Advice for Black Writers Seeking an Industry Foothold, Alexis Nowicki Finds Details From Her Life in “Cat Person,” 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.

“I truly believe that any kind of writing that you do—no matter how seemingly unrelated—will be useful for any other writing you might do in the future.” Zakiya Dalila Harris shares strategies to help Black writers and aspiring publishing professionals find a foothold in the industry. (

An interview with Harris appeared in the First Fiction feature in the latest issue of Poets & Writers Magazine. An excerpt from her debut novel, The Other Black Girl, is available online

“Could it be a wild coincidence? Or did Roupenian, a person I’d never met, somehow know about me?” Alexis Nowicki writes about noticing uncanny similarities between her life and the protagonist’s in Kristen Roupenian’s viral New Yorker short story, “Cat Person.” She later discovers Roupenian had indeed lifted details from her. (Slate)

“In order to write about newsletters, I binged. I went about subscribing in a way no sentient reader was likely to do—omnivorously, promiscuously, heedless of redundancy, completely open to hate-reading.” Molly Fischer surveys the world of e-mail newsletters. (Cut)

Circle of Confusion Television Studios plans to adapt Sara Nović’s forthcoming novel, True Biz, “a coming-of-age story of a Deaf teenage girl,” for the screen. Deaf actress Millicent Simmonds has signed on for the leading role and will also serve as an executive producer. “I am thrilled to be working with such a talented team to bring True Biz to life onscreen,” said Nović. “The opportunity to share authentic Deaf stories with viewers has been a long-held dream.” (Deadline)

“Writing on climate and extinction is a difficult realism of a clearly existential order. To name it as genre is a patronizing act of containment. It suggests that the crises before us are something other than personal, something other than immediate, something other than life or death.” Lydia Millet chafes at the use of the label “climate fiction.” (Los Angeles Times)

“There was page after page of evidence that the federal government played a huge role in shaping the comic book industry during World War II—that comics were more than wildly popular entertainment, they were state-sanctioned propaganda.” Paul S. Hirsch discusses the research behind his new book, Pulp Empire: The Secret History of Comic Book Imperialism. (Chicago Review of Books)

“I think it is an optimistic and hopeful novel, but it took a lot of work to get the balance of dark and light where it needed to be.” Matt Haig reflects on the most difficult part of writing The Midnight Library. (Entertainment Weekly)

As Bookshop approaches the milestone of raising $15 million for independent bookstores, Publishers Weekly checks in with CEO Andy Hunter to learn about his goals for the future of the e-commerce platform.