Christopher Hitchens on George Orwell, Author's Guide to Twitter, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

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:

Bertelsmann (which owns Random House) announced yesterday that Judith Hartmann, currently an executive at General Electric in Germany, would be its new chief financial officer, replacing Thomas Rabe before the end of the year. (Dow Jones)

If you're an author bewildered by the popular social media platform Twitter, the Los Angeles Times shares some helpful rules for beginners—number one: "Be authentic, be yourself."

The Codex Calixtinus, a twelfth-century manuscript stolen last year, has been found, and a former cathedral handyman and three other suspects were arrested. (Guardian)

Jamie McGuire's romance Beautiful Disaster, the lead title from GalleyCat's self-published best-sellers list, will be published by Simon & Schuster’s Atria imprint. Rebecca Watson, an agent at Valerie Hoskins Associates—which also represents E. L. James—brokered the two-book deal.

In 1900, in the United Kingdom, Mark Twain gave a speech at the opening of a new library. To the gathered crowd, the celebrated author said, "I think it a proof of the healthy, moral, financial, and mental condition of the community if it taxes itself for its mental food." Now, due to budget cuts, that public library and others are in danger of closing. (Guardian)

If you are near New York City this summer, poet Matthea Harvey and sound artist Justin Bennett have created Telettrofono—an audio walking tour that "braids history with fantasy" along the Staten Island waterfront.

The late Christopher Hitchens writes of the life and work of George Orwell in an introduction to Orwell's Diaries, due out next month from Liveright, an imprint of Norton. (Vanity Fair)

Atlantic editor Ta-Nehisa Coates discusses his education, and that of his young son, for the New York Times: "…once you’ve internalized your failures, the bitterness remains at the back of the mouth."