Literary News Roundup - Nobel Prize reveal, digital festivals need more than a Zoom account, and More!

09.10.20 10:45 PM By GAOLF

Louise Glück wins Nobel, a digital festival is more than the sum of its Zoom account, studio execs go on book rights spending spree and more!

  • The American Poet Louise Glück was just announced as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.” Diehard Haruki Murakami fans known as the 'Harukists' will be completely devastated. You can relive the Murakami frustration from 2017 in all its 'always a bridesmaid, never the bride' BBC coverage here and explore Gluck's life and work here.
  • It's the last day of Hay Festival Europa28 tomorrow - you can still see Leila Slimani, Zadie Smith and more. Explore events here
  • “So many things have happened our risk management plan is like a bible” says Janet DeNeefe, founder of Bali's Ubud Writers and Readers Festival in this article highlighting the challenges the festival has faced over the years as it gears up for its offshoot celebration Kembali 2020 at the end of this month. 
  • The Stratford-upon-Avon Literary Festival and the Salariya Book Company have opened their 2021 Children’s Picture Book Prize for submissions which champions authors and illustrators who have struggled to get their work published. All previous winners have received a publishing contract or found agent representation, and the deadline for submissions is 31 January. More details here.
  • Steve Backshall and David Baddiel among speakers at the Swansea Science Festival this month. More details here.
  • If you missed the University of East Anglia Live event with Lee Child this Wednesday, have no fear - more will be coming up every week. UEA Live: Autumn 2020 Season Pass will grant you access to all 7 online events, which you can explore in more detail here.
  • Rachel King, Festival Director of WORD Christchurch which kicks off on 28 October, discussed the need to shift programming to more of a New Zealand focus post-lockdown and the impact of cancellation fees on choosing venues. You can read more about that here, and explore the WORD Christchurch programme here.
  • The Eccles Centre at the British Library and Hay Festival have announced the shortlist for the 2021 Eccles Centre & Hay Festival Writer's Award.
  • 'Who came up with this, and why do they hate me?' asks the author of this amusing and insightful essay on the history and rise of the author photo.
  • A woman who has read 95 books this year, and a former counsellor turned professional bibliotherapist provide insights on 'the strange alchemy that allows literature to transport us...from the everyday' in this article
  • Read 12 books in a year, win a Kindle. How this Hyderabad start-up is getting kids to read again.
  • Book Riot's list of 15 terrifying books not suitable for the faint of heart is the perfect place to seek bookshelf inspiration this spooky season. 
  • This LitHub list of the best reviewed books of the week features Marilynne Robinson, Nick Hornby and even Mariah Carey. 
  • There is plenty to explore on Crime Reads this week, including an essay on why most con artist stories are also about social class, the creative legacy of a mystery writer who went down with the Titanic, and this fascinating and chilling true crime read of how public fear over American pulp novels escalated to fatal conclusions in 1950s New Zealand. 
  • Explore the 2020 US National Book Awards shortlist which is largely dominated by small and indie publishers. The winner will be announced 18 November, one day prior to the Booker Prize announcement. Speaking of the Booker Prize, you'll also notice Shuggie Bain on the shortlist.
  • In June, a clandestine press in Vietnam was awarded the 2020 Prix Voltaire which honours ‘courage in the freedom to publish’ by the International Publishers’ Association. This week the publishing house's co-founder Pham Doan Trang is reported to have been arrested in Ho Chi Minh City on allegations of ‘anti-state activity’. This Publishing Perspectives article has more information and the letter she shared with Will Nguyen to publicize upon her arrest can be found here.
  • Pam Ayres says a poet could be a contender on a TV talent show today like she was, but she's not a fan of the 'manufactured suspense' of modern iterations like Britain's Got Talent.
  • If you want to stay in a cottage that looks like the Gryffindor common room, you can. More information here.
  • Digital checkouts are up 52 percent since March according to this article: Publishers Worry as Ebooks Fly off Libraries' Virtual Shelves 
  • This article in The Korean Herald which looks at digital publishing trends in Korea and the growing popularity of audiobooks there, has a more positive outlook. 
  • Book storage mistakes to avoid courtesy of Michael Dirda's latest instalment in his quest to prune back a 'Smaug-like book hoard'.
  • The COVID-19 trend for 'binge-reading' is explored in this Wall Street Journal article 'Can Books Compete with Netflix? Yes, and Here’s Why'
  • Lexicographer Susie Dent's Word Perfect not word perfect after early version of manuscript sent to print. Dent left 'gutted' and tapping into the power of 'lalochezia'. More on this awkward publishing fail here
  • It's not even Halloween yet, but if you need to make a head start on gifts for the festive season, these gifts for book lovers that aren't more books might be useful. 
  • Black writers and filmmakers are bringing new scares to the horror genre according to this article which references screenwriting masterpiece Get Out, the adaptation Lovecraft Country and more. 
  • During the pandemic, there has been a surge in film and TV studios buying the rights to adapt books for the screen. Essentially while film and TV production has ground to a halt, studio execs, filmmakers and actors have had more time to read, and the appetite for fresh material has only grown, so they’ve spent the time investing in stories that will hopefully be future hits for them. 
  • This is the article on the weirdest screen adaptations of Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles that we didn’t know we needed. From the modern twists on the tale we’re familiar with in Sherlock and Elementary, we journey to a Russian miniseries with a plot to assassinate Queen Victoria, and a cartoon set in the 22nd century where Watson is an android. 
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