Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Airen responds and another writing contest

Four things, and for a change of pace, I’ll try to be concise.

Airen — the blogger and author who Helene Hegemann remixed — has replied to Hegemann’s assertions that she did not plagiarize him.

There was really no need for her to copy me. But she borrowed entire passages of dialogue. I feel like my copyright has been infringed.

Hegemann’s publisher could probably throw money at Airen to make this issue go away. Even if it does, I hope this worthwhile question is not forgotten. When does influence become plagiarism?

As a sidenote, in Airen’s interview, he said he quit writing when he gave up the drug-club-sex scene because he ran out of material. This begs another question. How much of good writing is dependent on its subject matter? We talk about language here a lot, but we don’t talk about the value of topic.

Thing two: New short story contest from NPR. The only rules are it must be shorter than three minutes when read aloud, and the story must be based on this photograph of an open newspaper on a cafe table. The winner gets to read their story on NPR and receives an autographed Alan Cheuse book.

Thing three: Google looks like it is willing to compromise with its eBook store. If Google settles, then the publishers seem to have won the e-book war. Here’s hoping they can make a profit.

Final thing: Maud Newton writes about how some authors are so good, they paralyze her.

-Jason Lea,

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