KFC’s Romance Novel, Pearson Announces More Cuts, 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:

After a recent elimination of 4,000 jobs, Pearson has announced plans to cut an additional £300 million in expenses, mostly from general and administrative costs in North America, by the end of 2019. The company is also considering selling its U.S. K–12 school group, and is still actively negotiating the sale of its 47 percent stake in Penguin Random House to Bertelsmann. (Publishers Weekly)

In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend, KFC has released a free romance novel, Tender Wings of Desire, to accompany its buckets of fried chicken. Set in Victorian England, the novel tells the story of Lady Madeline Parker, who falls in love with a young Colonel Sanders. (TIME)

At the New Yorker, Vinson Cunningham assesses the case for Black English as a language and the work of one of its foremost proponents, John McWhorter.

“If we wish to be more cognizant of the ways race and craft intertwine as we interrogate assumptions about canon, aesthetic tradition, and the workshop, then we need to read and study the existing archive….” Editor Neil Aitken has released an archive of texts, essays, and resources on craft by writers of color. (De-Canon)

Jennifer Schuessler takes a tour through the new American Writers Museum, which will open next week in Chicago. The 11,000-square-foot space, located on North Michigan Avenue, features interactive multimedia installations about great American writers, touch screens about the writing process, the 120-foot scroll of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, and an installation of palms and tropical plants inspired by nature poetry and the Hawaiian garden of poet W. S. Merwin. (New York Times)

Former president Bill Clinton and writer James Patterson are writing a political thriller together. Knopf and Little, Brown—Clinton’s and Patterson’s publishers, respectively—will publish The President Is Missing in June 2018. (Washington Post)

Meanwhile, Curtis Sittenfeld has signed a book deal to write a novel about what Hillary Clinton’s life would have been like if she had not married Bill Clinton. Random House will publish the book in 2019. (Guardian)

Writer Francine Prose describes her travels through the Sussex and Kent regions of Britain to visit the homes and gardens of the Bloomsbury Group, including Monk’s House (Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s home), Charleston (Vanessa and Clive Bell’s home), and Sissinghurst Castle (Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson’s home). (New York Times)