Concerns Over Pending Simon & Schuster Deal, Literary Prizewinners in France, 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.

The Authors Guild and the American Booksellers Association quickly raised concerns after news broke that Penguin Random House had reached a deal to acquire Simon & Schuster. The Authors Guild alleged the merger would create “a huge imbalance in the U.S. publishing industry,” and both organizations called on the Justice Department to challenge the deal. (Publishers Weekly)

The winners of two of the top literary prizes in France were announced today. Hervé Le Tellier won the Prix Goncourt for his novel L’Anomalie, while Marie-Hélène Lafon won the Renaudot Prize for her novel Histoire du fils. (France 24)

The Renaudot Prize has been the subject of recent controversy, as the 2013 winner, Gabriel Matzneff, a known pedophile, is under ongoing police investigation. The Matzneff scandal has prompted broad criticism of France’s literary elite, though the Renaudot Prize and other top institutions remain fiercely resistant to change. (New York Times)

Ahead of crucial senate runoffs in Georgia, a group of romance authors organized an auction that raised nearly $400,000 for local voter organizations. (Entertainment Weekly)

“During the summer of 2020, I spent countless hours helping irate customers cancel their orders of popular anti-racism books.” Katherine Morgan reveals what went on behind-the-scenes at bookstores when anti-racism books surged onto best-seller lists earlier this year. (Literary Hub)

“When I started, it was stunning how few Black people there were in publishing.” Rakia Clarke reflects on her work as a senior editor at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and discusses diversity and inclusion in the publishing industry. (Publishers Weekly)

Electric Literature has organized a tournament to determine the best book cover of the year, inviting readers to vote on various matchups via Twitter and Instagram. 

The Millions has curated a holiday gift guide for writers