Seeking Relief Funding for Libraries, Curtis Sittenfeld’s Guide to Writing a Short Story, and More

by Staff
7.20.20

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.

Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed and Michigan Congressman Andy Levin recently introduced a new COVID-19 relief bill for libraries, the Library Stabilization Fund Act, which would provide $2 billion to library services across the country. The American Library Association (ALA) president Julius Jefferson Jr. urges members of the public to show their support for the bill by calling their representatives in Congress: “The Library Stabilization Fund Act is the comprehensive federal response needed to keep our nation’s libraries safely in operation, and ALA is throwing the full weight of our advocacy network into supporting the bill.” (Publishers Weekly)

Curtis Sittenfeld has created a monthlong plan to help aspiring writers finish their first short story. “Though some people have knocked out an entire short story in a single sitting, it’s more realistic to see writing a story not as an inspiration-fueled creative binge but as a multiweek project.” (New York Times)

“It is possible to write a timely novel, but it’s near-impossible to plan for one.” David James Poissant reflects on how politics and major world events informed his approach to manuscript revisions. (Literary Hub)

The Guardian is seeking nominations for its twelfth annual “Not the Booker” Prize. Readers may nominate any novel published in Britain or Ireland between October 1, 2019, and September 30, 2020.  

“The challenge for me with this book was to make an explicitly autobiographical story try to approach the level of revelation or confession that I’ve embedded in my fictional books.” Adrian Tomine on introspection in his new graphic memoir, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist. (Millions)

“I wanted to write a suspense novel with a queer hero at its heart, if only to fill a hole on my bookshelf where no such novel existed.” John Fram discusses his debut novel, The Bright Lands, and reasserting the queerness of rural America. (Electric Literature)

“About eight years ago, not too long before our daughter was born, and a year before my father died, Jane Austen became my only author.” Rachel Cohen shares how the work of Jane Austen has sustained her through difficult years. (New Yorker)