De’Shawn Charles Winslow Wins First Novel Prize, Book List Season, and More


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.

De’Shawn Charles Winslow has won the Center for Fiction’s 2019 First Novel Prize for In West Mills. Monique Truong presented the award on Tuesday evening at the Center’s annual benefit dinner. Past recipients of the $10,000 prize include Tommy Orange, Hannah Tinti, and Viet Thanh Nguyen. 

Read an excerpt of Winslow’s novel in Poets & Writers Magazine’s “First Fiction 2019” feature.

Literary Hub has compiled recommendations from end-of-year book lists across the internet. Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous and Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys top the charts, having appeared in twenty-one lists.  

Deborah Levy talks to the Creative Independent about her writing process, and how her projects typically begin: “There’s usually a question that I’ve asked myself, and I can’t answer. The writing is the way that I begin to find many answers to that question.”

At the New Yorker, Amitava Kumar reflects on the work of Tamil writer Perumal Murugan, praising the author’s attention to the “ordinary” and his depictions of rural life in India. 

Chigozie Obioma talks to BOMB about his latest novel, An Orchestra of Minorities, and finding the right narrator for his story

Lilly Dancyger suggests embracing bad first drafts and shares best practices for teaching writing.  (Electric Literature)

Julia Phillips reflects on her year in reading. Highlights include Sally Rooney’s Normal People, Ling Ma’s Severance, and Miriam Toews’s Women Talking. (Millions)

Bill Gates has announced his five favorite reads of the year. His pick for fiction: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. (Washington Post)