Round 8 of Three-Minute Fiction is open. Author Luis Alberto Urrea, the new judge, is on board and ready to read. The challenge this round: The story must begin with the sentence, "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally decided to walk through the door." As always, the story must be 600 words or fewer. To submit a story, go to npr.org/threeminutefiction.
Julius Rosenwald and Booker T. Washington came from vastly different backgrounds.
Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck and Co., was one of the richest men in America; Washington rose out of slavery to become a civil rights leader. But their meeting led eventually to the construction of thousands of schools for black children in the segregated South.
Stephanie Deutsch tells the story of their friendship in her new book You Need a Schoolhouse: Booker T. Washington, Julius Rosenwald, and the Building of Schools for the Segregated South.
This week, more than 2,000 bands will perform live as part of the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas — and each will hope to stand out somehow. It's one thing to play SXSW, but another to generate excitement.
Zieti's members and extended family in the band's early days. Left to right: Tiende Laurent, Gnakale Aristide, Michael Shereikis (in back) with wife Natasha and son Nicholas, Yeoue Narcisse and Alex Owre.
The musical group Zieti started when two American expats met two Ivorian musicians living in a seaside shantytown. They became fast friends, rehearsing on the beach and even recording a few tracks together. The tracks then went missing when Ivory Coast fell into a brutal civil war, scattering Zieti's core to the four winds. Then, after a decade apart, the players reconnected and set about re-recording their lost songs.
It's WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Guy Raz.
It's already Sunday in Japan. And people across that country will begin to commemorate the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that struck one year ago. In a moment, we're going to hear about a group of volunteers who have been working with survivors, helping them get back on their feet.
But first to our correspondent Anthony Kuhn who's in Japan. And, Anthony, tell us, first of all, where you are and how it compares to what you saw a year ago.
As Japan continues to rebuild after last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami, many Japanese are devoting themselves to dealing with the human costs of the tragedy. Almost 20,000 people died in the disaster, but many thousands more were left injured, homeless and destitute. Doualy Xaykaothao met a group of Japanese people trying to make a difference.
Now to a story that's gripped a small town in Upstate, New York for the past five months. It's about 18 high school girls in the working-class town of Le Roy. It's just outside of Rochester. Reporter Susan Dominus wrote about it in this week's issue of the New York Times magazine, and she says it all started back in October when a high school cheerleader named Katie Krautwurst woke up from a nap.
A close-up of a dragon robe, or long pao, dated late 18th- or early 19th-century China. It's one of many on display in the exhibit "Dragons, Nagas, and Creatures of the Deep" at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C.
Credit Alex Wong / Getty Images
Participants perform a dragon dance during the annual Chinese New Year parade in 2007 in the Chinatown section of Washington, D.C.
Credit Bethesda Softworks
In the popular video game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the player fights ancient dragons and can learn their secrets in order to harness their powers.
A thousand years old, the dragon Kilgharrah (voiced by veteran actor John Hurt) is both a boon and a bane to Camelot in the BBC series Merlin, which airs in the U.S. on SyFy.
As the supernatural enjoys a pop culture resurgence — from vampires to fairy tales — there's also been a firestorm of fascination with dragons. Fire-breathing dragons are central to the much-anticipated second season of the HBO series Game of Thrones, which opens April 1. And this year alone the mystical creatures are being featured in two movies, a new book, video games and a museum exhibit.
Ready for some creative competition? Weekends on All Things Considered is launching Round 8 of its Three-Minute Fiction contest. Here's what we look for: original, short fiction that can be read in less than three minutes — that's no more than 600 words.