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Something wonderful is about to happen to you.

After a month of e-mail infighting, allegations of bylaw breaking, and rumors of a financial crisis, the Writers' League of Texas on Monday, Oct. 21, declared its ongoing Board of Directors election invalid. The League will instead hold a special election soon, in which a nominating committee chaired by an as-yet-unnamed former president will propose a new slate of candidates. The dissolved nominating committee was headed by Mindy Reed, whose presence as chair on the committee that nominated her to the ballot was called into question as a conflict of interest by several WLT members. At an Oct. 17 meeting, voting WLT members said that they were confused by ballot language, wondering if they had to vote for the slate in toto (no) and whether electing 11 candidates to bring the board total to 17 instead of 12, 15, or 18 (a quirky distinction geared to personnel turnover and some kind of take on checks and balances) would violate the organization's bylaws (maybe) -- which even as a minor transgression could jeopardize the League's 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. A proposal to amend the bylaws is in the works, though Executive Director Stephanie Sheppard said that "the notion that anyone is trying to do anything wrong or illegal here is nuts. There was no conspiracy. There was just an effort to move the election forward so that these wonderful [candidates] can continue the League's work in January." More when all of this crystallizes... In other contentious news, albeit on a slightly larger level, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, along with the American Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and the American Library Association's Freedom to Read Foundation filed suit on Oct. 24 against the Department of Justice "to learn how many subpoenas have been issued to bookstores, libraries, and newspapers" using the USA PATRIOT Act, according to Bookselling This Week and the American Booksellers Association. It's sort of like poking that nosy asshole reading over your shoulder in the eye, and it's sort of valiant... From BookPeople: The store's nationally unique winter catalog is available as of today, Friday, Nov. 1, at the store and at the likes of Thirty Three Degrees, Flipnotics, Vulcan Video, and Wheatsville, among many other Austin independents. Listed in the catalog are more than 100 books, from classics to hot contemporaries, with many recommended by the store's incredibly erudite staff. Also included is information about BookPeople's holiday giveaway and their annual Giving Tree. Pick it up, and put it in your back pocket... Also from BookPeople: Aspiring writers have been committing an extravagant Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest faux pas, dropping off their submissions at the store (BookPeople, along with KGSR, is sponsoring the 11th annual contest) and directing questions to staff. Don't do that! Read closely the submission information on p.36 of this issue and e-mail books@austinchronicle.com with questions. By the way, this is our last issue before the Nov. 4 postmark deadline, meaning that this is my last chance to encourage your participation... Speaking of the Short Story Contest, Scott Blackwood (In the Shadow of Our House), one of our judges, has had his "Indians" published in the Boston Review, which is one hell of a coup. It's an excerpt from his novel in progress and can be found in the print edition and online at bostonreview.mit.edu/BR27.5/blackwood.html. Also, UT professor Lewis L. Gould (Watching Television Coming of Age: The New York Times Reviews by Jack Gould) will appear on NPR's Fresh Air some time soon, as he was interviewed at the KUT studio on Tuesday... Finally: Book Woman's sixth annual "Turning the Tables: A Feminist Literary Feast" is happening on Nov. 10 at 6pm. Included among the readers and eaters: Robin Bradford, Sharon Bridgforth, Spike Gillespie, P.J. Pierce, and Ana Sisnett. Call 472-2785 for your place at the table. Highly recommended... No, okay, finally for real: Salman Rushdie will appear at Barnes & Noble Arboretum on February 5. Rushdie is part of the KLRU Distinguished Speakers Series, but Colleen Devine, the store's community relations manager, says that won't stop her from asking him out to the All Girl Roller Derby when its season resumes that month.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Robin Bradford, Sharon Bridgforth, Spike Gillespie, P.J. Pierce, Ana Sisnett, Book Woman, Lewis L. Gould, Scott Blackwood, The Boston Review, Austin Chronicle Short Story Contest, KGSR, BookPeople, Mindy Reed, Stephanie Sheppard, Writers' League of Texas, American Books

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