2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize Shortlist, Scholarships for BIPOC at Denver Publishing Institute, 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.

Aspen Words has announced the shortlist for this year’s Aspen Words Literary Prize, which honors fiction that “illuminates vital contemporary issues.” The five finalists are The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich, Against the Loveless World by Susan Abulhawa, The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans, Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam, and If I Had Two Wings by Randall Kenan. The winner of the $35,000 prize will be revealed in a virtual event on April 21. (NPR)

Park & Fine Literary and Media is sponsoring six full-tuition scholarships for BIPOC students seeking to attend this year’s Denver Publishing Institute. Recipients will also have access to mentorship from the agency after completing the program. (Publishers Weekly)

In personnel news, Daniel Halpern, who recently departed Ecco, has been hired as an executive editor at Knopf. Meanwhile, Cristina Rodriguez is due to join A Public Space as its marketing and sales director. (Shelf Awareness)

With support from Penguin Random House, We Need Diverse Books has launched the Black Creatives Fund. This year, the organizers of the fund are planning to facilitate a six-month workshop on the revision process, a mentorship program, and marketing symposia. (Publishers Weekly)

“Black women like me, who are knowledgeable about their bodies and strive to be proactive in their healthcare, are demonized by the very individuals charged with nursing us back to health.” Poet Destiny O. Birdsong writes on systemic racism in healthcare. (Catapult)

“Animals haven’t just been enjoying a good run in memes; they’ve also been all over translated literature lately.” Heather Cleary recommends literary translations that feature animals. (Book Marks)

Google is celebrating poet Audre Lorde’s birthday with a Google Doodle illustrated by Monica Ahanonu.

Alison Oliver, Sasha Lane, Joe Alwyn, and Jemima Kirke will play the lead roles in the BBC Three and Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends. (Entertainment Weekly)