Algorithm Selects Book to Publish, Bookslut’s Final Issue, 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:

“I find that whether I’m writing fiction or memoirish essay…the key to any kind of literary writing is being able to tap the body’s memory: to enter the writing through the senses, and through the body.” At Electric Literature, author and filmmaker Ruth Ozeki discusses her new book-length essay, The Face: A Time Code, a meditation and “exercise in the defamiliarization of our most known and intimate parts—the human face.”

Over at the Slate Book Review, Pamela Erans—whose latest novel, Eleven Hours, takes place entirely during labor and delivery—wonders why detailed scenes of childbirth are often avoided in contemporary literary fiction.

Pioneering online literary magazine Bookslut’s final issue is now available. Vulture features an interview with Bookslut’s founder, Jessa Crispin, in which she discusses the decision to shutter the publication on the site’s fourteenth anniversary.

Publishing platform Inkitt, which allows users to read books on its site before they are published, has partnered with Tor Books to release the first book chosen for publication by a computer algorithm. Inkitt’s algorithm used predictive data that analyzed users’ reading patterns, and identified Erin Swan’s young adult novel Bright Star as the “next best-seller.” The novel is set for publication in summer 2017. (Bustle)

Shelfie, an app that offers readers discounts on the digital versions of their print books, is beginning a promotional partnership with Harvard Book Store in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on four print titles. This is the Canadian startup’s first promotion in a U.S. bookstore.

Some publishers have taken big—multi-million-dollar big—chances on literary debuts, such as Emma Cline’s novel, The Girls, and Stephanie Danler’s novel, Sweetbitter. (Entertainment Weekly)

Oprah Winfrey has been cast in a forthcoming HBO film adaptation of Rebecca Skloot’s best-selling nonfiction book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2010). While no release date has been set, filming will begin this summer. (GalleyCat)