Honorees and Finalists for Publishers Weekly Star Watch, Oxford Languages Reveals Word of the Year, 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.

Publishers Weekly introduces the honorees and finalists for its seventh annual Star Watch program. The six finalists among the list of “rising stars of book publishing,” include Zando executive editor Tiffany Liao and the co-owners of A Room of One’s Own bookstore in Madison, Wisconsin, Wes Lukes and Gretchen Treu.

Vax has been dubbed the Oxford Languages 2021 Word of the Year. “The word’s dramatic spike in usage caught our attention first. Then we ran the analysis and a story started to emerge, revealing how vax sat at the center of our preoccupations this year,” said president Casper Grathwohl. (Guardian)

Hannah Oliver Depp of Loyalty Bookstores in Washington, D.C., has stepped into the role of president of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association. She succeeds Rebecca Fitting, who resigned from the position, having recently sold her share of Greenlight Bookstores in Brooklyn, New York. (Shelf Awareness)

“Writing was an escape, a rescue, a joy. This novel helped me process it all—my fear of losing my dad, my fear of losing the whole world. It was sort of like my therapist, only the book didn’t charge me by the hour.” In an exclusive announcement with Entertainment Weekly, Emma Straub discusses the origins of her next novel, This Time Tomorrow, which was written during the pandemic.

Publishers Weekly recaps Astra Publishing House’s first two years and goals for the future. “Everyone understands publishing is a slow-growth business. Fortunately, we have been given the freedom and time to do it the way we think is best,” says publisher and COO Ben Schrank.

“What we have seen is that the human spirit endures and can create beautiful things, even under extreme duress. The creative impulse is one of the most remarkable things about being human.” Jordan Silversmith discusses the artistic drive of the imprisoned protagonist in his debut novel, Redshift, Blueshift. (Chicago Review of Books)

“What is a historical novel? It’s a slippery thing to define.” Laurie Muchnick of Kirkus reflects on the dynamic boundaries of the historical fiction genre.

McKayla Cole of Electric Literature matches zodiac signs with fall reading material.