James Patterson To Give $1 Million to Independent Bookstores, AWP Open to the Public, and More

Melissa Faliveno

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:

Bestselling author James Patterson has pledged to donate one million dollars to independent bookstores throughout the country. Today he announced the names of the stores that will receive the first round of grants. (NPR)

After resolving apparent tax issues with the city of Seattle, the 2014 Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) Conference will be open to the public. (Melville House)

Haruki Murakami’s next novel, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimagewill be published in the United States in August by Knopf. The book, which sold more than a million copies its first week in print in Japan, will be translated into English by J. Philip Gabriel. (The Guardian)

The New York Times reports that dissident Chinese writer Yu Jie is having increasing difficulties finding a publisher in China for his latest book, which is critical of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Jie, who now lives in the United States, says the Hong Kong publisher who first planned to publish the book was arrested, and a second abandoned publishing plans after receiving a threatening phone call.

HarperCollins will publish Neil Gaiman’s short story “The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains” as an illustrated book in June. (GalleyCat)

Author Shelley Jackson has capitalized on New York City’s record-breaking winter to launch a storytelling project called “SNOW,” using her Instagram account to share photos of words intricately carved into the snow. Each word contributes, she says, to “a story in progress, weather permitting.” (The Gothamist)

Electric Literature’s blog The Outlet rounds up some of 2014's most anticipated books from indie presses.