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Posts Tagged ‘Contests’

Read Everywhere, Part 7 (or, the Hashtag Wars)

August 8, 2014 | by

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The Paris Review’s Hailey Gates with a remarkably familiar slogan outside the New York Public Library.

This week, the New York Public Library launched a campaign to celebrate “the excitement and personal joy of reading”—an initiative we wholeheartedly support.

As do celebrities, apparently: the NYPL has photos of Hillary Clinton, Mindy Kaling, and the cast of Big Bang Theory reading contentedly in various corners of the earth.

There’s just one problem. The slogan for their campaign is Read Everywhere. And, like, not to get all petty or whatever? But we’ve been using that slogan for weeks to promote our summer subscription deal with the London Review of Books. (We’re having a Read Everywhere photo contest now, too, with lavish prizes.)

Our initial impulse was to retaliate, swiftly and with style. But how? A lawsuit would be costly. Vandalism would be unseemly. And some kind of ritualistic book burning … well, that wouldn’t be terribly stylish.

We settled on a time-honored subversive tactic: appropriation. Above is Hailey Gates, our head of advertising and promotions, in a defiant act of détournement. In Bryant Park—where plainclothes librarians and aides-de-camp are legion, and the lions are always watching—she managed to evade detection. We commend her for her bravery.

Your move, NYPL.

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Announcing Our #ReadEverywhere Contest

August 7, 2014 | by

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At the beach.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock—or out in the world, pursuing your aestival fantasies instead of reading the Internet—you’ve probably heard about our terrific joint subscription deal with the London Review of Books, and you’ve seen the photos our readers have posted under the #ReadEverywhere hashtag.

But now that the longueurs of summer have settled on us, it’s time to up the stakes. We’re having a contest. From now through August 31, post a photo of yourself reading The Paris Review or the London Review of Books on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook—use the #ReadEverywhere hashtag and one of our magazines’ handles. (Those of you who have already posted photos, fear not—your work is in the running already.)

We’ll pick our three favorites—and just to show we mean business, here are the fabulous prize packages that await those lucky contestants:

FIRST PRIZE ($500 value)
From The Paris Review: One vintage issue from every decade we’ve been around—that’s seven issues, total—curated by Lorin Stein.
And from the London Review of Books: A copy of Peter Campbell’s Artwork and an LRB cover print.

SECOND PRIZE ($100 value)
From TPR: A full-color, 47" x 35 1/2" poster of Helen Frankenthaler’s West Wind, part of our print series.
And from the LRB: Two books of entries from the LRB’s famed personals section, They Call Me Naughty Lola and Sexually, I’m More of a Switzerland.

THIRD PRIZE ($25 value)
From TPR: A copy of one of our Writers at Work anthologies.
And from the LRB: An LRB mug. (Never one to be outdone, the LRB is actually including a tote bag, some postcards, a pencil, and an issue with all of the prizes above. Retail value: inestimable.)

It’s all starting now, so get yourself a joint subscription and prepare your shutter finger. See you in the great beyond.

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Ribbons, Lambs, and Strawberry Jam

June 17, 2014 | by

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Samuel S. Carr, Holding the Lamb, nineteenth century

When I was twelve and visiting my grandparents in California, we made weekly stops at the Naval Postgraduate School Thrift Shop, where the proprietress suggested that I enter a competition—she wanted me to submit my own concept for the theme of the next summer’s Monterey County Fair.

The fair was a highlight of our annual summer visits: the rides, the crop shows, the 4-H cake booth—all of it seemed magical to those of us from fair-deprived regions of the country. Raised on a steady diet of 1950s kids books, I fiercely envied the challenging but rewarding existences of those 4-H kids. I knew I could never raise my own livestock (let alone have the character to auction it), or work the cake booth, or display my crafts in the dedicated exhibition buildings. My talents, such as they were, lay in other directions. But each year, the posters and exhibits were organized around a central theme, and someone had to come up with that.

