BookExpo and BookCon Canceled, Jess Hill Wins 2020 Stella Prize, 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.

BookExpo and BookCon 2020 have been canceled. Last month, organizers had postponed the conventions from May to July, but the Big Five publishers and other exhibitors continued to drop out. In her latest statement, event director Jennifer Martin wrote, “As the pandemic has continued to escalate in the United States and we see the challenges it has brought for the book industry, it is clear that 2020 is no longer a viable option for this community.” Martin reassured participants that all ticket sales will be automatically refunded, and that the organizers will seek alternative ways to celebrate the literary community online. (Publishers Weekly)

Jess Hill has won the 2020 Stella Prize for her nonfiction book, See What You Made Me Do: Power, Control, and Domestic Abuse. The award honors the best nonfiction or fiction book by an Australian woman or nonbinary writer published in the previous calendar year. Hill says she hopes the win will encourage further dialogue about issues of domestic violence in Australia. “If more people can understand this, we’re going to have a better functioning society. It’s just not good enough to me that there are millions of people who are alive right now who have lived through domestic abuse, who are not understood by the rest of Australia.” (Guardian)

Kristen Radtke muses on the loss of physical touch during the pandemic and asks people to share their most treasured memories of skin-to-skin contact. (Atlantic)

Writing Workshops Dallas and Gemini Ink have collaborated on a new virtual book club, the Big Texas Read, which will host discussions on Zoom and feature books by Texan authors. The first pick is Tell Me How This Ends Well by San Antonio author David Samuel Levinson. (Dallas News)  

Bustle compares fourteen literary subscription box services, including Book of the Month, OwlCrate, and Used Books Monthly.  

In an interview with Ben Fama, poets Rachel Rabbit White and Sandra Simonds discuss the Gurlesque tradition. (Harriet) 

Alli Warren discusses balancing her art with her day job, poetry as a site for thinking, and the power of finding one’s community. (Believer)

Max Porter, the author of Grief Is the Thing With Feathers and Lanny, answers the Books Marks Questionnaire

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to the staff at the Stranger who have moved their famous silent-reading party online. Readers will attend via Zoom and be treated to live music by pianist Paul Matthew Moore. Tickets prices are on a sliding scale, from $5 to $20, with profits split between the Stranger and the musician.