Book News Roundup: Opportunities for writers, a book swap, and Benedict Cumberbatch news

Today's Book News Roundup begins with three neat local opportunities:

  • Are you a poet? Do you want to be Seattle's next Civic Poet? The position, as pioneered by our first Civic Poet Claudia Castro Luna, is about advocacy — about reading poetry at City Hall meetings and teaching classes about interpreting the city through poetry. She's done a stellar job and the next Civic Poet has a lot to live up to. It's a two-year program, and the winner receives $10,000 budgeted over that time. Deadlines are due on April 24th. Find everything you need to know right here.

  • Are you a cartoonist who's just starting out? You should apply for Short Run's Dash Grant, which provides the winner with "$250 to complete and premiere their comic at the festival [which this year happens on November 4th in Seattle Center], mentorship by a special guest, access and instruction to local screenprint shop Fogland Studios, a free half table at the festival, and a spot in our annual gallery show. This is a terrific grant that provides up-and-coming cartoonists with a chance to make a big splash in a major Seattle comics and independent literature festival. Deadline for this is April 22.

  • Do you know a writer, cartoonist, or other literary artist who deserves special recognition? Nominate them for the Courage in Culture Award, which is part of Crosscut's annual Courage Awards. The deadline for nominations is March 13th.

And in other news:

  • Congratulations to the Seattle Public Library's ace Readers' Service Librarian David Wright, who just won the Margaret E. Monroe Library Adult Services Award winner for "outstanding contributions to readers’ advisory and adult services." Wright is one of the best librarians in town.

  • If you're looking for something to do tomorrow, the Phinney Neighborhood Association is hosting a book exchange. Bring in your beloved cookbooks, sci fi/fantasy, mystery, and kids' books and swap them out for some new-to-you finds! If you have no books to swap, they're also selling books at $1 per paperback and $2 per hardcover. It's happening from 11 am to 2 pm at the Neighborhood Center, and it's free to enter.

  • Barnes & Noble's third quarter sales declined 8 percent year-over-year. It's been a long, long time since we've seen unabashedly good news coming from Barnes & Noble.

  • Patrick Melrose's exquisite Edward St. Aubyn novels are being adapted into a TV miniseries, and Benedict Cumberbatch is set to star. When I read the St. Aubyn books a few years ago, I actually pictured Cumberbatch as the protagonist. I don't know if that means Cumberbatch is a good choice or a bad choice. No air date has been announced, which means it's unclear when we'll discover if the TV show can sustain the book's bitter sense of humor and louche-but-opulent weariness for five full episodes.