BTW News Briefs

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

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

The Swedish Academy has announced the winners of the 2018 and 2019 Nobel Prizes for Literature; the prize was not given last year due to a scandal involving sexual assault allegations. Austrian author, playwright, and translator Peter Handke was named the 2019 winner, and Olga Tokarczuk, the Polish novelist and poet, was named the 2018 winner. However, PEN America and others have criticized the choice of Handke due to his past support for the late Yugoslavian and Serbian president Slobodan Milošević, who was accused of genocide and war crimes.

As in only two other years, 1974 and 1992, the judges of the 2019 Booker Prize have awarded this year’s prize to two authors. This year, the prize was given jointly to Margaret Atwood for The Testaments (Nan A. Talese) and Bernardine Evaristo for Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton). The two will split the £50,000 (about $63,170) in prize money. The 2019 Booker judges have sustained criticism for flouting the rule that dictates there must be only one winner, which was instated following the 1992 prize split between Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth.

Printing company Worzalla has announced that the company will be embarking on an expansion over the next few months, investing $12.5 million in new machinery and capital improvements to the company’s headquarters in Wisconsin. Worzalla is an employee-owned company that specializes in printing high-quality children’s books, movie tie-in books, and coffee table books.

The Association of University Presses (AUPresses) recently put out a statement condemning an act by students at Georgia Southern University, who burned copies of Jennine Capó Crucet’s book Make Your Home Among Strangers, after the author gave a talk at the school. The professor of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, had been discussing her book about white privilege; the burning occurred after the talk, which grew heated at times.

Chosen Payments, an ABA affinity partner, was recently recognized by Aspioneer, a national business magazine, as one of the ”Top 10 Point-of-Sale Solution Providers” in the country.

Starting in July 2020, Penguin Random House Publisher Services will sell and distribute the MIT Press’ frontlist and backlist across all sales channels globally. The MIT Press was established in 1962 and focuses on publishing books about science, technology, art, social science, and design.
In March 2020, Hachette Books will begin publishing books on self-improvement under the Hachette Go imprint. The new imprint will incorporate all Da Capo Lifelong titles, and Da Capo Press titles will be published under the Hachette Books name in the future.
Andrews McMeel Publishing has announced it will print and distribute Abrams’ calendar program, beginning with the 2021 calendar season. Abrams will handle sales and returns of its 2020 calendars until April 3, 2020.
In April 2020, Blue Dot Kids Press will launch its inaugural list of four picture books and one arts-and-craft book for children ages three to eight. Said founder Heidi Hill, Blue Dot Kids Press will “publish stories that engage young readers’ innate sense of wonder and empathy, connecting them to our global community and the pale blue dot we call home.”
The winners of the 2019 Dayton Literary Peace Prize have been announced. In the nonfiction category, Eli Saslow won for his book Rising Out of Hatred (Doubleday); in fiction, Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde won for her book What We Owe (HMH). Saslow and Bonde will each receive a $10,000 honorarium.
Befeqadu Hailu has been named this year’s recipient of the PEN International Writer of Courage Award, which is given to a writer who has been persecuted for speaking out about his or her beliefs.
Patrick Earl Ryan has won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction for his short story collection If We Were Electric, to be published in 2020 by contest sponsor University of Georgia Press.


Share your news in BTW News Briefs! Publishers and industry partners are welcome to e-mail [email protected] with news about awards, imprint launches, distribution changes, staff promotions, and more.