Chicago Indies Respond to Amazon Books, Counterpoint Merges With Catapult, 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:

Independent literary press Counterpoint is merging with Catapult, a publishing venture established in September 2015. Catapult publisher and cofounder Andy Hunter will take on the role of publisher at Counterpoint, which includes the imprints Counterpoint Press and Soft Skull Press.

Sixteen independent Chicago bookstores have issued a joint statement in response to Amazon’s announcement that it will open a physical bookstore in the city next year. The statement highlights the contributions of independent bookstores and the potential negative effects Amazon Books could have on the city’s literary community. (Shelf Awareness)

The Deaf Poets Society, a new bimonthly journal of disability literature and art, has launched an Indiegogo campaign to pay its contributors and staff, and support its mission to “undo the dominant and typically marginalizing rhetoric about disability.” The first issue of the journal is out now.

At the Conversant, Omnidawn publisher and editor Rusty Morrison speaks with poet Jennifer S. Cheng about the process of writing her forthcoming collection, House A, which won Omnidawn’s 1st/2nd Book Prize.

The Center for Fiction has announced the shortlist for its 2016 First Novel Prize. The list of seven finalists includes Emma Cline’s The Girls, Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing, Krys Lee’s How I Became a North Korean, and Garth Greenwell’s What Belongs to You.

Science fiction author Jeff VanderMeer interviews writer Chana Porter about cofounding the Octavia Project, a Brooklyn, New York–based workshop program for teenage girls that “uses girls’ passion in science fiction, fantasy, fan fiction, and gaming to teach them skills in science, technology, art, and writing.” (Electric Literature)

Award-winning author Margaret Atwood discusses the impetus behind writing the graphic novel Angel Catbird, which comes out September 6 from Dark Horse Books. (CBC News)