The Language of 2020, Mystery Writers of America to Honor Charlaine Harris and Jeffery Deaver, and More

by Staff

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.

In place of its annual “Word of the Year” announcement, Oxford Languages has released a report on how language has changed and developed over the course of 2020. “The English language, like all of us, has had to adapt rapidly and repeatedly this year,” the team writes. “It quickly became apparent that 2020 is not a year that could neatly be accommodated in one single ‘word of the year.’” The report includes sections on the language of COVID-19, social movements, politics, and more. 

Charlaine Harris and Jeffery Deaver are due to receive Grand Master Awards from Mystery Writers of America (MWA). The “pinnacle of achievement in mystery writing,” the prize honors writers who have made significant contributions to the genre. Meanwhile, the Malice Domestic mystery conference will receive the MWA Raven Award, which honors “outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing.”

“If you know this place like I do, female creativity will be at the center of your understanding of Appalachia.” Writer Leah Hampton unpacks the misrepresentation of Appalachia in the American imagination. (Guernica)

“You could tell from the first paragraph that you were in the hands of a truly masterful writer.” Peter Blackstock of Grove Atlantic reflects on editing Douglas Stuart’s Shuggie Bain, the winner of this year’s Booker Prize. (Literary Hub)

Publishers Weekly learns more about the vision for Penguin Random House Español, a new division that combines the teams and resources of Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial USA and Vintage Español.

The New York Public Library has unveiled its “Best Books of 2020,” highlighting titles for adults, teens, and children. 

The editors at O, the Oprah Magazine select their top twenty books of the year, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. 

Chelsea G. Summers, the author of A Certain Hunger, recommends five books of “disturbing beauty.” (Book Marks)