Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Year, a Profile of Sigrid Nunez, 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.

Merriam-Webster has named “justice” its 2018 Word of the Year. Driven by prevalent use in the media, searches for the word on the dictionary’s website were up 74 percent this year from 2017. The word follows “toxic,” selected as the word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries, and “misinformation,” chosen by (Associated Press)

Read an interview with Merriam-Webster’s editor at large, Peter Sokolowski, about last year’s Word of the Year, “feminism,” and how the annual selection is made.

It’s been a year of reorganization at the Big Five, and as 2018 comes to a close publishers are still working to get their houses in order. Publishers Weekly looks at the mergers, departures, closures, and other notable shake-ups in the industry this year.

“I became a writer because it was something I could do alone and hidden in my room.” Alexandra Alter profiles Sigrid Nunez, winner of the 2018 National Book Award in Fiction for her novel The Friend, who over the course of twenty-three years and eight previous books has stayed out of the literary spotlight. (New York Times)

At NPR, Jason Sheehan takes a deep dive into Walden, A Game, a video game based on Henry David Thoreau’s 1854 book. 

Read more about the development of Walden, A Game and other video-game adaptations of classic novels. (Poets & Writers)

At the New York Times Book Review podcast, Pamela Paul and her fellow editors discuss the ten best books of fiction and nonfiction of 2018.

Read an interview with Pamela Paul about how she chooses which books to review in our Reviewers & Critics column by Michael Taeckens. (Poets & Writers)