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The Library of Congress Reading Promotion Partners

from The SFWA Bulletin #164, Winter 2005

MWA Partners with LoC

    The Library of Congress (LoC) started its Reading Promotion Partners network as part of its Center for the Book in 1987. More than 80 organizations are now part of the network. On its web page, the LoC says that:

      Advantages to partners include opportunities to meet representatives of other like-minded organizations, a connection with the Library of Congress that could be useful in publicity or fundraising, and a good contact point (the Center for the Book) within the Library of Congress.

      [Partners are] expected to make every effort to participate in the annual partner's idea exchange which is held at the Library of Congress every spring. They are also asked to explore partnerships at the local level between their regional, state, or local chapters and the Center for the Book's affiliates in 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    Ellen Crosby, in an article in the October 2004 issue of The 3rd Degree, described MWA's purpose in becoming the first, and so far only, genre writers' organization to become part of the Network.

    MWA now gets to use the Center's current theme, "Telling America's Stories," in outreach efforts like its "Kids Love a Mystery" program and also can use the Center's logo, "Books Give Us Wings". In addition, the group gets a listing on the Partners web page (http://www.loc.gov/loc/cfbook/partners.html) with a link to the MWA website.

    John Y. Cole, Center for the Book Director, said that the MWA offered the LoC a unique perspective. "If you look at the list of our members, MWA is one of the few writers' groups we have. You've giving us an avenue into the world of writers that we haven't had before."

    MWA members will get to share that viewpoint at the Partners meetings, where they hope to introduce the other groups to its goals and programs. They also will participate in the Center's annual National Book Festival in Washington, DC.

    Cole noted that the Center was founded in 1977 to help those he calls "alliterate" – people who can read but choose not to so. He said, "That's where we want to shine. Our basic goal is to stimulate an interest in books." Partnerships are arranged through a simple exchange of letters with Cole.

Legal Matters

    Another edition of the Legal Watch column from the Fall 2004 Authors Guild Bulletin, another set of fascinating cases.

    What responsibility do ISPs have for copyright infringement by users? None, wrote Ajay Whittemore, in describing the case of Co-Star Group Inc. v. LoopNet, Inc. decided by the Fourth Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals. "By interpreting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) as a protective floor rather than a ceiling, the U.S. Court of Appeals has effectively freed ISPs from direct responsibility for infringement occurring via their servers."

    LoopNet users illegally posted copyrighted real estate photographs owned by Co-Star. An odd feature of the case was that LoopNet employees screened the photo submissions. While one judge dissented from the final opinion, saying that this conduct was anything but a "passive, automatic" act, the majority judges held that ISPs are not guilty by merely "passively storing material at the direction of others."

    By saying this, the court upheld pre-DMCA verdicts, stating that Congress' intent in the DMCA was to "merely create a floor of protection for ISPs" that wouldn't preclude prior defenses. Owning an ISP is no different than owning a copy machine. Only the active furtherance of illegal copying would make an ISP liable.

    Julie Suh wrote about Bonome v. Keysen. Susanna Keysen was romantically involved with Joseph Bonome when she wrote a memoir about her protracted struggle with vaginal pain, The Camera My Mother Gave Me. Even though Keysen did not include specific identifying details about Bonome, such as his name or profession, she included many intimate and negative remarks about his increasing dissatisfaction with their lack of sex. Bonome sued on the grounds of invasion of privacy.

    The Massachusetts court had to make two determinations: first, whether the matter was of legitimate public concern, and second, whether Bonome's rights were truly violated. The first matter was answered by a straightforward yes. The second was a no, for two reasons. Massachusetts courts have given those connected to a story greater leeway to tell it. In addition, Keysen's concealment of details that would make Bonome public shielded her. In sum, the First Amendment protected her right to make matters of general public interest available and overrode the more nebulous harm that she might have caused.

Paranormal Market Report

    Erin's Fry's Comprehensive Market Update in the January 2005 issue of Romance Writers Report listed the guidelines sent in by a number of publishers interested in various types of paranormal romance. In the following brief summary, only categories relevant to SFWA are listed and all named editors are acquisitions editors. Some publishers did not submit complete information.

    Berkley/Jove, 375 Hudson St., New York, NY 10014
    Gail Fortune, exec. ed; Christine Zika, Allison McCabe, Cindy Hwang, senior eds.

      Publishes paranormal romances of 100,000 words. Wants synopses and first three chapters. Send SASE for guidelines.

    Dorchester Publishing, 200 Madison Ave., Suite 2000, New York, NY 10016
    Don D'Auria, exec. ed; Christine Keesler, senior ed.; Kate Seaver, ed.

