A blog about writing and self publishing

A KWL AMA, New Dr. Seuss, and 5000 Vintage Cookbooks: This Week in Book News

Photo by Bank Phrom on Unsplash

Hello and happy Friday everyone! It’s been a pretty slow week in publishing news, which is pretty par for the course in the late summer as everyone gears up for a busy fall. But just because the publishing world is quiet doesn’t mean we’re slowing down over here at KWL! Our very own Tara, Joni, Shayna, and Steph hosted a Facebook Live AMA yesterday where they answered any and all KWL-related author questions. Thank you to everyone who attended our event, and if you missed it, be sure to check it out and let us know if you’d be interested in another AMA event in the future!

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Astra Publishing House has hired Leonard S. Marcus as editor-at-large to help develop its children’s book list.

Leonard S. Marcus Joins Astra Publishing House as Editor-at-Large

Astra Publishing House, the new company backed by Beijing-based Thinkingdom Media Group, has hired children’s literature expert Leonard S. Marcus as editor-at-large to help develop Astra’s children’s list, particularly picture books published under its mineditionUS imprint.

The battle between John Bolton and the Trump administration continues on as Bolton claims the administration abused the pre-publication review system in an attempt to suppress his book, The Room Where it Happened.

Bolton Asks for Discovery, Claims Trump Administration Acted in ‘Bad Faith’

In an August 20 filing, attorneys for former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton said the evidence will show that Trump administration officials abused the prepublication review system in an attempt to suppress his bestselling book ‘The Room Where it Happened.’


A story that will tug at the heartstrings: after their father was hospitalized with Covid-19, two brothers started bringing him and other patients eReaders loaded with audiobooks.

Sons use e-books to help virus-stricken dad, other patients

LONDON (AP) – Geoff Woolf gave his sons a love for literature. When he got sick with COVID-19, they turned to books to help him – and others. The 73-year-old retired lawyer was hospitalized in London in March, and within days he was on a ventilator in intensive care.


Authors are finding new ways to connect with their readers as the pandemic continues to disrupt book tours.

With book tours scrapped, authors are finding new ways to connect with their readers

For author Chris Bohjalian, virtual book chats are nothing new. He was in the middle of a book tour on Sept. 11, 2001, and when he heard that his readers had to miss his appearances because of the tragedy, he started calling or Skyping in to book club meetings – and he never stopped.

Another event is moving online (I feel like we can expect all events to move online at this point, no?): The Toronto International Festival of Authors will take place virtually from Oct 22 to Nov 1

The Toronto International Festival of Authors will be virtual for 2020 | CBC Books

Books The Toronto International Festival of Authors will feature online activities accessible from all over the world. The 2020 edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) will be a virtual event. The 41st edition of the annual festival will feature several free events, and will be accessible to an audience around the globe.


Ocean Vuong is the newest addition to the Future Library.

‘You’ll have to die to get these texts’: Ocean Vuong’s next manuscript to be unveiled in 2114

Ocean Vuong is to become the seventh author in the Future Library, an ongoing art project that sees contemporary writers pen works that will remain unread until 2114, when they will be opened and printed on 1,000 trees currently growing just outside Oslo.

The nominations for the inaugural Ignyte Awards, which celebrates SciFi, Fantasy, and Speculative fiction, have been announced.

This Place graphic novel among finalists for new literary awards recognizing diversity in speculative fiction | CBC Books

Several Canadians have been nominated for the inaugural Igynte Awards, which recognize the works of science fiction, speculative fiction and fantasy that reflect diversity and inclusion. The finalists “represent the brightest lights in speculative fiction’s future,” according to the prizes’ website. Awards will be given out in 15 categories, recognizing fiction, nonfiction, poetry, criticism and community building.

Lucy Ellman, author of Ducks, Newburyport, has won the James Tait Black prize almost forty years after her father’s win.

Lucy Ellmann lands James Tait Black prize, 38 years after her father’s win

Lucy Ellmann has won the UK’s oldest literary prize, the James Tait Black award, for her novel Ducks, Newburyport – almost four decades after her father achieved the same feat. Ellmann was announced the winner of the £10,000 fiction category on Friday afternoon, with her 1,000-page, mostly single-sentence novel set inside the consciousness of an Ohio mother living in Donald Trump’s America.


Civil rights leader, Ruby Bridges, will be releasing a children’s book inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests this fall.

