Writers Turned Screenwriters, Díaz Steps Down as Pulitzer Chairman, 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 Guardian talks with Jesmyn Ward about how reading saved her life, her “lush unfashionable lyricism,” and why she writes for her younger self and for black girls: “[These girls] are silenced, they are misunderstood, and they are underestimated.”

“I quickly realized that with screenwriting all you’re doing, really, is creating a document that’s a map for the director and the actors to hopefully find something sort of magical in the moment. It’s not a finished piece of work. It’s not the final say. It’s so fluid.” Sweetbitter writer Stephanie Danler talks about adapting her novel for the screen. (Vulture)

Speaking of writers turned screenwriters, the New York Times checks in with Ian McEwan, who helped with the writing, casting, and directing of the forthcoming adaptation of his 2007 novel, On Chesil Beach.

Junot Díaz has stepped down as chairman of the Pulitzer Prize board, which is also conducting an investigation into the allegations that Díaz sexually harassed and bullied women. (CNN)

The Broadway adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is set to go forth after months of legal disputes between producers and the estate of Harper Lee. The play, which stars Jeff Daniels and was adapted by Aaron Sorkin, will open in December. (Los Angeles Times)

The finalists for the 2017 Shirley Jackson Awards have been announced. The annual awards are given for “outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic.”

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, fourteen authors, including Jenna Blum, Liam Callanan, and Margot Singer, write about the intersection of motherhood and books. (Read It Forward)

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos talks about why the company started out by selling books, the early competition it faced from Barnes & Noble, and the time he had to package and ship books himself. (Good E-Reader)