Hello and happy Friday, writers! It’s hard to believe it’s already March 2021 when it feels like March 2020 was mere weeks ago. To say a lot has changed since then would be a wild understatement, but here’s hoping there’s a lot more positive change before we get to March 2022 (which, at this rate, could happen next week for all I know).

Here’s what’s been going on in publishing this week:

The biggest story of the week: Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the company that controls the works of Dr. Seuss, has decided to cease publication of six books due to racist images.

Perspective | The time is right to cancel Dr. Seuss’s racist books

As birthday celebrations go, this is some tough love. On Tuesday, the 117th anniversary of the birth of Theodor Seuss Geisel, the company that controls his works announced it will no longer publish six Dr. Seuss books because of their racist imagery.

The news of these Dr. Suess titles being pulled out of circulation has caused them to skyrocket to the tops of bestsellers lists.

Dr Seuss rockets up US charts after books pulled over racist portrayals

US customers have flocked to buy copies of Dr Seuss titles after six of the children’s author’s books were withdrawn because of racist portrayals of people of colour.

PRH Audio has launched a voiceover casting platform.

PRH Audio Debuts Voiceover Casting Platform, Ahab

Penguin Random House Audio has launched Ahab, a global online casting platform for voiceover actors. Originally developed as an internal tool for PRH’s audiobook producers, the platform is now open to the public, and is intended to be a one-stop shop for all voiceover casting processes, from talent discovery to audition to offers of employment.

Harper Collins is launching a new fiction imprint.

HarperCollins Focus Debuts New Fiction Imprint

HarperCollins Focus announced plans to launch Harper Muse, a new imprint aimed at general market adult fiction. The imprint will be directed by v-p and publisher Amana Bostic and will be based in HarperCollins Focus ‘s Nashville offices. The new imprint will target millenial and Generation X readers and specialize in women’s fiction, historical fiction, and southern fiction.

The creators of “Allen v. Farrow” have been threatened with legal action from Woody Allen’s publisher, Skyhorse Publishing.

‘Allen v. Farrow’ Filmmakers Respond After Woody Allen Publisher Threatens Lawsuit

After Skyhorse Publishing threatened a copyright infringement lawsuit against HBO’s Allen v. Farrow series, the docuseries’ team is firing back. Skyhorse Publishing, which published Woody Allen’s Apropos of Nothing last year, slammed the docuseries Monday, alleging that the clips of audiobook excerpts from Allen were used and played without their permission.

The Panorama Project has released their 2020 Immersive Media & Books Research Report which investigates the engagement of consumers with books across gender, age, ethnicity etc.

Jack Whyte, author of the Templar Trilogy, has passed away at 80.

B.C. novelist Jack Whyte dies of cancer at 80 | CBC News

Jack Whyte – a Scottish Canadian novelist who lived in Kelowna, B.C., for 25 years – died of cancer Monday at 80. Born in 1940, Whyte is the author of several historical novels, including the Arthurian-rooted Dream of Eagles series and the Templars Trilogy, which have been translated into more than 20 languages and read by millions of people around the globe.

Canada Reads starts next week, and CBC has a podcast to help you prepare for the event.

The Canada Reads 2021 podcast is here! Listen now to get ready for the great Canadian book debate | CBC Books

Canada Reads Canada Reads takes place March 8-11. There are 11 episodes designed to bring you everything you need to know to get ready! Get ready for the Canada Reads 2021 debate with the special pre-show podcast! There are 11 episodes designed to bring you everything you need to know about the great Canadian book debate.

Kal Penn will be penning a memoir (sorry, I couldn’t help the pun).

Kal Penn will tell his life story in his memoir ‘You Can’t Be Serious’ – get all the details

The actor-screenwriter-organizer will release his first book in November, 2021. Kal Penn has been a movie star, a farmhand, a showrunner, and a member of a presidential administration. This November, he’ll add author to his resumé.

Shyla Augustine, an education student in New Brunswick, has created an alphabet book to help pass on the Mi’kmaw language.

Woman makes Mi’kmaw alphabet book to help pass on language | CBC News

Shyla Augustine is hoping to help give her children and others a chance to learn a bit of the language of her ancestors. Along with illustrator Braelyn Cyr, Augustine has created an alphabet book that includes the Mi’kmaw word for the animals used to highlight each of the letters from A to Z.

Vladimir Nabakov’s Superman poem is set to be published for the first time.

Vladimir Nabokov’s Superman poem published for the first time

A lost poem by Vladimir Nabokov, written from the perspective of Superman as he laments the impossibility of having children with Lois Lane, has been published for the first time. The Man of To-morrow’s Lament appears in this week’s Times Literary Supplement.

Fresh off the heels of misquoting HG Wells on a coin, the Royal Mint has done it again, immortalizing the words of Lewis Carroll… that he never wrote.

Off with their heads! Why are Lewis Carroll misquotes so common online?

s Oscar Wilde famously never said, don’t trust Goodreads as a source for quotes. A month after the Royal Mint released a new £2 coin to celebrate HG Wells with an inaccurate quotation (and a tripod with four legs), Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll is the latest to be immortalised in currency through words they never wrote.

Now for my favourite pieces of the week: This essay on writing with aphantasia (the inability to visualize) is fascinating.

Being a Writer When You Literally Cannot Visualize Scenes

I have no mind’s eye. If I close my eyes I see blackness, or perhaps some fuzzy pixel-like tinges of gray and red as light seeps through my eyelids. It depends on how bright my surroundings are. But what I never see is this: a picture. Apparently this is unusual.

And lastly, as both a huge book nerd and massive video game fan, I loved this piece on classic literature and game development.

Have a great weekend!

Staff Recommendation

Rachel, Author Engagement Coordinator

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

The cover of the book Pretty Girls, which shows the book's title and author and an image of a gold, heart-shaped locket sinking underwater.

“I am tentative to recommend this book, not because it wasn’t good (I could not put it down), but because it’s brutally scary. Claire and Lydia’s sister, Julia, vanished without a trace 20 years ago, and soon after her disappearance, the sisters became estranged. When Claire’s husband is murdered, she starts to unravel parts of his life she never knew existed, pulling Lydia in and reopening the wounds of the past that never quite healed.

When I say this book is scary, I don’t mean “oh that’s spooky!” I mean “oh this is a real life nightmare that could easily be a two-parter finale on SVU.” So approach with caution. There is a lot of violence and gore, but at the heart of this book is an incredibly compelling story you won’t be able to stop thinking about.”

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