Poetry Goes Viral, A New Bard & a BIG Book Giveaway! Your Lit News Round Up by Laurel Dowswell

After Orlando, a Poem about Love & Children Goes Viral

Maggie Smith’s poem “Good Bones”, published recently in Waxwing Literary Journal, raced around the internet this week. Smith describes her work in this piece in The Guardian, “how hard it is to love this world as it is, and to teach my kids to love it.” The piece has connected with, and been shared by thousands across Twitter, FB, and other areas of the web. The strength and honesty of her poem and its subsequent swift sharing is a testament to the true power of creative works.

Who’s the New Cambridge Bard?

The In Other Words literary festival just gave Cambridge, England an official Bard. The crowning process took place yesterday, June 19th, at the Cambridge Bardic Trials. And the winner is….Marion Leeper!

Marion will hold her title as The Bard of Cambridge for a year and a day, and will serve as a “voice for the people,” and will attend local events performing original pieces, celebrating the local customs and achievements of the community.

Chicago’s Million-Book Giveaway

The entire 80 branch system of the Chicago Public Library is hoping to give away a million books this summer. The endeavor, announced on June 14th, will give each child who registers for their local library’s summer program 12 free books. Library and city officials hope to top last year’s enrollment of 100,000 children in the system’s learning program and are hoping the book giveaway will draw children from all over Chicago.

Speaking of Chicago, Oprah has decided to push the publication of her memoir and is writing a cookbook.

Margaret Atwood Wins PEN Pinter Prize

Margaret Atwood is the winner of the PEN Pinter Prize for 2016. The literary award is bestowed to a writer of “fierce intellectual determination… to define the real truth of our lives and our societies.” Previous winners have included Salman Rushdie and poet Carol Ann Duffy. The Canadian author of The Handmaids Tale, Oryx and Crake, and many other works, Atwood is known for her environmental and political activism. She is the first non-British writer to win the award.

Book Deals! Book Deals!

In an effort to say – YES! – Writers are getting published and it could be you – I wanted to include Publisher’s Weekly’s latest list of book deals. These major book deals are out there, as well as with many fantastic small presses around the globe. Keep reading, keep writing, literary friends.

Laurel Dowswell is the Features Editor at Change Seven. Her short story “I Am theEggman” was nominated for the 2016 Pushcart Prize. She was a copy editor for an independent feminist newspaper in Santa Fe, NM, after being raised and educated in Florida. She lives and writes in Georgia, just outside of Atlanta with her son. She is currently working on a novel filled with oil paintings, family drama, and the spectrum of sexuality. Follow her on twitter @laurels_idea.

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