Sarah Kendzior has announced that she is leaving her position as an op-ed columnist at Al Jazeera English, due to what she calls “new rules,” which allow “no room for freedom of thought.” “Writing for AJ English has been great,” she writes. “I will always be grateful to them for running work on poverty, race, and other controversial topics.” You can find an archive of her columns, the most recent of which focused on the murder of Michael Brown and racial discrimination in St. Louis, here.
At Neiman Reports, Scott Stossel—author and editor of The Atlantic—talks about the challenges of keeping a print magazine and a website relevant, and about the importance of publishing good cover stories, maintaining gender and racial parity, and paying writers.
The New York Times reports on Campfire, Amazon’s “literary weekend” retreat for writers and artists that takes place near Santa Fe every year. Past attendees include Ayelet Waldman, Michael Chabon, Moby, and Werner Herzog. But don’t expect any of them to talk about it. Amazon has asked participants to keep quiet about the affair, and so far writers are following the request, leading the Times to write: “Whether or not fear of Amazon is legitimate, it exists.”
The Guardian has published a short story by Hilary Mantel that features an assassin whose target is Margaret Thatcher. “Hilary Mantel: The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher–August 6th 1983″ appears in Mantel’s new collection. The Telegraph was originally slated to publish the excerpt, but declined after an editor “decided they were too offensive for the its Tory-supporting readers,” the Independent reports.
“Weirdly dispiriting and irrelevant”: This is how Flavorwire describes the longlist of nonfiction books nominated for the 2014 National Book Award. “It is replete with every new book that you would maybe get your dad for the holidays.”