Tournament of Books, PEN/Faulkner Award Finalists, 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.

The 2019 Tournament of Books is on! The Morning News presents its annual monthlong matchup of books and writing, in which two works of fiction go head-to-head each day.

For more on the tournament, read “A Different Kind of March Madness.” (Poets & Writers)

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation has announced the finalists for its 2019 award for fiction. In the running for the $15,000 peer-juried prize are Blanche McCrary Boyd for Tomb of the Unknown Racist, Richard Powers for The Overstory, Ivelisse Rodriguez for Love War Stories, Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi for Call Me Zebra, and Willy Vlautin for Don’t Skip Out on Me. (Washington Post)

Jill Osier has won the 2019 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition, the longest-running poetry prize in the United States. Series judge Carl Phillips remarked, “The poems give record not to what’s been lost, but to the knowing ‘you may have had something / but lost it.’” Osier’s manuscript, The Solace Is Not the Lullaby, will be published by Yale University Press in 2020.

In this year’s Audie Awards, the top prize of Audiobook of the Year went to Children of Blood and Bone (Macmillan Audio), written by Tomi Adeyemi and narrated by Bahni Turpin. (Publishers Weekly)

“Every time I step into a bookstore in the city, it is packed with people who are browsing and buying books. In a truly fair market, this would be sustaining success, but there is nothing fair about the current market.” Skyrocketing rent is pushing New York City bookstores out of business. (Guardian)

In the ongoing lawsuit against writer Moira Donegan, creator of the “Shitty Media Men” list, a federal judge has ruled that plaintiff Stephen Elliott cannot sue Donegan for intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress. (Jezebel)

“Hostility is definitely my main ingredient. It’s a muscle I’ve spent some time developing.” Novelist Halle Butler talks to the Paris Review about the snake oil of self-improvement and how to keep an audience from glazing over.

At NPR, T Kira Madden discusses her debut memoir, Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, and writing the unfinished narratives of grief and trauma. “I won’t find those answers, but I can still write into those questions.”