♦ Humorist Joel Stein to Judge New Entries to The Devil’s Dictionary
♦ Readers to add definitions and vie for $2,000 worth of e-books

Earlier this week, the social e-reading platform and website known as Copia announced the Devil’s Dictionary Contest, in which entrants add humorous definitions to the margins of the free Copia edition of the classic book by Ambrose Bierce. According to a release, the contest, which will be judged by Time humorist and bestselling author Joel Stein, marks the first time note-sharing in the margins of a book has been used as the forum for a contest.

The contest has been officially underway for a little over four days now. Continuing through Novemebr 28, language fans can visit Copia’s website and download a free copy of The Devil’s Dictionary, the caustic and comical reference published by journalist Ambrose Bierce, which defines a year as “365 disappointments” and love as “a form of insanity cured by marriage.”

To enter the contest, users must open the book in Copia’s eReader App, enter an original definition using the App’s annotation feature and mark their annotation “public,” so others can see it. Joel Stein will select the five winners, who will receive awards of $2000, $500, $100 and $50 worth of books and textbooks from Copia.

“This contest is meant to explore the power of note-sharing,” said Seth Kaufman, Copia’s vice president merchandising. “By adding new definitions in the electronic margins of the book, a truly great American book is getting an update via crowd-sourcing. At the end, we hope this builds a new edition, and introduces Copia’s note-sharing to readers who want to interact with the text of a book.”

Incidentally, The Devil’s Dictionary was first published as a collection in 1906 under the title, The Cynic’s Word Book. It was culled from a weekly column of comical definitions that Ambrose Bierce wrote under the heading “The Devil’s Dictionary.”

And finally, Joel Stein shared a tip for contest entrants:

“If Ambrose Bierce were still alive today, he’d be angry that someone more talented wasn’t judging this contest. But that’s what you get for being dead. I’m looking for entries that are not only smart but true, such as ‘Judging, n – An act only done for free by desperate authors to sell their own books.'”

For complete contest details, click here.

[Source: Press release]


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