Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist, International Booker Prize Postponed, 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.

Six books have been shortlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction: Dominicana by Angie Cruz; Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo; A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes; The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel; Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell; and Weather by Jenny Offill. The winner of the £30,000 prize will be announced at a ceremony in London on September 9. Previously scheduled for June 3, the announcement was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. (BBC)

The announcement of the winner of the 2020 International Booker Prize has been postponed from May 19 to a date “later in the summer.” Gaby Wood, the literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, stated: “We’ve decided on this course of action to ensure that the shortlist, and ultimately the winner, can be celebrated at a time when readership of these exceptional novels is made easier for everyone.”

“I don’t think we can put that wall between us and dystopian fiction anymore. I don’t think we can read it the way we read historical fiction, where we are separated from it by reality.” In an interview at the Los Angeles Times, Marlon James discusses our increasingly dystopian reality. His fourth novel, Black Leopard, Red Wolf, is the winner of this year’s Los Angeles Times Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction. 

Substack has awarded grants to forty-four writers on its e-mail newsletter platform. Announced at the end of March as a relief measure for writers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the grants range from $500 to $5,000 and can be used for any purpose. Recipients also have access to mentorship from the Substack team. 

At the Sewanee Review, National Book Foundation executive director Lisa Lucas reflects on the road ahead for the publishing industry. “We were already on a tightrope to begin with. We’re ready to try our best. Maybe even harder than that.”

In a new Postcard From the Pandemic, Anndee Hochman reflects on how the coronavirus pandemic is changing our everyday language. (Poets & Writers Magazine)

Poet and environmental activist Lewis MacAdams died at age seventy-five on Tuesday. (Los Angeles Times)

Poets Kimberly Quiogue Andrews, Leah Huizar, Su Hwang, and Natalie Diaz share how they chose the final poem in their collections. (Chicago Review of Books)

And the Daily Shout-Out goes to Publishers Weekly for its new social media campaign, #BooksAreEssential. “Whether you are working in a hospital, teaching your children at home, laid off or furloughed from a job or simply trying to make sense of this pandemic, books are a lifeline,” said editorial director Jim Milliot.