Friday Author Roundup

Happy Valentine’s Day! While most of us are romantics at heart, we’d just like to point out that we don’t need a special day show love for Lookout authors and Ecotone contributors. Fridays are dedicated author roundups but know this: we love you every day.

A few author happenings you might find interesting:

Lookout author Steve Almond explains the goodness of bad writing in his latest post for The Writer’s Notebook, AWP’s blog.

Astoria to Zion contributor Miha Mazzini’s Crumbs, the best-ever selling novel in Yugoslavia, is being republished. The Skinny speaks with him here about “navigating self-determination” and claims that this new publication “could prove more timely than ever.”

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Friday Author Roundup

The weekend is almost here and we know you have exciting plans. But first take a second to read our author roundup and impress your hot date with all the literary insider news.

Did you know that Astoria to Zion contributor Andrew Tonkovich is the weekly host of Bibliocracy on radio KPFK 90.7 FM, broadcasting out of Santa Monica, CA? Join him on Wednesday nights.

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Friday Author Roundup

A few rare snow days in Wilmington allowed us to catch up on reading this week. We’re back at it today, though, and it’s time to follow that author.

  • Aspen Times Weekly reviewed Brad Watson’s story collection Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives. “As all great writing should do, this series evokes a certain empathy for each of his characters and reminds us all that there is much more occurring underneath the surface with any one person than might be evident.”
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Friday Author Roundup

Thank goodness it’s Friday! To kick off the weekend, we’re once again showing our Lookout authors some love. Check out the recent happenings that caught our eye:

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Friday Author Roundup

In an attempt to keep track of Lookout’s first four prolific authors—Edith Pearlman, Steve Almond, John Rybicki, and Ben Miller—as well as the contributors to Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone’s First Decade, we’re beginning a new weekly roundup department, featuring author news. We at Lookout and Ecotone are awfully proud of our growing family, and we hope you’ll show these authors some love by clicking through. Enjoy our first roundup.

  • Karen E. Bender writes “The Emotional Power of Verbs” for the New York Times.
  • The Express Tribune’s Nuzhat Saadia Siddiqi praises Maggie Shipstead’s book Seating Arrangements, saying that “the book under review steers so far away from the average chick lit bestseller that you’ll be left with a grin on your face and satisfaction over time well spent.
  • Steve Almond offers advice to readers on Cognoscenti’s Heavy Meddle blog.
  • Aspen Public Radio featured Ben Fountain and Rick Bass in their weekly show, First Draft, which “highlights the voices of writers as they discuss their work, their craft and the literary arts.”
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Astoria to Zion Goodreads Giveaway

We’re excited to announce our first book giveaway through Goodreads. Just sign up before February 7 to receive one of twenty early copies of Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone’s First Decade with a foreword by Ben Fountain and featuring stories by Steve Almond, Rick Bass, Kevin Brockmeier, Lauren Groff, Cary Holladay, Rebecca Makkai, David Means, Edith Pearlman, Benjamin Percy, Ron Rash, Bill Roorbach, Maggie Shipstead, Marisa Silver, Brad Watson, and Kevin Wilson, among many others! And if you do receive a copy, we’ll hope that you’ll review the book and help us spread the word.


Astoria to Zion with a foreword by Ben Fountain

Giveaway ends February 07, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter to win

First Paragraph from “The Wreckers” by George Makana Clark

December 17,1820

Dearest Ezadurah,

With luck, this will reach you before I’m missed. Time comes when a man has to rattle his fortune and see what shakes out, so says my new fast friend, and by God, with my lungs filled with sea air, the salt spray in my face, I reckon he’s right.

—George Makana Clark

Excerpted from “The Wreckers” from Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone’s First Decade. Copyright © 2014 by University of North Carolina Wilmington. Used by permission of Lookout Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Ecotone nonfiction editor Carson Vaughn: On Balance from Essay Daily

In case you missed our Facebook post last week, we wanted to share a great article on what the nonfiction editor from our sister publication, Ecotone, looks for in an essay.

“As nonfiction editor, I search for work that adroitly balances objective reporting and subjective discovery, essays and stories that show an equal respect for the internal and the external. I look for writers who aren’t afraid to probe the world around them while simultaneously mining the world within; who are eager to physically hunt for the story, but also know when to bring it home, to employ their own reasoning and their own bias and their own interiority to connect on a more human level.”

—Carson Vaughn, “On Balance” from Essay Daily

Be sure to check out the full article, and if you’re still searching for helpful information about submitting to a literary journal, former Lookout intern and fiction editor Nicola DeRobertis-Theye suggests five tips for writing your cover letter.

Advance Reading Copies On the Way!

After uploading the ARC yesterday, we’re one step closer to the March 2014 release of Astoria to Zion: Twenty-Six Stories of Risk and Abandon from Ecotone’s First Decade with a foreword by Ben Fountain.

image[Lookout intern Katie Jones putting the finishing touches on the ARC back cover.]

If you’re a reviewer or blogger and would like to request a copy of the ARC, please e-mail [email protected]

Here’s the fantastic design in greater detail.


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