National Book Awards Move Online, Disability in Publishing, 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.

Citing “public health concerns and ongoing uncertainty related to the coronavirus,” the National Book Foundation has decided that this year’s National Book Awards ceremony, and all associated events, will move online. The organization previously anticipated the event might be able to be held in-person, but did stipulate the possibility of “shifting back to a virtual event.” The ceremony, which will be produced once again by Really Useful Media, remains scheduled for November 17.

The Bookseller, the leading source for publishing news in the U.K., has released a new special issue on disability. Guest edited by Claire Wade, the issue includes interviews with disabled authors and a feature that explores “how workplaces can revolutionize their approach to disability.” The entirety of the issue is available for free online.

In more U.K. book news, Margaret Busby, the trailblazing publisher, editor, and writer, formally received the London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award at an in-person ceremony yesterday. Author Bernardine Evaristo presented the award and paid tribute to Busby in a speech: “Powerful, self-contained, pragmatic, and visionary, she refused to let barriers stop her from pursuing a career in literature.” When Busby cofounded the independent publisher Allison & Busby in the 1960s, she became the first Black woman to lead a publishing house in the U.K. (Bookseller)

The recipients of this year’s Dayton Literary Peace Prizes have been revealed. Alexander Starritt earned the fiction prize for his novel We Germans, while Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai was selected as runner-up for The Mountains Sing. In the nonfiction category, Ariana Neumann won for When Time Stopped and Jordan Ritter Conn was named runner-up for The Road From Raqqa.   

“The trick is to remove the associations that make the writing seem important. Once I get deep enough into a story, I start to care about how it turns out.” J.T. Bushnell writes about writer’s block discourse and shares how he sustains his writing practice. (Don’t Write Alone)

Starting next month, New York City readers will find a short story vending machine at the Center for Fiction. Created by Short Édition, the machine is one of hundreds around the world. (Literary Hub)

The sale of Workman Publishing to the Hachette Book Group has been completed. The acquisition was first announced last month. (Shelf Awareness)