhart opened this weekend to a raucous round of wizarding cheers.
Aimed at the wistful Muggle who never received their Hogwarts letter, the bar is available for Potterheads and nonPotterheads alike. Drinks are listed under Potions and Elixirs and the bar logo itself is a stag head. May James and Lily Potter rest in peace.
Business has apparently been good since the bar opened, especially considering how much press it’s gotten! One thing is for sure, I would certainly be interested in stopping by for a drink!
Book Community Pitches in for Syrian Refugees
Sick and tired of feeling useless about the plight of Syrian refugees forced to flee their homes, Patrick Ness decided to announce that he would match donations up to 10K for the crisis, proving once again that magic is alive, it turns out he wasn’t alone.
Okay, I don't know if this'll work but I'll match donations up to £10k to do *something* to help this refugee crises http://t.co/iDgBrCNTUc
— Patrick Ness (@Patrick_Ness) September 3, 2015
Soon other popular authors John Green and Derek Landy pledged to match the second 10K and third 10K respectively with adult author Jojo Moyes joining in the the third 10k, bringing the contributions up to 80K. It looked like a good day for Patrick Ness.
Just got the email . We've passed £50,000. That includes Jojo, so plus the matching from me, John & Derek, we've raised £80,000. In a day.
— Patrick Ness (@Patrick_Ness) September 3, 2015
However, the generosity didn’t stop there!
Hank Green, Jenny Han, Rainbow Rowell and Maureen Johnson all pledged in their own way to support the cause!
More authors joined the great cause raising all together over 200K pounds and counting. Finally, even Ness’s publisher was convinced to join the team.
My glorious publishers @WalkerBooksUK have just donated £10,000! http://t.co/iDgBrCwj2E Which means, @MarianKeyes, we did it!
— Patrick Ness (@Patrick_Ness) September 4, 2015
Man Assumes Name of Co-Student Yi-Fen Chou for Best American Poetry Anthology
Michael Derrick Hudson used the name of a fellow student Yi-Fen Chou to gain entrance into the highly anticipated American Poetry Anthology edited by Sherman Alexie who made the controversial decision to keep the poem in the critically acclaimed yearly poetry anthology which has been running since 1988.
The poem, The Bees, the Flowers, Jesus, Ancient Tigers, Poseidon, Adam and Eve was rejected over forty times when submitted using his real name until he finally submitted it using the pseudonym.
This deeply upset the family of the real Yi-Fen Chou, who it seems, was a fellow student at Hudson’s Indiana high school.
“I’m just aghast,” Ellen Y. Chou, the sister of Yi-Fen Chou, said in an interview. Mr. Hudson’s use of the name, she added, showed a “lack of honesty” and “careless disregard for Chinese people and for Asians.” SOURCE
Ellen Y. Chou says her sister’s name is a unique spelling of the name and had been given the name by a paternal grandfather.
Alexie explains his deeply controversial stance on the issue, saying:
“Of course, I was angry at the subterfuge and at myself for being fooled by this guy. I silently cursed him and wondered how I would deal with this colonial theft. So I went back and reread the poem to figure out exactly how I had been fooled and to consider my potential actions and reactions.”
“Listen, I was so angry that I stormed and cursed around the room. I felt like punching the wall. And, of course, there was no doubt that I would pull that fucking poem because of that deceitful pseudonym.”
Speaking of the poem, Hudson said:
“If indeed this is one of the best American poems of 2015, it took quite a bit of effort to get it into print, but I’m nothing if not persistent.”
Persistently horrible? We’ll give him that one.
New Zealand Backlash After Book is Banned
The award winning book, Into the River was banned this week by New Zealand’s Board of Film and Literature Review after a complaint was made by a meddelsome Christian group, Family First.
The ban, which will effectively halt and distribution or exhibition of the book, has been heavily criticised by the people of New Zealand who no doubt look down on hand-wringing conservatives trying to decide who gets to read what.
Into The River is a Young Adult novel about a young, intelligent Maori boy who gains entry into a prestigious boarding school. It tackles issues of racism and bullying. The book was contested on grounds of “detailed descriptions of sex acts, coarse language and scenes of drug-taking.”
New Zealanders, authors, book sellers and the international community has gathered around Dawe with silent readings taking place tomorrow at Auckland, Dunedin and Wellington.
Dawe, for his part, had this to say about the book banning:
“New Zealand has taken a giant step towards that sort of regulatory moralising that I think most people felt we had left far in our past. People involved with teaching boys, especially English teachers, know how important books like this are because they speak to boys about the things that other boys’ books don’t have the firepower or the vitality to do effectively”.
Artemis Fowl Series to Be Directed by Kenneth Branagh
This may seem like old news since it was first announced in 2013, but the Artemis Fowl movie is finally moving forward with Kenneth Branagh attached to direct the series written by Eoin Colfer.
I’ve always passed up reading Artemis Fowl since he’s a millionaire, genius, twelve-year-old, criminal mastermind and I’d rather read Lucy going through the door about a hundred times than read that. But hey, I’m willing to give it a try if Branagh thinks its worth looking at!
It seems that Conor McPherson will be writing the script, even thought Michael Goldenberg was originally attached to do the honors after his Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix success.
Judy Hofflund will be the executive Producer while Weinstein commented about the move to have Disney adapt it:
“This is a special project for me because my children absolutely love this book. This story is for everyone and there is no one better than Disney to make a film that will excite people young and old.”
Branagh will start work on it after he has finished his big screen adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express.
Re the poetry scandal: When I worked on our school poetry magazine in high school, the submitted poems were assigned a number and the writer’s name removed before the staff voted on them, so that people’s feelings about fellow students couldn’t color our judgement of the poems. It’s also worth noting that most tryouts for orchestras are now done anonymously behind a screen, so that judges will not be swayed by biases regarding a player’s gender or race
After seeing this story and the recent tale of a woman writer’s male alter ego getting so many more requests for fulls from agents, and a better grade of praise for “his” writing, I’m starting to think that maybe anonymous submissions need to start happening across the literary world.
La Coccinelle @ The Ladybug Reads...
It is interesting that the guy was able to get his poem into the anthology only after using a pen name.
However, using the name of a former classmate is a little weird.
What about the Twilight 10th anniversary edition coming out October?
I wanna go to that bar!! As soon as I got notice of that, my first thought was “wtf?!” but then I got intrigued and finally I want to see it for myself, haha.
Ugh, Family First, they seem as bad in NZ as they are here in Aus.
I want to go to that bar so bad. I’m not exceptionally excited about the Artemis Fowl movie because the book is meh, imo. This is coming from someone who hardcore loves Percy Jackson.
Uhm….if this Hudson guy was rejected 40 times for a bad poem, but accepted when his pseudonym was Asian, maybe we should be equally aghast at the fact that his poem was accepted based not on its merit but on his presumed race. I’m fairly certain that being non-white doesn’t have a bearing on being a good writer, any more than being white does..and the idea that anyone (especially Alexie) would be so blatantly….I don’t even know the word for this…putting race ahead of writing quality for a “best of” anthology…is just horrifying.
Yay for so many interesting news 🙂 Thank you for sharing about them all Kat. <3 And aw, that bar do sound pretty awesome 😀 And I loove how much everyone donated. It is so amazing. Stunning post, as always 🙂
Carina Olsen recently posted…Review: A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano
Buzz Worthy News: October 5, 2015 | Cuddlebuggery Book Blog
[…] September, we reported on a book that got banned in New Zealand for reasons and stuff. Well, the book has now been purchased by Polis […]