Call for Submissions: One City One Story 2017

We are currently looking for the next great story for our One City One Story program. If you are a previously published* author, we welcome your submission of a short work of fiction. Please see below for selection criteria, and please submit your work (only one submission per person, please) via our Submittable page no later than February 28, 2017.

Additional information:

  • Submitted stories may be previously published or unpublished, but the author must hold rights to the story and permit (re)publication by the Boston Book Festival in print and digital formats, as well as translations into multiple languages.
  • Stories should be no more than 7500 words in length.
  • The selected author must be willing and able to attend the Boston Book Festival on October 28, 2017, and to participate in a town hall–style discussion of her/his story at the BBF. The Boston Book Festival is unable to provide travel or accommodations for authors attending the BBF. The selected author must also be available for media appearances and interviews in the weeks leading up to the festival. These should not require additional travel.
  • Preference is given to authors from Boston or New England, or those who have a strong connection to the region. Stories set in the region are also of particular interest.
  • Stories are evaluated for literary merit as well as their potential for fruitful discussion by readers high school age and older. The ideal story should offer many different entry points for discussion by readers, some of whom may not have previously (or at least recently) read and discussed short fiction.
  • Stories are initially evaluated by BBF staff and a selection committee composed of editors from Boston-based literary magazines and media outlets. A short list of stories is then circulated to community members who provide feedback on whether and how they would use the story with the populations they serve. The final decision is made by BBF staff based on this feedback and other factors (such as rights availability and regional interest).
  • The selected author will be notified in early May 2017.

*For the purposes of this program, “published” means having had a work of short fiction appear in an online or print edition of a magazine or journal with an ISSN or in an anthology with an ISBN.

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What Are You Reading Now?

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, we asked BBF fans on social media what books they were turning to for comfort, answers, or just to escape. We were impressed (although not surprised–you’re a smart bunch!) by the thoughtfulness and breadth of the answers we received, and we’ve compiled the responses here–perhaps a book listed here will speak to you, too! Want to continue the conversation? Just use the hashtag #whatareyoureadingboston to let our community know about the books that are proving especially meaningful to you right now.

Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness
Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale
Ian Bremmer, Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
Chris Dixon, Another Politics: Talking across Today’s Transformative Movements
Emma Donoghue, The Wonder
Negin Farsad, How to Make White People Laugh
Ellen Fitzpatrick, The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women’s Quest for the American Presidency
Omar Saif Ghobash, Letters to a Young Muslim
Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
Eric Hoffer, The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements
Jenny Jaeckel, Spot 12: Five Months in the Neonatal ICU
Autumn Kalquist, Defective
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer
Tyler Page, Raised on Ritalin
Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach
Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
Dawn Powell, The Wicked Pavilion
Alex Prud’homme, The French Chef in America
Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter series
Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Solmaz Sharif, Look: Poems
Jessica Shattuck, The Women in the Castle
Rebecca Solnit, The Faraway Nearby
Destiny Soria, Iron Cast
Art Spiegelman, Maus
Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad
Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States

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Get Ready for BBF 2016

Perhaps you’re the type who’s already planned your BBF schedule down to the minute, or maybe you’re planning on just showing up in Copley Square on October 15 and making it up as you go along. Either way, we’ve put together some key hints and tips to help you have a great day at BBF 2016!

Download our app.
You might have noticed our newly redesigned website (thanks, Corey McPherson Nash!). Along with our new look comes a host of new tools for planning and sharing your BBF schedule, including mobile apps that work for both iOS and Android devices. Download the app in advance and keep the BBF in your pocket all day! Or, if you prefer a lower-tech approach to planning, you can print out a PDF of the entire schedule.

Take the T or drive—it’s up to you!
The BBF is conveniently located right near the Copley and Back Bay MBTA stations, meaning that whether you’re arriving by Green Line, Orange Line, bus, commuter rail, or even Amtrak, public transit is your friend. If you need to drive, however, your best bet is checking out Best Parking before you start your drive. As of this writing, parking deals near Copley Square can be had for as little as $14 for the whole day.

Win a Vespa!
Thanks to a generous donation from Piaggio Fast Forward, we’re giving away a brand-new Vespa at BBF 2016. Raffle tickets (available only at the festival) are $10 each, with discounts for higher quantities. Proceeds go to support the BBF—we’ll be announcing the winner from the outdoor stage at 5:15, but you don’t need to be present to win. Tickets can be purchased at our merchandise booths or from roving volunteers (look for their red aprons and Vespa tees). Thanks, and good luck!

We’re back in the BPL!
After a couple of years of construction, we’re back in the Boston Public Library in a big way, and we couldn’t be happier. Be sure to stop in to see our programming in their beautifully renovated spaces (and maybe get a library card while you’re at it). Check out their newly opened world-class Shakespeare exhibit, grab a bite to eat at their restaurants and cafes, and don’t forget to stop by the Civic Table outside on Boylston Street for a custom poem or free Boston By Foot walking tour!

Channel your inner fangirl or fanboy
If what drives you to the BBF is the opportunity to meet favorite authors up close, you’re in luck! Presenters’ books are available for sale in all venues, and signings follow all sessions on-site. Thanks to our partner booksellers for facilitating book sales at the BBF!

Tickets, schmickets
With the exception of one sold-out event (the Lore live show), all sessions at the BBF are entirely free, tickets are not required, and admission is first-come, first-served. A handful of small writing workshops offered a preregistration option; although those guaranteed seats are now full, walk-up spots are available—just show up early for your best shot! A huge THANK YOU to our sponsors and donors for helping to keep the BBF free to all.

Get social
Have you been participating in our #whatareyoureadingboston project on social media this summer and fall? Show your post at our merch tables and get a free button! If you’re a Snapchat user, send your long-distance BFFs special BBF snaps from Copley Square. And if your idea of social networking runs more toward the face-to-face, pick up an “Ask Me What I’m Reading” button at the merchandise booth, wear it, and strike up a conversation with a fellow booklover. Who knows where it might lead?

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Win a Vespa at BBF 2016

If a book is food for your mind, a Vespa is an espresso machine for your body–and we’re bringing the two together at BBF 2016! Thanks to a generous donation from Piaggio Fast Forward, we are running our first-ever fundraising raffle at the BBF. The winner will receive a brand-new Vespa Sprint 150 (in “BBF Red,” of course)! Tickets are $10 and will be available only at the BBF on October 15 or at our kickoff event on October 14Buona fortuna!

Update 10/20/2016: Congratulations to C. Clements of Boston, the winner of the Vespa raffle! Thanks to all who bought tickets to support the BBF!

1. You must be 18 yrs old or over to buy a ticket
2. The drawing will be held on October 15 at 5:15. Winner need not be present to win. The winner will be announced on the outdoor stage, the winning ticket will be displayed on our Facebook page, and the winner’s name will be tweeted out on the 15th. The winner has until Monday, October 17 at 5:00 PM to claim the prize. You must present the winning ticket stub in person either at the BBF on the 15th or at the offices of the BBF on Monday, October 17th. If the winner cannot be identified, an alternate winner will be declared.
3. All federal, state and local income taxes are the sole responsibility of the winner. The taxable value of the prize will be treated as ordinary income to the winner.

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