February 8, 2018

Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward has signed a two book deal at Simon & Schuster. The first book is a still-untitled novel that “centers on an enslaved woman sent south from the Carolinas to New Orleans, site of the country’s largest slave market,” which will be published by Scribner. Ward will also write a young adult novel about “a black Southern female protagonist who possesses special powers,” which will be published by Caitlyn Dlouhy Books. Publication dates for the titles have not been announced.

Edna O’Brien has won the PEN/Nabokov lifetime achievement award. The prize will be given to O’Brien at a ceremony later this month.

At the New York Times, assistant managing editor Monica Drake discusses her twenty years at the paper, her new role, and how it feels to be the first black woman on the paper’s print masthead.

The Light We Lost author Jill Santopolo is adapting her debut novel for film. The project will be produced by Southpaw Entertainment.

Is “writing what you know” the best strategy? Literary Hub looks to thirty-one writers for the answer.

As publishers give up on Facebook’s Instant Articles, the feature is being put to use by fake news sites to add legitimacy to their articles and allow them to load faster, BuzzFeed News reports.

Former editors of DNAinfo Chicago are starting a local news website, Block Club Chicago. The site is expected to go live in April, and will rely on reader subscriptions.  Former DNAinfo deputy editor and social media director Jen Sabella, now director of strategy for Block Club Chicago, explained why, despite the notion that local news is dead, the site will be successful. “People want it, and we proved that with DNAinfo. What we didn’t do was give readers a chance to support us,” she said. “I’m so excited to try this again, and maybe I’m totally bonkers, but I think if you listen to your audience and provide reliable news that is relevant to their lives (and that you can’t find 1,000 other places), people will support it.”

Tonight at McNally Jackson, Lisa Halliday discusses her new novel, Asymmetry.