David Streitfeld at the New York Times published a fascinating article yesterday detailing a little-known conference that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos hosts every fall. Called "Campfire," it's your standard rich person weekend retreat — but it hosts well-known authors instead of well-known billionaires. Streitfeld reports that previous fêtes have included the likes of Ayelet Waldman, Neil Armstrong, and T Bone Burnett. The invite-only affair is reportedly kept secret largely because Bezos asks authors to keep it that way.
But this year, it looks as though some of regular attendees won't be going, apparently thanks to Amazon's increasingly contentious battle with Hachette. Authors who have publicly supported Hachette in the dispute have mysteriously (or rather, not-so-mysteriously) not been invited back for this year's retreat in Santa Fe. James Patterson told the Times that "I wasn’t invited again, and I wouldn’t have gone if I had been."
You can read more about the Campfire retreat and why some authors are apparently a little afraid of Amazon's influence at the New York Times.