Akil Kumarasamy Wins Bard Fiction Prize, Nalo Hopkinson Named Damon Knight Grand Master, 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.

Bard College has announced Akil Kumarasamy, the author of Half Gods, as the recipient of this year’s Bard Fiction Prize. The award includes a $30,000 prize and a one-semester appointment as writer-in-residence.

Nalo Hopkinson will receive the thirty-seventh annual Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Honoring “lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy,” the prize will be presented at the Nebula Conference and Awards Ceremony in June next year. 

A new nonprofit group, Project Northmoor, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to purchase and restore J. R. R. Tolkien’s former home in Oxford, England. The organizers ultimately hope to open the property as a literary center. (New York Times)

In more U.K. book news, Waterstones has selected Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell as its 2020 Book of the Year. “For our booksellers, Hamnet is the clear standout title: a work of immense style and emotional heft which will surely go on to be a future classic,” said fiction buyer Bea Carvalho. 

Publishers Weekly checks in with industry leaders for reactions to ReedPop’s plan to shutter BookExpo, BookCon, and UnBound

“The through-line coursing through this year is the sad familiarity of loss.” Mira Assaf Kafantaris reflects on a tumultuous year and the books she read along the way. (Millions)

Emily Temple of Literary Hub surveyed twenty-nine book cover designers in order to determine the best covers of the year

Kamala Puligandla, the author of Zigzags, recommends seven books that explore complex group dynamics and friendships. (Electric Literature)