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NPR Piece Highlights Indie Bookstore Growth

“Too Small to Fail,” a radio segment that aired on NPR on Thursday, March 22, explored the resurgence of indie bookstores in recent years despite the growth of online retail.

According to NPR, “Independent bookstores got crushed by big box stores in the ’90s and hammered by Amazon in the aughts. But since then, they’ve reinvented themselves. Now independent bookstores are back, often as the mainstays of new retail developments.”

The piece aired on “The Indicator,” a regular segment on the station’s Planet Money program, and featured commentary from Harvard Business School professor Ryan Raffaelli, who is publishing a study on indie bookstores this year and mentioned that since 2009, there has been a 40 percent increase in the number of independent bookstores. Mary Williams, general manager of Skylight Books in Los Angeles, was also interviewed for the piece.

Listen to the full segment here.

#KidLitMarchesforKids Rallies Children’s Book Community

Organizing behind the #KidLitMarchesforKids hashtag, which was created by children’s/YA authors Jenny Han and Raina Telgemeier, members of the children’s book community came out on Saturday, March 24, to advocate for gun control at the March for Our Lives, both at the main event in D.C. and related marches in communities around the country.

The March was organized by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, after the mass shooting on Valentine’s Day, which killed 17 people.

See the Kidlit Marches for Kids Facebook page for images from the booksellers, authors, and publishers who participated in Saturday’s march, or search for the #KidLitMarchesforKids hashtag on social media.

Judith Curr to Join HarperCollins

Judith Curr will join HarperCollins as the president and publisher of HarperOne, Amistad, and Rayo on April 2, the company announced Tuesday.

For the past six years, Curr served as president and publisher of Simon & Schuster’s Atria Publishing Group, which she founded in 2002. At Atria, she worked with authors like Isabel Allende and Michael Mosley and published the international self-help bestseller The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. Curr had worked at S&S for 19 years before stepping down in January.

In her new role, Curr will help grow the HarperOne list from 50 titles to 120 titles per year and continue to build the company’s list of diverse writers within the HarperOne list, in addition to growing the Amistad and Rayo trade lists, according to HarperCollins.

Curr will be based in New York, reporting to HarperCollins CEO and president Brian Murray, and sit on the global executive committee. HarperOne staff will continue to work out of both the New York and San Francisco offices.

Personnel Changes Announced at Philomel

Ken Wright has been promoted to the newly created position of president and publisher of Viking Children’s and Philomel, Publishers Lunch reported.

In the announcement, Penguin Young Readers president Jen Loja said that Viking has flourished under Wright’s direction. Each imprint will retain its own identity and editorial direction, according to Publishers Lunch.

Jill Santopolo has also been promoted to associate publisher at Philomel. Loja wrote: “Jill’s editorial vision and commitment to finding and developing new talent, coupled with Ken’s seasoned leadership, will ensure Philomel continues to evolve and thrive as one of today’s leading children’s books imprints.

Seth Russo to Retire From Simon & Schuster

Seth Russo, vice president and director of international sales at Simon & Schuster, will retire from the company on April 20, Publishers Weekly reported. The announcement came in a letter to staff from S&S senior vice president of sales Gary Urda.

Russo has worked in international sales for more than 35 years and led the S&S team from 1992 to 1997 and from 2010 to the present.

With this change, Colin Shields, vice president and executive director of global digital and international sales at S&S, will take over the day-to-day responsibility for the company’s international sales channel, according to PW.

Award Winners Announced at Bologna Children’s Book Fair

The winners of this year’s Hans Christian Andersen Awards and the IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award were announced at this week’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Both awards are given by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).

The Hans Christian Andersen Award is the highest international recognition given to an author and an illustrator of children’s books and recognizes lifelong achievement. The 2018 honors went to Japanese author Eiko Kadono for writing, and Russian artist Igor Oleynikov for illustration.

Les Doigts Qui Rêvent (Reading Fingers), a program that works to improve access to tactile illustrated books for visually impaired youth in France and around the world, was announced as the winner of the 2018 IBBY-Asahi Reading Promotion Award.

Jacqueline Woodson Wins Astrid Lindgren Award

Jacqueline Woodson has been named the 2018 laureate of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Awards (ALMA), the world’s largest award for children’s and young adult literature.

Woodson, who writes primarily for young teens, is the author of 30 novels, poetry and picture books for teens, children, and adults, and was recently named the 2018–2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

She is the author of the 2014 National Book Award and Newbery Honor-winning autobiographical novel in verse Brown Girl Dreaming (Puffin Books), and her 2016 novel for adults, Another Brooklyn (Amistad), was voted by booksellers as the number-one pick on the August 2016 Indie Next List and named a 2016 National Book Award finalist.

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award of five million Swedish krona (approximately $613,000) is given each year to a single laureate or multiple laureates.

Visit the award website to read the jury citation.

2018 Shortlist for U.K.’s Rathbones Folio Prize Announced

The shortlist for the U.K.’s 2018 Rathbones Folio Prize was announced Tuesday.

The Rathbones Folio prize, previously known as the Folio Prize, is awarded to the best work of literature, regardless of form, written in English and published in the U.K. in a given year. Books on the 2018 shortlist were chosen by members of the Folio Academy. They are:

  • Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout (Random House)
  • Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney (Hogarth)
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead)
  • Ghosts of the Tsunami by Richard Lloyd Parry (MCD)
  • Once Upon a Time in the East by Xiaolu Guo (published in the U.S. by Grove Press as Nine Continents)
  • Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor (Catapult)
  • The Day That Went Missing by Richard Beard (Little, Brown)
  • White Tears by Hari Kunzru (Knopf)

The winner will receive a £20,000 prize at an awards ceremony held at the British Library in London on May 8.