Here’s some video from Monday’s CLMP spelling bee, courtesy of Vanity Fair. Sadly, our Ben Greenman (you know, THE WINNER) isn’t featured, but you can see him stand up to take his turn after James Frey gets out, and you can get a good look at the judge, Oxford English Dictionary editor-at-large Jesse Sheidlower, who basically made the night.
I also enjoyed this anecdote from the Wall Street Journal site about Ben:
“After the event, Greenman was standing outside when a passing beggar asked for change. Greenman obliged, walked away, then stopped and contemplated giving the man his crown, too. Then he thought better of it, since the crown was only tin-foil, not silver. Also, Greenman said, ‘How do I know that he’s a good speller?’”
So! Something new and exciting we are launching! The Olive Reader will be participating shortly! See below!
Harper Perennial presents LETTERS WITH CHARACTER
An Interactive Literary Environment
On the occasion of the publication of Ben Greenman’s What He’s Poised to Do (Harper Perennial, On Sale: June 15, 2010) we invite you to celebrate the art of correspondence and WRITE A LETTER TO A FAMOUS FICTIONAL CHARACTER.
Before there was any fiction at all, there were letters. For centuries, letters were the only way for people in different locations to communicate with each other. But letters have also become a rich and complex element of the best literary fiction. The acclaimed author and New Yorker editor Ben Greenman explores how letters function in life, as well as how they function in fiction in his new collection of inter-linked stories What He’s Poised to Do.
“Ben Greenman’s masterwork of stories inspired by letters offers fresh insight into the mysteries of intimacy.”
—Simon Van Booy.
On the occasion of the book’s publication, and in celebration of the art of the letter as a form of fiction, Harper Perennial invites you to participate in its Letters With Character campaign, and to write a letter to a fictional character. The letters can be funny, sad, demanding, fanciful, declarative, or trivial. They can be about a novel, a short story, or a children’s book, works both literary or popular. There is only one requirement: They must be written by a real person and must also address an unreal one.
The best, most interesting, strangest, and most moving letters will be collected on LettersWithCharacter.blogspot.com. Visit the site to see a selection of those that have already been written: a romantic appeal to Captain Ahab, a moving consideration of middle age addressed to a Garcia Marquez heroine, a hilarious challenge to Agatha Christie’s famed detective Hercule Poirot.
Please submit your own letters to LettersWithCharacter@gmail.com! And if you work in the media and want to feature Ben or the site, you can contact the awesome Gregory Henry at gregory dot henry at harpercollins dot com.
Whether you’re re-reading now or read long ago, honor To Kill a Mockingbird by writing a letter to one of its characters! I would probably choose that poor rabid dog . . . .
Dear Atticus, Dear Scout, Dear Boo…
Letters With Character call for submissions to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
Ben Greenman’s Letters With Character celebrates the art of letter writing as a form of fiction. Sunday July 11th was the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. In honor of this timeless classic, Harper Perennial and Ben Greenman are asking for your letters to your favorite character from To Kill A Mockingbird. Email your submission to LettersWithCharacter@gmail.com and check out the site here to see which ones we post!
Harper is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of To Kill A Mockingbird all summer long. Check for local and national happenings on our Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/OfficialToKillAMockingbird50thAnniversary and our official website.