The State of the Bookselling Industry, Looking Back at Where to Submit, 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.

Jim Milliot of Publishers Weekly shares key figures from a report on the state of the bookselling industry released by the U.S. Census Bureau in December. The report specifically offers data on physical bookstores, including both chains and independents, and the decline in sales in the late 2010s.

“The list allowed me to interact with all of these different editors and discover these different presses that I or our readers might not have been familiar with otherwise.” Justin Greene reflects fondly on his experience editing Entropy’s popular Where to Submit resource. The final installment was published in December, as Entropy has now shuttered. (Don’t Write Alone)

As part of a new two-year partnership, Macmillan has donated $84,000 to the nonprofit Start Lighthouse. Founded in March 2020, Start Lighthouse is based in the Bronx, New York, and seeks to improve childhood literacy. (Publishers Weekly)

Editor and writer Ann Arensberg died on January 14 from complications of COVID-19 at age eighty-four. She won the National Book Award for best first novel in 1981 for Sister Wolf. As an editor, she worked at E. P. Dutton and Viking Press. (New York Times)

Writer Esmée Weijun Wang interviews actor Andrew Garfield for the Believer. The pair discuss grief, endurance, and the rewards of artmaking. “There was no stone left unturned, and we were exhausted at the end of each day, and we gave all of ourselves,” says Garfield of one filming experience. “No better feeling for me.”

Poets Jai Hamid Bashir, Joshua Burton, and Nanya Jhingran feature in the latest installment of the Before the First Book interview series at the Rumpus, which offers a window into the creative practice of authors who have not yet published a book.

Bethanne Patrick recommends fifteen enduring works of fiction from both “familiar names” and “authors you may not have heard of at all.” The list includes Brick Lane by Monica Ali, The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, and The Round House by Louise Erdrich. (Atlantic)

The television rights to the late Anthony Veasna So’s story collection, Afterparties, have been acquired by Dive, a new production company led by Garrett Basch. (Deadline)