Another week of social distancing and it’s starting to feel a bit more normal. As normal as staying in my small, Toronto apartment full time can feel that is. I am definitely wearing sweatpants more frequently than I normally would (which I’m really not complaining about). We here at KWL hope that you are all staying safe, and that if you are able, you’re continuing to write. To quote Joni in this month’s newsletter, “People need books right now, more than ever. People all over the world are turning to stories, to distract them from a worrying reality, and to keep them feeling safe and entertained at home. As writers you are providing a valuable service, and we wanted to thank you for what you do every day. So keep on writing, if you are able, and for those who are struggling to focus right now; be kind to yourselves and give yourself the breaks that you need to get through this.”
Now onto some literary news, and a couple of fun articles from around the literary web this week.
The effects of Covid-19 continue to hit the publishing world as MacMillan has made temporary layoffs and salary cuts.
In happier news, Portland independent bookstore Powell’s has had to rehire some of the workers they laid off at the beginning of the pandemic in order to help fulfill the influx of orders the store has received.
Penguin Random House is now completely owned by Bertelsmann.
The shortlist for the International Booker Prize has been released. The prize is awarded to a work of fiction from around the world that has been translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland.
The Astrid Lindgren prize, the “richest prize in Children’s Literature”, was awarded to South Korean author, Baek Heena.
Are you a Canadian poet hoping to win some prize money of your own? The CBC Poetry Prize is now open for submissions!
There has been a bit of controversy this week surrounding the American “National Emergency Library” and whether or not it violates copyright laws.
The Canadian National Arts Centre has been promoting artists throughout the pandemic, and will now be including writers in their “events”, kicking things off with Margaret Atwood.
The first trailer for the Hulu adaptation of Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People has been released (and I can’t wait to watch this show)!
JK Rowling has launched some more Harry Potter content for
kids all of us, in the online Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The site also includes the audiobook and eBook of the first Harry Potter book for free!
Looking for more things to entertain your little ones while you’re social distancing? You’re in luck! Both Dolly Parton and astronaut Christina Koch are reading children’s books live online! Levar Burton is also joining the live streaming reads party by moving his weekly short story podcast onto twitter; he has content for kids, teens, and adults on various nights of the week.
Damon Lindelof is writing a short story for Next Draft to keep us all entertained (and probably confused) throughout social distancing.
And if you’re looking for something a bit on the shorter side to read, a few of my favourite articles this week have included this fascinating piece on what it’s like to be an author with aphantasia; this wild collection of 19th century parlour games (if you play any of these with friends over Zoom, please let us know); this hilarious re-imagining of what Shakespeare actually did in social isolation when he supposedly wrote King Lear; and this incredible list of what our favourite TV characters would be doing in a pandemic themed episode.
We hope you all have a safe and healthy weekend!
Staff Pick and Social Distancing Update
Laura Granger – Author Engagement Specialist
Book Pick: Steph, our Publisher Operations Specialist, recommended A Hunger Like No Other to me, and I’ve been immersed in Kresley Cole’s world ever since. The book follows Emma, who’s half Vampire and half Valkyrie, and Lachlan, a lykae. The youngest in a family of wild Valkyries, it’s going to take a bit of convincing for Emma to believe she’s meant to be with a Lykae, but there’s something about Lachlan that she can’t shake. When an ancient evil from Emma’s past appears, she’ll have to embrace her inner warrior to save Lachlan and her family. If you’re looking for escapism right now, the Immortals After Dark series provides the perfect dose of paranormal romance – and with 17 books to get through you’ve got lots of reading to do (and they keep getting better!).
How We’re Dealing with Social Distancing:
Laura has been keeping busy at home with Scout, her new miniature schnauzer puppy! He is sweet and playful ball of energy, but luckily he makes time for naps too. Do you have a work from home buddy too? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a chance for a feature!