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First, the news that will lead to certain deluge and logistical shooting pains: The Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest, pronounced dead by many doubters out there, is alive and well and sleeping peacefully at my feet, safe and warm. Are you happy? You should be. I am. I welcome the deluge and the shooting pains, because it indicates that people are reading, writing, and submitting short stories. It also indicates that this paper isn't quite as barbaric as I thought it was. Details on the 11th annual contest will follow soon -- look for the official rules and regulations in these pages during October -- but for now, check . Changes this year: no electronic submissions; the deadline is Nov. 4; and the winners will see publication in early 2003, though their fruit basket and chapbook will still read "2002." Just kidding: There is no fruit basket or chapbook. Just cash and newfound literary clout... Speaking of cash and newfound literary clout, Jonathan Safran Foer (see the Chronicle's review of his Everything Is Illuminated at has informed the proper parties that he's deathly afraid of flying, meaning that when he is forced to travel by air -- say, for something like the Jewish Community Center's 19th Annual Jewish Book Fair in November -- he insists on the accompaniment of his girlfriend. Lucky for us, his girlfriend is the lovely and talented Nicole Krauss (Man Walks Into a Room:, and they'll be coming to the Fair as a "package deal" -- appearing together on Nov. 18. Other additions: Steven Emerson, Jane Leavy, Dorit Rabinyan, Bernard Rapoport, Jennifer Weiner, and Elie Wiesel. For more details, check back here in November or online at Can you believe that the Texas Book Festival, which has apparently been having problems coming up with enough panels to make room for the outrageous drove of attending authors, will be happening around the same time ( South by Southwest, eat your heart out: November is indeed the new March, like they've been saying... You should know that BookPeople's annual Giving Tree has been erected. Here's how it works: Stop in, grab a leaf that lists a book title and the local organization that needs it, take it to the register, pay the price, and benefit the likes of AIDS Services of Austin, Hospice Austin, Austin Children's Shelter, and SafePlace... And, finally, some sad news: "Litera" lister Ric Williams reports that Jim Cody, poet, small pressman, and one of Williams' predecessors here at the Chronicle way back when, has died. See p.82 for Williams' take on Cody's life and times.

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