National Novel Writing Month, Zadie Smith on New York City, 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:

A massive library in Tianjin, China, whose floor-to-ceiling bookcases can hold up to 1.2 million books, has been completed. (Arch Daily)

“We are every variety of human. Some of us voted for a government that caused the destruction of cities far away. Some of us didn’t. Some of us are dopers and junkies. Some of us are preschool teachers and nuns. None of us deserve to be killed in the street.” In response to last week’s terror attack in Manhattan, Zadie Smith writes about what it means to live in New York City. (New York Review of Books)

“Know that even though it is a challenge to write a novel in a month, you can do this. You will figure this out for yourself and the choices you make will be the right choices. This is your novel and only you know how to write it.” Roxane Gay offers encouragement for National Novel Writing Month, which kicked off last week.

Speaking of Roxane Gay, the writer will edit an anthology entitled Not That Bad: Dispatches From Rape Culture, which will be published by HarperPerennial in May. The book will include essays from more than twenty women, including actresses Gabrielle Union and Ally Sheedy. (Bustle)

The New York Times catches up with Amanda Gorman, the country’s first national youth poet laureate, about her storytelling organization One Pen One Page, her inspirations, and her plans to run for president in 2036. Read more about Gorman and the youth poet laureate role in a Poets & Writers online exclusive.

“Should we be mourning the essay’s extinction? Or should we be celebrating its conquest of the larger culture?” Jonathan Franzen examines the state of the essay and writing in the first year of the Trump presidency. (Guardian)

Atlas Obscura considers the etymology of the names of the seasons, and why fall was the last to be codified with a name.