2020 Booker Prize Shortlist, Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards, and More

by Staff

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

The shortlist for the 2020 Booker Prize was announced this morning and includes four debut novels: Real Life by Brandon Taylor, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, Burnt Sugar by Avni Doshi, and The New Wilderness by Diane Cook. The remaining two finalists are The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste and This Mournable Body by Tsitsi Dangarembga. The winner of the £50,000 award will be announced on November 17 in a virtual broadcast. (Guardian)

The Rona Jaffe Foundation has announced the six recipients of its 2020 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards: Hannah Bae, Mari Christmas, Yalitza Ferreras, Elisa Gonzalez, Charleen McClure, and Temim Fruchter. The annual $30,000 prizes honor women writers who “demonstrate excellence and promise in the early stages of their careers.” 

Publishers Weekly reports on how booksellers in Washington, Oregon, and California have been affected by the ongoing wildfire crisis. 

LaToya Rose has joined Macmillan as its first vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion. (Publishers Weekly)  

Karen Russell and Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum discuss what fiction can offer during times of crisis. “This might be a writer’s way of finding hope—to say, we can turn this nightmare into a lucid dream. We can co-author—and alter—our future,” Russell says. (Literary Hub)

“I wanted to succeed at a game I didn’t devise but whose rules I was able to read and internalize.” Ahead of the release of his third novel, Leave the World Behind, Rumaan Alam talks to Vulture about the ups and downs of his creative career

“I’m just writing stories about odd Black protagonists trying to live their lives.” Walter Mosely on giving a voice to everyday heroes in his latest story collection, The Awkward Black Man. (Electric Literature)

“There is a dearth of attention to the rich Black cultural production that emerges out of the Midwest.” Editor Terrion Williamson reflects on the impetus for Black in the Middle: An Anthology of the Black Midwest. (Chicago Review of Books