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by Andrew Gallix



Thanks to all the readers who have sent us messages of support in our struggle against the Daily Mirror who recently launched a supplement called…3am Magazine!

One of our favourite novelists, Toby Litt, wrote: "I can understand your annoyance. I wish you well in your attempts to reclaim your good name. It would certain annoy me if people were to think that I were writing celeb-infatuated tat".

Sue Thomas, of the trAce online writing centre, stated that "3AM is one of the earliest and most significant literary sites on the web. It's sharp, innovative, and generously open to new ideas. The Mirror's website is just a shallow attempt to cash in on web-based communities like this who have flourished very well without the corporate giants and will continue to do so. We will transcend such copyists!" Sue Thomas's new book, Hello World: Travels in Virtuality has just been published by Raw Nerve Books. You can read a review here.


3am contributor-heartthrob Laurence Rémila (who, by the way, is in love) played two gigs recently with his Parisian "intello punk" outfit Gülcher. There are plenty of pictures here, here and over there in the corner. You can also download a couple of tracks which are reminiscent of Marie & les Garçons. (Pic: Laurence Rémila by Andrew Gallix.)


The great Hanif Kureishi interviewed in Nerve where you'll also find sex advice from Liz Phair. Tibor Fischer is interviewed in Identity Theory. Music and literary downloads. Mass recitals to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Wordsworth's daffodil poem, "I Wandered Lonely As a Cloud". Angular Recording Corporation' great New Cross compilation (which only includes previously-unsigned bands) has already sold out! Steven Wells' jihad against rock mediocrity. The Indie's John McGeoch obituary. Nick Laird, Zadie Smith's fiance lands a book deal. Pete Doherty (of the Libertines) in Paris. Slate on whisky. London S&M clubs. Seducing women with humour? A review of Witold Gombrowicz's Trans-Atlantyk in Bookslut. British publishing and the ethnic pool. The Orange Prize longlist. The My Life With Morrissey film.

LIT IDOL 03/16/2004

Britain's Lit Idol results were announced yesterday at the London Book Fair. The BBC reports that "A former university professor has been crowned the winner of a Pop Idol-style search for new literary talent. Paul Cavanagh lifted the inaugural Lit Idol prize after reading aloud an excerpt of his work Northwest Passage to 600 people at the London Book Fair. A panel of judges picked the 41-year-old from five shortlisted finalists. Mr Cavanagh, from Ontario in Canada, was one of 1,466 aspiring novelists to enter the contest in the hope of securing a lucrative publishing deal. Each of the entrants had to submit up to 10,000 words from the opening chapters of a novel, together with a two-page synopsis. A people's vote, counting for 25% of the final decision, was collected after samples of their writing were placed on the internet. . . ." The Evening Standard points out that "The literary prize has been criticised for reducing writers to the status of 'performing seals' by those who say authors should not have to read out their work".

Anthony Barnes in the Independent writes that ". . . Five wannabe novelists -- among them a civil servant, a secretary and a healthcare consultant -- are vying for the title of Lit Idol 2004, the publishing world's equivalent of Pop Idol. To win, the aspiring authors will have to read extracts from their books in front of a panel of judges. At stake is a contract with the respected agency Curtis Brown, which handles the likes of Vikram Seth, Ian Rankin and Fay Weldon. And that would virtually guarantee a lucrative book contract for the author. . . . Lit Idol 2004 was launched last year and aims to find the nation's most promising new novelists. Often working in snatched moments over many months, the writers submitted 10,000 words from the opening chapters of their novels, along with a two-page synopsis. Celia Alcock, 29, whose novel The Bone Dance has made the shortlist, said: 'I don't even have a proper desk to sit at when I write, so I've been doing it in short spurts. But if you do it little and often you get there in the end.' Donald Considine, 41, was overwhelmed when he was told he was down to the last five for his book Careering. 'I was physically trembling when I heard. It was one of those things where I hoped for the best but expected the worst,' he said. . . . Mr Considine, who is a senior strategic planner for the Greater London Authority, said: 'I work all day, so I write for about an hour or two in the evenings, but sometimes I go for a week without touching it. I do find it difficult to find the time. I would love to earn my crust through writing, though.' . . . The other shortlisted authors are Karen Barichievy, a freelance journalist, Paul Cavanagh, a healthcare consultant, and Tom Easton, a production manager for a children's publisher. The shortlisted authors will get instant feedback on their abilities when their works face a wider public a week tomorrow. They must each read an extract at the London Book Fair in front of the judging panel and figures from the publishing world, who will choose the winner later that evening. An online public vote will also have a bearing on the result after extracts were posted on websites. . . ."

MRS PUNK 03/16/2004

The Vivienne Westwood exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London opens on 1 April and runs until 11 July. Philip Hoare published a great retrospective article on "Mrs Punk" in the Independent on Sunday's new arts supplement (ABC) but, alas, there doesn't seem to be a link to it on their website. There is, however, an interesting interview by Susannah Frankel: ". . . 'It was very naive, of course, and very romantic. We were going to be these heroes who looked like urban guerrillas. And one of the slogans we had was, "Beneath the paving stones lies the beach" [Sous les pavés, la plage]. It was this famous Situationist thing. And I thought it was marvellous because, of course, first you're thinking of throwing stones, of stopping this terrible machine from causing all this misery. But when you think it all through, once you've broken everything up, you're on the beach.' She pauses for breath. 'And I thought to myself, well, who on earth wants to live on the beach?'. . ."

