The New Balcells-Wylie Agency, the Dangers of Digital Publishing, 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:

Carmen Balcells, the storied Spanish literary agent who championed the work of many influential Latino authors in the 1960s and 1970s, including Gabriel García Márquez, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Isabel Allende, and who manages the estate of Pablo Neruda, has teamed up with New York literary agent Andrew Wylie to form a new venture, the Balcells-Wylie agency. (New York Times)

Nine-year-old Spencer Collins of Leawood, Kansas, has been forced to take down a Little Free Library that he put up in his yard. The city claims that the small lending box—a trend that began in Wisconsin in 2009, whose model is “take a book, leave a book”—was in violation of city code. Collins has been reading up on such ordinances, and hopes to work with the city to keep the library going. (

At the New York Times, author Tony Horowitz shares his experiences working with Byliner, the struggling digital platform for long-form journalism and fiction, and warns of the dangers of digital publishing—which he says have the potential to bankrupt writers.

The Washington Post sums up the difficulty in assessing the sales success of Hillary Clinton's memoir, Hard Choices.

More than a year since its founding in March 2013, Melville House UK is set to launch its first titles in the fall, beginning with Wittgenstein Jr. by Lars Iyer. (Bookseller)

PEN American Center announced the finalists for its 2014 literary awards this week, and has named author Ron Childress the winner of the $25,000 PEN/Bellwether Prize, given biennially for socially engaged fiction. Meanwhile, Salman Rushdie will receive the annual PEN/Pinter Prize, named after the playwright Harold Pinter and given by English PEN for lifetime literary achievement. (Independent)

In two cases of mistaken author identity, Emily Schultz received an extra income from book buyers who confused her novel Joyland with Stephen King’s thriller of the same name, while poet Emily Healey found herself envying the success of a novelist whose star is on the rise. (Melville House)

Penguin UK has launched a literary World Cup, made up of sixteen teams, each formed by its country’s all-time literary stars. (Guardian)