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The Roundup: January 21, 2022


In this week’s edition, Authors Guild members offer advice on getting rejected and receive nominations for the 2022 Edgar Awards. Maya Angelou is the face of the new American quarter, and the children’s classic Bambi returns as an adult novel about discrimination and persecution in a new translation of the original story. Even as Americans are reading fewer books, SourceBooks and Ebony form a partnership to highlight fresh Black voices in fiction and nonfiction. And more!

Image: The 1922 edition of Bambi by Felix Salten enters the public domain this year and gets a new translation.

20 Famous Writers on Being Rejected
Some sage advice about having one’s writing rejected, including quotes from long-time AG members Judy Blume, Alexander Chee, Annie Dillard, Jennifer Egan and Sigrid Nunez.

Mystery Writers of America Announces the Nominees for the 2022 Edgar Awards
LitHub Crime Reads
Sixty-three authors in eleven categories have been nominated for the 2022 Edgar Awards, which recognizes the year’s best mystery fiction, nonfiction and teleplays. Authors Guild members Elon Green has been nominated in the Best Fact Crime Book for Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York and James McGrath Morris received a nomination for Best Critical/Biographical Book for Tony Hillerman: A Life. The winners will be announced on April 28th.

Not Fewer Book Readers, But Lower Consumption Levels
Publishing Perspectives
A new Gallup survey found that Americans read fewer books than ever before. Americans read an average of 12.6 books in 2021, down from 15 books five years ago.

Maya Angelou to Become the First Black Woman to Appear on U.S. Quarter
The Washington Post
The U.S. Mint has begun shipping quarters featuring writer and civil rights activist Maya Angelou to banks in the United States—making her the first Black woman to be featured on a quarter-dollar.

Sourcebooks, Ebony Ink Deal for Adult Books
Publishers Weekly
Sourcebooks has inked a deal with Ebony Magazine Publishing to create a list of Ebony-branded adult books. Sourcebooks said four to eight books a year will be released under the partnership, which will feature a mix of fiction and nonfiction titles highlighting Black voices.

New Bambi Translation Reveals the Dark Origins of the Disney Story
Publishers Weekly
A new translation of Bambi, a Life in the Forest by Felix Salten reveals that the original story was for adults and that Disney’s animated version has very little to do with the actual text. According to Jack Zipes, who has translated the work from the German, the novel is “a brilliant and profound story of how minority groups throughout the world have been brutally treated” and an “allegory about the weak and powerless.” First published in Austria in 1922, Zipes said that Salten, who was Jewish, experienced classism and anti-Semitism in Vienna and throughout Eastern Europe, which likely inspired the dark story about the need to hide in the forest from those who seek to inflict harm.

You May Not Know His Name, But for Me Eric Priestley Was a Poet Laureate of L.A.
Los Angeles Times
A tribute to the Los Angeles poet, novelist, and screenwriter Eric Priestley who recently passed away at 78. Priestley helped forge the Black Arts Movement at the Watts Writers Workshop in the 1960s.