Civil rights activist Ruby Bridges writing children’s book inspired by Black Lives Matter protests | CBC Books

Books This Is Your Time is an open letter from Bridges to young readers and includes images from the 1960s and from recent events. Civil rights activist Ruby Bridges has written a children’s book with a candid telling of the past and positive message for the future, inspired by the Black Lives Matter protests.

A never before published Dr. Seuss book has been released 28 years after the author’s death.

Dr. Seuss’s longtime art director on bringing the author’s latest book to life 28 years after his death | CBC Radio

The famed children’s author Dr. Seuss died in 1991, but 28 years later, we’re still learning more about him as an artist. In 2013, Dr. Seuss’s former assistant discovered a box of files that contained two unpublished manuscripts. The first, What Pet Should I Get? , was released in 2015.

And speaking of Dr. Seuss, did you know that beloved classic Green Eggs and Ham started as a bet between Dr. Seuss and his publisher?

Green Eggs and Ham is 60 years old. It started as a $50 bet between Dr. Seuss and his publisher | CBC Radio

Read Story Transcript Dr. Seuss biographer Brian Jay Jones says that people have tried to find hidden meaning in Green Eggs and Ham since it was published 60 years ago this week. But he said the beloved children’s author was upfront about the book starting life as a wager with his publisher, Random House co-founder Bennett Cerf.


If you’re a romance writer, or interested in the history of the RWA, I highly recommend this article about the founder of the organization, Vivian Stephens.

Vivian Stephens Helped Turn Romance Writing Into a Billion-Dollar Industry. Then She Got Pushed Out.

Romance writing has always been easy to laugh at, at least for the uninformed. You might imagine that these stories mostly involve a castle on the Scottish Highlands, inhabited by a restless warrior wearing nothing under his kilt.

Incorporating technology and social media into your book can be difficult as it can change faster than it takes to publish a book. Emma Jane Unsworth, author of the novel Adults, has written a very helpful article on how to capture this essential part of Millennial Culture in your work.

One Way to Write About a Millennial Protagonist? Don’t Settle on a Single Form.

Let me start by saying this: I didn’t want to write a “digital book”-and by that I mean a book utilizing online modes of communication-for various reasons. Firstly, it would date quickly.


A show inspired by the life of Dan Mallory (aka A.J. Finn), who infamously duped his way into the publishing industry, has been greenlit with Jake Gyllenhaal tapped to play Mallory.

Book Scammer Dan Mallory to Be Rewarded by Having Jake Gyllenhaal Play Him on TV

At some point, potentially, after many, many delays, a movie based on Dan Mallory’s thriller novel The Woman in the Window , which he wrote under the pseudonym A.J. Finn, might come out. But congrats, in a way, to Dan Mallory slash A.J.

One for the comic book nerds: a first look of the Locke & Key and The Sandman crossover has been released. If you’re unfamiliar with either of these series, stop what you’re doing and start reading them immediately.

Worlds collide in exclusive first look at ‘The Sandman’/’Locke & Key’ comic crossover

Comic books are built on crossovers. Seeing characters from different fictional worlds or even different publishers come face-to-face on the page is one of the most unique and exhilarating experiences the medium can offer.

Did you know there’s a twitter account whose sole purpose is correcting typos in the New York Times? *slams follow button*

One Twitter Account’s Quest to Proofread The New York Times

On October 18, 2019, a New York Times standards editor emailed seven other Times editors to alert them to the existence of a new Twitter account that they would soon grow to respect-and, at times, resent.

Have you made more than your fill of banana bread and sourdough since the beginning of lockdown? Are you in need of inspiration to continue your quarantine cooking journey? Now you can have countless recipes as a database of 5000 vintage cookbooks is now available online!

A Database of 5,000 Historical Cookbooks Is Now Online, and You Can Help Improve It

In the early 1960s, Julia Child and her husband handed Barbara Ketcham Wheaton the keys to their home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The famous couple was going to California for the summer, but they wanted their young neighbor to be able to continue one of her favorite activities: perusing Child’s collection of historical cookbooks.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Staff Pick
Rachel, Author Engagement Intern

“I don’t think I can say enough about The Vanishing Half to do it justice. It’s beautiful. It’s touching. It’s timely. It tackles issues such as race, gender identity, violence, and relationships while telling a stunning story about twin sisters living wildly different lives. If you’re looking for a book that will educate you while taking your breath away, this is it.”

The Vanishing Half ebook by Brit Bennett – Rakuten Kobo

Read “The Vanishing Half A Novel” by Brit Bennett available from Rakuten Kobo. **#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A GOOD MORNING AMERICA Book Club Pick!** “Bennett’s tone and style recalls James Baldwin …

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