ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)

We are very pleased to announce the BORDERTOWN Study Guide for Teachers and Librarians, now up on BordertownSeries.com! 

Now, we could use some help from you actual Teachers & Librarians (and students)!

Can you help us spread the word to your colleagues & peers? Suggest ways we can let others know about it?

Here is the basic description/introduction (from the online Guide itself):

Set in a gritty, diverse city that straddles the divide between the human world and the magical realm,Welcome to Bordertown provides an ideal backdrop for exploring the issues and ideas most vital to young adults in a classroom or extracurricular setting. Through more than twenty interconnected songs, poems, and stories, educators can use Welcome to Bordertown to generate discussions and activities around a number of topics, including racedisabilitytechnology, immigrationsexuality, and gender.

This guide provides a range of discussion questions that can be modified for use with a wide variety of groups, including reading clubsmiddle and high school classesGay-Straight Alliances, and other diversity and discussion-focused groups. Divided into General Discussion Questions, Story-Specific Discussion Questions, and Post-Reading Activities, this guide works best when paired with the Bordertown series website, which providessupplementary material for many of the discussion questions and activities.

Use this guide to:

  • Introduce complex topics for debate and discussion;
  • Encourage analysis of different writing styles and techniques;
  • Deepen students' understanding of the ways fantasy can be used to explore real-world issues;
  • Spur discussion of students' personal connections to the pieces;
  • Provide students with prompts, tips, and inspiration for their own creative endeavors. 
Here is the link:

And of course, if we've missed anything, or anything needs improving, please let us know!

Many thanks for your help.  Having this book be a genuinely useful tool for kids to explore these challenging topics and to connect with one another is one of the great goals of all the creators of the Bordertown series.  Now that Welcome to Bordertown is available in paperback (as well as e-book), we hope it will be even more accessible to schools, libraries, and readers everywhere.

Kudos & thanks to Holly Black ([livejournal.com profile] blackholly) for editing, to Katharine Duckett for framing and introduction, to [livejournal.com profile] taraoshea for design, and to all the Welcome to Bordertown authors who so very kindly contributed questions.
ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
Traders' Heaven is officially open, and it's taking all my self-control not to spend every penny I've got on Bordertown Lives! T-shirts, Dancing Ferret bar glasses, Elsewhere Books postcards & coffeemugs, Hard Luck Cafe jerseys, Taco Hell tank tops, Khandromas (Midori Snyder's Tibetan girl skater gang) charm bracelets, and, y'know, stuff that shouldn't exist in our World, and yet somehow now does!

Giant hugs to Tara, who designed not only the B-town logos, but our new BordertownSeries.com site, as well - where more designs & images will soon be going up . . . . At this point, I'm not at all sure she hasn't really been there - despite her recent tumblrpost explaining how she Shopped that photo of Elsewhere Books . . . Uh, huh, Tara; sure ya did, kid!  We won't tell.
ellenkushner: (WtB*PB*)

The “Bring a Friend to Bordertown” contest, sponsored by the editors of the new Welcome to Bordertown trade paperback anthology, ends at one minute to midnight (E.S.T.) TONIGHT!

See the contest rules, plus links to entries by fans who have already created passionate, funny, and moving letters, songs, and artwork, inviting a friend to join them on the Border city between Elfland and our World, at:


Visit the newly redesigned Bordertown series website for a chance to win exclusive Bordertown prizes, including a signed copy of the new Welcome to Bordertown paperback, and rare memorabilia from the Border.  

Check out our Stories page for a collection of free tales of the Border (as Farrel Dinn says, "First one's free, kid! After that, it's up to you. . . . ")

Please help spread the word about the word about the “Bring A Friend to Bordertown” contest today . . . before it's too late!


Ellen & [livejournal.com profile] blackholly
Editors, Welcome to Bordertown

The editors deeply regret the concurrence of the contest's deadline with that of U.S. taxes.  Last time they were in the World, taxes were due April 15th!  We deeply and humbly thank everyone who took the time to enter the contest during this busy season.  Maybe they finished their taxes early.  Maybe they were using it as a procrastination device.  
Whatever it was, we are deeply grateful, and very moved by the passion and quality of the entries!  It's going to be hard to choose from amongst such wonderful letters, poems, songs, photos, and art.

ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
More addictive than Mad River water!
Lighter than a Spell Box!
Cheaper than a round of drinks at the Dancing Ferret . . . . 
It’s the:
now available from Bluefire Books!

(Check out that pretty new cover!)

And in honor of the paperback, we’re running a CONTEST:
Here’s how:

So you’ve already found your way to Bordertown. It wasn’t easy, but you did it. You’ve found a place to live, and maybe a friend or two.  Maybe you’re in a band, or selling your sketches on the street, or just looking for work….   And now you’d like your friend (from the World or from the Realm, depending on your own origins) to come and join you.

Write them a letter, or send them a postcard (a photo or a drawing + a short note) telling them why they should come. Then post it on your blog, Tumblr, Facebook notes, DeviantArt account… anywhere your friends can read it. 

And then, to enter it in the contest (and make sure we know it’s there!),
put the URL for your post in the Comments section over at our OFFICIAL CONTEST PAGE:   
The Welcome to Bordertown editors, Holly Black & Ellen Kushner, will judge all entries, and award 3 prize sets to the 3 best entries.
PRIZE set includes:  
  • New Welcome to Bordertown paperback, signed by Holly & Ellen
  • A flyer we found in the gutter on Carnival Street announding Eldritch Steel playing at The Dancing Ferret last year (“1 free drink for noobs”)
  • A ticket for the Unicorn Trolley (expired, alas!)
  • A Bordertown necklace by Chimera Fancies Bordertown necklace by ChimeraFancies
  • A Bordertown T-shirtBordertown T-shirt
The contest runs from now through Tuesday, April 17th at 11:59 p.m. EST (U.S.A. Eastern Time).

Good luck!  See you on the Border -- 
ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
Look what we just got!

WtB paperback coming April 10, 2012!

This is the new paperback cover.  
Coming to a bookstore, library or mailbox near you on 
APRIL 10th, 2012

Our series website got hacked, so until it's back up, try here or here or here or here for more information.  Oh, and here.

ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
'Tis the Season for all the 2011 Award Nominations - and we* are just thrilled to find ourselves up for these, for our revival of the classic Bordertown series - for a new audience.  If you could possibly spare a few moments, your vote could count a lot:

• Teenreads.com, in association with the Children’s Book Council (CBC) and Every Child a Reader (ECAR) has announced their 2012 Teen Choice Book of the Year Nominees – and we’re nominated! Voting closes on February 15. The 5 titles that receive the most votes will serve as finalists for the CBC’s 2012 Teen Choice Book of the Year. So please head over here and vote your faves - we hope Welcome to Bordertown will be one of them!

Welcome to Bordertown made the Locus Online Recommended Reading List under Best Anthology!  Which should be enough for anyone - but it also puts us on the docket for the Locus Awards Ballot.  You don't need to be a Locus subscriber to vote: 

The fine thing about all this is that the ballots are broad - you have a chance to see and vote for lots of other nominees in many other categories (coughcough like Delia Sherman's The Freedom Maze in Locus' Best Young Adult Books)  - and to get recommendations for fabulous stuff you may even not have read!

*That would be my co-editor, Holly Black ( [livejournal.com profile] blackholly ), B'town series creator (and my co-author on the title story) Terri Windling, and the whole collection of Authors for Welcome to Bordertown!  Plus our husbands, wives, and dogs. And cats. The cats are thrilled, too; they're just better at hiding it.
ellenkushner: (gargoyle close)
So there you are: Staring at your Nebula (or Hugo or WFC) Nomination Ballot, and wondering, "What the hell is a novelette, anyway? And have I read any this year?  And, most importantly:  Have my friends written any that I should be nominating if I only knew their exact word length?"

I understand.  We've all been there.

And I am here to help.

On the Nebula Ballot, a novelette is defined as "a story of at least 7,500 words but less than 17,500 words." Such as, for instance (and I speak here only of stories that happened to have been published in 2011, making them eligible for a Nebula Nomination which can only be done by an Active member of SFWA and must be submitted before Feb. 15th),

* "The Duke of Riverside" by Ellen Kushner  (8,000 hard-won words, and my editor nearly killed me 'cause she wanted it SHORT!)

Or what about those troubling novellas?  Again, the Neb Ballot (which has recently imposed the draconian rule that "Works may not be nominated by their authors, editors, publishers, or agents") comes to the rescue with: "A story of at least 17,500 words but less than 40,000 words."  Such as, for example:

* "Welcome to Bordertown" by Terri Windling & Ellen Kushner (23,000 words - but, hey, there were two of us!)

