Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Files for Bankruptcy, Cloud Atlas Screens at Cannes, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—from publishing reports to academic announcements to literary dispatches—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today's stories:

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has filed for bankruptcy protection to restructure its debt. (Bloomberg)

The Atavist, a digital publishing start-up that specializes in long-form journalism, received a substantial investment from Silicon Valley, and intends to make available a free version of its publishing app. (GalleyCat)

In light of the news that Jeffrey Eugenides’s award-winning novel, The Marriage Plot, will be adapted for the big screen, Word and Film wonders what's driving Hollywood's current fascination with literary novels.

Meanwhile, the creatively financed film adaptation of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas has screened at the Cannes Film Festival. (Deadline)

Adam Gopnik asks, "Can science explain why we tell stories?" (New Yorker)

When Tim Kreider's publisher advised him that authors promote their work by creating video book trailers, he was skeptical, but then remembered what video did for the musical career of Men Without Hats. (New York Times)

A one-page note written by Edgar Allan Poe to Sarah Josepha Hale, the author of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," recently sold for one hundred and sixty-four thousand dollars at auction. (Harriet)

Melville House asks, "Is this the laziest book-related app of all time?"