Longlists for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals, National Book Critics Circle Releases Criticism Equity Pledge, and More

by Staff
10.27.20

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 American Library Association has announced the longlists for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. Twenty-six titles were selected for fiction and twenty for nonfiction. Three finalists for each category will be announced on November 17. 

The National Book Critics Circle has invited its membership to sign a Criticism Equity Pledge, which calls on editors to “assign at least 30 percent of the books covered annually to be by writers who are Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC),” assign at least 30 percent of reviews to BIPOC critics, and avoid exclusively matching those critics with books by BIPOC authors. Freelance critics are similarly encouraged to commit at least 30 percent of their pitches to books by BIPOC authors. (Publishers Weekly

Last Friday, Nancy Bass Wyden, the owner of the Strand Bookstore, published an open letter calling on readers to help keep the store afloat. “For the first time in the Strand’s ninety-three-year history, we need to mobilize the community to buy from us so we can keep our doors open until there is a vaccine,” she wrote. For the New York Times, Sean Piccoli and Elizabeth A. Harris report on the subsequent surge of public support, while also noting that Bass Wyden has come under sharp criticism from the store’s union.  

“Writing’s not an industrial process. You can’t measure your productivity day-to-day in any way the world recognizes.” Hilary Mantel reflects on the demands and rewards of the writing life. (Literary Hub) 

Poet Diane di Prima, whom Lawrence Ferlinghetti described as “the feminist voice of the Beat generation,” died on Sunday at age eighty-six. (San Francisco Chronicle)

“Throughout the writing process, I had an inkling that my narrator might rub some people the wrong way, but I didn’t think about it too much.” Anna Bruno on writing her debut novel, Ordinary Hazards, and the gendered expectations around likability. (Guernica)

Heidi Pitlor recommends seven books that address the “intersection of image-making and gender construction” for women in politics. (Electric Literature)

The Good Morning America Book Club has selected Memorial by Bryan Washington as its November read