Two years ago, Neil Gaiman posted on Tumblr about the Hot Key Books Young Writers Prize. I love his writing; I love Coraline and ”The Doctor’s Wife” and “A Study in Emerald” and American Gods, and just everything, everything. I follow him on Tumblr and I saw his post. I had written a first chapter of something that may or may not have turned into a book had I not seen Neil Gaiman’s Tumblr post (or, more specifically, had my dude not seen the post and been like, “Look, you’re doing this,” and then accepted no excuses). I entered the contest; I wrote the book; I won the contest. The book was published in the UK (as Vivian Versus the Apocalypse) and it’s going to be published in the US (as Vivian Apple at the End of the World) and the truth is simply that it wouldn’t have happened in quite the way it did were it not for Neil Gaiman and his Tumblr.
Last night, Neil Gaiman was in San Francisco, reading stories out loud at the Warfield, accompanied by a string quartet and beautiful illustrations. Kevin bought tickets and we went. It was spellbinding, to sit rapt in the dark in a majestic old theater and listen to Neil Gaiman tell stories. There was the Doctor Who theme and a catchy song about Joan of Arc and “The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains,” which is among my favorite things Neil Gaiman has ever written—spooky and intense and darkly funny. Afterwards, because Kevin is really great and reached out to tell Neil Gaiman about the effect his Tumblr had on my life, and because Neil Gaiman is really great and was excited to hear about it, we got to meet him and chat with him for a minute, and thank him, and give him a copy of a book he inadvertently helped bring into the world. He was completely lovely and gracious and welcoming and kind, even though it was late and he’d just read out loud for nearly two full hours. He was basically everything you’d imagine or hope Neil Gaiman to be, if you—like all of us—have ever spent time imagining or hoping for hypothetical conversations with Neil Gaiman.
I will never stop thanking Neil Gaiman in my head for what he unwittingly did for me, and so the moral of the story is this: you should follow the artists you love on their social media platforms. They will teach you things; they will spark your imagination; they will answer your questions if they can. Occasionally they will mention contests you might be eligible to enter. Enter the contests.
Overcome with love for brilliant young writers and brilliant older writers and online literary community and new books and special days.
Welcome to comics.tumblr!
We’re a few tumblr staff members that love comics and the wonderful comic community here.
We’re going to do out best to share great stuff, kick off conversations, and highlight all the great and amazing stuff going on with comics, today!
Just another way to find awesome stuff to read, online and off!
We’re basing our model (with their blessing) on Tumblr’s brilliant Reblog Book Club. So:
- Get a copy of An Untamed State online, at your local bookstore, or at your public library, and start reading.
- Follow the conversation through The Rumblr (and via Roxane and Grove/Atlantic)
- Contribute by posting to your own Tumblr blog and tagging the post #Rumblr Book Club — we’ll reblog it into the main conversation.
- Ask Roxane questions!
We’ll break the reading and discussion into five chunks, to help shield the spoiler-averse. Here’s our schedule:
- The week of May 19: pages 1-66
- The week of May 26: pages 67-146
- The week of May 2: pages 147-207
- The week of June 9: pages 211-288
- The week of June 16: pages 290-367
For folks who’ve yet to subscribe to the Rumpus Book Club, here’s a chance to get your feet wet. For Tumblr book lovers who want to talk Roxane Gay’s heartbreaking and heartmending debut novel, An Untamed State, here’s your opportunity.
What’s it like to be a debut novelist? No, but really, what’s it really like? With the writing, and the novel-ing, and the editing, and the publishing, and the feelings. Probably there are a lot of feelings, right?
For the next few weeks, debut novelist Ted “thompsonted" Thompson will answer your questions! Ask him about writing, about publishing, about feelings—all of it. Use our Ask Box to send in your questions. Do it! It’ll be fun!
I feel like Ted can handle me at my nosiest.
Thanks TEDx Editors!
Today we met Cecile Richards, the President of Planned Parenthood and cried at her grace and optimism.
Today is the day I stood up in front of my entire company and said I use Planned Parenthood and I think abortion rights are essential to my basic equality as a human being (I asked an actual question too, never fear) and afterwards Cecile Richards, Real American Hero, said to me “You have to be bold — and I can tell that you are.”
Dead. I am dead. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Planned Parenthood.
New York City. Tumblr and Chronicle Books invite you to the release party for the Shit Rough Drafts book!
Featuring stories of shitty drafts by:
Ben Jurney (The Best of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency)
Melinda Taub (Author of Still Star-Crossed, contributor to The Onion News Network and Billy on the Street)
Andy Ross (The Onion News Network, MAD Magazine, host of Real Characters)
Bob Powers (Author of Happy Cruelty Day, The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, host of Steamboat)
And MC Tim Manley (author of Alice in Tumblr-land)
April 24th at Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn
All this plus free wine, a fun photobooth, and Tumblr gift bags. We’re gonna laugh our faces off, y’all. Spread the word!