Awards, Censorship & More! Your Weekly Lit News Roundup by Laurel Dowswell

National Book Award Winners Announced! 

nbflogoCongratulations to all the authors! Colson Whitehead was awarded the Fiction prize for The Underground Railroad; the Nonfiction winner went to Ibram X. Kendi for Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America; the Poetry award was Daniel Borzutzky, The Performance of Becoming Human; the Young People’s Literature prize was awarded to John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell (Artist), March: Book Three. 

Watch civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis accept the award in a very moving speech here:


In other major award news…

Bob Dylan Won’t Attend Nobel Ceremony

The winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature informed the Academy this week that he will not be able to make the December 7th event. The statement by the Academy from Dylan:

“He wishes he could receive the prize personally, but other commitments make it unfortunately impossible.”


NCAC Tackles Censorship in Virginia

ncaclogoThe National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) has contacted the Virginia Department of Education regarding a new proposal for the state’s schools. In the letter, the NCAC  voices opposition to the regulation that will “require public school districts to notify parents about curricular materials that contain ‘sexually explicit’ content.” The organization claims the proposal vague and over-inclusive and could potentially be applied to works such as The Diary of Anne Frank and Romeo and Juliet, among many others.

Day of the Imprisoned Writer Observed on November 15

PEN International Writers in Prison Committee continues to call attention to the plight of writers worldwide and highlighted five individuals on November 15: Asli Erdogan (Turkey), Ahmed Naji (Egypt), Gui Minhai (China), Dareen Tatour (Israel) and Cesario Alejandro Félix Padilla Figueroa (Honduras). With freedom of expression in continuing and escalating danger across the globe, the work of the organization is crucial.

Google Honors James Welch, Native American Novelist and Poet


The author and Blackfeet tribe member was highlighted by Google on November 18th, on what would have been his 76th birthday. Welch received an American Book Award for his novel, Fools Crow, among other notable awards. The prolific and critically acclaimed writer died in 2003 and published eight books of poetry, five novels, and a nonfiction book, among other creative works.

Yearning for more?

Check out this interview with an amazing pop-up book creator.

New analytics tool, Viooly, helps nonprofit writers be more effective.

Apple has a new book and it costs $300.

Whitehead and Kendi to attend Tuscon Festival of Books in March 2017.

Fake news writers get rich while contributing to the coming of the apocalypse.

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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