Self-Publishing, Neil Gaiman, National Book Awards, Rejection Letters, and More

James F. Thompson

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 names of famous authors who published themselves are often defiantly asserted by self-published writers attempting to erase the stigma attached to self-published books, the lepers of the literary world.” Peter Winkler addresses the difficult reality of self-published authors. (Huffington Post)

From childhood quirkiness to a self-deprecating sense of humor, Jeremy Bender breaks down why Neil Gaiman is beloved by his readers. (BuzzFeed)

“For the first time in the prize’s sixty-four-year history, the British betting firm Ladbrokes had laid odds on the fiction finalists.” Boris Kachka explores the colorful history and cultural influence of the National Book Awards. (Vulture)

Kurt Vonnegut, Sylvia Plath, and Andy Warhol all received rejection letters in their creative careers. (Open Culture)

 “He said he wrote the book to keep himself from going insane.” The Atlantic explores the ways Samuel Beckett used humor as a coping mechanism.

Artist Joe Dunthorne interprets the mind of a modern writer in “A Literary Landscape.” (Paris Review)

“Freedom of expression, religion, and the separation between church and state were all advocated by the witty French writer and philosopher.” Jason Diamond explores the life, writing, and hair of Voltaire and other enlightened minds.

The Guardian discusses why readers are obsessed with the physical property of their favorite writers such as Charles Dickens.