National Book Foundation Reveals Fiction and Nonfiction Longlists, Bryan Washington Wins Young Lions Award, 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 has announced the longlist for this year’s National Book Award for Fiction. Selected from a total of 388 submissions, the longlist includes four books from independent publishers, one title from a university press, and five from the Big Five publishing houses. Randall Kenan, who died last month at age fifty-seven, is listed for his story collection If I Had Two Wings. The judges also selected three debuts: A Burning by Megha Majumdar, Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart, and The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw. 

The National Book Foundation also announced the longlist for the 2020 National Book Award for Nonfiction. The ten semifinalists were selected from a field of 609 books. All but one of the writers are newcomers to the award; Jill Lepore, who is longlisted for If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future, was a nonfiction finalist in 2013. The shortlists for nonfiction and all other awards categories will be announced on October 6. 

Bryan Washington has won the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award for his debut story collection, Lot. Founded in 2001, the $10,000 prize honors a work of fiction by an American writer age thirty-five or younger. 

Holtzbrinck Publishing Group has announced that John Sargent will step down from his position as CEO of Macmillan due to “disagreements regarding the direction” of the company. Don Weisberg, currently president of Macmillan US Trade, has been chosen as Sargent’s successor. (Publishers Weekly)

“In all of her writing, Audre Lorde offers us language to articulate how we might heal our fractured sociopolitical climate.” Roxane Gay writes on the legacy of Audre Lorde. (Paris Review Daily)

At Vanity Fair, Keziah Weir interviews current management and former employees of Skyhorse Publishing, uncovering evidence of a toxic and chaotic workplace environment

“Having some financial security is super important, but it’s really a validation and recognition of what we’re trying to do.” Foglifter editor in chief Luiza Flynn-Goodlett celebrates the journal’s recent win of the Whiting Foundation’s literary magazine print development grant. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Literary Hub recommends forthcoming fiction, nonfiction, and poetry—the perfect “back to school reading for students of all ages.”