James Patterson’s Holiday Bonuses, Shirley Jackson’s Centenary, and More


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:

Yesterday marked the centenary of horror fiction writer Shirley Jackson’s birth. Ruth Franklin, author of the new Jackson biography Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Liveright), discusses the author’s legacy and how her works hold up today. (Electric Literature)

James Patterson has named the 149 independent booksellers who will receive grants as part of his annual Holiday Bookstore Bonus Program. Each grant ranges from $1,000 to $5,000, for a total of $250,000. (American Booksellers Association)

A rare, handwritten copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard, a book by J. K. Rowling originally released in 2007 as a spinoff to her Harry Potter series, has sold at auction for £370,000 (about $470,000). (BBC News)

On Wednesday, Flatiron Books announced the name of Oprah Winfrey’s new publishing imprint, as well as two titles scheduled for release in 2017 and 2018. Titled simply “An Oprah Book,” the imprint will release nonfiction books selected by Winfrey. 

Japan’s young adult fiction genre, which represents 23 percent of the country’s domestic novel market, is becoming widely popular among a new demographic: North American teenagers. (Forbes)

While researching the beginnings of African American literature, Rafia Zafar discovered a number of lesser-known, non-canonical African American authors who were writing before 1870, including poet George Moses Horton and fiction writer William Wells Brown, whose work offers important perspectives on African American life before the Civil War. (Times Literary Supplement)

Joe Pan, editor of Brooklyn Arts Press, speaks with Publishers Weekly about running his one-man publishing operation and winning the National Book Award in poetry for Daniel Borzutzky’s collection The Performance of Becoming Human.