Shetterly Signs Two-Book Deal, National Library Week, 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:

Nonfiction writer Margot Lee Shetterly, author of the best-selling book Hidden Figures, which was adapted into a blockbuster film, has signed a two-book deal with Viking. The new books will build on the basis of Hidden Figures by “excavating stories of other ‘hidden figures,’ extraordinary African Americans whose contributions to American history have, for one reason or another, been untold, unseen, or overlooked.” (Penguin Random House)

The New York Times is broadening its books coverage.  On Friday New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul and Books section editorial director Radhika Jones announced the hiring of two new writers for the Books section, as well the launch of a literary advice column and a weekly author Q&A series.

Happy National Library Week! The theme for 2017 is “Libraries Transform,” which celebrates how America’s libraries and library workers “[transform] lives through free access to technology, information literacy, diverse collections, and opportunities for community engagement.” (American Library Association)

Meanwhile, to celebrate National Poetry Month, the Academy of American Poets asked teachers to share how they teach poetry in their classrooms.

In more poetry news, the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry has announced the shortlist for its 2017 poetry prize. The award, which carries a purse of $65,000, is given annually for a poetry collection published in the previous year. The seven finalists, who each receive $10,000, include poets Jane Mead, Hoa Nguyen, and Jordan Abel.

At the New Yorker, Rebecca Mead profiles celebrated fiction writer Margaret Atwood, whose work “summons an intricate social world,” and whose visions of dystopian societies feel all too familiar.

Fiction writer Cyan Jones, whose latest novel is Cove (Granta, 2016), discusses his minimalist prose style, the complexities of rural life, and how humans’ relationship with nature shapes our narratives. (Los Angeles Review)

Ready to promote your work through readings? At the Review Review, memoirist and fiction writer Tom McAllister offers a “Beginner’s Guide to Author Readings.”