The Handwritten Draft of Lord of the Flies, International Read an E-Book Day, 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:

The National Book Foundation has announced the longlist for its 2014 fiction award; the shortlist will be announced on October 15 and the winners on November 19. (Washington Post) Read more on the G&A blog.

“Poems are a form of music, and language just happens to be our instrument—language and breath…I think if I could really play music, I don’t know if I’d be a poet. So, I think, in the absence of knowing how to play a guitar or a cello, I thought, well I can play words. I know words. They’re cheap, they travel very easily, and so that became my primary instrument.” Poet Terrance Hayes, who was named a recipient of a 2014 MacArthur "Genius" grant yesterday, talks with NPR about his path to becoming a poet and the influence of music on his work.

On the subject of MacArthur fellows, graphic memoirist Alison Bechdel, who was also named a recipient of a 2014 MacArthur "Genius" grant yesterday, will publish her third graphic memoir, The Secret to Superhuman Strength, with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2017. The memoir will focus on Bechdel’s obsession with a range of fitness and exercise fads. (New York Times)

In celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the publication of William Golding’s classic novel Lord of the Flies, Judy Carver, Golding’s daughter, has loaned the handwritten draft of the novel to the University of Exeter. The university will make the draft—which features a different opening scene and modified characterizations of Piggy and Simon—available for the first time to academics and the public. (Guardian)

OverDrive, a major e-book distributor to libraries, is hosting the first-ever International Read an E-Book Day today. Throughout the day, OverDrive will give away tablets and e-reading devices through its website and social media. (Los Angeles Times)

Leslie Bennetts will pen a biography of actress and comedian Joan Rivers, Joan Rivers: A Life, to be published in 2016 by Little, Brown. Rivers passed away two weeks ago. (Los Angeles Times)

HarperCollins will offer expedited shipping for independent bookstores during the holiday season. (Publishers Weekly)

The Jane Austen festival has broken the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed in Regency costume; five hundred fifty fully attired festival attendees assembled in Bath, where Austen lived for several years. (BBC News)