Thursday, April 21, 2005

Oprah, pretty pleeze?

I don't watch TV, except for the occasional old movie on cable, so I've never been an Oprah fan. But I knew about her book club and thought it was a great idea because it encouraged people to enjoy literature. I was a little disappointed when I learned she had given up promoting contemporary authors, but only now have I begun to realize the impact she's had on the sales and reading of contemporary literature.

Thanks to Beatrice, I discovered a new website this morning and read a letter that was sent to Oprah just yesterday, asking her to start promoting contemporary authors again. I'm sure Oprah has received more than a few letters along those lines, but it's a good bet she hasn't seen anything like this one. From Word of Mouth:

Word of Mouth, an Association of Women Authors, invites you to read the letter below addressed to Oprah Winfrey, which thanks her for championing contemporary writers and respectfully requests that she consider focusing, once again, on contemporary fiction in her Book Club. After our members drafted and signed the letter, we circulated it throughout the American literary community. The response was overwhelming: distinguished contemporary writers from every part of the country enthusiastically greeted our appeal and added their signatures to the letter. The letter was delivered to Oprah Winfrey on April 20, 2005.

The letter is here. Go read it. And if you're a published author, perhaps you'll consider adding your own name to the website as a supporter of the letter. At the risk of diluting the "distinguishedness" of the list, I have just now added mine.

7 comments:

tristan coulter said...

i walked by her studio yesterday. it's about a block away from the super-trendy market I get all my specialty foods from.

Desperate Writer said...

I had a little issue with this when I read it in Publisher's Lunch yesterday. I blogged about it at my site.

Desperate Writer said...

Oh, I should've said, my blog. Sorry, I'm new at this!
desperatewriter.blogspot.com

Brenda Coulter said...

Desperate, I didn't agree with everything in the letter. I do believe they overstated Oprah's influence quite a bit. But I would like to see someone of her stature do what she was doing before.

Nice blog you've got over there. I left you a comment.

Desperate Writer said...

Thanks, Brenda! :)

Angel, librarian and educator said...

I have been reading about this through the news and through various blogs which I find along the way. Like others, I did not agree with all the WOM Letter either. Seems it has drawn quite a bit of attention. I did not blog about it myself, not because the thought did not cross my mind. Seems it has been well covered. However, I have left my comments here and there.

P.S. I did make it over to look at your website as well. Very nice.

Brenda Coulter said...

Why, thank you, Gypsy. You're welcome to camp out at my blog anytime. ;-)