National Book Foundation and the Feminist Press Appoint Interim Directors, Prime Minister’s Literary Awards Announced, 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 National Book Foundation’s Board of Directors has appointed current deputy director Jordan Smith to serve as interim executive director of the foundation, effective December 18. Smith steps into the role vacated by Lisa Lucas, who announced earlier this year she would be moving to Pantheon and Schocken Books to serve as senior vice president and publisher. Lucas will remain connected to the foundation, however, as it was announced today that she will join the board of directors. 

Meanwhile, the Feminist Press Board of Directors has appointed senior editor Lauren Rosemary Hook to serve as interim executive director and publisher, while a search is conducted for a permanent replacement for executive director Jamia Wilson. Wilson is leaving the press to join Random House as vice president and executive editor in January. 

Over in Australia, the winners of the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards have been announced. Tara June Winch won the fiction prize for Yield, while Omar Sakr won the poetry prize for The Lost Arabs. (Guardian)

The Association of Authors’ Representatives has formally rebranded as the Association of American Literary Agents. The newly minted AALA also announced the creation of a new nonprofit arm, Literary Agents of Change, which will be dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the profession. (Publishers Weekly)

Len Vlahos and Kristen Gilligan, the owners of Tattered Cover in Denver, have sold the independent bookstore to Kwame Spearman and David Back. The Denverite spoke with Vlahos, Spearman, and Back about what local readers can expect from the transition. Spearman, who will serve as CEO, noted that Tattered Cover is now the largest Black-owned bookstore in the country. 

“To live with chronic illness is to experience yearning, isolation, exhaustion, befuddlement, fragility, and the instinctive desire to be rescued.” Poet Alec Finlay writes on chronic illness and the coronavirus pandemic. (Harriet)

Real Life by Brandon Taylor is set to be adapted into a feature film. Scott Mescudi, also known as Kid Cudi, will produce and star in the movie. (Hollywood Reporter)

John Freeman has been hired by Knopf to serve as an executive editor. Freeman most recently worked as an executive editor at Literary Hub. (Publishers Lunch)