AWP on the Brink, Publishing Industry Salary Survey, 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.

Yesterday was Veterans Day, marking a hundred years since the end of the First World War. At the Wall Street Journal, Lorraine Berry recommends six novels that get to the truth of World War I.

Publishers Weekly has released its 2018 Publishing Industry Salary Survey, which reports numbers across the industry for 2017. Though some small improvements have been made, men still out-earn women across the industry by an average of $27,000 (a disparity down $1,000 from 2016) and 86 percent of respondents were white (down 1 percent from 2016). For the first time, 1 percent of respondents identified as nonbinary.

In “AWP on the Brink,” Christian Teresi, the former Association of Writers and Writing Programs director of conferences who was fired in September, writes in defense of himself and former executive director David Fenza, who was terminated from the organization in March without explanation. Teresi also makes serious charges against the AWP board and interim executive director Chloe Schwenke. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Amazon has announced its Best Books of 2018, naming Tara Westover’s Educated: A Memoir the best book of the year. Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black took the No. 2 spot. The annual list, selected by Amazon editors, highlights the top hundred books of the year across categories ranging from literary fiction, biography, and mystery to children’s and young adult books. (Associated Press)

Juris Jurjevics, cofounder of Soho Press, has died. The Latvian-born editor worked for Dutton and Dial before cofounding Soho in 1986. “We want to publish the books that deserve to be published but that the bigger houses can’t afford to do,” he said at the time. Jurjevics was 75. (New York Times)

“Every literary journal is, in its beginning and at its end, about people.” At the Millions, Steve Adams bids a fond farewell to Glimmer Train Stories, the literary magazine founded in Oregon by sisters Linda Swanson-Davies and Susan Burmeister-Brown in 1990. The journal, which for thirty years has been dedicated to publishing fiction by emerging writers, will publish its last issue in Fall 2019.

Ma Jian, an exiled Chinese novelist whose scheduled appearances at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival were canceled last week, appeared at the festival over the weekend after his appearances were reinstated at the last minute. Ma’s books, including his latest novel, China Dream, are openly critical of the Chinese government. (New York Times)

“We’re not all on quests. Most of our lives are really spent just trying to get to the end of the day.” The annual Portland Book Festival, formerly known as Wordstock, took place in Oregon over the weekend, and Tom Hanks was a headliner. Hanks, a voracious reader whose story collection, Uncommon Type, was published last year, talked to Parul Sehgal at the festival about his favorite kinds of books.