Get the idea?  

It's a win/win situation. You nominate me and my friends, and we never tell anyone that you couldn't remember what the hell a novelette was.


Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation: For dramatic works such as motion pictures, television, Internet, radio, audio, and stage productions (Also on Nebula Ballot)

Why run with the herd, nominating all those films & TV shows that everyone else has seen, too?  Why not nominate something different this year - like a musical-feminist-shtetl-klezmer-magicrealist audio drama (starring Tovah Feldshuh, Simon Jones & Neil Gaiman)?  I speak, of course, of
The Witches of Lublin.  
SFWA members can get a link to hear the whole show, and to see other nominated dramatic work, here.

(And everyone else:  You can get the special extended 2-hour Witches download here on Audible.com)

ETA:  So don't be shy, folks!  Be sure to ask for the word count when asking friends and colleagues what they published in 2011!

We'll all be glad you did.


ellenkushner: (EK:  Twelfth Night)
No, really:  2 podcasts have just popped up for your weekend driving/listening/housepainting/room-cleaning/carrot-chopping pleasure:

 PodCastle:  32 minutes, includes Holly Black, Amal El-Mohtar, Tim Pratt, and the most spectacular cackle of mirth from Anna at the end (with Dave being the Perfect Gentleman)


SFSignal (long & fun - for me, anyway!) conversation with Patrick Hester.

I never have the nerve to listen to these things right off - so please let me know how they went?

PS  I really do need a radio icon, don't I?
ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
So much going on I can't even keep up with it!  Fortunately, there's the new Bordertown Blog, where Terri & I are doing our best to post every review, interview, memoir, pensée & article as fast as they go up - so just head over here and start scrolling.....

Tomorrow, in NYC, is as close as we're coming to a Launch Party: it's at Books of Wonder at 6:00 pm, and will feature 4 authors, both co-editors ([livejournal.com profile] blackholly  & me), Guest Musician Joe Kessler (formerly of Boiled in Lead, and also my man on all those Thomas the Rhymer performances and my Esther: the Feast of Masks show - I love you, Joe!), the Bordertown mockumentary Video (along with some of the NYC high school kids who were in it!) . . . and lots and lots of ice & cold drinks, because it's going to be 95 fking degrees here!

If you can't come to NYC - or it's just too darned hot - you can pre-order signed books from Books of Wonder.

I did think you'd want to know that I did a lengthy podcast interview on The Geeks's Guide to the Galaxy, covering "the origins of Bordertown, poetry and music, fan participation, collaboration, writing LGBT characters, changes in the fantasy field, audio projects, funding public radio, and The Interstitial Arts Foundation...." (told you it was lengthy) - great fun chatting with hosts John Joseph Adams & David Barr Kirtley!*

And Alaya Dawn Johnson's gorgeous Welcome to Bordertown story, "A Prince of Thirteen Days," is now up for all to read on Fantasy Magazine.

And Holly & Terri's Introductions to the anthology are posted on Suvudu.com, with an introduction by me to their introductions ('cause that's how we do it around here!  Not to be confused with my Missing Introduction, which was on Scalzi's "Big Idea").

And if you could drop by the blog and throw in an actual Comment or two?  Because Terri, [livejournal.com profile] innaj  (who ran the amazing fantastic Sweepstakes!) & I are getting kind of demoralized doing nothing but marking Spam on everything that's come in this week....

*I haven't listened yet.  I don't dare.  You listen, and tell me they edited out all the stupid bits...!
ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
They didn’t make me write an introduction to Welcome to Bordertown. My co-editor, Holly Black, wrote one, and Terri Windling, who invented Bordertown and edited 7 books about it, wrote the other (after we’d told her, “Terri, we’ll take care of everything, don’t worry! Well, maybe you can just write a short introduction . . . And by the way, could you check all the stories to make sure the street names are right? And what are the rules about getting to Bordertown, again? And we know you’re busy but . . . . ”). The idea was that Original Series Creator would talk about how it all started, and Next Generation Hot Young Writer would explain how Original Series had changed her life. Which left me happily sitting back and writing jacket copy.

