Deesha Philyaw Wins the Story Prize, Brown Paper Tickets Ordered to Process Refunds, 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.

Deesha Philyaw has won the Story Prize for her debut short story collection, The Secret Lives of Church Ladies. Published by West Virginia University Press, the collection is the first university press book to win the $20,000 award.

This past September the attorney general of Washington State filed a lawsuit against Brown Paper Tickets after learning that the company had failed to refund consumers for canceled events and pay organizers for events held during and before the pandemic. Numerous booksellers across the country, and their customers, were among those spurned by the digital ticketing company. This week, Brown Paper Tickets was formally ordered to repay approximately $9 million to users within the next seven months. (Shelf Awareness)

Jen Zollner of Medicine Hat, Alberta, has been visiting with local seniors and transforming their personal stories into poems. She views the project as an opportunity to preserve and celebrate local history. (Medicine Hat News)

“Hazzard shows us that we tell ourselves other people’s stories in order to form our own.” Parul Sehgal reviews Shirley Hazzard’s 1980 novel, The Transit of Venus, which has just been reissued by Penguin Classics. (New York Times)

“I wanted to write a relationship from beginning to end. I was interested in depicting the female protagonist's obsession and single-mindedness about this relationship.” Megan Nolan explains the genesis of her debut novel, Acts of Desperation. (Entertainment Weekly)

“One year I got really sick, and I stayed home from school for a few days and had all these fever dreams—I called them ‘voices in my head.’ That’s the origin of my feeling, for the first time, like a writer.” Sara Deniz Akant retraces her path to poetry. (Paris Review Daily)

“I kind of—and I’m embarrassed to think it, and she would be embarrassed to hear it, but it’s true—venerate Marilynne.” Kevin Brockmeier writes in praise of Marilynne Robinson. (Literary Hub)

“Poetry is music. It’s about playing with language and sound. And kids love to play.” Jason Basa Nemec encourages parents to introduce their children to poetry. (Washington Post)