Hello and happy weekend, writers! It’s been a pretty busy week here at Kobo. We had a takeover with Clayton Noblit from Written Word Media on Thursday, which you can watch here, and we celebrated World Book Day with the launch of Kobo’s staff picks blog! Now you can get even more recommendations from the Kobo team, and who doesn’t love expanding their TBR list? Let us know what book you’d recommend for World Book Day below!

Now let’s see what the rest of the publishing world has been up to this week.

The BookLife Prize is open for submissions!

The BookLife Prize – Enter Now

“Since reaching the finals I have signed with a literary agent and been contacted by a film producer. Most importantly through the process of participating in the Prize, I got very valuable feedback on my work and broadened my author network considerably.” T.J. Slee

Kakao, a South Korean entertainment company, is set to buy Radish.

South Korea’s Kakao plans to buy Radish for $354 million. Another wake-up call for publishers who don’t “get” online reading – The New Publishing Standard

Radish has over 30 original series that together have delivered over 6,500 episodes, bringing in revenue in 2020 of over $20 million from over 1 million users who have chalked up 4 million downloads. The deal has yet to be finalized, but South Korea’s Kakao Entertainment is looking to acquire the online reading app Radish, […]

Despite staff protests, Simon & Schuster have said they will continue moving forward with plans to publish Mike Pence’s upcoming book.

Mike Pence’s publisher refuses to cancel memoir after staff protest

Simon & Schuster has said it will not pull out of a seven-figure book deal with Mike Pence after some of its employees called for the contract to be scrapped, stating that “we come to work each day to publish, not cancel”.

Sourcebooks has announced a new children’s book imprint.

Sourcebooks Announces New Children’s Imprint

“Home has taken on a whole new meaning for all of us this year,” Nicky Benson, Sourcebooks publishing manager for customized and proprietary products, said in announcing Hometown World, Sourcebooks’ 15th imprint and its ninth for children. “With that in mind, we wanted to create a series of books that could speak directly to the hearts of kids and their parents.

Richard Dawkins has lost his “humanist if the year” title after making derogatory comments about marginalized communities.

Richard Dawkins loses ‘humanist of the year’ title over trans comments

The American Humanist Association has withdrawn its humanist of the year award from Richard Dawkins, 25 years after he received the honour, criticising the academic and author for “demean[ing] marginalised groups” using “the guise of scientific discourse”.

The latest biography of Philip Roth has been put on hold after the author was accused of sexual assault.

Sexual Assault Allegations Against Biographer Halt Shipping of His Roth Book

W.W. Norton, citing the accusations that the author, Blake Bailey, faces, said it would stop shipping and promoting his new best-selling book. Earlier this month, the biographer Blake Bailey was approaching what seemed like the apex of his literary career.

The International Booker Prize shortlist is here!

International Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the International Booker Prize, an award for the best translated work of fiction into English, has been announced. The prize offers £50,000, split evenly between author and translator. The winner will be announced on June 2. The shortlist includes two books each translated from French and Spanish, and one each from Russian and Danish.

In Canadian prize news, the longlist for the Stephen Leacock Medal of Humour has been announced.

Indians on Vacation by Thomas King among 10 books longlisted for $15K Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour | CBC Books

Thomas King is among the 10 writers longlisted for the 2020 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. The prize, worth $15,000, is awarded to the most humorous Canadian book of the year. King is nominated for his novel Indians on Vacation .

And the shortlist for the ReLit Awards, which honour books published by indie presses, has been announced.

38 books shortlisted for 2021 ReLit Awards | CBC Books

Books The ReLit Awards honour the best Canadian books published by independent presses. The 2021 winners will be revealed on Friday, April 23, 2021. The ReLit Awards honour the best Canadian books published by independent presses. There are three categories: novel, short fiction and poetry. The prize is known for releasing long shortlists.

Levar Burton is ready to dust off his hosting skills as he gears up to guest host on Jeopardy!

