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The Roundup: February 14, 2020

Our roundup of key news affecting authors. In this edition: Publishers succeed in Audible Captions case and more…

Copyright: U.S. Publishers Succeed in ‘Audible Captions’ Case
Publishing Perspectives
“The Association of American Publishers has succeeded in stopping Audible from generating its ‘Captions’ feature on publishers’ audiobooks without those publishers’ express permission.”

Citing ‘Peril,’ Flatiron Cancels ‘American Dirt’ Tour, Apologizes for ‘Serious Mistakes’
Publishers Weekly 
“In a prepared statement announcing the tour’s cancelation, Bob Miller, Flatiron’s publisher, disclosed that the remainder of the tour was canceled due to ‘specific threats to booksellers and the author’ which in some cases included ‘threats of physical violence.’ Miller added that ‘we believe there exists real peril to their safety.’ Miller also admitted to mistakes made by the publisher specific to its promotion of American Dirt. ‘On a more specific scale, we made serious mistakes in the way we rolled out this book,’ he stated.”

New Lee and Low Survey Shows No Progress on Diversity in Publishing
Publishers Weekly 
“Last year, Publishers Weekly’s annual salary survey showed minimal improvement in terms of creating a more diverse publishing industry. This week, Lee and Low, which conducted its own survey focusing on diversity in the book business in 2015, released the results of its latest update, for 2019. They were much the same.”

PEN America 2020 Awards Shortlists Announced
Publishers Weekly 
“PEN America has announced the finalists for the 2020 PEN America Literary Awards. The prize money attached to the awards totals to more than $330,000. The winners will be announced live at the 2020 PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on March 2 at the Town Hall in New York City, to be hosted by Seth Meyers.”

Mellon Foundation Grants $4.5 Million to Academy of American Poets
The New York Times
“The Academy of American Poets said on Thursday that it would be able to fund its poet laureate program for the next three years with a $4.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.”

Trump Budget Again Calls for the Elimination of Federal Arts Agencies
The Washington Post
“The Trump administration proposed budget cuts that would kill the federal cultural agencies that support arts, humanities and public television stations across the country.”

2020 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature Winners Announced
“For ten authors and three illustrators, January 27 was no ordinary Monday morning. For them, it was a moment to celebrate the honor of receiving a 2020 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature, which recognizes works written between October 2018 and September 2019.”

What’s Going on with ‘My Dark Vanessa’ and ‘Excavation’?
“In January, Ortiz called out My Dark Vanessa on Twitter—without actually naming it—for being similar to her memoir. She later called the book a ‘fictional take on a reality I lived,’ and published an essay noting that her memoir and My Dark Vanessa have ‘eerie story similarities.’ This prompted a debate online about whether Russell had plagiarized her novel from the memoir, and the discourse eventually spiraled into conflict over who has the right to tell stories about sexual abuse.”

Native American Groups Object to Library of Congress Posting Tribal Stories
“As the Library of Congress puts thousands of hours of Native American recordings and thousands of photographs online, some Native American groups are saying culturally sensitive material, often taken without the tribes’ consent, should be a part of the tribal traditional property.”

B&N, PRH Cancel Diverse Editions Promotion
Publishers Weekly 
“A Black History Month promotion from Barnes & Noble and Penguin Random House has been canceled following a social media backlash accusing the companies of employing ‘literary blackface.’”

We May Never See John Bolton’s Book
The New York Times
“The fate of his memoir is up to government censors. That’s troubling.”