Simon & Schuster CEO Carolyn Reidy Dies, Daniel Mason Wins Joyce Carol Oates Prize, and More

by Staff
5.13.20

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.

Carolyn Reidy, the president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, died on Tuesday at age seventy-one from a heart attack. Reidy first started at Simon & Schuster in 1992 and became chief executive in 2008. In a letter to employees, executive vice president of operations and chief financial officer Dennis Eulau remembered Reidy as “a fierce leader, loyal friend, and passionate supporter.” (Publishers Weekly)

The Simpson Literary Project has awarded the 2020 Joyce Carol Oates Prize to Daniel Mason. The $50,000 prize honors a “mid-career author of fiction who has earned a distinguished reputation.” Mason is the author of four books of fiction, including A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth.  

Lambda Literary has announced Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha as the winner of this year’s Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction. The $2,500 award honors “a writer committed to nonfiction work that captures the depth and complexity of lesbian/queer life, culture and/or history.” 

Kundiman has accepted nine emerging writers to its 2020 Mentorship Lab Program. Writers will attend multi-genre master classes, writing workshops, individual mentorship meetings, and receive a $1,000 stipend. Hala Alyan, Gina Apostol, and Mayukh Sen are this year’s mentors for poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, respectively. 

“It’s been eerie to watch it happen. I was surprised to find that even though I thought through a possible version of this, I wasn’t ready.” Peng Shepherd revisits her 2018 pandemic novel, The Book of M, in the age of coronavirus. (O, the Oprah Magazine)

“I know that some people don’t find me funny at all, and that sucks for them.” Jenny Zhang discusses childhood diaries, moving between fiction and poetry, and writing with a sense of humor. (Paris Review Daily)

To offer a distraction for homebound Japanese citizens, Haruki Murakami will host a two-hour radio special on May 22 during which he will play some of his favorite songs and answer listener questions. (Guardian

The New York Times checks in with booksellers across the country as some states begin to relax social distancing orders. 

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to LockdownLit, “a group of authors publishing books during the coronavirus crisis who have joined together to support each other during an uncertain time.”