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Wanted: Translators for Latvian literature and PhD comic researchers for the British Library

Deadline looms for Latvian Literature grants; PhD calls for comic research at the British Library; award wins for IAmIntrovert campaign and Nicola Cornick’s The Woman In The Lake; FR di Brozolo’s new fantasy fiction; Microsoft shuts down e-book line.


Beware of the quiet one: Latvian introvert wins design award

The Latvian introvert has done it again – not that he means to. The campaign “IAmIntrovert” by Latvian Literature which was featured at The London Book Fair in 2018 and 2019 has bagged the country’s top design award. The campaign beat 122 applicants and 20 finalists to secure the win.

The campaign, which saw the Latvian country showcase and print collaterals designed around a series of comic strips about a shy, retiring author, took the main prize at the Latvian Design Awards on 4 April 2019.

Team members of the award-winning campaign:

  • Una Rozenbauma (creative director, concept)
  • Anete Konste (texts)
  • Reinis Petersons (illustrations)
  • Aija Baumane (design)
  • Toms Harjo (photography)

(Source: LSM.LV)

Latvian Literature has also issued an open call on 1 April 2019 inviting translators to translate Latvian prose, poetry, drama and children’s literature into various foreign languages.

To qualify for the grants, applicants must submit proposal that meet the criteria below:

  • A complete translation of an entire work that has been commissioned by a foreign publisher for potential publishing of the work;
  • The book to be translated has been suggested by a publisher or a translator, providing arguments for possible market potential and interest from foreign publishers, as well as suggesting a concrete plan for publishing the work abroad.

This will ensure that the quality of translation and the merits of the original work are of high standard.

The deadline for applications is 29 April, 2019 (23:59 East European time).  Project applications can be submitted at: http://latvianliterature.lv/en/grants#


The Woman In The Lake bags AudioFile award

Nicola Cornick’s audiobook, The Woman In The Lake, based on the novel released in March 2019, was recently named a winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.

The literary magazine, based in Portland, Maine, US, bestows the award to audiobooks that excel in terms of narrative voice and style, vocal characterisations, appropriateness for the audio format and enhancement of the text.

The Woman In The Lake audiobook is named winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award. Image source: www.nicolacornick.co.uk. © Nicola Cornick / HarperCollins

For our romance and The London Book Fair 2019 editions, we did a Q&A with Nicola Cornick on The Woman In The Lake. She elaborated on the significance of romance in the age of female empowerment and #MeToo. It’s very refreshing to see the romance genre evolving into a platform for women – and men – to discuss tough issues regarding social conventions and relationships.

You can listen to a four-minute audio excerpt of the book on the AudioFile website.


New fantasy story by FR di Brozolo

Our friend FR di Brozolo has another new fantasy short story published, this time by Crimson Streets, the publisher of Crimson Streets anthologies.

Jolly Dom and the Crossroad Inn is a gothic fantasy set in the Middle Ages, probably much older than that. It’s about a mage-killer hired by a duke to track down and kill a mage. Both, however, decide to escape the duke and his men, so they hatch a plan that involves a bit of magic.

Jolly Dom and the Crossroads Inn by FR di Brozolo. Illustration by Carol Wellart. Image source: ©Crimson Streets

Di Brozolo, a science and technology editor, has written sci-fi shorts for speculative fiction publishers. We featured him on Five Minutes With in December 2017 where he explained the difference between fiction and news reporting.

Lately, he’s been working on quite a few historical fantasy fictions. We can’t tell you much, but let’s just say we’re really hoping that one or two stories will be published as either long-forms or serialisation because they’re good.


British Library offers PhDs in digital comic studies

It’s only over a month before the 31 May deadline for the two digital comic PhD applications funded by the British Library. The PhD opportunities fall under the AHRC British Library Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships scheme.

Details of the two doctoral grants:

UK Digital Comics information and publishing practices: from creation to consumption

  • Partner: City, University of London
  • University Supervisors: Dr Ernesto Priego (Lecturer, Centre for Human Computer-Interaction Design) and Dr Stephann Makri (Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction)
  • British Library Supervisors: Ian Cooke (Head of Contemporary British Publications) and Stella Wisdom (Digital curator)

Collecting UK Digital Comics: Society, Culture and Technology

  • Partner: University of the Arts
  • University Supervisors: Professor Roger Sabin (Professor of Popular Culture, Central St Martins) and Dr Ian Hague (Lecturer in Contextual and Theoretical Studies, London College of Communication)
  • British Library Supervisors: Stella Wisdom (Digital curator) and Ian Cooke (Head of Contemporary British Publications)
The 2011 seminar for London Design Festival at UCL that gave birth to Story Of Books. Dr Ernesto Priego gave a video talk at the event on comic books. Image: © Story Of Books

We are very proud that Dr Ernesto Priego will supervise the doctoral research in UK Digital Comics. Dr Priego is our UCL alumna and also collaborator of the 2011 London Design Festival event that gave birth to Story Of Books.

And well done to The British Library for supporting this vision. Comics have come a long way since Scott McCloud first discussed the relevance of this genre to high literature in 1993.


Microsoft axes its e-book line

Remember Nook? We attended the device launch by Barnes & Noble on 19 March 2012 in London, UK. Microsoft parted ways with Barnes &Noble two years later over a dispute about Android patenting. That spelt the end of Nook.

Those were the days. The launch of Nook by Barnes & Noble in March 2012. Image: © Story Of Books

This week, Microsoft announced that it has pulled all e-book products out of its store. So no more Nooks and no more Microsoft e-books. A tragedy? Not really. Some products work, some don’t. Google axed its e-book story affiliates prior to launching Google Play, so we’re sure Microsoft has a strategy with regards to e-book.

Meanwhile, print books stay. The book is dead. Long live the book.