Here a Fest, there a fest, everywhere a fest, fest!

As luck has it, Pilcrow Lit Fest shares time on the calendar with both the Calabash Jamaican Literary Festival and the Hay Festival of Literature in Wales. (Have you read Paul Collins' Sixpence House? Do it. Do it, now.) Anyway, I have been following both festivals with great interest and thought this article in The Independent was a fine one.

How is everyone, post-fest? I'm great!


Search, RSS and Becoming a Geek

During my Social Media Toolkit for Authors, I promised a blog post in lieu of a hand-out. Here is that blog post.

First off, I begged you to start using search engines other than Google.

For Blogs
Google Blogsearch

For Forums

For Twitter

For Images

For Videos

Then I said, "Learn how to use RSS and then use it to monitor your name. Cause your name is your brand."

RSS Readers
Google Reader

Then we talked about becoming geeks and learning how to do video on the go. But most of the questions were about picking a blogging platform. Lucky for me, ProBlogger has that covered much better than I could do.

Did I miss anything? Drop me a line if you want additional links up in the post.


We're quite pleased with how everything went this weekend and will be taking the day off here at Pilcrow HQ.

Recap of the festival to follow.


Last Night.

Pics are up on Pilcrow's flickr page. Here are some highlights:


Rebuilt Books Auction.

Re: Rebuilt Books Auction

Bring cash and bring your checkbooks; we can't do much of anything with credit/debit cards. That said, get ready-- we have things for every budget to help rebuild the New Orleans Public Libraries-- for example, my stylish clutch handbag fabulous eyeglasses case made from Three Fallen Women on perhaps the lower end, a two-month membership to Uptown Writer's Space somplace in the middle range of things, and say, Nick Hornby's hand-written brainstorm for Songbook (a first edition alone, much less a first-edition signed copy of the actual book goes for a pretty penny, so a one-of-a-kind hand-jotted list? Um, yeah.) and Tony Fitzpatrick's beautiful piece of art, "Luck", on the higher end of things (I will not be mad at anyone if they would like to purchase this beautiful piece of art for me. It's beautiful. I gasped when he handed it to me yesterday.)

And, remember, every penny from this auction on Saturday evening goes directly to New Orleans Public Library Foundation. Pilcrow is covered for the things we need for the most part, but New Orleans needs our help, and that's where the help will go.



Pilcrow's official bookseller + author speaking at Pilcrow = start the Pilcrowing early

Here at Pilcrwo HQ, we heard Pilcrowista Rachel Cline is reading from her fabulous book, My Liar, tomorrow evening at our most beloved bookstore, The Book Cellar (4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave.) and thought it would be just lovely for those of us locals and early-to-arrive-in-towners to start the celebrating early and head out to show some her some love.


Twitter said what?

Okay, you know that @amyguth, @leahjones and @pilcrowlitfest are on Twitter, but what other participants are? (I know I'm going to miss people, so add a comment and I'll update this thing.)

Industry Folks

Documentary Folks

Who did I miss? Lemme know and I'll get you up there!

Meet Our Documentarians!

A lot of people stepped up and said, "Yeah, I'll come and document some stuff at Pilcrow!"

Joining from the Gomecile, we have Phil and Leticia. We've got Jeffery Smith and from UnScene Chicago we've got Tiffiany and Sawyer coming. I heard a rumor that Dubi might drop by and we're crossing our fingers that we'll see Zemote.

Are you bringing a camera, a video cam or a microphone? Let us know and we'll add you to the list.


You guys! So much to report!

Uptown Writers' Space has donated a two-month membership to their fabulous facility that will be up for auction at Pilcrow Lit Fest's NOLA party along with all of our Rebuilt Books, Nick Hornby's handwritten list of songs to include when he first brainstormed Songbook, and many other fabulous things.

We outgrew Saturday's panels, so we added five panels on Sunday-- who wants in? Hit the Pilcrow panel page and email your truly for a seat on any of the fabulous newly-added panels.

Flickr Pool!

