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Rachel Carson around the time she wrote Silent Spring, which kicked off the modern-day environmental movement.

In this week’s edition, indie authors can submit their books to the 2022 U.S. Selfies awards through March 31; the debate about AI-narrated audiobooks continues to heat up; remembering the publishing executive who “invented” the trade paperback. Award-winning creative nonfiction author Kiese Laymon talks about why he bought back the rights to his first books; gig resellers’ look to further exploit freelance writers and editors; and LitHub profiles the Authors Guild’s anti-book-banning efforts.

Public domain photo: Rachel Carson. LitHub explores how the legendary author went from plant biologist to full-time nature writer.

Want to Stop Book Bans? The Authors Guild Has Tools For You
Lit Hub
The Guild is a leader in opposing book banning and other types of censorship. People who wish to stop school districts from banning books should download the sample templates from our email/letter-writing campaign.

Submissions Open for 2022 U.S. Selfies
Publishers Weekly
Indie authors should submit now to the 2022 U.S. Selfies awards, which recognize self-published books from the past year. Winners in the categories of adult fiction, children’s books, and memoir/autobiography will each be awarded a cash prize of $1,000 and other perks.

Jason Epstein, Publishing Executive Who Shaped Literary Tastes, Dies at 93
The Washington Post
Remembering the editor and publisher Jason Epstein who created Anchor Books at Doubleday in 1952 to provide American readers with access to contemporary and classic literature in affordable paperback editions, creating what we now know as the “trade” paperback.

Reselling Gig Work is TikTok’s Newest Side Hustle
The Verge
Content mills harm professional freelance writers, editors and translators because they pay newbie authors meager rates, which drive down pay rates even for freelance assignments from more credible companies. Now freelancers also need to be wary of approaches from gig resellers who generally find content creators via the content mills.

How Rachel Carson Carved Out a Space to Become a Full-Time Writer
Lit Hub
A brief history of Rachel Carson’s early days as a nature writer before Silent Spring forever transformed our understanding of humanity’s long-term impact on the environment.

AI Influence on Audiobooks Grows—As Does Controversy
Publishers Weekly
“Proponents of AI audiobook narration tout its much lower production costs as a way to improve profitability of audiobooks as well as allowing publishers to publish more audiobooks that have limited audiences.” But some publishing professionals argue that the negatives outweigh the positives, including “lost jobs, loss of integrity in storytelling, and loss of personal connection.”

Kiese Laymon on Revision as Love, and Love as Revision
Lit Hub
In this Thresholds’ podcast, the ALA’s 2019 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction Winner Kiese Laymon talks about how he bought back the rights to his first books to have them revised and republished.

Ashley Bryan, Whose Joyous Picture Books Celebrated Black Life and History, Dies at 98
The Washington Post
Texan children’s book author Ashley Byran passed away on February 4. “Along with writers and illustrators such as Ezra Jack Keats, John Steptoe and the late Eloise Greenfield and Jerry Pinkney, Mr. Bryan helped fill a void in the historically White realm of American children’s literature, crafting works that treated Black characters with dignity rather than disdain.”