Lobster Telephone: Austin contest!

This week, we’re doing things a little differently here at Lobster Telephone. You see, we’ve been told Austin is a “literary town,” and while we’ve seen some convincing evidence thereof, we’re also issuing a challenge to our Capital City readers. Tell us why YOU think Austin is such a literary city, and win FREE BOOKS!

PRIZES: Giller Prize-nominated short fiction Better Living Through Plastic Explosives by Zsuzsi Gartner; hot-ass poetry Slut Machine by former BH contributor Shane Allison; 2010 3-Day Novel Contest winner Terroryaki! by Jennifer K. Chung; and DIY guide extraordinaire How and Why: A Do-It-Yourself Guide by Matte Resist.

TO ENTER: Hit us up in the comments section below with your take on Austin’s claims to literary genius. Does your favorite author live here? Is there a kick-ass literary event we’ve been missing? Do you just love to hang out at the Austin Public Library, or have you got a vote for Austin’s take on the Algonquin Round Table? TELL US!

Be sure to include a valid email address so we can contact you about your free swag. Winners will be chosen at random from the comments section on this page and posted in the December 7 edition of Lobster Telephone. Entries will be accepted until November 30 at midnight, so enter early and often, and tell a friend!

Austin Literary Events

Until the big literary payout, here’s a hit list of this week’s Black Heart-endorsed super-cool Literary Events in Austin for the week of November 16 to 22:

  • Wednesday, Nov 16: Writing On the Air (6 to 7 PM on 91.7 FM or KOOP.org online) features Amanda Krauss, aka Worst Professor Ever, explaining why academia stinks plus why you should save your money instead of going to grad school. We like her already!
  • Thursday, Nov 17: UT’s Harry Ransom Center presents “The Future of Independent Bookselling: The View From Austin,” featuring a discussion between three of our local booksellers: Steve Bercu of BookPeople, Susan Post of BookWoman, and Russell Etchen of Domy Books. Talk starts at 7 PM, doors open 30 minutes beforehand (the event is free, but with limited seating).
  • Friday, Nov 18: Iron Man Triathlete Amy Snyder reads from her book Hell on Two Wheels, about the insane cycling event Race Across America, at BookPeople starting at 7 PM. Which is free—as opposed to the rather unaffordable inaugural Illumine Awards, also starting at 7 PM, a gala intended to honor “excellence in literary achievement and advocacy.” If you’ve got $125 to blow, it’s the annual fundraiser for the Austin Public Library, so use your 1% money for the good of the 99%, hey, big spender?
  • Saturday, Nov 19: NaNoWriMo Write-In at WriteByNight – 10 AM to 1 PM, hosted by yours truly. Bring your laptops and your thinking caps, and let’s get some word counts tallied. You can even stay until 4 PM as part of WBN’s regular “WriteHere” open office hours.
  • Sunday, Nov 20: I guess writers take the Sabbath off here in Austin, cus by God, we couldn’t find anything happening in this town on Sunday. Write a blog post in protest, y’all!
  • Monday, Nov 21: Naomi Shihab Nye poetry and short fiction reading & book signing at BookWoman – 7 PM.
  • Tuesday, Nov 22: Austin Writers Meetup group’s discussion meetup (North) – starting at 7 PM, join Austin writers for a little light reading and a discussion thereof at Genuine Joe Coffee Shop (2001 W. Anderson Lane)

Literary WTF?!

In the ultimate Austin-based shocker of shockers, upstart webzine CultureMap actually sports a section devoted to (gasp!) literature… that doesn’t suck. While its aim is to uncover literary gems from across the Lone Star State, giving the staff a broader hat to pull from, beat reporter and Assistant Editor Samantha Pitchel has actually managed to find a few good men and women deserving of literary profiles in this town, including excerpts from hometown writers Amanda Eyre Ward and Nick Courtright.

In comparison with both the Austin Chronicle and the Austin American-Statesman‘s cursory book sections, I’ve got to give props where props are due: CultureMap, your literary section does not suck. And that, my friends, is a huge improvement in the state of literary arts here in Austin. Word. (Adjective. Pronoun. Adverb. Run-on and on and on… Where my gerunds at?)

E-books That Don’t Suck

In other astonishing news, this week’s installment of E-books That Don’t Suck brings you 6—SIX!!—of my very own literary quickies to choose from. They’re all erotic, though some lean more heavily toward sexual self-help or straight-up satire. All of them are deleted scenes from my forthcoming novel, Naked Montreal, from which you can get a 100% free sample chapter by clicking here.

In terms of the quickies, you can choose from Amazon Kindle versions or Smashwords digital downloads for each of the following:

  • Double Trouble
  • How to Suck Better
  • Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Get Laid in Montreal

The following titles are currently only available via Smashwords, though I’ll be adding Kindle versions shortly:

  • Acting the Part
  • Never Trust A Brother
  • The Man With the Golden Cock

Enjoy. And remember: if you dig these digital shorts, be sure to leave a rating on Amazon or Smashwords indicating your approval.

Lobster Telephone is a weekly missive from editor Laura Roberts‘ desk, chronicling the literary, the rebellious, and the random from around the world—complete with writing tips for the savvy submitter. The title is, indeed, inspired by the surrealist sculpture of the same name by Salvador Dalí, circa 1936. Tips are always appreciated.

Enjoy this article? Help support Black Heart’s writers by shopping in our Amazon store. Prefer to shop indie? Grab a copy of our NOIR anthology from Smashwords instead.