The Social Dynamics of Book Clubs, Serial Fiction Apps, 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:

“Mothers are either held up as paragons of selflessness, or they’re discounted and parodied. We often don’t see them in all their complexity.” Novelist Edan Lepucki contemplates motherhood. After Lepucki finished writing her most recent novel, Woman No. 17, she put out a call on social media asking women to send her photos of their mothers before they were mothers. (New York Times)

A Harry Potter prequel written by J. K. Rowling on a postcard has been stolen from a property in Birmingham, England. Eight hundred words long, the story sold for £25,000 in 2008. (Guardian)

Meanwhile, British con artist Alison Reynolds is facing jail time for defrauding the government of more than £120,000. Over the course of a decade, Reynolds made up eleven different aliases, including Claire and Chess Eliot, who she claimed were the twin daughters of T. S. Eliot. In fact, Eliot never had children. (Telegraph)

Hachette has announced that Karen Kosztolnyik will be the new vice president and editor in chief of the Grand Central Publishing division. Kostztolnyik will leave her position as executive editor of Gallery Books and Scout Press at Simon & Schuster and start at Hachette on May 30. (Publishers Weekly)

Judith Newman takes a closer look at the social dynamics behind book clubs and how they can be “the epicenter of fierce friendships and enmity, a breeding ground for resentments large and small.” (New York Times)

Ruby Brunton talks with novelist Chris Kraus and screenwriter Sarah Gubbins about adapting Kraus’s novel, I Love Dick, for television. The series premieres tonight on Amazon. (Hazlitt)

Peter Coates considers Susan Scott Parrish’s new book, The Flood Year 1927, and how the 1927 Great Mississippi Flood spurred the music and writing of the South, including literature by William Faulkner, Richard Wright, and W. E. B. Du Bois. (Times Literary Supplement)

The New York Times rounds up mobile apps for serial fiction, including Radish, Wattpad, Serial Box, and Amazon Rapids.