New Booker Prize Sponsor, the Cut Expands to Fiction, 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.

The Booker Prize has announced the new sponsor for its annual award: Crankstart, the charitable foundation of Silicon Valley billionaire and philanthropist Michael Moritz and his wife, author Harriet Heyman. There are no plans to change the £50,000 purse, and the prize’s name will revert to the original “Booker Prize” starting June 1, when the Man Group’s sponsorship of the award ends. (Guardian)

Small theaters across America are canceling productions of Christopher Sergel’s stage play of To Kill a Mockingbird after receiving threats of litigation from Scott Rudin, producer of the new Aaron Sorkin adaptation of Harper Lee’s novel. (New York Times)

New York magazine site the Cut has expanded its books coverage to include a monthly series of original fiction. This month features a short story by Curtis Sittenfeld. Submissions of previously unpublished stories and book excerpts are open to all writers.

Hot on the tail of independent press Skyhorse, the Washington Post and Simon & Schuster imprint Scribner have also announced that they will publish a book version of Robert Mueller’s report, should its contents be made public. (Los Angeles Times)

The Believer has named the winners of its awards for the best and most underappreciated books of 2018. The top honors went to Catherine Barnett for her poetry collection Human Hours, Rita Bullwinkel for her story collection, Belly Up, and Meghan O’Gieblyn for her essay collection, Interior States.

“Writing poems is about making sure they have as much integrity within them as they possibly can, so that if you dropped your poem into outer space, the person who finds it will have a real experience.” Dorothea Lasky on punctuation, the ruthlessness of time, and her new poetry collection, Milk. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

At Longreads, Hanif Abdurraqib talks about depicting the arc of fandom in Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest. “I wanted the book to feel like I was pulling a bunch of samples together, like I was creating one harmonious sound.”

“It’s a crazy twin language—we’re each saying sentence fragments or pieces of a plot, and the other is running with it.” Three pairs of cowriters share how they keep the spark of collaboration alive. (Washington Post)