Monsters, Honoring Pat Conroy, Tolkien and More! Your Weekly Lit News Roundup by Laurel Dowswell

Sheryl Monks on Writing & Monsters in Appalachia

Change Seven Editor-in-Chief, Sheryl Monks, featured this week in an interview with the Winston-Salem Journal, speaks on the evolution of her writing, and her new book, Monsters in Appalachia. She says of her work, “I hope it makes people slow down and pay attention to their own innate understanding of life.”

The collection of short stories, with starred reviews in Kirkus and Publisher’s Weekly,  is rich with complex characters, deep in the mountains of West Virginia, and rural North Carolina. Publication day is November 1st, but you can pre-order at Sheryl’s site, here! On her writing, Ron Rash says,


“Monsters in Appalachia is wildly outrageous at times, but there is empathy in these stories as well. Humor and sadness achieve a delicate balance.”

A HUGE Prize for an Unwritten Book

The inaugural Nine Dots Prize is granting $100,000 for a book proposal that answers the question, “Are digital technologies making politics impossible?” Funded by the Kadas Prize foundation, the competition is inviting established and debut authors to submit an outline and 3,000-word answer to the question. Cambridge University Press will be working with the winner on a book of 25,000-40,000 words. The deadline for entry in January 31,2017.

New Pat Conroy Literary Center Open to the Public

Beaufort, South Carolina, is celebrating the life’s work of author Pat Conroy with a new literary center in the city’s historic downtown. Just opened to the public on October 21, the center honors his impact on the literary world, and in his widow Cassandra King’s words:

“He was so supportive of emerging writers, and that was just one of the things that he found most rewarding, is helping writers find their voice, especially unpublished writers.”

Check out the story here that includes a sneak peek inside the center.

New J.R.R. Tolkien in 2017

Hey, Middle Earthlings! Have you heard that Harper Collins will be publishing a new Tolkien book? Beren and Lúthien, adapted by his son Christopher from text found in The History of Middle-earth, will be released in May of 2017.


But wait, there’s more!

Memphis Writer Wins $30,000 Rona Jaffe Award!

R.I.P. Thom Jones

Robot Journalists Descend Upon Britain & Ireland

Oh, My – the #TrumpBookReport

Laurel Dowswell is the Features Editor at Change Seven. Her short story “I Am the Eggman” 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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