The Book Deal During the Pandemic, Forthcoming Coronavirus Titles, and More

by Staff
5.18.20

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.

Publishers Weekly checks in with agents and editors to learn how the pandemic is informing their acquisition strategies. “More than anything, agents and editors agreed that, while happy endings aren’t a requirement, the fiction that’s selling now takes readers away, in some capacity, from the here and now.” 

The New York Times reports on the publishers that have chosen to acquire books that directly engage the coronavirus crisis. Among the forthcoming projects: Knopf will release an anthology of pandemic poems edited by Alice Quinn, and Harper will publish Emma Goldberg’s nonfiction book about the medical students who graduated early to help fight the virus.  

“I like getting hypnotized into the worlds of all these different characters and feeling my consciousness transform into their consciousness.” Kawai Strong Washburn talks with Marlon James about writing Sharks in the Time of Saviors and working with multiple first-person narrators. (FSG Work in Progress)

“I’m afraid of getting caught up in that question of fiction and nonfiction. I don’t know if I want to go there.” Cartoonist Gabrielle Bell talks to the Believer about semi-autobiographical art-making

The Washington Post has launched a new literary events calendar to keep readers informed about virtual programming around the country. 

Poets & Writers also recently updated its literary events calendar to support listings for virtual events

Ramiza Shamoun Koya reflects on the shifting points of view in her debut novel, The Royal Abduls, and her characters’ search for belonging. (Rumpus)

Genevieve Hudson, the author of Boys of Alabama, discusses friendship, queerness, and magical realism. (BOMB

Akwaeke Emezi talks to the Millions about their latest novel, The Death of Vivek Oji, and wanting to write for Black trans readers.

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) for its upcoming “Bookish (Online) Trivia” to benefit the Book Industry Charitable Foundation on Thursday, May 21, at 7:00 PM EDT. The suggested donation to participate is $5, and BISG has pledged to match all donations.