The Strand Breaks Sales Record, Nova Ren Suma on Wrangling Self-Doubt, and More

Evan Smith Rakoff

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:

The Guardian charts the United Kingdom’s top-selling books of 2013, including J. K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, which sold 273,433 copies.

Meanwhile, the venerable Strand Book Store broke its all-time sales record this Christmas holiday. (New York Daily News)

Joan Acocella looks at the life and work of Willa Cather, whose novel O Pioneers! was published one hundred years ago. (New Yorker)

Sarah Hepola lists her favorite personal essays published by Salon this year, including Chloe Caldwell’s “My Year of Heroin and Acne” and “My Inappropriate Relationship” by Jillian Lauren.

And at Volume 1 Brooklyn, Mairead Case details literary items she enjoyed this year, including poems, sentences, websites, lists, and much more.

On her blog, author Nova Ren Suma discusses ways to stave off self-doubt: “Find an old letter or email where someone said something amazing about something you wrote and read it once more, like it’s the first time. It helps to keep a little folder of these for future moments…”

And if you're looking for inspiration, GalleyCat gathered five TED talks by authors, including presentations by Pico Iyer and Malcolm Gladwell.