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Three high school students who knew just how to complete the works of three bestselling authors have won Doubleday & Company Inc.'s first national writing competition.

Brian Hartz of Eastwood High School in El Paso, Tex., Carl Micarelli of Winter Park High School in Winter Park, Fla., and Donna Shafer of Stonewall Jackson High School in Mt. Jackson, Va., completed preselected short stories written by Stephen King, Isaac Asimov, and Belva Plain, according to Nancy Martin, Doubleday's publicity assistant.

Based on a Dolphin/Doubleday book entitled The Do-It-Yourself Bestseller by Tom Silberkleit and Jerry Biederman, the competition asked students to "fill in the middle" of one of the short stories, all of which are included in the paperback book, which was published last year and sells for $8.95, according to Ms. Martin.

The competition, advertised through fliers sent to 20,000 high schools across the country and advertisements in selected journals, ran from September 1982 to February 1983. Mr. King, Mr. Asimov, and Ms. Plain served as final judges in the competition.

The students win an all-expense paid trip this summer to New York City where they will spend five days "exploring the publishing industry at Doubleday" and will be treated to a night on the town featuring dinner and a Broadway show.

Because most student magazines are written for the average student, Sherry Friedlander and T. Constance Coyne created Prism.

Written by and for gifted students aged 11-18, the first issue of the magazine was mailed to 105 public and private schools in 48 states earlier this summer.

"The goal of our magazine is ... to begin to develop a network of these children nationwide so they can communicate with each other," said Ms. Coyne, editor of the magazine.

"This is their magazine, and we take them seriously. This is not a pat on the head for them. We want them to take an interest in this and make it theirs."

In addition, Ms. Coyne says she hopes the magazine will raise the public's awareness and prove that "the gifted are not intimidating people."

Eighty percent of the articles will be written by students "sharing their experience in giftedness," said Ms. Coyne.

The balance will be written by gifted adults.

Each issue will have a central theme, according to Ms. Coyne, who was a gifted student. Two issues in the planning stages will focus on success and human nature.

The magazine runs approximately 48-64 pages.

Prism will be published six times a year and is funded by C/F Communications, an advertising-public-relations company run by Ms. Coyne and Ms. Friedlander. A subscription is $15.95 annually.

To get a free copy of Prism, find out how to contribute to the new magazine, or obtain subscription information, write to Ms. Coyne at 900 East Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33301.

Book sales last year reached almost $8 billion, according to the Association of American Publishers. The actual figure--$7,999,730,000--represents an increase of 4.4 percent, or $334.6 million, over book sales in 1981.

Rack-sized mass-market paperbacks represented the highest increase (up 11.9 percent to $823.1 million), followed by standardized texts (up 11.4 percent to $69.7 million), elementary and secondary textbooks (up 8.3 percent to $1.1 billion), and religious books (up 8.3 percent to $390 million).

Other increases include: professional books (up 7.9 percent to $1.2 billion), university press publications (up 7.5 percent to $92.4 million), and college textbooks (up 6.3 percent to $1.1 billion).

Estimated sales in other categories include: $180.3 million for juvenile hardbound books, $51.5 million for juvenile paperbound books, $590 million for book clubs, and $604.6 million for mail order publications, according to the aap

John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men was removed near the end of the school year from the curriculum of a Jackson County, Ala., public high school after parents protested the book's profanity.

Wade Gentle, principal of Skyline High School in Scottsboro, received a petition containing more than 700 signatures requesting that the book be removed from the class studying the novel.

Mr. Gentle said parental protest to the book had never reached the proportion it did this year, and added that he believed it is his responsibility to follow the parents' request, according to reports in The Washington Post.

When reached for comment, Mr. Gentle said he would rather not discuss the issue of the book's removal.

The White House may have new china, but it also has new books--about 250 of the "most significant titles published during the last four years," according to the American Booksellers Association.

The books, donated by their publishers and gathered and presented by the aba, will become part of the White House Family Library.

Books are donated to the White House library every four years. The tradition began in 1929 when President Hoover told friends there were no books on the bookshelves of his new home on Pennsylvania Avenue.

According to the tale, Mr. Hoover's friends passed this information on to the aba, and they formed a committee to compile a library of 500 volumes for the new president.

Books characteristically cover such topics as American history, literature, and culture.

Depending on the occupant, the books may reflect a particular interest. The Eisenhower Administration received books on golf; the Carters added children's books, according to the aba

Five years ago, few people knew the difference between a floppy disk and a data base and the publishing industry was concerned with "conglomeratization," according to Brooks Thomas, president and chief executive officer of Harper & Row Publishers Inc., and recently elected chairman of the Association of American Publishers.

Speaking at the aap's annual meeting in the spring, Mr. Thomas called for the "most painless, expeditious, and thorough way" to conduct an audit of the association's priorities and goals in the next few months. He also recommended that the aap make a stronger commitment to continuity of policy and action.--ab

Vol. 02, Issue 40

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