I dashed off page after page of increasingly hackish ideas. In the end, I submitted about twelve, in the spirit of playing the odds. And, come February, back in New York, I received a fat envelope from the Monterey County Chamber of Commerce: my concept of “Ribbons, Lambs, and Raspberry Jam” would be the theme of the summer’s fair. (Except that in deference to the region’s booming strawberry industry, the flavor of the jam would be altered accordingly.) It was the most exciting moment of my life. It was considerably more exciting than receiving similar envelopes from colleges six years later. For one thing, there were way more perks involved: in exchange for this top-notch ad work, I received a check for twenty-five dollars, a free family-pass to the fair, and a gift certificate to an establishment called Grandma’s Kitchen. Read More »

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Without Compunction

May 20, 2014 | by

Doing verbal battle at the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships.

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An illustration from the Tacuinum Sanitatis, from the late fourteenth century. (No pun included.)

The only thing harder than crafting a good pun is finding someone to appreciate it. It’s not that puns are universally reviled—though their critics make it seem that way. It’s just that for every person who loves a clever play on words, there exists another who absolutely despises them; in mixed company, puns are, along with politics and religion, best left alone. If only there were an app that could match people by their senses of humor. Tinder? I barely know ’er!

If it’s difficult to pun profitably in the United States, it’s all but impossible in Mexico, where I’ve been living for the past year. Here I’m limited somewhat by my imperfect Spanish, but also by a lack of fellow punning linguists. There’s not even a word for pun in Spanish, which made it difficult to explain to friends here that after ten months of wasting my presumably hilarious wordplay on their apparently deaf ears, I’d bought myself a ticket to Austin, Texas, to compete in the O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships. Despite its grandiose name, there is no qualifying round ahead of this “championship,” and, with the exception of a lanky Englishman in a chicken suit, all the participants were American.

“So a pun is like a play on words?” a Mexican friend asked before I set out, using the Spanish phrase juego de palabras, that most dictionaries list as the translation for “pun.”

Well, yes, I said, but it’s a specific kind of play on words. I tried to find an example, but I hadn’t realized until that moment just how difficult it is to come up with puns on the spot. The example I offered, which defined the exchange of sex for spaghetti as pasta-tution, didn’t translate as well as I’d hoped. Read More »

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We Have a Winner!

March 22, 2013 | by

A few weeks ago, we asked you to send us your best portrait-of-the-artist-as-a-young-person photos for a chance to win a Frank Clegg briefcase. Read on for a slideshow of exceedingly sensitive finalists … and one gloriously pretentious winner!

Third Place

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This would be mid- to late eighties. I had just finished writing my first novel, calling it Bad Girls of Ireland. I would like to note, for the record, that while the book remains unpublished, I stand firm in my belief that it was the first to wear that “bad girls” label which became a thing in the early nineties (before we had memes, kiddies).

At the time I thought it was an appropriately high/low moniker to slap on two hundred pages that were (let’s be honest) too esoteric to be legible to anyone else on earth; in retrospect it sounds kind of cheesy. I think you had to be there. Influences? Joyce, naturellement. Nabokov, Calvino, Rilke, Duras, Cortázar, all of those Zone books about the body. Jung! Was I a mo girl swimming in a pomo stream, or the reverse? From the outside my life looked way more like a Tama Janowitz story than the Kathy Acker one that was going on in my head, right down to the jewelry-selling on the street. Earrings—singletons only, made out of broken glass I collected at bus stops. Some insufficiently considered “performance art.” You get the picture. Read More »

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Last Chance, Poseurs! Win a Briefcase

March 8, 2013 | by

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Here is the youngest resident of the Hotel Duncan taking a “sensitivity break” from his senior thesis, on the fin-de-siècle poet Trumbull Stickney, 1995: “But that I know these places are my own / I’d ask how came such wretchedness to cumber / The earth, and I to people it alone. // It rains across the country I remember.” —Lorin Stein

Remember! Whether you had a Romantic phase, a Beat fixation, an Aesthetic idyll, send us your picture of yourself at your most self-seriously bookish and you could win a Frank Clegg English Briefcase. Send your picture, along with a brief description of your influences of the time, to contests@theparisreview.org. All entries must be in by Monday, March 11. (Luckily for you, staff is ineligible; this is hard to top!)

 

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