BTW News Briefs

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

On April 27, Director of American University’s Antiracist Research and Policy Center and author Ibram Kendi launched the first National Antiracist Book Festival. Kendi’s book Stamped From the Beginning: A Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Bold Type Books) won the 2016 National Book Award.

Games publisher and distributor Asmodee is launching a new book publishing initiative in hopes of licensing tie-ins and novelizations to games like Catan, Ticket to Ride, and Pandemic. Marc Gascoigne, former publisher of Angry Robot, has been hired to run the imprint.

Two of the largest companies in the K-12 and higher education markets, McGraw Hill and Cengage, have announced plans to merge. Cengage said the deal is expected to close by early 2020; the company will be named McGraw-Hill and will be led by Cengage CEO Michael Hansen.

Alexandra Schmelzle will join the New England Independent Booksellers Association (NEIBA) in the new position of marketing coordinator, effective May 13. Schmelzle has worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the last five years, most recently as a telephone sales rep to independent bookstores.

On June 1, Craig Popelars will join Tin House Books as publisher. Popelars was previously associate publisher at Algonquin Books.

In June, Katie Hope will join the Princeton University Press as marketing director. She was most recently director of marketing and author relations at MIT Press.  

At Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Lisa DiSarro has been promoted to executive director of marketing; Amanda Acevedo has been promoted to marketing manager, school and library; and Taylor McBroom has joined the team as marketing specialist, school and library.

The winners of this year’s Edgar Awards were honored at the annual Mystery Writers of America gala on April 25. Winners included, in the novel category, Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley (Mulholland) and, in the first novel category, Bearskin by James A. McLaughlin (Ecco).

Paul Scharre has won the 2019 William E. Colby Award for his book Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War (W.W. Norton). Founded 20 years ago, the award is given annually by Norwich University to a debut work of fiction or nonfiction that has contributed to a better understanding of military history, intelligence operations, or international affairs.

The winners of the 31st annual Triangle Awards, which honor the best in LGBTQ fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and trans literature published in 2018, were presented at The New School on April 25.

The winner of the $15,000 2019 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is Call Me Zebra by Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

Dante Micheaux’s Circus (Indolent Books) has won the Four Quartets Prize, which is sponsored by the T.S. Eliot Foundation and the Poetry Society of America. The $20,000 prize honors “a unified and complete sequence of poems published in America in a print or online journal, chapbook, or book.”  

The James Beard Foundation has announced the 2019 winners of the James Beard Book Awards: Cocktail Codex by Alex Day, Nick Fauchald, and David Kaplan, with Devon Tarby (Ten Speed Press) won Book of the Year.

The shortlist was revealed for the 2019 Women’s Prize, and includes December 2018 Indie Next List number-one pick, My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite (Doubleday). The winner of the U.K.-based prize will be announced on June 5.

Share your news in BTW News Briefs! Publishers and industry partners are welcome to e-mail editorial@bookweb.org with news about awards, imprint launches, distribution changes, staff promotions, and more.