Coming to Pilcrow Lit Fest and bringing a camera? Hooray!

Do you also store your photos on Flickr? Doubly hooray!

We made it easy for you to share photos with other Pilcrowistas by creating a Pilcrow Pool. All of the members of the documentary team will be adding photos to the pool and we invite you to join and add to it as well.

Want to go a step further? Add the tag Pilcrow08 to any of your photos, blog posts or videos about the weekend.

The weekend that is next weekend. Can you believe it?


A Fresh ChipIn

Wow! We've had donations flowing in for Pilcrow Lit Fest. We have authors giving time, local businesses donating spaces, artists donating art and lots of our friends (and family) donating money.

Our first ChipIn raised $908 for Lit Fest operating funds before it closed at noon today. Then after it closed, we got an email saying, "I tried to donate and couldn't, what can I do?"

So.... I made a new ChipIn widget since it is so easy to do and a great way to give. Thank you to everyone who has helped this little idea become an amazing reality!


Nick Hornby (hearts) PIlcrow Lit Fest.

I sure am excited for the Pilcrow NOLA auction of Rebuilt Books. I love hearing about the things some of you are creating. And, I realize that some folks want to donate but wanted to donate something else.

Like today, for example, when I got a wonderful item in the mail from Nick Hornby. He yanked a page from his notebook, the page where he brainstormed which titles to use for Songbook, signed the back, and mailed it to me with the nicest card. What I'm saying, my dears, is that the auction is going to rule.

Where do I buy tickets and other questions?

Today I got an email from a Milwaukee based publicist asking how to buy tickets for Pilcrow. Good question!

You don't.

Since it is our first year and we're trying to make things easy, peasy, we aren't selling tickets. There is a suggested $20 donation to attend the NOLA fundraiser, but everything else is free and open to the public.

What about the publisher stalls and tables? Can I buy books from them?

The Book Cellar, a fantastic independent bookstore here in Chicago, is going to be the one stop shop for all the books of all the authors you'll be meeting. They are setting up shop in The Fixx and will be selling books all weekend. Thanks Book Cellar!

What other questions do you have? Ask away and we'll serve up some hot and tasty answers!


Just when you think Pilcrow cannot get any better...

We've stuffed our Saturday panels to the gills, some panels are over-stuffed with your brilliant minds, even. Yet, we're still having authors and publishers and the like wanting to come do Pilcrow.

We could either start turning people away (try again) or knock out a wall, roll out the blueprints and build a new wing (yes).

So, we are adding about four or five panels on Sunday. Leah and I are deciding what those panels might be over the next three days. So, stay tuned, if you want in on the Sunday action.


Five with Jackie Corley

Our next guest in Pilcrow Lit Fest's "Five with" interview series is my fellow So New Publishing author, and Madam Queen over at Word Riot Press. Everyone please welcome the one and only Jackie Corley.

1. What are you working on now?

I have a short story collection coming out from So New Publishing later this year, so I'm working on promoting that. I'm writing a second novel manuscript on my favorite subject matter-- confused, misanthropic Jersey youth. (My first novel manuscript is getting shopped around.)

On the Word Riot Press front, I'm putting out two short story collections this year: Mind Games by David Gianatasio, who is too goddamn funny for words, and World Takes by Timmy Waldron, a fellow proud Jersey dude and a tremendous rising talent. WRP took a hiatus in 2007 so I'm eager to get some good fiction out into the world this year.

2. What is your favorite part of literary festivals and why?

The online and small press literary community is so close-knit and supportive but we're all so spread out that we very rarely get a chance to socialize. I love being able to take in a few screwdrivers and babble about writing until all hours. It's pretty rare in my day-today life to get to be around a large group of people passionate about the lit world and just be able to riff on books.

3. Who are your favorite small press mover/shaker types at the minute?

I really dig what Featherproof is doing. They've taken small press to this sleek, professional new level and still kept this independent spirit about them. Dzanc is incredibly impressive in their devotion to their authors.

