Tufts Poetry Awards Finalists, Wattpad to Publish Books, 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 ten finalists for the Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards were announced yesterday. The nominees for the Kingsley Tufts Award, which confers a $100,000 prize to a mid-career poet, are CAConrad, Terrance Hayes, Brenda Hillman, Dawn Lundy Martin, and Craig Santos Perez. For the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, which offers a prize of $10,000 for a first book, the finalists are Tyree Daye, Diana Khoi Nguyen, Justin Phillip Reed, Vanessa Angélica Villarreal, and Javier Zamora. (Poets & Writers

Storytelling app Wattpad has announced a new publishing division, Wattpad Books. Eliminating the “guesswork” of individual editors, Wattpad will use technology to analyze the millions of original stories its users share on the app to determine a story’s potential for commercial success. (New York Times

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded the University of Washington Press a $1,205,000 four-year grant in support of a program designed to diversify academic publishing. The program offers apprenticeships at six university presses: University of Washington Press, MIT Press, Cornell University Press, Ohio State University Press, University of Chicago Press, and Northwestern University Press. (Publishers Weekly)

“Reading takes me away from reality, and the reality right now is awful. If I’m reading, I’m not refreshing the news or Twitter and getting angrier and angrier. Instead I stay nice and relaxed.” Furloughed federal workers like Stacie Chapman, a Maryland-based survey statistician at the Census Bureau, are reading for respite. (Washington Post)

At Guernica, Joyce Carol Oates discusses failure and survival. “I just look around at the world and think of how many people toil very passionately, convinced that what they’re doing is the right thing and worth their effort, but it turns out to be a dead end. I have to wonder: Are they any less noble than anybody else?”

“It’s not like humans appeared on earth and there were these books and we read them and from there we intuited speaking. It’s the other way around—books come from speech, so why not make that field of play in your writing?” Matthew Rohrer suggests a little levity to open up a poem. (Creative Independent

Listen to Rohrer read from his 2015 collection, Surrounded by Friends. (Poets & Writers)

At the New York Times’s By the Book, novelist Elizabeth McCracken lays aside the e-reader. “For books, I like a book: durable and portable. I’m the sort of impatient reader who always wants to know how many more pages in the book, the chapter, the section, and I like to hold the chunk of remaining book as I read; I like to feel it diminish.”

And E L James, author of the best-selling Fifty Shades series, reveals the details of her new book, The Mister. (Today)