An ‘Overjoyed’ LeVar Burton Welcomes Chance To Guest-Host ‘Jeopardy!’

LeVar Burton will host a week of Jeopardy! this summer, after nearly 250,000 people signed a petition backing the actor and director’s long-held aspiration to try out for the job that was left vacant by Alex Trebek, who died last year. “I am overjoyed, excited, and eager to be guest-hosting Jeopardy!”

Michaela Cole is set to release her first book this fall.

Michaela Coel debuts as an author with Misfits: A Personal Manifesto

I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum creator and actor Michaela Coel is writing her first book, titled Misfits: A Personal Manifesto. To be published in the UK and US in September, the book will draw on topics covered in Coel’s MacTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Festival in 2018.

Emilia Clark has written her first comic book!

Emilia Clarke wrote a comic book! Preview her superhero story ‘M.O.M.: Mother of Madness’

It started almost as a joke, Emilia Clarke recalls: “About three years ago, I was in a car with a bunch of friends and was like, ‘Hey, guys, wouldn’t it be really funny if…’ And then I woke up the next day and was like, ‘That would be funny.

Dakota Johnson is moving from E L James to Jane Austen as the 50 Shades star is set to lead an adaptation of Persuasion.

Dakota Johnson to Star in Netflix Adaptation of Jane Austen’s ‘Persuasion’

Dakota Johnson is set to star in Netflix’s retelling of Jane Austen’s novel ” Persuasion.” Carrie Cracknell, known for directing Jake Gyllenhaal in “Sea Wall/ A Life” on Broadway, is stepping behind the camera in her feature directorial debut. Ron Bass and Alice Victoria Winslow have adapted the screenplay.

Ava DuVernay will be creating her first animated project with an adaptation of the Wings of Fire kids books.

Ava DuVernay is making an animated Netflix series based on the Wings of Fire kids books

This marks the filmmaker’s first animated project. The Wrinkle in Time director and When They See Us creator is turning the popular Wings of Fire fantasy kids books into a 10-episode event series for Netflix. Series author Tui T. Sutherland announced the news in a blog post for the streaming service.

The YA novel Along for the Ride is being adapted into a feature by the screenwriter of To All the Boys I Loved Before.

Netflix finds its next ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ in YA novel ‘Along for the Ride’

Sarah Dessen’s 2009 YA novel is becoming a feature film. By Jolie Lash She’ll adapt Along for the Ride , a feature-length film based on Sarah Dessen’s 2009 YA novel of the same name, Netflix announced on Thursday. Alvarez will also make her directing debut on the project, which films in North Carolina.

As we enter another spring in lockdown, this piece on the importance of small talk really hit home.

Blah Blah Blah: The Lack of Small Talk Is Breaking Our Brains | The Walrus

I never thought I’d say this, but I miss small talk. I miss those fifteen-second exchanges with strangers at the gym. I miss asking acquaintances about their significant others or dropping an “I like your shoes” to a woman in the elevator before hopping off.

And last but not least, I really enjoyed this piece that investigates how the length of the novel has changed throughout history.

Novels and Novellas and Tomes, Oh My!

We like to pretend that art is art. That an author writes what they are inspired to write, with no concern but the voice of the muse. This is a useful fiction. It is good for writers to focus on the art when writing and worry about the business side later.

Have a great weekend!

Staff Pick

Rachel, Author Engagement Coordinator

“When Rachel Matlow’s mom, Elaine, is diagnosed with stage 1 cancer, Rachel is concerned, but hopeful. The prognosis is good, and the treatment is simple. Or at least it should be. But Elaine doesn’t want any “conventional” treatment, and instead drinks tinctures, uses a special sauna, and says affirmations to battle her cancer. I’m sure it’s no surprise these methods are not successful. This book made me laugh, it made me incredibly frustrated, and it definitely made me cry. I cannot recommend it enough, but be sure to bring tissues.”

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