News & Notes is a weekly Saturday post featuring book- and publishing-related news, links to interesting articles and opinion pieces, and other cool stuff
- Banned Books Week will run Sept. 27 to Oct. 3 this year. Check out the list of frequently challenged books to plan your BBW reading, and take a look at the official Banned Books Week website. (ALA)
- New Guild Study Reveals Majority of Authors Earn Below Poverty Line. (Publishers Weekly)
- Stephen King received a National Medal of Arts on Sept. 10, along with actress Sally Field, writer Tobias Wolffe, and several others. (NPR)
- This year’s National Humanities Medalists include writers Annie Dillard, Larry McMurtry, and Jhumpa Lahiri. (press release)
Rhoda Lerman, a novelist whose works were difficult to categorize, died August 30 at the age of 79. The Boston Globe says of her books that they “melded history with contemporaneity, mythology with social criticism, feminism with a Jewish sensibility, and snark with seriousness.” Lerman’s novels include Call Me Ishtar, Eleanor: A Novel, The Girl That He Marries, The Book of The Night, and God’s Ear. Obituaries: Boston Globe; New York Times
- The Power of a Library Where It’s Needed Most (Karina Glaser for BookRiot)
- Ursula K. LeGuin on Being a Man – at least, in the generic “he” sense of the word. Funny, insightful, and wryly subversive. (Maria Popova, Brain Pickings)
- Alexie Sherman writes about editing Best American Poetry 2015, and about his controversial inclusion of a poem by a white poet who was initially published under a Chinese pseudonym. Michael Derrick Hudson’s poem “The Bees, the Flowers, Jesus, Ancient Tigers, Poseidon, Adam and Eve” was rejected under his own name 40 times; when he submitted it under a Chinese name, it was rejected by nine publishers and accepted by a tenth (Prairie Schooner.) In White Poet, Chinese Pseudonym , author and blogger Jim C. Hines writes a thoughtful post about the issues involved. It’s instructive to read the comments there as well; apparently the chosen pseudonym actually belongs to a woman who was a former classmate of Hudson’s.
- It was a Pleasure to Burn… Librarian and blogger Francesca Hawley talks about censorship and Banned Books Week. (Naughty Literati blog)
- Reading the Right Book at the Right (or Wrong) Time (Andy Browers for BookRiot)
For Writers & Bloggers
- The Blog Ahead Challenge, hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Anna at Herding Cats & Burning Soup, encourages bloggers to build a 31-post “cushion” before the holiday season hits. It runs Oct. 1 – Oct. 31, and you can sign up now. Posts can include anything: reviews, discussion posts, Top Ten lists… and they don’t have to be book-related.
- A list of free online creative writing classes/courses (Learning Path)
- 7 Ways to Write a Plot Outline (infographic. Easy-to-view version: GalleyCat. Original post: NowNovel; post includes other useful links.)
- The most popular books in U.S. public libraries, mapped by city (Quartz.com)
- 12 Mugs For Your Fall Hot Chocolate That Book-Lovers Will Adore (Bustle.com)
Really Cool / Just for Fun (& Book Announcement)
- How Baru Cormorant Would Overthrow Emperor Palpatine, Kill Voldemort, and Stop Sauron (Seth Dickinson) Macchiavelian advice to famous fictional characters from the master plotter Baru Cormorant. (Dickinson is the author of the forthcoming novel The Traitor Baru Cormorant. You can read Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of his novel on Tor.com. Full disclosure: Seth is a graduate of the Alpha Workshop for teen writers of SF, fantasy, and horror, and was a staffer during the summers my daughter Robin attended in 2013 and 2014. Robin is very excited about his new book!)
That’s it for this week!