Happy Friday, writers! Another week has just flown by, and I know it’s only a matter of time before we see our first snow of the season here in Toronto. We hope everyone participating in NaNoWriMo is continuing to crush their daily wordcounts—be sure to follow us on socials if you want to join one of our virtual write-ins!

Onto the news:

Starting with some audiobook news this week, Spotify has made a move into audiobooks by purchasing Findaway.

Spotify Gets Into the Audiobook Business

The Swedish audio streaming subscription service giant Spotify has made its long-awaited move into the American audiobook market with an agreement to acquire Ohio-based digital audiobook distributor Findaway for an undisclosed price. The acquisition is expected to close before the end of the year.

Podium is launching a partnership with some of the most popular audiobook narrators.

Podium Launches Groundbreaking Partnership with Top Audiobook Performers | Podium Audio

Los Angeles, CA – – Podium today announced the launch of October 25, 2021 AudioCollab, a partnership with some of the most sought-after audiobook voice actors in the industry today.

What impact will AI narrators have on the audiobook game?

AI Comes to Audiobooks

Could this be magic? Over the past decade, audiobook sales, driven by digital audio, have exploded. Sales in 2020 exceeded $1.3 billion, up 12% over 2019. The percentage of Americans 18 and older who have listened to an audiobook is now 46%, up from 44% in 2019.

Anna Todd’s Frayed Pages and Wattpad are teaming up to launch an imprint.

Anna Todd, Wattpad Webtoon Partner to Launch New Book Imprint

Bestselling author Anna Todd’s Frayed Pages multimedia company is teaming with Wattpad Books to launch Frayed Pages x Wattpad Books, a new cobranded publishing imprint under the recently formed Wattpad Webtoon Book Group. FPxWB’s first release will be After: The Graphic Novel, a graphic adaptation of Todd’s bestselling 2014 prose series that will be released in Spring 2022.

Publisher Chelsea Green and a group of authors are suing Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Covid-19 Skeptics, Publisher Sue Sen. Elizabeth Warren

A group of authors and publisher Chelsea Green filed suit against Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren this week, alleging that a letter she sent to Amazon expressing concern over their role in spreading Covid-19 misinformation violates their First Amendment rights.

Conservatives are calling for audits of school libraries.

A ‘war on books’? Conservatives push for audits of school libraries

During the last year, Mary Ellen Cuzela – concerned about students being indoctrinated about sex and “critical race theory” – successfully petitioned her suburban Houston school district of about 83,000 to remove two books from their libraries: the novel “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison and the graphic novel “Losing the Girl” by MariNaomi.

Hoopla is expanding into New Zealand and Australia.

Midwest Tape’s Hoopla Expands Internationally-and at Home

After years of planning, Midwest Tape’s hoopla digital library platform has now launched in Australia and New Zealand, the company’s first overseas expansion. And at a time when demand for digital resources in public libraries is surging, spurred on by the Covid-19 pandemic, executives told PW the the company is expanding at home as well.

This article is pretty dense, but it offers an interesting look at the difference between bestselling audiobooks and bestselling print books (the study is from Sweden, but I think the results are still relevant in a North American market).

Audiobook Stylistics: Comparing print and audio in the bestselling segment | Published in Journal of Cultural Analytics

By Karl Berglund, Mats Dahllöf. We probed 34 linguistic measures to track differences between print and audiobooks.

A group of publishers have collaborated on a Shop Local Forever campaign for the holidays.

Publishers Collaborate on Holiday Marketing Campaign

A consortium of publishing houses led by Workman Publishing Co. and including Abrams Books, Bloomsbury Publishing, Candlewick Press, Chronicle Books, and Sourcebooks have partnered on Shop Local Forever, a consumer-focused marketing campaign to promote holiday book sales.

Quandra Prettyman, who was Barnard’s first black full-time faculty member and champion of Black women’s literature, has passed away.

Quandra Prettyman, Champion of Black Women’s Literature, Dies at 88

As Barnard’s first Black full-time faculty member, she broke ground in merging feminist literary studies with a study of Black writers. Quandra Prettyman, who developed some of the country’s first courses in Black women’s literature as the first Black full-time faculty member at Barnard College, died on Oct.

Sto:lo writer and activist Lee Maracle has died at 71.

Celebrated Sto:lo writer and activist Lee Maracle dead at 71 | CBC Books

Celebrated poet, author and activist Lee Maracle has died at the age of 71 on Nov. 11, 2021, CBC confirmed with her family. Maracle, a member of the Sto:lo Nation, is the creator of iconic books such as Celia’s Song, I Am Woman , My Conversations with Canadians and Ravensong .

Omar El Akkad has won the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Omar El Akkad wins $100K Scotiabank Giller Prize for novel What Strange Paradise | CBC Books

Omar El Akkad has won the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel What Strange Paradise . The $100,000 prize is the richest in Canadian literature. El Akkad is a Canadian journalist and author who currently lives in Portland. He is also the author of the novel American War , which was defended on Canada Reads 2018 by actor Tahmoh Penikett.

Take a look at the winning illustrations of the 2021 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books.

The 2021 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books

Since 1952, we’ve convened a rotating annual panel of three expert judges who consider every illustrated children’s book published that year in the United States. In 2017, we began partnering with the New York Public Library to administer the honor now called The New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award.

Authors are continuing to cash in on Hollywood’s adaptation spree.

Hollywood Loves Books

When author and illustrator Ariella Elovic drafted her book proposal for Cheeky: A Head-to-Toe Memoir, she never considered that the graphic memoir about body acceptance might one day become a television series.

After the HSC exam in New South Wales asked students to interpret Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, the author was inundated with commentary from confused students.

Australian teens bombarded Ocean Vuong on Instagram after his writing showed up on their exams.

Today in things that should definitely not be possible: Ocean Vuong received a torrent of real-time reviews from a horde of confused Australian teenagers on Instagram after they tried to interpret his writing for an exam. Students in Australia take the HSC exams every year to finish their high school studies.

I thought this was an interesting look at a different way to teach writing.

What If We Taught Writing the Way We Teach Acting? | Jaime Green

My ritual before trying to make a bit of art used to be: Eat a light dinner, drink a cup of tea. Put on comfortable clothes. Take some deep breaths, into my belly, my ribs, and my chest in sequence, feeling my torso expand around my spine.

And last but definitely not least, something I am very excited about, the first trailer for the adaptation of Emily St. John Mandel’s Station Eleven has dropped.

TV adaptation of bestselling Canadian novel Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel to be released in December | CBC Books

TV adaptation of bestselling Canadian novel Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel to be released in December | CBC Books Loaded Books Hiro Murai’s screen adaptation of Station Eleven will stream on Crave in Canada beginning Dec. 16. Watch the trailer now. The wait is over!

Have a wonderful weekend!