2020 Kirkus Prizes, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Considers Selling Trade Division, 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 winners of the 2020 Kirkus Prizes were announced in a virtual ceremony yesterday evening. Raven Leilani took home the fiction prize for Luster, Mychal Denzel Smith won the nonfiction prize for Stakes Is High: Life After the American Dream, and author Derrick Barnes and illustrator Gordon C. James accepted the young readers’ literature prize for I Am Every Good Thing. Each award includes $50,000. 

Restructuring as a “pure-play learning technology company,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is considering the sale of its trade division, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media. Trade group president Ellen Archer has stepped down, while Ed Spade has been appointed interim president. (Publishers Weekly)

“This is America, a country desperately divided, and desperately flawed. The future of this country is uncertain but it is not hopeless. I am ready to fight for that future, no matter what it holds. Are you?” Roxane Gay reflects on the future of the United States. (New York Times)

The National Book Foundation has selected author Jason Reynolds to serve as the master of ceremonies for the seventy-first annual National Book Awards, which will be held online on November 18. (Publishers Weekly)

Khalisa Rae reports on the recent success and expansion of Black-centered book clubs, including Well-Read Black Girl and Noname Book Club. (NBC News)

Lambda Literary Review highlights LGBTQ books releasing this month, including fiction, nonfiction, young people’s literature, and academic texts. 

J.R. Ramakrishnan conducts short interviews with seven literary translators. (Electric Literature)

In the U.K. and Ireland, the Bookseller has named twenty-nine booksellers to its inaugural Bookshop Heroes list