I've got a secret

Here at Franklin, Beedle + William, James we are all in a fit of rush preparing for the Wordstock Festival this weekend. Yes, we will be there as always, standing by in our booth ready to meet and greet all comers, and--perhaps--strumming a little on the ukes.

I have fond memories of the first two Wordstocks. The first year we presented visitors to our booth with the Common Errors in English Usage quiz, complete with no prizes, and entered names for a giveaway of the now-famous Common Errors Calendar. We played our rendition of "King of the Road" on ukulele, while discerning passersby noticed we did not modulate for the final verse and chorus (one of Roger Miller's favorite devices for creating the effect of having composed a bridge). At the second Wordstock Festival, we premiered Far from the Madding Gerund, the great collection of Language Log posts by Mark Liberman and Geoffrey Pullum, announced by Geoff himself over at Language Log.

This year, among the many things "Wordstock Is . . ." is a Short Fiction competition. The finalists have been posted on the Wordstock site, and the book, The Wordstock Ten, is available at bookstores all around Portland. A big, gigantic congratulations to the finalists:
Jacob Aiello
K. (Kevin) Fann
Samantha Hudson
Matthew Korfhage
Margaret Malone
Tina M. Ontiveros
Pamela Rentz
Joshua Michael Riedel
Rachel Sims
Jennifer Springsteen
I had the pleasure of working on this collection and with all of these authors as we picked away at the pieces to weed out lingering typos or other last-minute changes, so I don't know if you want to take my word for it. My word, for those still reading, is that I'm very impressed with each of these entries. I will be writing some personal takes on each of these stories in the days to come. Watch this space.

The top prize winners will be announced at the festival this Saturday. There is one way to find out who they are even today, but you must be very attentive and know where to look. And that's as far as my secret goes.

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