Best of the Web

The Measure of Excellence

Over at Luna Park, David Backer wrote an open letter to the the online literary community where he says:

I had an idea recently that I want to ask you about. What do you think of having a quantitative award for literature on the Internet? The award would be given to particular stories/poems/pieces that get the most page-views.

The prize could have a website too that would rank stories in real time to see what people are reading. It would be a breathing comparative analytic constantly updating publicly like the schedule board in a train station.

It’s popular to say literary awards don’t matter. It’s the writing that matters and the pleasure or satisfaction we derive from writing that matters. If we’re nominated for an award, we say it is just an honor to be nominated. When we lose, we say it was just an honor to be nominated. If we’re not nominated we say awards don’t matter, we don’t care, it’s the writing that matters, we’re happy for those writers who were nominated.


Web Hype / 8 Comments
November 4th, 2010 / 12:49 pm

ARob AGin Catfish Word

1. Our own Adam Robinson has just been announced as Guest Editor for the next edition of Dzanc’s Best of the Web. If anyone can up the game they set with the latest edition, Adam is it. Editor nominations are now open.

2. @ Jacket Copy, they compare the voice of Allen Ginsberg reading “Howl” to the voice of James Franco reading “Howl.” I was too ehh to listen, but you can if you want.

3. Saw Catfish, or “the other Facebook movie that is a documentary instead of a stupid drama by a washed up director,” the other night, it was refreshing.

4. If you are in NYC, I am reading Tuesday night at 7:30 at the excellent Word Bookstore in Greenpoint for Indie Press Night with Jon Cotner & Andy Fitch (for Ugly Duckling), Rachel B. Glaser (for Publishing Genius), and Timothy Donnelly (for Wave Books). Should be real awesome, would be real awesome to see you out.

Roundup / 15 Comments
September 26th, 2010 / 10:59 pm

Best of the Web 2009 Invades HTMLGIANT: Guest Post by Jeff Parker

361560503_7635cd221cPlease welcome guest poster Jeff Parker, author of Ovenman, to HTMLGIANT. The following is a short short essay of his (part of a Dzanc Books internet invasion to support the forthcoming Best of the Web 2009) that talks about the origins of his story “The Boy and the Colgante,” recently published in Waccamaw and now anthologized in BotW 2009.

When Jonathan Messinger slotted me for the Dollar Store Reading series, I was torqued. The premise is as follows: Jonathan goes to a dollar store. Jonathan spends a dollar on something there. Jonathan sends that something to you (me, in this case). You write a story about it. You come to Chicago and read that story. I did lots of time in dollar stores and was well prepared for some good no-name household cleaning product or maybe a crappy toy. What I received sank my heart. It appeared to be a CD with an American flag printed on one side, but on further inspection it was a CD not to be played but to be hung from the rear view mirror of one’s car. It was called a colgante. This thing flummoxed me. It was like it came from another world. I had no reference point for it whatsoever. A colgante could not simply be there, an incidental detail. It commanded a more focal point. I put off writing the story until about two days before my trip to Chicago. I had just met some draft dodgers at Grossman’s tavern in Toronto. I figured the alienation I felt having this colgante thing in my life must be at least mildly resonant with the alienation they feel every day. I went for it. The result is here. I don’t really know if the thing played or not, but then I think that it must have.

You can read more posts by BotW authors at several other sites. Check out EWN for details. Thanks to Jeff Parker for the post and to Dan Wickett for asking HTMLGIANT to host.

Author Spotlight & Presses / 6 Comments
July 21st, 2009 / 10:03 am

Matt Bell, Matthew Derby & the Best of the Web

Did everyone else already know that Matt Bell is going to be the series editor for Dzanc’s Best of the Web series, beginning with the 2010 book? I didn’t, but aren’t I glad to know it now? Yes. Anyway, I learned this information in a note Matt posted to facebook about also-Matt Matthew Derby, whose story “January in December” from Guernica will be anthologized in BotW2009, edited by Lee K. Abbott. (Disclosure/chest-beating: I am a proud alum of the BotW series; my story “The Jealousy of Angels” appeared in the 2008 edition, which was edited by Steve Almond.) After the jump, MB’s full facebook post: his explanation of what BotW is, his introduction of Derby, and then a long guest-post by Derby himself about the writing of “January in December.”


Author News & Author Spotlight & Presses & Web Hype / 4 Comments
July 21st, 2009 / 8:35 am