A blog about writing and self publishing

Authors Helping Authors, Virtual Book Festivals, and Some Things to Keep You Busy During Social Distancing

Another week of adjusting to our new normal is in the books, and I hope everyone is still doing okay. Here at KWL we’ve settled into working from home, which includes being in a lot of Zoom meetings, figuring out how often you can message someone before it needs to be an email, and being grateful we have all of this technology at our fingertips so we can stay connected to one another and to all of you! Speaking of technology, Tara hosted a socially distanced Facebook Live event with Joanna Penn today that you should definitely check out.


Authors are banding together to support one another amidst book tour cancellations.

Novelists Ignite A Mighty Blaze in Response to Extinguished Book Tours

Not to be outdone by the children’s and YA authors ” signal boosting” their fellow authors on Twitter, two novelists, Caroline Leavitt and Jenna Blum, are promoting their colleagues with an ambitious initiative called A Mighty Blaze.

Minesotta festival Wordplay is moving online for 2020 and it has gathered an all star lineup of guests for the virtual festival. In moving the festival online, Wordplay has made the event free (but is accepting donations to offset the financial burden of resecheduling the event)! See you there?

Alison Roman, Michael Ian Black, Charles Yu And Scott Pelley To Participate In Virtual Book Festival Wordplay

Book festival Wordplay, will now happen virtually in April and May in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. All the original participants, including Alison Roman, Michael Ian Black, Charles Yu and Scott Pelley, are still slated to take part in the festival, details of which are still being worked out.


Renown editor Richard Marek, who worked on the work of literary greats such as Hemmingway and Baldwin, has sadly passed away.

Richard Marek, Editor of Hemingway, Baldwin and Ludlum, Dies at 86

He shepherded more than 300 books into print, including James Baldwin’s “If Beale Street Could Talk” and Robert Ludlum’s “The Bourne Identity.” When Richard Marek was a young editor at Scribner’s in Manhattan in the early 1960s, he was entrusted with one of the literary world’s most important manuscripts, “A Moveable Feast,” Ernest Hemingway’s intimate portrait of his life as an unknown writer in Paris in the 1920s.


Canadian author Jia Tolentino is among the ten writers selected for the Whiting Award.

Jia Tolentino among 10 emerging writers to receive $70K Whiting Award | CBC Books

Books The Whiting Awards, established in 1985, are awarded annually to emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama. Canadian-American writer Jia Tolentino is among this year’s 10 winners of the Whiting Awards. The Whiting Awards, established in 1985, are awarded annually to emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama.

Valeria Luiselli has won the Rathbones Folio Prize for best literary work of the year for her novel Lost Children Archive.

Valeria Luiselli wins $51K Folio Prize for best literary work of the year | CBC Books

Valeria Luiselli has won the 2020 Rathbones Folio Prize for her novel Lost Children Archive. The annual £30,000 ($51,560.92 Cdn) prize recognizes the best literary work of the year, in any form. This year’s award was presented at its first digital ceremony in light of the coronavirus outbreak, with all the judges’ comments shared live on Twitter.


After postponing Canada Reads, CBC will be hosting a q&a with the nominated authors every Thursday throughout April.

Ask the Canada Reads authors questions on Facebook: Q&As each Thursday in April | CBC Books

Canada Reads Every Thursday in April, a different Canada Reads 2020 author will be answering your questions in CBC’s Canada Reads Facebook group. Do you have a question for one of the Canada Reads authors? Now is your chance to ask them! Every Thursday in April at 2 p.m.


If you’re having a rough time adjusting to social distancing, be grateful you’re not quarantined with your wife, your child, and your mistress, as Ernest Hemmingway once was.

How Hemingway Quarantined (Hint: It Was with his Wife, his Mistress, his Son and the Nanny)

Last week, a letter supposedly written by F. Scott Fitzgerald-quarantined due to the Spanish Flu in 1920-made the social media rounds. In it, Fitzgerald states that he and Zelda had fully stocked their bar, and called Hemingway a flu “denier” who refused to wash his hands. This letter went viral.

Or, if you’re looking to start listening to audiobooks in your newfound free time, Crime Reads has written an excellent guide if you’ve never tried the medium before.

How to Start a Love Affair with Audiobooks

I was an audiobook failure. Not a failure at writing the books, mind you, but at listening to them. I could never manage to get through more than a chapter or two, and then my interest would fizzle out and I wouldn’t go back. I’d try and fail every time.

If poetry is more your style, I highly recommend checking out Sir Patrick Stewart’s Instagram, where he is reading a Shakespearian sonnet every day. Honestly, you should check this out even if you don’t like poetry. Sir Patrick Stewart is a gift.

Sir Patrick Stewart is reading a Shakespeare sonnet a day on Instagram.

The celebrity response to coronavirus has been a real mixed bag-lots of house tours, plenty of unsolicited songs, a soupçon of dangerous misinformation-but we’ve also seen some genuinely delightful cultural contributions. For instance, noted Shakespearean Sir Patrick Stewart’s pledge to recite all of Shakespeare’s sonnets, one each day, on his Instagram account.

Need a laugh? David Sedaris has written a humorous piece for the New Yorker on his terrible attempts at hoarding during this pandemic.

My Failed Attempts to Hoard Anything at All

It used to be that nobody ever called me. I’d get lonely notices on my phone, reading, “Last week you had one minute and twelve seconds of screen time.” Now, though, with the coronavirus pandemic, I’m Mr. Popular. The first person I usually hear from is my sister Lisa, who will start with an update from her local Costco, in Winston-Salem.

Or if you’re looking to connect with others over your love of reading, Time has collected a list of virtual book clubs you could join.

10 Virtual Book Clubs You Can Join Now-And How to Start One

Many book clubs have sprung up to connect readers during social distancing. Here are several you can join, and some tips for building your own.

We hope everyone is staying safe and is doing alright. We’d love to hear what you’re doing/reading to keep busy during this time of social distancing! We’re going to keep featuring a member of our team each week to let you know what we’re up to, and of course to recommend a book or two. Have a great weekend!


Tara: So I actually followed through on my attempt to learn guitar and had a virtual lesson from my mate Dave. His first piece of advice, don’t worry about annoying your neighbours. I also finished reading Race Against Time by Jerry Mitchell which was a really great read. It was a good distraction from the world and always good to read stories of social justice, especially now.

Lesson one was a success!

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