BTW News Briefs

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Here’s what’s happening this week in the book industry:

Julius C. Jefferson Jr. has been elected president of the American Library Association (ALA). Jefferson, who is section head of the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress, will serve as president-elect for a year before officially taking on his title at the 2020 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago.

Robert Martin has been named the new executive director of the Independent Booksellers Consortium. He was most recently the director of operations for the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, and is the founder of the website The Independent Bookseller, which he will continue to operate part-time.

Chloe Schwenke has been named executive director of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP); she had been serving as interim director over the past year. Schwenke is an author, educator, and human rights activist and previously served as the inaugural director of the Global Program on Violence, Rights and Inclusion at the International Center for Research on Women.

As the centennial celebration of Children’s Book Week gears upKidLit TV has announced a partnership with the Children’s Book Council and Every Child a Reader to produce 100 videos for teachers, parents, librarians, and educators to share with students. The videos will feature well-known children’s book authors and illustrators discussing their favorite character creations, and new videos will be released every Monday for the rest of the year.

The Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) has announced a new national network membership program, which is open to individuals who do not live within commuting distance to one of the organization’s chapter cities.

Simon & Schuster has entered a distribution agreement with Tra Publishing to handle sales and distribution to markets and territories worldwide. In June, Simon & Schuster will launch Tiller Press, an imprint publishing timely, culturally relevant titles that focus on wellness, self-expression, empathy, food and cooking, and more. The company has hired Theresa DiMasi as vice president and publisher. 

Tom Doherty Associates (TDA) is launching a new horror imprint, Nightfire, with TDA president and publisher Fritz Foy serving as publisher. Nightfire, which will release its first list in early 2021, will acquire titles across the genre­ and release 20 to 24 titles annually.

On April 18, Aly Mostel will join Harper One as director of marketing, where she will report to Laina Adler. In addition, Julia Kent has been promoted to associate director of marketing, and Carolyn Davidson has been promoted to marketing coordinator.

At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Carissa Ray has been promoted to sales manager; Emily Logan has been promoted to national account manager; and James Phirman has been promoted to executive director of special sales.

Dana Canedy named the winners of this year’s Pulitzer Prizes in a livestreamed announcement on Pulitzer.org on Monday, April 15. Among the winners were The Overstory by Richard Powers, which took home the prize for fiction (W.W. Norton), and Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), which won in the nonfiction category.

The Los Angeles Times Book Prize has announced this year’s winners in 11 categories, with two Indie Next List number-one picks taking home prizes. Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer (Doubleday) won in the mystery/thriller category, and Francisco Cantú’s The Line Becomes a River (Riverhead) won in the current interest category. In addition, 2019 Indies Choice finalist The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen) won in the young adult literature category.

The Women’s National Book Association (WNBA) has selected Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation, as the 2019 WNBA Award winner, which is presented every other year.

Tayari Jones was named winner of the $35,000 Aspen Words Literary Prize (AWLP) for her novel An American Marriage (Algonquin). The award was established by the Aspen Institute “to honor a work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture.”

The Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association announced the winners of the 2018 Reading the West Book Awards.

The New York Public Library has announced the five finalists for the 2019 Young Lions Fiction Award, with the winner to be named on June 13. The $10,000 award is given annually to an American writer age 35 or younger for either a novel or a collection of short stories.

The shortlists for the Griffin Poetry Prize in the Canadian and international categories have been announced. The two winners will be named on June 6; each will receive C$65,000 (about US$48,745).

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