A Horror-Writing Bot, Literary Halloween, and More


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:

In time for Halloween, researchers at MIT have created Shelley, “the world’s first collaborative AI horror writer.” Drawing from an online forum of amateur horror writers, Shelley generates first lines of horror stories every hour on a Twitter account. Other Twitter users are encouraged to retweet and add new lines to the story, and Shelley will sometimes tweet back another line. (Fortune)

Speaking of Halloween: Book Riot rounds up literary Halloween costumes inspired by books like The Handmaid’s Tale and Amelia Bedelia. Literary Hub shares an excerpt of Literary Witches, an illustrated book of witchy writers, and Entertainment Weekly recommends haunted house books

After more than two hundred artists, writers, and curators signed an open letter accusing him of sexual harassment, Knight Landesman, the longtime publisher of Artforum—the sister publication to Bookforum—has stepped down. Artforum’s editor, Michelle Kuo, also resigned.

Tracy Behar has been named the publisher and editor in chief of a new imprint at Little, Brown focused on health, lifestyle, psychology, and science. The imprint will launch in Fall 2018. (Publishers Weekly)

Poet Fay Chiang has died at age sixty-five. Chiang was a dedicated activist for the arts, education, and Asian American culture, and worked at various nonprofits throughout her career, including Poets & Writers. She died on October 20 of complications from cancer. (New York Times)

After $125 million and four years of construction, the Austin Central Library opened to the public this weekend. The library includes features such as reading porches, a laptop rental vending machine, and a thirty-seven-foot pendulum clock. (Austin American–Statesman)

The Atlantic talks with Colin Nissan, the writer of the Internet-famous humor piece “It’s Decorative Gourd Season Motherfuckers” published in 2009 by McSweeney’s, about the origins of the piece and whether fall is as great as it’s cracked up to be.

Jacqueline Woodson has signed a two-book deal with Riverhead Books for a new novel and work of nonfiction. Woodson won the 2014 National Book Award in Young People’s Literature for her memoir, Brown Girl Dreaming, and was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award in fiction for most recent novel, Another Brooklyn. (Entertainment Weekly