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Ann Patchett Versus Lev Grossman, Bestseller Secret Formula, and More

Daily News

Online Only, posted 4.18.12

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

Bookstore sales dropped over 4 percent in February. (Shelf Awareness)

More on the Pulitzer Board's decision not to award its prize in fiction: Publishing-industry reporter Julie Bosman details the backlash (New York Times); novelist and bookstore owner Ann Patchett voices her unique view (New York Times); and author and Time book critic Lev Grossman explains why he's okay with it.

Meanwhile, Ann Patchett was among the few literary figures that made the cut of Time's one hundred "most influential people in the world."

And Letters of Note discovered a gleefully contemptuous letter written by A River Runs Through It author Norman Maclean (whose book was rejected by the Pulitzer Board in 1977) to an unfortunate, yet bold, editor at Knopf.

In light of the current economy and the enormous expense of life in New York City, the Awl adjusts for inflation and analyzes what it cost eight famous women writers to arrive in the Big Apple, including Patti Smith, Shirley Jackson, and Zora Neale Hurston.

With a large sign that reads, "POEMS—Your Topic, Your Price," Zach Houston, a poet in San Francisco, is attempting to earn money from poetry by composing (to order) on a typewriter and selling each poem directly to his readers. (NPR)

If selling poems isn't rich enough for you, Sarah Weinman reveals the secret formula for a mega-bestselling novel. (NPR)

Tip: Do not ask Adam Mansbach for a book blurb. (New Yorker)

Reader Comments

City Guide

by Jen Michalski

Author Jen Michalski takes us on a tour of the many literary sites writers should visit while strolling the gritty streets of Baltimore.

Upcoming Events
University of Chicago - Logan Center, Seminar Terrace 801
October 21, 2014 - 6:00pm
The New School's Orozco Room
October 21, 2014 - 6:30pm
The Poetry Foundation
October 21, 2014 - 7:00pm
Creative Nonfiction
City Lights Bookstore
October 21, 2014 - 7:00pm
Poetry/Fiction/Creative Nonfiction
Poet's House
October 21, 2014 - 7:00pm
Conferences & Residencies
West Cork, Ireland
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Charlotte, North Carolina
Writing Contests
University of Evansville
American Library Association
Magazine Articles

by Mira Ptacin

November/December 2014

Despite struggles, libraries are learning to navigate the ever-changing, and often cost-prohibitive, landscape of digital lending.


by Staff

Politics & Prose replaces Barnes & Noble as official National Book Festival bookseller; new Berryman volume and reissues released; Carlos Lozada named nonfiction book critic at the Washington Post; and other news.

Directory of Writers
Creative Nonfiction Writer
Pasadena, CA
Long Beach, CA

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