Lammy Award Winners, Writers on Summers Past, and More


Every day Poets & Writers Magazine scans the headlines—publishing reports, literary dispatches, academic announcements, and more—for all the news that creative writers need to know. Here are today’s stories.

The winners of this year’s Lambda Literary Awards for LGBTQ writing were announced in a ceremony last night in New York City. The winners included poets Duy Doan, Justin Phillip Reed, and Raquel Salas Rivera; fiction writers Larissa Lai, Casey Plett, and Joshua Whitehead; and nonfiction writers Julian Gill-Peterson, Zahra Patterson, and Imani Perry. Novelist and essayist Alexander Chee, journalist Masha Gessen, and poet, essayist, and activist Barbara Smith also received special honors.

“In my memory, that summer is a suspension bridge over the water, connecting the worlds of childhood and adulthood.” Karen Russell joins fellow authors Heidi Julavits, Concepción de León, Michael Paterniti, and Rowan Ricardo Phillips in remembering long summer days on the water. (New York Times)

At the Guardian, novelist Tommy Orange shares the books that changed his life as a writer, such as Clarice Lispector’s The Hour of the Star to Samanta Schweblin’s Mouthful of Birds.

“While I value my MFA immensely, it was a lesson in craft and the academic practice of art; therapy was a lesson in starting to understand why I wanted to write in the first place and how to use art to excavate ideas and feelings that had been buried.” Novelist Wendy J. Fox on learning to negotiate plot and structure through a doctor’s writing assignments. (Millions)

At the New Yorker, Andrea Lee talks about the protagonist’s journey of awareness in her story “The Children,” published in this week’s issue of the magazine. “Art can strike at the heart, making the ordinary events of life deeply comprehensible, but, conversely, it can also create emotional distance from reality.”

“This, the writer’s diet: pizza rolls so scalding hot they burn the skin clear off the roof of your mouth, followed quickly by a bite of sweet cooling ice cream. Ah, romance.” Debut novelist Kristen Arnett opens her refrigerator to the Paris Review.

Rather than brushing off compliments and the best parts of your book reviews, author Esmé Weijun Wang recommends becoming sensitive to praise. “Write these things down. Keep a record. Stitch them together, and let them keep you warm.” (PBS NewsHour)

And in this week’s installment of Ten Questions, Nicole Dennis-Benn describes the surprises and challenges of writing her second novel, Patsy, out today from Liveright. “I know that many writers of color who are in the game are anxious that the door might close soon—that our time might be up when the industry yawns and moves on to the next thing.” (Poets & Writers)