Book News Roundup: Write your way to a free Seattle apartment

  • An anonymous Seattle apartment building owner is running an essay contest. The winner gets to live rent-free in a "clean, comfortable place" in Queen Anne or Ballard for a year. The essays are supposed to respond to the question "How would a free apartment for one year help you reach your goals in 10 years?" in 350 words or less. You can't solve gentrification with a writing contest, but at least the odds are better than Powerball.

  • Cascadia College in Bothell is hosting a six-week course called "Innovative Cascadian Poetry." The course "delves into the geography and poetry of the Cascadia bioregion, exploring the area’s physical landscape, its cultural roots, and the innovative poetry produced there." It begins on January 25th.

  • Jeff VanderMeer's new short story is titled "Jeb Bush Is Sinking," it's published at Electric Literature, and it's fantastic, especially if you're the sort of person who has really enjoyed watching Jeb Bush squirm over the last few months.

  • Amazon is merging its original book social media site Shelfari with its other book social media site GoodReads, and at least one Shelfari user is very upset about it.

  • The January issue of The White Review — featuring works in translation — is available online. If you're looking for somwehwere to start, I very much enjoyed this weird and wonderful short story titled "Dimples."