But maybe I do owe some sort of introduction to the new volume. I was, after all, in every one of Terri’s Bordertown anthologies from 1986 – 1998. And I was the one who cornered Holly in a bar at the ALA in 2007 and said, “Wanna start the series up again, if I can get Terri to agree?”

So here it is:

My introduction to Welcome to Bordertown. 

* * * 
You don't have to haver read the previous books to enjoy the new one, I promise!  But if you want, 3 of the original stories are up on the BordertownSeries.com website here.

And don't forget to enter our Sweepstakes to win one of  3 amazingly magical Gift Boxes.  You've got til 11:59:59 p.m. this Tuesday, May 31st, to let the world know that Bordertown Lives!
ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)

All the kids (except 1) are real NYC highschool students who auditioned & worked hard for the experience (and some snacks). Amazing kids!  Please share the joy.

It's also the last day for WtB author Christopher Barzak's "Getting to Bordertown" Contest to win a [info]chimera_fancies  pendant!  

More news on the new Bordertown Blog.

ellenkushner: (Bordertown)
 a busker with annoying patter started singing Bob Marley's No Woman No Cry. And I got all choked up, thinking of Bordertown.  I mean:

I remember when we used to sit
In the government yard in Trenchtown...
Good friends we have had, oh good friends we've lost along the way
In this bright future you can't forget your past
So dry your tears I say...

Said, said, said I remember when we used to sit
In the government yard in Trenchtown
And then Georgie would make the fire light....
Then we would cook corn meal porridge
Of which I'll share with you
My feet is my only carriage
So I've got to push on through...

How can I not?  But then, nearly everything makes me think of Bordertown these days. 

I'm overdue on several written interview questions (have I mentioned how very much I hate written interviews?) from lovely journalists/bloggers about what it feels like to be returning to Bordertown with the new anthology.  Maybe I could just send them the song?
ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
 Arrived in Paris at 8 am local time, 2 am NYC time (which is often when I go to bed - so you can imagine how much we didn't sleep on the plane - but paid extra on Air France for Premium Voyageur, and boy was it worth it!! 1 step down from Business at a fraction the cost - 10 steps up from Steerage! We love Air France).  Staggered onto RER to Gare du Nord & down endless corridor to Metro & finally found our friend's houseI meanapartement where she had croissants and raspberry jam waiting.  Devoured that, went to bed, got up & did what we usually do in the mornings as we come to:  e-mail & internet.  Only it's 6pm here, now - and soon Anne will return to walk us around the neighborhood, to make sure we know which is the good boulangerie (not, apparently, the one 2 doors down that I can see from the window) and take us to dinner.

Delia is sitting at the table with her laptop (WiFi is great here!) researching yarn stores in Paris. There are quite a few.  The hedgies have enjoyed some chocolate croissants. 

And I am here to tell you about the Bordertown Lives! Sweepstakes!

Trust me, you'll be glad I did.  And please help spread the word.
ellenkushner: (gargoyle close)
Ursula LeGuin on China Mieville's Embassytown (in The Guardian - UK):
 "There are men right now who have never learned how to talk to women. How will we talk to somebody really different – aliens?"

The Atlantic Monthly's PROJECT:  FIRST DRAFTS offers some pretty great artists' takes on "the sometimes messy, frequently maddening, and almost always mysterious process of creating something new" - including Paul Simon, T.C. Boyle, Chuck Close, Tim Burton, Ben Katchor & more!

Hey!  Wow!  NYTimes & New Milford Patch report that the deportation of Venezualan guy legally married in Connecticut to U.S. guy is being suspended, while an appeals court "work[s] out whether a gay partner might be eligible under some circumstances for residency. . . . ''Something is shifting and opening, and change is on the horizon,'" says the executive director of Immigration Equality, a legal group that advocates for gay immigrants.

Tara O'Shea, who made the wonderful Bordertown wallpaper/icons, blogs about her road to the Border.
ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
Remember: [livejournal.com profile] blackholly  's contest to win the last Advance Reading Copy  of WtB ends this Sunday! 

 Bordertown wallpaper and Icons now available on our new site:  BordertownSeries.com!  Thanks to Tara O'Shea for the fabulous designs . . . more to come!

Didn't win an ARC?  Not to worry:  The second story in the anthology, Cory Doctorow's brilliant, moving, breathtaking (OK, I'm his editor, not his mom, but I can't help it! I love this story!) "Shannon's Law" is now up on Tor.com - or you can download the podcast (read by Mur Lafferty) from Escape Pod!