      Seeking time-travel, futuristic, and paranormal romances of 90-100,000 words. Accepts manuscripts, partials, and synopses. For guidelines send SASE or visit www.dorchesterpub.com. Vortex, fantasy, submissions go to Christine Kessler. Smooch, new young adult imprint, submissions go to Kate Seaver, with first three chapters. Smooch wants present-day paranormals with teen issues and romance but no sex scenes. Target: girls 12-16.

    Ellora's Cave Publishing, 1337 Commerce Dr., Suite 13, Stow, OH 44224
    Ralene Gorlinksy, man. ed.

      Electronic Books, with possible print release. Send first three chapters and final chapter in DOC or RTF format with detailed synopses. Ellora's Cave imprint (submissions@ellorascave.com): Erotic romance including vampire/shapeshifter and futuristic. Min. 20,000 words, prefers over 40,000. Cerridwen Press imprint (submissions@cerridwenpress.com): Science fiction/futuristic, paranormal, horror of 45,000+ words.

    ImaJinn Books, PO Box 545, Canon City, CO 81215
    Linda Kichline, senior ed.

      Accepting queries for vampire, werewolf, shapeshifter, witch, paranormal, supernatural (ESP etc., not ghosts), and futuristic romances. New paranormal erotica line accepting queries for paranormal, supernatural, futuristic, fantasy, and time travel. No word length given. Accepts manuscripts and partials. Send SASE or Writer's section at www.imajinnbooks.com.

    Medallion Press, 212 Franklin St. #2, Barrington, IL 60010
    Ac. Editor: W. Burbank, 27825 N. Forest Garden Rd., Wauconda, IL 60084

      Seeking paranormal other than vampires, futuristic or science fiction. No word length given. Send submission packet with query letter, first three chapters and chapter synopses. For guidelines visit www.medallionpress.com.

    St. Martin's Press, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010
    Jennifer Enderlin, exec. ed.; Monique Patterson, ed.; Kim Cardascia, assoc. ed.

      Seeking sexy paranormals of 100-120,000 words. Query; no manuscripts.

    Tor/Forge, Tom Doherty Associates, LLC, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010
    Anna Genoese, ass't ed.

      Genoese is looking for "romantic novel-length stories (word length 80-100,000 words) with paranormal elements - science fiction, fantastical, near-future, time travel, pseudo-horror, mystery/suspense and such characters as witches, vampires, ghosts/ghouls/goblins, psychics, etc." Open to more erotic works as well. No queries. For paranormal guidelines visit www.tor.com/paranormalromance.html.


    In an article in the December 2004 RWR on what to do if asked the dreaded sex question, PC Cast quoted Mercedes Lackey, who launched Harlequin's new fantasy imprint Luna: Do you research your sex scenes from personal experience? "Yes, I do, but the keyboard keeps slipping off his back. So you write all this sex – does that mean you have lots of sex? "No, I have staff for that."

    Barbara Feinberg wrote an essay for The New York Times about recent "realistic" or "problem novels" for YA readers. "[W]hat remains most loved, and most useful in helping children 'face adversity' is the realm of fantasy, or the realm of the slightly less real world… [I]t is helpful too for the main character to have access to a tiny bit of magical power." - Quoted in the Authors Guild Bulletin, Fall 2004.

    Veteran genre writer Hugh Cave, who died at the age of 93 in July 2004, and wrote continually from the late 1920s until his death, told Publishers Weekly last year: "There were more than 100 pulp magazines, and though many of them didn't pay a whole lot, a writer could make a nice living by writing for them if he worked hard. I sold them some 800 stories. When these magazines disappeared, I moved into the so-called slicks where the rates were much better and sold 350 stories to such magazines as the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies' Home Journal, Redbook and Colliers. Now most of these are gone too, and a writer has to write books if he wants to make a career out of it. I have two new books coming out this year, my 50th and 51st." His last novel was The Mountains of Madness. Quoted in the Authors Guild Bulletin, Fall 2004.

Organization, Publication, Address, Web Address

American Society of Journalists and Authors, ASJA Monthly, 1501 Broadway, Suite 302, New York, NY 10036, www.asja.org

Authors Guild, Bulletin, 31 E. 32nd St. 7th Floor, New York, NY 10016, www.authorsguild.org/

Mystery Writers of America, The 3rd Degree, 17 E 47th St, 6th floor, New York, NY 10017, www.mysterywriters.org/

Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers’ Report, 16000 Stuebner Airline Dr., Suite 140, Spring, TX 77379, www.rwanational.org

Copyright 2004 by Steve Carper

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