Danielle Evans Wins Joyce Carol Oates Prize, Book Industry Study Group Holds Annual Meeting, 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 New Literary Project has awarded the 2021 Joyce Carol Oates Prize to Danielle Evans, the author of Before You Suffocate Your Fool Self and The Office of Historical Corrections. The $50,000 award goes to a mid-career fiction writer “who has earned a distinguished reputation and the widespread approbation and gratitude of readers.”

Publishers Weekly recaps the Book Industry Study Group’s annual meeting, which took place online on April 23. This year’s program included a keynote on sustainability by Sheri Aldis, chief of publishing at the United Nations. The organization also presented its annual awards: The Sally Dedecker Award for Lifetime Service, the Industry Champion Award, and the Industry Innovator Award went to Maureen McMahon, Connie Harbison, and Andy Hunter, respectively. (Publishers Weekly)

“I’m waiting on pins and needles, anticipating your enjoyment and admiration, your horror and mockery, your boredom and inattention, your every possible reaction as I picture you turning the pages.” Ahead of the publication of his debut novel, The Step Back, J.T. Bushnell writes a letter to his family. (Fiction Writers Review)

An essay by Bushnell on transitioning to the novel as a short story writer is available in the current issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

“It occurred to me that there was something about these characters that still compelled me. I had that summer off from teaching and decided that I would give a novel a shot.” Kirstin Valdez Quade recalls the process of expanding one of her short stories into her first novel, The Five Wounds. (Literary Hub)

“Pink Moon, pink month: April with its cotton candy texture, sweet spun sugar wool. April brings the sense—everything stirring, about to burst or bursting—that one is waking up from a dream, or moving into another one.” Novelist and memoirist Nina MacLaughlin shares notes on April’s full moon, also known as the Pink Moon. (Paris Review Daily)

Writer and translator Helen Weaver died on April 13 at age eighty-nine. She was best known for The Awakener: A Memoir of Kerouac and the Fifties, which documented her romance with Jack Kerouac. (New York Times)

Over in the U.K. six writers have been shortlisted for the Royal Society Literature Ondaatje Prize, which honors a book of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry that “evokes the spirit of a place.” The prize includes a purse of £10,000. (Bookseller)

“Whatever it is out there that’s bigger than I am, that energy, can you help me out? Just help me out this evening as I sit down, and let’s see what we can do.” Layli Long Solider describes writing as a form of prayer. (Creative Independent)