Happy Friday, writers! We have a lot of news to get to after missing the roundup last week due to revamping the blog (how nice does it look?!) so let’s get right to it!

We will start with a perfect article for Women’s History Month: Sophie Baggott writes about her experience after reading books by women from every country around the world.

What I learned from reading books by women from every country in the world | Sophie Baggott

Three years ago, when I set out to read writing by a woman from every country in the world, I had no idea of the ways in which this journey would surprise me, challenge me and, as life became smaller, sustain me. What I did know was that I needed to broaden my bookcase far beyond the canon.

An interesting article on Amazon’s evolution as a publishing house and their refusal to lend to libraries.

Perspective | Want to borrow that e-book from the library? Sorry, Amazon won’t let you.

Mindy Kaling has gone missing from the library. I was looking forward to reading the comedian’s new story collection, ” Nothing Like I Imagined.” So I typed Kaling’s name into the Libby app used by my public library to lend e-books. But the latest from the star of “The Office” was nowhere to be found.

Frankfurt Book Fair has committed to a hybrid event in 2021.

Frankfurt Commits to In-Person Fair, Opens Registration

The Frankfurt Book Fair has recommitted to running a hybrid meeting in 2021, one which will feature in-person and virtual elements, and has opened registration for exhibitors. The in-person event is scheduled for October 20-24 and has been given the theme of “re:connect.” Canada will be the 2021 fair’s guest of honor.

The National Endowment for the Humanities is distributing $135 million to cultural institutions in the states impacted by the pandemic.

NEH to Distribute $135M to Cultural Institutions Hit by Pandemic

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The owners of the romance bookstore The Ripped Bodice have released their annual report on diversity in romance.

Diversity in Romance Books Still Lags

In 2016, we had been open for one intense and educational year as the only romance-focused bookstore in the country. After one year of building a community of romance-loving customers, it became abundantly clear to us that readers were looking for more racial diversity in their romance novels.

Norton Juster, author of The Phantom Tollbooth, has passed away.

Canada Reads concluded last week! And the winner is:

Scholastique Mukasonga has won the Simone de Beauvoir Prize for Women’s Freedom.

Margaret Atwood is editing a new pandemic novel with contributions from John Grisham and Emma Donoghue.

Margaret Atwood editing new pandemic novel – contributors include John Grisham and Emma Donoghue | CBC Books

One of the first novels about the pandemic will be a collaborative effort, with Margaret Atwood, John Grisham and Celeste Ng among the writers. The Authors Guild Foundation announced on March 18, 2021 that it had reached a deal with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books & Media to publish Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering.

In honour of the character’s 80th birthday, Marvel will be introducing the first openly gay Captain America this pride month.

Marvel announces first gay Captain America

A teenager who “stands for the oppressed, and the forgotten” is to become the first LGBTQ+ character to take on the mantle of Captain America. Marvel Comics is celebrating the 80th anniversary of the US hero with the launch of a new series, The United States of Captain America, in which the incumbent Steve Rogers will team up with former Captain Americas when his shield goes missing.

Speaking of comics, the legend herself Dolly Parton will be starring in her own comic book.

Dolly Parton to star in her own comic book

The country music icon joins Mother Teresa and Michelle Obama, among others, as a Female Force comic book star. Dolly Parton is in prime (animated) company for her latest release. Revolving around women who’ve made a strong impact on the world, the Female Force comics are available both digitally and in print.

For the authors creating audiobooks, especially if you’re considering narrating your own books, I recommend this interview with award winning narrator Abby Craden.

The Key Ingredients of a Good Audiobook

On this week’s episode of Working, June Thomas spoke with actor and award-winning audiobook narrator Abby Craden about her voice work. They discussed the technical aspects that go into recording an audiobook, her creative license in making narration decisions, and the differences between working on fiction and nonfiction projects.

It’s not at all surprising that online writing groups have been thriving during lockdown.

And last but certainly not least, an article that perfectly illustrates the need for a solid cover (and that if you’re going to publish a public domain book, you should at least read a synopsis).

Have a great weekend!

Staff Pick

Rachel, Author Engagement Coordinator

“I randomly picked up this book a few weeks ago, but given the events in Atlanta this past week and the rise in violence against the AAPI community, it seems rather timely now. The Last Story of Mina Lee weaves two timelines together: After her mother suspiciously dies, Margot is determined to uncover the truth surrounding her mother’s death and in doing so, learns the truth about her mother’s life. Thirty years earlier, Mina arrives in America as an immigrant from Korea and as she navigates this new world, she unexpectedly falls in love. This is a beautiful story about family, identity, and belonging, built on a compelling mystery, and it opened my eyes to some of the intricacies of the immigrant experience (and gave me intense cravings for Korean food).”

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