As always, interesting things are happening in the writing world. First off, there are robots writing. Instead of writing novels, though, they’re writing sports articles.
The Associated Press is using a writing algorithm from Automated Insights and data from MLBAM (the baseball league’s official statistician) to report on Minor League Baseball. The AP hopes this will allow the organization to have a more comprehensive coverage of Minor League games. They do not plan to replace human journalists completely with the program, however.
When we hear news like this, it’s easy to get worried about the future of writing. Don’t be too concerned, though; the next generation of writers is already gearing up.
Mighty Writers is a Philadelphia-based nonprofit that teaches students ages seven to 17 how to write. The nonprofit is attempting to set a world record for the greatest number of kids writing at the same place and same time on July 26 on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Around 3,000 students are expected to participate.
C-Tran buses are displaying poems by elementary, middle, and high school students as a part of C-Tran’s Poetry Moves Project. All of the students in the project have been a part of Luna’s Poets in the Schools program. The poems are meant to brighten the trips of passengers. As someone who takes the bus fairly frequently as of late, I hope other transportation companies will begin doing this as well. The poems will remain in the buses for the rest of the year.
In Philadelphia there is a new poet making waves: Otter Jung-Allen named the Philadelphia Youth Poet.
Otter Jung-Allen is the city’s fourth-ever Youth Poet. The laureateship is a year long and during it, Jung-Allen, a transgender high school senior, hopes to use their position as a way to talk about white privilege, queer visibility, and slam poetry.
“They’re going to say, ‘Hi, you’re trans. I’m trans, too. Let’s talk,’ ” Jung-Allen said. “Which is something that I pray for because I think it’s really important to have that sort of connection. And then I want to uplift those people, to say, ‘You’re trans, you have a poem, let me read it. Let’s showcase it here.’ “
Jung-Allen is not the only one to win a literary award of some kind, however. Here are a couple other literary awards that have been given out this past week:
- Jessie Greengrass won the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2016 for her collection An Account of the Decline of the Great Auk According to One Who Saw It.
- South African author Lidudumalingani wins the 2016 Caine Prize for African writing for his short story “Memories We Lost.”
- Kusum Khemani and M P Veerendrakumar won the Kusumanjali Sahitya Samman 2016 award in the Hindu and Malayalam categories respectively.
- The Guardian’s Children’s Fiction Prize 2016 longlist has come out:
- Chasing the Stars by Malorie Blackman
- The Marvels by Brian Selznick
- Riverkeep by Martin Stewart
- Crongton Knights by Alex Wheatle
- The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
- Sweet Pizza by G.R. Germin
- Hell and High Water by Tanya Landman
- Bone Sparrow by Zana Frallion
If you’re looking for something to read, check out the works of some of the above award winners. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, give some of these recently published articles a read:
- “An inside look at the intense process of getting a romance novel published” by Raquel Laneri
- “How writing an advice column changed Heather Havrilesky’s Life” by Julie Beck
- “I envy the writers who know the hours that are best for them” by Kei Miller
- “In defense of the old-fashioned letter” by Hayley MacMillen
- “Dear male writers writing sexist think pieces about women in Hollywood: Stop!” by Julie Sprankles
Happy summer reading!
Emily Ramser is an undergraduate studying English, Creative Writing, and Religion at Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English and Creative Writing, and is expected to graduate in May of 2017. Some of her inspirations include Thornton Wilder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bhanu Kapil, Andrea Gibson, Gabriel Gudding, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Gail Simone, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Check out her black out poetry collection I Forgot How to Write When They Diagnosed Me. You can find more of her work at her blog.