Industry & Advocacy News
April 8, 2022
In this week’s edition: the American Academy of Poets offers ways to celebrate National Poetry Month, Follett decides against creating a parental monitoring tool to support states and school districts’ efforts to ban certain books, Rep. Jamie Raskin holds a Congressional hearing about the adverse impact of book banning, British publishing gets slightly more diverse, Aimee Bender opines on what happens when the writing in your head is better than what’s on the page, and more.
Diversity in UK PublishingPublishing PerspectivesThe UK Publishers Association unveiled its latest report on diversity in the publishing industry. While there’s stil a long way to go, the industry has made some progress in diversity and inclusion, including increasing the number of publishing professionals from ethnic minority groups to 15 percent.
30 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry MonthPoets.orgIn honor of National Poetry Month, the American Academy of Poets offers 30 tips to bring more poetry into one’s life.
Amazon Workers on Staten Island Vote to Unionize in Landmark Win for LaborThe New York TimesEmployees at a Staten Island Amazon warehouse cast 2,654 votes in favor of and 2,131 votes against being represented by Amazon Labor Union. It is the first Amazon facility to unionize in the nation after years of worker activism and unionization attempts that Amazon executives have tried hard to prevent.
The Pity of the ElitesThe New York TimesAn author suggests that now might be the time for publishers (and colleges and universities) to stop encouraging stories of adversity that glorify and reward those with the most “pitiful” tales.
2022 Whiting Award Winners AnnouncedPublishers WeeklyThe winners of the 37th Annual Whiting Awards, which provide a $50,000 prize to each recipient, are Claire Boyles (fiction), Rita Bullwinkel (fiction), Ina Cariño (poetry), Anthony Cody (poetry), Anaïs Duplan (nonfiction), Alexis Pauline Gumbs (nonfiction), Megha Majumdar (fiction), Jesse McCarthy (nonfiction), Nana Nkweti (fiction), and Claire Schwartz (poetry).
Follett Reverses Course on Parental Controls for Customers Facing Censorship LegislationPublishers WeeklyFollett School Solutions scrapped plans to develop parental monitoring tools to support states and school district’s bans on certain books and resources. Follett’s Destiny Library Manager software would have apprised parents of their child’s book selections and enabled them to limit student access to materials they deemed inappropriate. But Follett changed its mind after school librarians, educators, and authors launched a social media campaign expressing their deep opposition, calling it a dangerous invasion of readers’ privacy.
Congress Holds Hearing on Book Bannings in Schools and LibrariesPublishers WeeklyMaryland Congressman Jamie Raskin, chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, held a hearing on April 7th to examine the wave of attempted book bannings in schools and libraries across the country. The hearing comes after the American Library Association announced there were 729 requests to remove nearly 1,600 books from school and public libraries in 2021—three times more than in 2020 and the highest number in 20 years. The vast majority of challenged books involve race and LGBTQ+ issues.
Aimee Bender on Writing Without a PlanLit HubThe award-winning short story writer and novelist shares her perspective on what it means when your writing works better in your head than it does on the page.