#SaveIndieBookstores Campaign, International Booker Prize Shortlist, 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.

James Patterson, Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, the American Booksellers Association, and the Book Industry Charitable Foundation have launched the #SaveIndieBookstores fundraising campaign. Patterson has already pledged $500,000 to the fund, which will administer grants to independent bookstores. Applications will open on April 10 on the campaign’s website. (Forbes)

The Booker Prize Foundation has announced the shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Prize. The prize honors the year’s best book of fiction translated into English (published in Britain or Ireland); the £50,000 prize purse is divided evenly between the author and translator. The six shortlisted titles are Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police, Daniel Kehlmann’s Tyll, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s The Discomfort of Evening, Fernanda Melchor’s Hurricane Season, Shokoofeh Azar’s The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree, and Gabriela Cabezón Cámara’s The Adventures of China Iron

Publishers Weekly reports that Macmillan Publishers has laid off some employees, implemented a hiring freeze, and temporarily reduced the salaries for staff making more than $60,000 a year. The pay cuts increase as salary increases, with senior executives who earn over $250,000 facing a 50 percent cut for the next three months. Holtzbrinck, Macmillan’s parent company, put these austerity measures in place to reduce costs during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“I’m very good at taking a bad situation and mining it for the funny part, which I think is a gift. I’m negative, but I can also spin gold out of that negativity, which not all sad people can do. I feel very lucky.” In an interview at the Believer, Samantha Irby discusses her latest essay collection, Wow, No Thank You, and the advantages of pessimism.

Publishers Weekly analyzes NPD BookScan data from the end of March to assess how the coronavirus pandemic has affected unit sales for print books

Patrick Madden reflects on inviting fifteen writers to “intrude” upon his personal essays with a paragraph of their own. “I have truly learned more about collaboration and about the ways in which we are all connected, we all need each other.” (Literary Hub)

The Rumpus is celebrating National Poetry Month by publishing a new poem each day, “illustrating a variety of voices and perspectives in contemporary poetry.”

The Millions selects its most anticipated April reads, including C Pam Zhang’s How Much of These Hills Is Gold, Chelsea Bieker’s Godshot, and Mark Doty’s What Is the Grass

“Books were a sanctuary, like libraries. I’d go to the library to read but also just to be.” Damian Barr reflects on his lifelong love of reading. (Guardian)

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to the staff and poets at Persea Books, who are posting video readings to their social media with #poemstowashyourhandsto.