Ready, set, read, part 2

Reading manuscripts again, I’m reminded that I have an update to this post; I recently learned from an author’s biographical note in a magazine that of the ten manuscripts on my finalist list of about a year ago, another one has been accepted for publication by a good independent press and will be coming out next year.  That makes at least three, including the one that actually won the contest. 

And the NEA Literature Fellowships in prose for 2008 have been announced (and wow, do I have some congratulatory e-mails to write)!  As usual with the NEA, it’s an interesting mix of the reasonably well-known, the up-and-coming, and the laboring-in-obscurity, at least as far as I can tell.  Also as usual, many of the locations listed with the writers’ names are out of date; you apply for these in February, and if you’re in the academy, that’s usually before you know that you’ll be changing jobs the next academic year, or going home to take care of your old parents, or getting a Fulbright.  By the time David Kipen–or actually, this year it was probably Jon Peede–makes that golden phone call, you’re three thousand miles away from the town you put on your application.  (But you’ve made sure they know where to find you.  Oh, have you ever.)

Money equals time, and I know these 42 writers are happily contemplating the time their checks will buy.  The rest of us can happily contemplate the books of theirs that we’ll eventually get to read. 


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