Our annual Literary Agents Issue features profiles of eleven agents on what they want to read and how to query them; an in-depth look at the growing trend of agents representing poets; an interview with former poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Trethewey; our twentieth annual roundup of the summer’s best debut fiction; special reports on the effects of COVID-19 on the business of books, indie bookstores, literary festivals, and authors’ creativity in quarantine; writing prompts; and more.
A Poetics of Resilience: A Q&A With Natasha Trethewey
In her new book, Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir, the former poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner contends with persistent trauma, both personal and cultural, going beyond witnessing to seek truth in all its complexity.
Our annual debut fiction roundup features Ashleigh Bryant Phillips, Jean Kyoung Frazier, Corinne Manning, Megha Majumdar, and John Fram.
Who We Are
Eleven literary agents reveal what they want to read, how to query them, what inspires them, and how they will know if you’re the one.
What We Read
Twenty-five literary journals agents peruse to find new clients.
An in-depth look into whether the number of poets represented by literary agents is on the rise, and how agents help poets achieve their career goals.
News and Trends
A campaign started by James Patterson has raised more than $1.2 million to help indie bookstores struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic.
The Book Traces project at the University of Virginia documents annotations, marks, and objects found in library books, creating a record of readers’ engagement with the book as a physical object.
The first lines of a dozen noteworthy books including Seeing the Body by Rachel Eliza Griffiths and Parakeet by Marie-Helene Bertino.
With the spread of COVID-19, organizers of literary events across the United States have devised creative ways to move programming online and build community among writers.
The press publishes immersive, imaginative chapbooks of poetry, prose, and art, which are printed and folded in the style of a map.
Writers have been cooking up a bright array of foods, from strawberry chiffon cake to Sichuan chili fish, while heeding orders to stay at home during the pandemic.
Poet Keetje Kuipers, the new editor in chief of Poetry Northwest, shares her plans for bringing a sense of play and risk to the Pacific Northwest’s oldest literary magazine.
The author of the essay collection A History of My Brief Body and the poetry collection This Wound Is a World on five journals that have published his poems and essays.
The Practical Writer
The freelance critic on her path to becoming a critic, her reading process, and her favorite publications.
Publishing During a Pandemic: The Effects of COVID-19 on the Business of Books
A survey of the short- and long-term effects of the pandemic shutdowns on the book business.
The Literary Life
The Time Is Now: Writing Prompts and Exercises
Write a poem with the help of Merriam-Webster’s Time Traveler tool, a short story split into parts by the passing of a decade, and an essay that describes memorable photos.
What We Found in Writing: Authors on Creativity in Quarantine
Thirteen writers, including Alexandra Kleeman, Ada Límon, and Nicole Sealey, describe writing—or not writing—during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.