Geoff Dyer's preferred work chair.

The PEN American Center has announced its shortlist for its 2013 literary awards. This year, the Center will award nearly $150,000 to writers, editors and translators through sixteen different awards and fellowships. A partial list of the finalists: Wiley Cash, Sergio de la Pava, Jac Jemc, Lucila Perillo, and Claire Vaye Watkins made the shortlist for the best debut novel award; Katherine Boo, Donovan Hohn, Victoria Sweet, and Anne Applebaum are up for the nonfiction book prize; and Robert Hass, Jill Lepore, and Daniel Mendelsohn are competing for the award for best essay collection.

Angered by Orson Scott Card’s outspoken opposition to homosexuality, a group called GeeksOUT is organizing a boycott of the adaption of Card’s classic sci-fi novel Ender’s Game, which is set to hit theaters this November.

Inspired by Ryan Chapman’s notion that small publishing should take a cue from indie record labels, Flavorwire comes up with the record-label equivalents for indie publishers.

Geoff Dyer shares his exhausting schedule of daytime sitting: “In the day I'm at my desk in one of those Herman Miller Aeron chairs that make one feel like a mid-level executive with back problems. For a while in the afternoon I move to a red leather chair that tilts back like a prototype of the first-ever business-class airplane seat in order to read, i.e. induce a nap. Having recovered from my nap, I put in a further quarter-hearted shift in my Aeron before moving to the living-room sofa for some real sitting: sitting in the sense of almost lying down with all parts of the body evenly supported.”

Vikram Seth has been asked to return a $1.7 million advance after blowing a deadline. Seth was supposed to turn in A Suitable Girl, the sequel to his 1993 bestseller A Suitable Boy, last June, but the manuscript never materialized. Both Seth and his publisher have refused to comment on the situation, but Seth’s agent told the Mumbai Mirror that negotiations are ongoing: “Vikram has been known to take his time with his books. Our aim is to settle this new date with Hamish [Hamilton].”

At the Columbia Journalism Review, Francesca Borri talks about what it’s like to be a female freelance journalist in Syria.

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