Ruchika Tomar Wins PEN/Hemingway Award, Writers Move Events Online, 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.

Ruchika Tomar has won the 2020 PEN/Hemingway Award for Debut Novel for A Prayer for Travelers. The $25,000 prize is intended “to allow significant time and resources with which to pursue a subsequent work of fiction.” This year’s runners-up are Stay and Fight by Madeline ffitch and The Travelers by Regina Porter.  

Read excerpts of Tomar’s and Porter’s novels in Poets & Writers Magazine’s annual First Fiction feature.

As the coronavirus pandemic disrupts book tours across the country, authors and booksellers are teaming up to shift live events online. Poets & Writers Magazine spoke with Emily St. John Mandel, Caroline Leavitt, Tess Taylor, and others about how they’re adapting to the times. 

Leavitt and fellow novelist Jenna Blum have been at work on A Mighty Blaze, a new social media initiative to support writers whose tours have been canceled. The pair spoke to Publishers Weekly about the origins of the project and their plans for the future. 

Arcade Publishing has acquired and published Woody Allen’s memoir, Apropos of Nothing, which was dropped earlier this month by Hachette. Hachette’s acquisition had been met with sharp criticism from across the industry, with many acknowledging that Dylan Farrow, Allen’s adopted daughter, has long alleged Allen abused her as a child. (New York Times

The staff at Poets & Writers Magazine are updating a running list of retreats, conferences, and contests that have been canceled or postponed.  

Eric Tran talks to the Rumpus Poetry Book Club about his debut collection, The Gutter Spread Guide to Prayer, and poetry as a kind of spirituality

The Paris Review kicks off a new video series, “Poets on Couches,” with a reading by Stephanie Burt from her living room in Belmont, Massachusetts.

The Millions talks to D. W. Young about directing his documentary about the antiquarian book trade, The Booksellers.

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to the staff at Raven Book Store of Lawrence, Kansas, for their indie-focused Twitter thread, which invites the public to suggest a quarantine read and link to an independent bookstore’s online store.