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Elizabeth McCracken’s Thunderstruck Wins Annual Story Prize

Elizabeth McCracken received the annual Story Prize for her 2014 short story collection Thunderstruck and Other Stories (The Dial Press) at a March 4 ceremony at the New School. Past winners of the prize for collections of short fiction established in 2004 include Edwidge Danticat and Mary Gordon.

In her June 4 piece in The New York Times Book Review, critic Sylvia Brownrigg called Thunderstruck a “restorative, unforgettable” book.

McCracken, who debuted in 1993 with her previous collection Here’s Your Hat What’s Your Hurry (Random House), took home $20,000, while this year’s other finalists received $5,000 each: Lorrie Moore for Bark (Knopf) and Francesca Marciano for The Other Language (Pantheon).

McCracken is also the author of a memoir and two novels, including The Giant’s House (The Dial Press), a finalist for the 1996 National Book Award.

Finalists Announced for 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards

The Lambda Literary Board has announced this year’s finalists for the 27th Annual Lambda Literary Awards, or “Lammys” for short, which “celebrate achievement in lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) writing for books published in 2014.”

This year, more than 100 literary professionals chose the finalists from a record 818 submissions from 407 publishers.

“Each year, the Lammys bring national attention to the best LGBTQ books, which are often overlooked by the mainstream media and might otherwise be forgotten,” said Lambda Literary Board President S. Chris Shirley in a March 4 statement. “This critical program of Lambda Literary not only recognizes the outstanding work of these talented authors, but also underscores the importance of LGBTQ stories, which are fundamental to the preservation of our culture.”   

Submissions in 24 categories came from major mainstream publishers, academic presses, both long-established and new LGBT publishers, and emerging publish-on-demand technologies.

The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony on June 1 in at Cooper Union in New York City.

SIBA Releases 2015 Book Award Longlist

On March 1, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance released the longlist of nominees for its 2015 SIBA Book Award. Titles were nominated by SIBA member bookstores from hundreds of books in five categories: Children’s, Cooking, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Young Adult. To be eligible, books had to be Southern in nature, by a Southern author, or both.

SIBA member bookstores will vote on the longlist by April 1 to determine the finalists. This shortlist will be judged by a jury of SIBA members, and the winners will be announced on July 4.

CBC Names Jon Colman New Executive Director

The Children’s Book Council (CBC) has chosen nonprofit leader and advocate Jon Colman as its new executive director, CBC Board Chair Betsy Groban, and Judith Haut, chair of the Every Child a Reader (ECAR) board, announced March 4.

Effective March 9, Colman, who most recently served as president of the National Down Syndrome Society, will direct both the CBC and ECAR. Reporting to the CBC and ECAR boards, Colman will oversee the development and execution of educational programming for members of the children’s publishing industry and national and local literacy-based community programming.

In his new role, Colman will also be responsible for existing events, campaigns, and programs, including the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, Children’s Book Week, and the Children’s Choice Book Awards.

HuffPo Publishes List of Nine Studies That Say Print Beats E-Books

Numerous studies are available that show print books are better than e-books, according to an article in the Huffington Post.

Among the nine studies compiled in the February 27 story “Sorry, E-Books. These 9 Studies Show Why Print Is Better” is a Pew Research study that shows younger people, or those known as millennials, are more likely to believe that there is useful information that is only available offline.

The article also cites one 2012 study that found students are less likely to connect emotionally to on-screen texts. According to a 2013 study in USA Today, they also comprehend less of the information they read in those texts. Another study on the Huffington Post’s list found that reading e-books at night can negatively impact sleep cycles.