Jesmyn Ward’s Writing Advice, Wolff Book on Trump Presidency Published Today, 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:

“Persist. Read, write, and improve: Tell your stories. Accept rejection until you find acceptance, but don’t become disheartened, stop writing, and remove yourself from the conversation.” Jesmyn Ward shares the most useful piece of writing advice she’s received, as well as her favorite childhood books and her writing routine. (PBS NewsHour)

After provocative excerpts from Michael Wolff’s book Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House were leaked on Wednesday, Donald Trump is seeking to halt publication of the book, claiming it is libelous and that Steve Bannon violated a nondisclosure agreement in his comments to Wolff. Henry Holt, the book’s publisher, has moved up the book’s publication date to today despite receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the president’s lawyers. (Washington Post)

Meanwhile, the American Booksellers Association and Authors Guild have publicly condemned Trump’s attempt to halt publication of the book, calling it an abuse of executive power. (Publishers Weekly)

At the New Yorker, John Cassidy details some of the more controversial moments of the book, particularly Wolff’s narration of Trump’s decision to fire former FBI director James Comey.

Israeli novelist Aharon Appelfeld died yesterday at age eighty-five. Appelfeld was known for writing stories about the Holocaust, most notably his novel Badenheim 1939. (New York Times)

Adam O’Fallon Price writes in praise of the em-dash, the “doppelgänger of the punctuation world, a talented mimic impersonating other punctuation, but not exactly, leaving space to shade meaning.” (Millions)

Sarah Boxer profiles cartoonist Chris Ware, and his most recent book, Monograph, which “documents his rise from lonely, fatherless child to fifty-year-old genius.” (New York Review Daily)

Read more about Ware in “The Color and the Shape of Memory: An Interview With Chris Ware” from the November/December 2012 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

John Madera and eighteen other writers weigh in on the most anticipated small press books of 2018. (Big Other)