Laura Miller on the Pulitzer Board's Decision, E-book Knock-offs, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

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:

As G&A: The Contest Blog reported yesterday, no fiction won the Pulitzer Prize this year, and Laura Miller examines the implications, while detailing the history of the Pulitzer Board, which is comprised of "working journalists and journalism professors, most with a deep respect for literature but relatively little familiarity with the literary world." (Salon)

The Atlantic looks at the shared evolution of book design and digital publishing.

E. L. James's erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey is causing a stir in multiple places, including high-end sex shops. (Los Angeles Times)

Meanwhile, with titles for sale such as Thirty-Five Shades of Grey, I am the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Twilight New Moon, the financial magazine Fortune advises: "Be careful when you select a bestseller to purchase on Amazon, where knock-offs are prevalent—copycats that come with Amazon's stamp of approval."

Thriller writer Boyd Morrison explains how he arrived at a unique position in his career: "I will be electronically self-publishing a novel in North America that is simultaneously being launched by one of the big-six publishers across the rest of the world in the same language." (Huffington Post)

And elsewhere, writers are turning to Kickstarter to raise funds for projects. Young entrepreneur Andrew Galasetti intends to hire an editor for his first novel; and veteran author Jordan Stratford has raised over sixty thousand dollars to create a steampunk children's book featuring the future Mary Shelley as a fourteen-year-old detective.

A new play from Mark Rylance titled Nice Fish is coming to the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis next year, co-written by poet Louis Jenkins. (New York Times)

Jason Diamond looks at the life, work, and sartorial style of Winston Churchill. (Paris Review Daily)

If you watch television, or would rather read about it, you'll appreciate novelist Emma Straub's recap of the first episode of the much-lauded HBO series, Girls; and hilarious essayist Rachel Shukert on NBC's Smash. (Vulture)