Second Annual NEPCo Awards: Emily Dickinson, Miku, and Zuzu
The Central Square Theater proved an ideal setting for the second annual New England Publishing Collaboration (NEPCo) Awards. This year’s sophomore event featured eight finalists selected by the judges, plus two wild cards voted by popular demand, for a total of nine presentations highlighting collaboration within the context of New England publishing.
The range of presenters and their projects were diverse from Black Key Press, which publishes a collection of work called Best Indie Lit New England offering a way for works published by small, independent presses to be publicized and discovered more widely; to Safari PubFactory, which hosts a digital site for the Loeb Classical Library so that the classics in Greek and Latin can be given new visibility; to Isaak Books, which provides mobility for the Western Kentucky University Bookstore; to Jones & Bartlett Learning, which presented their strategic relationship with ExcelsSoft; to Candlewick Press and FableVision’s collaboration to make “Dot Day” a global phenomenon with worldwide participation by over 4 million people in 121 countries!
The winners also showed a wide range of collaboration. The audience choice, Kudos, had a very engaging presentation demonstrating the way this start-up helps motivate authors to make their research more discoverable. Third place went to the American Meteorological Society and their partnership with Second Nature (a not for profit organization) to enhance sustainability by providing training for faculty to teach students about climate science. Second place was awarded to Aries Systems in collaboration with Copyright Clearance Center to share metadata so that fair use and payment terms for content can be more clearly tracked. And first place went to Harvard University Press in partnership with Houghton Library to host the Emily Dickinson Archive.
While the judges deliberated, Ian Condry, professor and author of The Soul of Anime (Duke University Press) spoke about collaborative creativity in the context of Japanimation and pop culture. He used zombies vs. cyborgs as a metaphor for the fear of the economic future in the context of unprecedented intense connectivity. His argument was made with a wide range of resources, from Thomas Piketty to a clip from the anime series So Long Mr. Despair. But the audience favorite was definitely his explanation of the Vocaloid phenomenon, Miku. Just try searching “Miku Concert” on YouTube.
Dinner at Zuzu followed to round off a very enjoyable evening. If you attended, please feel welcome to share your feedback by filling out a survey here.