BTW News Briefs [4]

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

Follett, an educational materials and technology company, and Newbery-winning children’s author Kwame Alexander have formed a partnership [5] to launch All Books for All Kids, a literacy campaign to ensure children can access a wide range of books no matter their background. Alexander will curate the campaign content, which will feature his works and works by new artists and authors; make surprise visits to schools hosting a Follett Book Fair; and serve as a judge for the company’s Follett Challenge [6].

On October 11, at the International Publishers Association (IPA) General Assembly in Frankfurt, Germany, the Association of University Presses (AUPresses) was approved as an Associate member of the IPA [7], which recently created this membership category for international specialized publisher associations like AUPresses. In addition, Hugo Setzer, publisher and CEO of Manual Moderno in Mexico, was named the new president of the IPA.

The Association of University Presses has chosen “#TurnItUP” as the theme for this year’s University Press Week [8], which runs from November 12 through November 17. #TurnItUP was selected to celebrate the work of the university press community to recognize and publish authors and stories that might otherwise be overlooked by the publishing community.

The PEN American Center, in a suit filed Tuesday [9] in Manhattan federal court, alleges that “official acts” [10] by President Donald Trump have “violated the First Amendment and his oath to uphold the Constitution,” citing reports that Trump meddled in the proposed merger of AT&T and CNN and Trump’s threat of antitrust action against Amazon amidst his criticism of coverage by the Washington Post, which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

FX has landed a deal to develop Her Body and Other Parties [11], an anthology series based on Carmen Maria Machado’s short story collection, for television. The project comes from writer Gina Welch, Imagine Television, and FX Productions. Booksellers chose Her Body and Other Parties (Graywolf) as the October 2017 Indie Next List number-one pick [12] and the 2018 Indies Choice Award winner for Adult Debut Book of the Year [13].

Longtime publishing professional Jonathan Merkh’s new hybrid publishing company, Forefront Books, will release [14] its first two books this fall. Merkh, who has served in executive roles with Nelson Books and at Simon & Schuster’s Howard Books division, is planning a list of five to six titles to publish in the spring.

At Simon & Schuster Children’s Books, Devin MacDonald has joined [15] the company as marketing manager; Audrey Gibbons has been promoted to publicity manager; and Jill Hacking was promoted to marketing operations and events associate. In addition, Amy Hendricks is now marketing associate; Samantha Benson was promoted to associate publicist; and Emily Hutton is now associate director of sales.

Simon & Schuster’s Susan Moldow, president of the Scribner Publishing Group and publisher of Touchstone, will retire at the end of the year [16].

At Atria, Ariele Fredman has been promoted [17] to associate director of publicity, and Alison Hinchcliffe has been promoted to associate publicist.

Milkman by Anna Burns (Faber & Faber) has been announced as the winner of the 50th Man Booker Prize [18]. After news of Burns’ win was made public, Graywolf Press announced it will move up the book’s U.S. release date [19] to December 11.

The New Academy Prize in Literature was awarded to novelist Maryse Condé [20] of the Caribbean island Guadeloupe. Condé writes in French, although a number of American publishers have her works in print, including historical novel Segu (Penguin Books, 1998) and Victoire: My Mother’s Mother (Atria, 2010), her most recent novel. The New Academy Prize was created as alternative Nobel Prize for Literature after a sexual abuse and financial misconduct scandal [21] derailed this year’s Prizes.

The Thurber Prize for American Humor has announced its three top finalists: Would Everybody Please Stop?: Reflections on Life and Other Bad Ideas by Jenny Allen (Sarah Crichton Books); Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches by John Hodgman (Viking); and Priestdaddy: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood (Riverhead). The prize named after humorist James Thurber will be awarded [22] on December 5 at a ceremony at Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio.

Share your news in BTW News Briefs! Publishers and industry partners are welcome to e-mail editorial@bookweb.org [23] with news about awards, imprint launches, distribution changes, staff promotions, and more. 

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