Hi KWL Community,

This week has been a tough one, and we hope you’re doing okay. As we all adjust to social distancing and what that means for each of us – whether it’s suddenly having to work from home or having to keep kids entertained throughout the day – I thought it would be nice to keep our roundup of literary news positive this week. So no scary virus-related news in here today, only happy stories and a few silver linings our current situation has granted us.

Like a lot of you, our team members are looking for things to keep us busy and distracted from the news. We’ve decided to share some of what we’ve been up to this past week – you’ll find it at the end of the round up! (Spoilers, if you like cute animals you should probably scroll down and read it.)


We’ll kick things off with one of my favourite positive story this week. In neighbourhoods around America, people have turned their little free libraries into little free pantries to help members of their community who might not have access to food right now.

Big-hearted strangers turn Little Free Libraries into Little Free Pantries.

Are you desperately searching for proof that there is, in fact, still goodness in this crazy, mixed-up, pandemic-cowed world? You are? Well then, might I direct your attention to this Chicago neighborhood street corner? Seen in my Chicago neighborhood. Sign says “To help our neighbors affected by the COVID-19 crisis, this Little Free Library is converted to a Little Free Pantry.

Probably the biggest silver lining to come of our current situation: The social distancing initiative has forced George R. R. Martin to sit down and finish his latest Game of Thrones book!

‘I feel fine’: George RR Martin reassures fans from self-isolation

It is the pandemic news we have all been needing: George RR Martin is using his hours of confinement to work on his long-awaited Game of Thrones novel, The Winds of Winter. “For those of you who may be concerned for me personally …

Many authors have moved their readings and book launches online, which means they’re more accessible for all of us to enjoy!

Canadian writers move book launches, readings and festivals online | CBC Books

As Canadians stay indoors, writers are sharing their work online in the form of readings, book launches, festivals and Q&As. Here’s a collection of them. CBC Books has also created a list of readings by Canadian children’s writers. This list will be updated regularly. It was last updated on March 26, 2020.


A large archive of Pablo Neruda’s work and personal letters is being auctioned off in Barcelona next week.

Unique Pablo Neruda archive – and slice of history – up for auction

A little over two years into the Spanish civil war, one of Spain’s greatest poets wrote to a Chilean friend to tell him how desperately he and a couple of their mutual acquaintances longed to escape the conflict and travel to South America. “We’ll come to your sad and beautiful land,” wrote Miguel Hernández in September 1938.


Eight writers have been awarded the Windham Campbell prizes, one of the richest literary prizes.

Eight Writers Awarded $165,000 Windham-Campbell Prizes

The winners of the 2020 Windham-Campbell Prizes have been announced. Eight writers, who are being honored for their literary achievement or promise, will receive $165,000 each to support their work. The prize is administered by Yale University, where the papers of the prize patrons Donald Windham and Sandy Campbell are housed in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Simone Dalton has been announced as the winner of the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Prize.

Simone Dalton wins $10K RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award | CBC Books

Books The prize was established to recognize and help a published early career Canadian author who is working on a first draft of a new manuscript, preferably but not limited to literary nonfiction. Simone Dalton is the winner of the 2020 RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award.


Publisher Macmillan has decided to lift their restrictions on eBook sales to libraries.

Publisher Macmillan Backs Off Policy Restricting E-Book Sales To Libraries

Publishing house Macmillan is backing off a controversial policy restricting e-book sales to libraries, announcing in a letter to librarians, authors, illustrators and agents on Tuesday that “There are times in life when differences should be put aside.”

Speaking of libraries, the New York Public Library has released an app that will allow their readers to access eBooks.

New York Public Library releases app allowing access to ‘growing’ e-book collection

The New York Public Library is turning a page – and taking a step into the digital age. The library is releasing an app Tuesday that will allow readers to easily access its popular e-book collection.

In the time when we need it most, Mike Schur will be releasing a book that mixes his two strengths: humor and philosophy (who knew this combo would be so effective?)


Mike Schur’s Upcoming Book Will (Hopefully) Help You Become a Better Person

It’s a hellish and confusing time to be a human, but thankfully The Good Place creator Mike Schur is writing a book filled with tips on how to get through it while being a (hopefully) decent person.


If you’re like me and you use humor to deal with tough situations, you might just enjoy these ten famous opening and closing lines rewritten for social distancing.

The first lines of 10 classic novels, rewritten for social distancing.

Of course, books can be a balm in these terrifying times-but as the surge in sales of plague-related literature reveals, sometimes all we want to read are books that speak directly to our terrifying times. Well, friends, with a little elbow grease, any book can be a coronavirus book.

Okay, now the LAST lines of 10 classic novels, rewritten for social distancing.

In my pre-pandemic life, I rolled my eyes at the franchising of absolutely everything (except, of course, The Fast and the Furious, because you can’t argue with entertainment). Now, though, I’m finding comfort in familiar universes. Is this a flimsy justification for creating a sequel to my blog post from earlier this week?

Alternatively, if you want something a little more wholesome, how about the stories behind the names famous writers gave their pets?

The Stories Behind 15 of the Best Names Famous Writers Gave to Their Pets

Perhaps in the last few days you have spent a bit more time than usual around your pets. Or perhaps, like one member of the Literary Hub office, you’ve chosen this moment to finally pull the trigger on adopting that puppy you’ve always wanted.


Like I mentioned above, the KWL Team has been adjusting to social distancing to the best of their abilities and we thought we would share how we’ve been dealing with this first week of our strange new world. If you want to share what you’ve been up to this week let us know in the comments!

Tara: I’ve been distracting myself by watching a lot of tv but worry my brain is turning to mush so have decided nows the time to attempt learning guitar.

Joni: I’ve been very anxious this week and unable to focus on reading or watching anything but the news. Going forward, I am going to limit the amount of news I consume, and focus on attacking my ever-increasing to-read list! To distract myself from worrying, I have been teaching myself calligraphy and painting a lot, which has been really fun and soothing.

Rachel: I’ve found that I need to keep myself busy or I end up on my phone obsessively refreshing my twitter feed, which isn’t great for my mental health. In an effort to start my day positively, I’ve been going for a run every morning while listening to a fun pop culture podcast, and at night I’ve been bro-ing out playing the new Call of Duty multiplayer (it’s free!) with my buds.

Steph: As I make my way into day 5 of my quarantine, I am currently watching all the tv shows I said I would watch but haven’t yet touched. First up, I am finishing my first K-drama “Romance is a Bonus Book”. It is truly a delight! This show is perfect for any romance readers fans out there. I never knew I could swoon over a couple holding hands but here I am.
Eun-ho+Dani

Laura: I did this:

Please welcome Scout to the KWL Team!!

Have a great weekend, everyone. Stay safe, stay home, and wash your hands.

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