An Affair With F. Scott Fitzgerald, David Carr Memoir Adaptation, 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:

AMC is developing a miniseries adaption of the memoir of late New York Times journalist David Carr. Carr’s memoir, The Night of the Gun, details his life as a reporter and chronicles his struggle with addiction. Bob Odenkirk is set to play Carr, who died in 2015. (Hollywood Reporter)

Wired features an article about serialized book publishing, noting publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s FSG Originals imprint, which plans to release, in “binge-worthy” format, the remaining three titles in Lian Hearn’s fantasy series, The Tale of Shikanoko, over the summer.

Meanwhile, writer, professor, and critic Stephen Burt chronicles the dream-like story of how fantasy writer Catherynne Valente’s crowd-funded Internet novel won a Nebula Award, became a trade best-seller, and led to four traditionally published sequels. (New Yorker)

AuthorEarnings, a website that uses data services to determine Amazon book sales, has released a comprehensive report this week that tallies up how much indie authors, Big Five authors, small/medium press authors, and Amazon-imprint authors are currently making from sales. The survey notes that approximately 4,500 authors earn $25,000 or more from their Amazon sales, with 40 percent earning at least half of their income from self-publishing, while 35 percent are Big Five authors who receive the majority of their income from traditionally published titles. At Electric Literature, Lincoln Michel responds to the report, writing that AuthorEarnings is a “self-publishing champion site” that “frame[s] the data in whatever way is most damaging to traditional publishing and the most beneficial to self-publishing.” 

The latest installment of the Words Without Borders translator interview series features Iranian-born poet and translator Sholeh Wolpé, who translates Iranian poetry into English. Of her approach to translation, she says, “I approach all poems as untranslatable. A poem’s metaphoric life force as well as its internal music cannot be transferred from one language to another. Instead the translator must recreate the experience.”

At the Rumpus, fiction writer Rebecca Schiff talks about her process and the organization of her debut short story collection, The Bed Moved, as well as writing about sex, and the unexpected political conflicts that may arise from being a feminist and a fiction writer.

“Yes: I was dressing up for F. Scott Fitzgerald and lying about it. If the archivists at Princeton also noticed the change, they politely declined to comment.” Writer Lesley M. M. Blume recounts falling into an ill-fated affair with F. Scott Fitzgerald while researching the deceased writer for her book, Everybody Behaves Badly: The True Story Behind Hemingway’s Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises, which was released yesterday from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. (Paris Review)