Hello writers and happy spring! While I’m sure the snow isn’t quite done with us yet here in Toronto, we’ve had our sneak peak of warm weather and sunshine this week and I am ready for more.

We here at KWL had a great live event with “The Quartet” this week. Hosted by Tara, we were joined by Kristen Stanley (Fictionary), Lisa Lepki (ProWritingAid), and JoEllen Nordstrom (FirstEditing) who shared their editorial advice and answered a bunch of questions. If you missed the event, you can check it out here.

And be sure to also check out our fun quiz commemorating Women’s History Month: Which Literary Heroine are You?

Now let’s take a look at what’s been happening in the publishing world this week.

Facebook is launching their own self-publishing platform.

Facebook to Launch Self-Publishing Platform for Writers, Journalists to Monetize Content

Facebook says it wants to “empower” independent writers and journalists by letting them make money from their work. The social giant on Tuesday confirmed plans to launch a new platform for writers to self-publish their content, grow their audience and make money through monetization tools starting with subscriptions.

Penguin Random House has reached an agreement to distribute Marvel comics.

Penguin Random House Will Distribute Marvel Comics to Comics Stores

In a move that will likely transform the distribution of comics periodicals in North America, Penguin Random House Publisher Services has reached an agreement with Marvel to distribute its periodical comics and graphic novels to the comics shop market, also known as the direct market.

Amazon and the Big Five are facing another lawsuit.

Amazon, Big Five Publishers Face Yet Another Antitrust Suit-From Booksellers

Similar to the claims made in a concurrent e-book price-fixing case, the suit turns on Amazon’s use of Most Favored Nation clauses in its contracts with the Big Five publishers, which, lawyers claim, “have the intent and effect of controlling wholesale prices of print trade books and preventing competition with Amazon in the retail sale of print trade books.”

A Polish writer has been charged for calling his president a moron.

Polish writer charged for calling president a ‘moron’

A Polish writer faces a possible prison sentence for insulting President Andrzej Duda by calling him a “moron” over comments the latter made about Joe Biden’s US election victory. Jakub Żulczyk, the screenwriter behind the popular TV series Blinded by the Lights and Belfer, said prosecutors had charged him under an article in the criminal code for insulting the head of state in a Facebook post.

The National Book Critics Circle award winners were announced in a virtual ceremony this week.

NBCC Award Winners Announced in Emotional Ceremony

In a virtual ceremony on March 25, the National Book Critics Circle announced the winners in six categories for its annual awards honoring the best books of the previous publishing year. Books published by Harvard University Press won two of the awards, while books published by Big Five publishers won the remaining awards.

The winners of the PEN America awards were also announced this week.

Canadian Anne Carson, Tony laureate George C. Wolfe win PEN awards | CBC News

Canadian poet-translator Anne Carson and Tony Award-winner George C. Wolfe are among this year’s winners of PEN America awards for career achievement. Toronto-born Carson, a three-time finalist for the National Book Critics Circle poetry award and an acclaimed translator of Greek drama, has won the PEN/Nabokov Award for work of “enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship.”

Carmen Maria Machado has won the Folio Prize for best literary work of the year (and if you haven’t read In the Dream House I highly recommend).

The newest edition of Lord of the Rings will feature JRR Tolkien’s own illustrations for the first time.

JRR Tolkien’s own illustrations appear in Lord of the Rings for the first time

A series of paintings and sketches created by JRR Tolkien while he was writing The Lord of the Rings are to be included in the epic fantasy novel for the first time since its publication in 1954.

Paul McCartney announced his next children’s book, Grandude’s Green Submarine.

Paul McCartney Announces New Children’s Book Grandude’s Green Submarine

In 2019, Paul McCartney released the children’s book Hey Grandude! He’s now readying the sequel, Grandude’s Green Submarine, for a September 2021 release. According to a press release, the new book “continues the adventures of Grandude and his grandchildren as they set off on a quest to find their music-loving grandmother, Nandude!”

Idris Elba has signed a multi-book deal with Harper Collins Children’s Books.

Idris Elba Signs Multi-Book Deal with HarperCollins Children’s Books

Golden Globe and SAG-winning actor, musician, filmmaker, and activist Idris Elba has landed a global multi-book deal with HarperCollins to publish a number of books for young readers. Launching in 2022, the titles will include picture books and fiction created by Elba and co-author Robyn Charteris.

And last but not least, as someone who has been wasting enjoying a lot of time on TikTok as of late, I found this piece on the effectiveness of BookTok was incredibly interesting.

Have a great weekend!

Staff Pick

Tara, Director of KWL

“As a fan of true crime, I can sometimes get jaded with books that focus on the gory elements or glorify the crimes. That’s not what this book is. Justin tells the story about how a serial killer went undetected for years in Toronto’s queer community. He balances the victim’s stories with the police investigation and makes this a gripping read.”

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