October 7, 2022
In this week’s issue: Applications are open for Poets and Writers’ publicity incubator for debut authors; the Supreme Court has decided to hear a challenge to Section 230, which grants immunity to Big Tech for user content posted to its platforms; both the Nobel Prize in Literature and the finalists for the National Book Awards have been announced; Wiley’s textbook division reverses plans to remove 1,300 ebooks from a subscription database used by hundreds of colleges and universities; and more.
Supreme Court Takes Up Challenge to Social Media Platforms’ ShieldThe New York TimesThe Supreme Court will decide whether social media platforms can be sued despite a communications law (Section 230) that shields them from legal responsibility for what users post on their sites. The family of a 23-year-old college student killed in a terrorist attack in Paris brought the case against Google, claiming that YouTube algorithms pushed Islamic State recruiting videos to interested viewers based on information the company had collected about them. Many lawmakers think Section 230 wrongly gives tech companies a free pass when it comes to accountability for disinformation, discrimination, and violent content on their platforms.
Nobel Prize in Literature Is Awarded to Annie ErnauxThe New York TimesAnnie Ernaux, the 82-year-old French novelist and memoirist, is only the seventeenth woman to be awarded the world’s most prestigious literary prize. Click here to read our full post on her win.
Get the Word Out is a New Publicity Incubator for Debut AuthorsPoets & WritersDebut fiction writers who have a novel or short story collection under contract with a U.S. publisher have until October 21 to submit their application for Poets & Writers’ new publicity incubator program. The six-session workshop will launch in November with up to six fiction writers before opening up to poets in early 2023.
Responding to Criticism, Publisher Reinstates Blocked EbooksInside Higher EducationAfter a huge outcry by professors and college students, Wiley has added back 1,380 ebooks to ProQuest Academic Complete, a subscription collection used by many college and university libraries to make certain textbook available to students for free. The libraries pay a licensing fee to ProQuest. Wiley pulled the books in August but now says they will remain up through June 2023.
Finalists Announced for 2022 National Book AwardsBook RiotThe National Book Foundation announced its shortlist for the 2022 National Book Awards, which includes twenty-five authors in five categories (Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature and Young People’s Literature). Five authors and one translator have previously been nominated for or won a National Book Award: fiction writer Gayl Jones (1998); poet Sharon Olds (2002); nonfiction author David Quammen (2018), Japanese author Yoko Tawada and translator Margaret Mitsutani (2018), and French-Rwandan author Scholastique Mukasonga (2019). The winners will be announced November 16.