4. Which author do you wish was coming to Pilcrow Lit Fest this year who is not?

David Barringer. I think he's one of the best small press talents out there. He's such a craftsman with his writing. There's so much care and devotion there. Also, I don't think many people realize it, but a lot of small presses (like WRP) are dependent on his well-honed design skills. The covers he designs are immaculately constructed. There wouldn't be as many small press books out there if it wasn't for him.

5. If you were in charge of picking a theme song for Pilcrow Lit Fest this year, what would it be?

"Follow the Swallow" by Deckard. Choice lyrics: "This is the future, how does it suit ya?" and "Here's a dream I dare to dream right now," but, you know, in a non-emo way.

Saying Thank You!

If you've been following my series of social media for authors, then you are using RSS, monitoring your name and your book's title, trying out Twitter and getting more comfortable with all this stuff.

Yes it takes time, but hasn't RSS made Googling yourself so much easier?

What is the next step? Getting involved in the conversation about your book. When you get notified in your RSS reader that someone mentioned reading your book, click through and leave a comment. It is so powerful when an author says, "Thank you for reading my book."

RSS means you can say thank you within a day (or hours) of the post going up. This is a great way to move from having readers to having a community of readers.


Five with Laural Winter

I met our next guest at 2007's (Downtown) Omaha Lit Fest and immediately thought she was just so fun to talk with and she was part of the original "hey-let's-start-a-lit-fest" discussion. So, I'm pleased to present our next guest in Pilcrow Lit Fest's "Five with" interview series, Laural Winter.

1. What are you working on now?

As a writer I am writing a novella about teens hanging out in Portland, Oregon. I write several pages almost everyday. I started writing it with National Novel Writing Month last November. I am having a lot of fun with the characters and their adventures with popularity, dating, love, and self determination. I am also working on a collection of love poems. And I am trying my hand at blogging too.

As a librarian I am speaking in early May at the Oregon Virtual Reference Summit. This month I am helping staff a table at the Stumptown Comics Fest. I am making zines for this outreach event. We do a zine called Where to Find Zines in Portland. And we also do a zine called Where to Find Comics in Portland. I am making about 250 copies in the next few days. Today I am coordinating a program at the Central Library with Jason Shiga (Bookhunter), Elijah Brubaker (Reich) and Aron Nels Steinke. I love my job!

2.What is your favorite part of literary festivals and why?

My favorite part is walking away from a festival motivated and inspired. I become inspired through making new friends and participating in the festival. I like attending and participating in the readings and panels with people who want to be there. It gives me the feeling of a community connection. Because Amy, you are right-- Writing is usually a solitary process. I always envied my friends who were in bands. They work together for days or weeks on a song or album. So I guess being part of a literary festival feels like I am a BOOKSTAR rather than a rockstar.

3. Who are your favorite small press mover/shaker types at the minute?

Well, I tend to know or pay attention to the locals in Portland Oregon. I watch Sparkplug Comic Books, Tugboat Press or Future Tense Publishing. I have been watching Kevin Sampsell of Future Tense Publishing for years. He's definitely a mover and shaker. And he's one of my faves.

4. Which author do you wish was coming to Pilcrow Lit Fest this year who is not?

Jancee Dunn. I loved her biography But Enough About Me. It was hysterical and moving at the same time. Still laugh about it though I read it a year ago.

David Sedaris- still haven't seen him live. And I 'd love to see him on a panel especially a controversial one.

Cecil Castelucci- love her young adult novels and her graphic novels. They are bittersweet and cool at the same time.

Also two friends from Portland Oregon who are authors: Sara Ryan (Empress of the World) and Blake Nelson (Paranoid Park). I wish they were coming so there could be a Portland Posse.

5. If you were in charge of picking a theme song for Pilcrow Lit Fest this year, what would it be?

Le Tigre's "Get off the internet!" Because I want to say come on down to the Pilcrow Lit Fest we will show you a good time! Or at least get off the internet and go to a book store or library.

Looking forward to meeting everyone!