'TIS PITY SHE'S A DOG 03/16/2004

Just in courtesy of Ali Catterall: "Following the scandal and intrigue surrounding Canongate's new signee, and author of 'The Little White Car', this picture of Dan Rhodes' nemesis has recently come to light, tucked away in the corner of the Net. While some have unkindly compared her to Dave Hill, of Slade fame, I think you'll agree she's every bit as foxy as reports suggest. Feast your eyes boys, feast your eyes.


Big up to Francis Bickmore, Online Editor of top publisher Canongate for espousing our cause: "3AM Magazine, the web's best litzine gets shattered by the Mirror. The brilliant, gutsy literary site, 3AM Magazine, has vowed to take on the might of Trinity Mirror after the newspaper giant launched a magazine of the same name based on its daily gossip column". (Pic taken at 3AM's Xmas gig in London.)


Cult author Jim Dodge is taking part in a five-day book tour along with 3AM favourites Dan Rhodes, Helen Walsh and Daren King. 8pm, Monday, 15th March: Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent's Park Road, London, NW1. 7.30pm, Tuesday, 16th March: Waterstone's, Clock Tower, North St., Brighton. 7pm, Thursday,18th March: Prohibition, 1a Bold Street, Liverpool. 6pm, Friday, 19th March: Borders, Buchanan St., Glasgow.

Here's an extract from the invite sent out by Dan Rhodes: "I will be joined by my touring partner Jim Dodge (the illustrious and popular author of Stone Junction, Fup and others) and our very special guest for the evening Daren King (author of the excellent Jim Giraffe -- a must read). DBC Pierre was going to be reading, but he had to go to Germany instead. And I'm afraid I can't promise an Eno collaboration this year. I hope you can make it. However, as always all excuses for non-attendance will be accepted without question. I think it'll be starting fairly promptly and will probably go on for about an hour, maybe an hour and a bit. I advise you to bring a friend and to consider it a small chunk out of your evening. Of course the decision will ultimately be yours, but I suggest you go to a pub afterwards." Check out Bookmunch's interview with Jim Dodge on Canongate's website. (Pic: Dan Rhodes by Andrew Gallix.)

3AM VS 3AM 03/09/2004

The Guardian has interviewed Andrew Stevens about the launch of the Daily Mirror's 3am Magazine gossip supplement. The title of Owen Gibson's article is "Mirror's 3am Spin-Off Faces Legal Challenge":

"A little-known online literary title named 3am Magazine has vowed to take on the might of Trinity Mirror after the newspaper giant launched a magazine of the same name based on its daily gossip column. The online culture and literature magazine launched in April 2000, three months before the Daily Mirror signalled a revolution in newspaper gossip columns by launching its irreverent 3am girls column.

While its subject matter is more Douglas Coupland than Michael Douglas, the editors of 3am Magazine fear the launch of a new weekly spin-off magazine by the Mirror will confuse readers and contributors. 'This came completely out of the blue when a contributor called us to say he didn't want to be associated with a publication that features articles on the likes of Jordan,' said the editor of 3am Magazine, Andrew Stevens. 'The Mirror has acted in a completely cavalier-like fashion with no regard for our reputation,' said Stevens, who is the London-based editor of, which features interviews with Coupland and Trainspotting author Irvine Welsh as well as political satire, music reviews and literary contributions from around the world.

Stevens said he and the other editors of the site, who are based around the world and run it in their spare time, were consulting lawyers with a view to taking action against the Mirror. 'We're exploring legal options. Just because the Mirror is owned by a conglomerate doesn't give them the right to rip off other people's identities. We don't want people to get the wrong idea about us,' he added.

While currently only available online, Stevens said the team had plans for print publications, including anthologies of unpublished work. 'We're completely online but we've got plans for printed spin-offs. When it was just the newspaper column there was no crossover but now they have a 3am Magazine it's a bit different,' he said, adding that he had written to Trinity Mirror but received no response."


Look out for Sick Notes, the second novel by Gwendoline Riley, "Manchester's answer to Bukowski," according to The Observer: "She's like Johnny Rotten - so unexpected, dry but precise". Michael Bracewell on the "extreme form of romanticism" of English seaside resorts (The Independent on Sunday). Also in The Indie, interesting interviews with young novelist David Mitchell (more here & here) and Patti Smith. Richard & Judy's Oprah-style book club. Bernard Pivot, Maurice Druon and the future of the French language. French intellectuals resist the government's war on intelligence (more here). French publisher Hachette are launching a new literary review this month called Remix in which short stories by one author are "revisited" by others. New Orleans bars and cocktail recipes. Sex advice from poets. Playwrights like Mark Ravenhill on their favourite cities. Will Self in The Daily Telegraph. Smack the penguin then kiss it better. A short story from Julian Barnes' new collection The Lemon Tree which is reviewed in today's Sunday Times. McSweeney's are publishing David Garnett's 1922 classic Lady Into Fox. Novelist Andrew O'Hagan on Morrissey in the London Review of Books: "Morrissey was a lovelorn fan of Oscar Wilde and James Dean, Elsie Tanner and the New York Dolls, and he appears to have made something of an art out of moping around the house in a melancholy, jobless, big-cardiganed way, dreaming of a wonderful romance involving himself and every image he ever cared about, dispensing epigrams over the bannister while his mother got busy with the Findus Crispy Pancakes". (The Moz will play the Manchester Evening News Arena on 22 May supported by Franz Ferdinand.) One of Britain's top tabloids, The Daily Mirror, has launched a new gossip supplement, called 3am Magazine! Read this report in the London Times.


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