We hope you love it all as much as we do.  Which is a LOT.

ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
 On Friday, producer Dylan Steinberg and I  auditioned a bunch of NYC high school kids (from my friend Linda Ames Key's various school programs, an outgrowth of Vital Theater, where she also directed my Klezmer Nutcracker play) - one of the best afternoons I've ever spent - the passion and spirit of these kids, just amazing . . . Anyway, the best of them are going to be playing runaways to Bordertown this afternoon, for our 2-minute mashup mockumentary/booktrailer.

So I'm packing up right now to head out to the shoot - stopping only long enough to pick up a box of miscellaneous books from Random House, which our editor has kindly collected to give to them (and their "Under-served" school Libraries) . . . arms will be full, as I'm also bringing stuff to Dress the Set.  Dylan's not a fantasy reader, so he doesn't really know what a kid who dreams of elves and adventure would have in her/his bedroom here at home these days.  Since I'll be on the subway, I'm only bringing light, unbreakable stuff - but one little Green Man plaque is a must!  And the silver unicorn ornament Caroline Stevermer gave me from the British Library (?) long ago . . . and a quill pen, of course.  And a copy of [livejournal.com profile] blackholly  's Valiant.

Anything else?
ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
Three Bordertown ARC contests end today - so do your best, and good luck!

ETA:  New contest from [livejournal.com profile] blackholly  ends May 8th!

On Friday, we auditioned NYC high school kids for the upcoming online video - more on that soon . . . . 

And there are several broadcasts of The Witches of Lublin today:  Kalamazoo, Norfolk, and Santa Barbara . . . you can listen to any of them online via the stations' own websites; check here for stations & times - lots more still to come, so see if your local is one of them! 

ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
3 4 of the Welcome to Bordertown authors are giving away Advance Reading Copies of the book a month before pub date:

Emma Bull invites you to tell us "how you would find your way to Bordertown, if you decided to run away, too."  Her contest ends on Thursday, April 21 at noon Arizona time (which is GMT -7).

Charles de Lint has a question for you, with a drawing ending April 24th.

Series Creator Terri Windling (who also co-wrote the first story in the new book with me - which C.S.E. Cooney seems to like a lot) invites you to sign our new Guest Book by midnight, April 24th, with a drawing to follow the next day.  And while you're there, enjoy the memories posted so far - we certainly do!

ETA:  Please join the new Welcome to Bordertown Facebook page.

ETATA:  Nalo Hopkinson challenges you to a fantasy cooking contest:  design the menu for a state visit from Faerie the Realm. Contest ends April 24th.

ETATATA:  Keep checking back for updates on Contests
here on the Bordertown website.
ellenkushner: (WelcBORDERTOWN)
Last week brought not one but two heart-stoppingly wonderful reviews of Welcome to Bordertown.

First of all, in her Bookslut column, Colleen Mondor called the new anthology:

Still the best mash-up of music, faery and coming-of-age drama. [....] Long live Bordertown, and thanks to all who brought us back there again.

Colleen and Bordertown go back a long way - don't miss her personal essay Bordertown and Me (aka Discovering Bordertown),  on her blog Chasing Ray!  It means a lot to us to know that the old fans love the new book - as you can imagine, we've had some sleepless nights worrying that the magic might have gone away for some . . . but so far, no one's been disappointed.  We're collecting all the reviews here on the new website.

Later that week - was it only a few days ago? - came news of a starred review from Kirkus!  (I've been trying to explain to my non-publishing friends what a huge deal this is.  Can anyone think of the perfect Real World analogy?)  Love the excerpt:

This is punk-rock, DIY fantasy, full of harsh reality and incandescent magic.

...and you can read the complete review here.  I'm fascinated with how different reviewers love utterly different stories each time.  To me, that means the anthology's really alive.

Meanwhile, sorry to keep torturing you with sneak peeks, when the book's not coming out til May 24th - but  reviews like this give bookstores plenty of time to get their orders in, so that it's right there on the shelf grinning at you when you walk into your local indie shop that morning. (You might want to remind them that you'll be expecting it, though, just in case....)  And if you favor Amazon.com, they're running a big pre-order sale, with a price so low you might want to buy 2 copies - one to read, and one to lend out!  eBooks also an option on this one.

See you on the Border!

October 2014

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