Literary Organizations Advocate for Books Coverage, Min Jin Lee on Community, and More

by Staff

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 Authors Guild and National Book Critics Circle have written an open letter urging newspapers and media outlets to preserve books coverage amid coronavirus-related budget cuts. “As one response to this revenue crisis, some outlets are reducing or eliminating book reviews. While we understand and truly sympathize with the grave financial pressures behind these decisions, we believe maintaining book coverage now will benefit readers, authors, reviewers and media outlets themselves.”

“My city is five boroughs, and each borough has many neighborhoods, and each neighborhood is made up of numerous blocks, and on each block, there are businesses, and in each one, there is a counter, and that’s where you and I meet.” Novelist Min Jin Lee writes about the community of restaurant and retail workers whose humanity is often abstracted by society. (New York Times)

Bryan Washington has won the 2020 Dylan Thomas Prize for his short story collection, Lot. Administered by Swansea University, the £30,000 prize honors “the best published literary work in the English language, written by an author aged thirty-nine or under.”

The Guardian speaks to Francophone African authors, who are often published by French publishers that seek “world rights,” about the growing movement to advocate for and publish separate editions with African presses. 

Garth Greenwell, Naoise Dolan, Nicole Dennis-Benn, and Akwaeke Emezi participate in a virtual roundtable on the present and future of queer literature. (Entertainment Weekly)

“We need more shared intentions about how we do things in virtual spaces.” Rindon Johnson discusses the risks and rewards of virtual reality tools. (Creative Independent)

Writer Julia Berick and illustrator Jenny Kroik dream up a literary paper doll of Clarissa Dalloway from Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. (Paris Review Daily)

HarperVia has published Wuhan Diary: Dispatches From a Quarantined City, a new e-book that documents the lockdown in Wuhan, China, during the early days of the coronavirus crisis. (Publishers Weekly)

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to the organizers behind Bookstock, a virtual music festival and fund-raiser to support indie booksellers and musicians that is taking place this weekend via Facebook Live.