The Lack of Diversity in the Publishing Industry, Banned Books Week Begins, 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:

Publishers Weekly has released the results of its annual publishing industry salary survey, which this year included questions about the industry’s racial diversity. The survey found that 11.3 percent of publishing employees identified as people of color, and that 72 percent of people of color—versus 47 percent of whites—believe that the lack of diversity in senior-level management affects the lack of diversity in titles published.

Banned Books Week starts this week. The American Library Association has released a list of the most challenged books of 2013; the list is led by Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants, followed by Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye, and Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Throughout the week libraries and bookstores will celebrate books that have faced censorship. (Los Angeles Times)

On the subject of banned books, cartoonist Jeff Smith, whose comic Bone was the tenth most challenged book of 2013, discusses with the Guardian the censorship of comics and graphic novels, arguing that the visual nature of comics, as well as the assumption that they are meant for children, makes them easy targets.

Meanwhile, Penguin Books for Young Readers will launch a Cartoon Network imprint in summer 2015. Cartoon Network will publish books associated with existing television series, and also test out ideas and art for new shows. (Publishers Weekly)

At the Guardian, journalist Rob Boffard relates his experience of reading Joshua Ferris’s novel To Rise Again at a Decent Hour in four hours and thirteen minutes, with the help of the speed-reading app Spritz. “Reading a novel on Spritz is like riding a unicycle from Shepherd’s Bush to Brick Lane. You can do it, but there are far more pleasant and logical ways to get there.”

In October, Vintage Books will release nine of Gabriel García Márquez’s translated works as e-books for the first time. Márquez, who passed away six months ago, had resisted giving up the e-book rights for his books. (New York Times)

The Atlantic reports that the number of kids reading a particular book spikes after it has been adapted into a movie.

“The trouble with writing is that it’s awfully like having baby after baby all by yourself.” At the Millions, Michelle Huneven talks about the trouble with writing, and how writers must constantly balance concentration with interruption and grandiosity with despair.