The World’s Richest Authors, Writing Podcasts, 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:

Forbes has released its annual list of the world’s highest-paid authors, which this year is led by J. K. Rowling, who made $95 million in the past year, followed by James Patterson, who made $87 million.

Meanwhile, Philip Pullman has launched a campaign for publishers to stop selling books at discounted prices to book chains and supermarkets, arguing that such steep cuts cheapen the reading experience, harm both authors and the writing industry, and are driven by “a simple villain—market fundamentalism.” (Guardian)

“Poetry isn’t magical or removed from dirty, compromising political and personal acts, pettiness, racism, sexism, suffering. Absent the intervention of many other sociopolitical acts, poetry won’t save your life. To suggest otherwise is a kind of offense against poetry’s insistence on complexity, the multidimensionality of understanding. Taking it seriously as a carrier of information about the real matrix between language and power, which is truly upsetting—mind-blowing—when we come near to it, changes the way you live. Believe it.” Simone White reviews two new books about poetry, Jill Bialosky’s Poetry Will Save Your Life and Matthew Zapruder’s Why Poetry. (New York Times)

Seattle’s first civic poet, Claudia Castro Luna, has wrapped up her two-year term, during which she brought poetry to the city through workshops and Seattle Poetic Grid, an interactive map that pins poems to the locations that inspired them. (Seattle Times)

“But the success of writers like Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins and Karin Slaughter isn’t just due to the fact that they’re women. Rather, it’s that the books they write often interpret the world through an unmistakably female lens.” Sophie Gilbert argues that male thriller authors who adopt a female pseudonym can’t entirely replicate what makes female-oriented psychological thrillers so popular. (Atlantic)

Bustle rounds up twenty podcasts to get you writing, from Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast, Magic Lessons, to science fiction writer Mur Lafferty’s ten-year-old podcast, I Should Be Writing.

Speaking of literary podcasts, the latest episode of Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast features five of the most exciting debut fiction writers of the summer, as well as practical tips and approaches to finding a literary agent.

“A character like Ripley fascinates because he is one of those protagonists who doesn’t much change—the novel’s transformation is enacted inside the reader. You are the one who changes…” Alexander Chee describes his fascination with Patricia Highsmith’s novels centered around the character Tom Ripley. (Los Angeles Times)