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Dayton Literary Peace Prize Accepting Entries for 2016

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize is calling for submissions for outstanding fiction and nonfiction books published in 2015 that promote peace and non-violent conflict resolution. 

The Dayton Literary Peace Prize was inspired by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords that ended the war in Bosnia. Past winners include Edwidge Danticat, Junot Diaz, Dave Eggers, Marlon James, Chang-Rae Lee, and Andrew Solomon.

The submission deadline is March 18, and finalists will be announced in August. The fiction and nonfiction winners each receive a $10,000 honorarium, and a $2,500 honorarium is awarded to the runners-up. All honorees will be celebrated at a gala ceremony in Dayton, Ohio, on November 20.

Villarosa Media to Publish Inaugural Book

Villarosa Media, a new boutique publishing company of quality fiction and nonfiction books primarily by and about African Americans and the African diaspora, will launch this month with its inaugural book, The Wind Is Spirit: The Life, Love, and Legacy of Audre Lorde.

The company was established by Clara Villarosa, a former American Booksellers Association Board member and the founder of Hue-Man Bookstore in Denver and Harlem, and her two daughters, Linda, a former executive editor of Essence Magazine and award-winning New York Times health editor, and Alicia, a freelance writer and blogger.

The Villarosa Media catalog will be comprised of new books from established authors as well as classic books reissued in digital formats. Using a digital model and e-files, physical books will be sent as ordered, print on demand.

Bookstore Café Specialist Joins Paz & Associates

Nicole Sullivan, owner of Denver’s BookBar, has joined Paz & Associates as the independent bookstore training company’s bookstore café specialist, where she will help booksellers who are considering adding food and beverage to the in-store experience.

“Expanding the traditional business model by adding food and/or beverage services creates some very unique and exciting opportunities,” Sullivan said. “It also creates some unique challenges since they are vastly different businesses.”

In addition to assisting booksellers in assessing available options, developing a menu, and putting restaurant management processes into place, Sullivan will also help booksellers with calculating start-up investment needs, choosing equipment, laying out service counters, and providing vendor lists.

Survey by Children’s Publisher Correlates Lack of Diverse Books to Lack of Diverse Staff

A new diversity survey conducted by the publisher Lee and Low Books found that a lack of diverse books closely correlates to a lack of diverse publishing staff. According to data from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center collected over the past 20 years, only 10 percent of all books published per year in the U.S. can be classified as diverse books.

In 2015, Lee and Low’s Diversity Baseline Survey (DBS) was sent to 1,524 reviewer employees and 11,713 publishing employees from eight review journals and 34 publishers, garnering a response rate of 25.8 percent.

According to the anonymous survey, almost 80 percent of publishing staff and review journal staff are white. The rest are made up of Asians/Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (7.2 percent), Hispanics/Latinos/Mexicans (5.5 percent), Black/African Americans (3.5 percent), and biracial/multiracial people (2.7 percent).

Overall, the survey found that a lack of diverse books correlates to a lack of diverse staff, since the percentages are proportional to how the majority of books look nowadays — predominantly white.

The survey, which also filtered its results by gender, orientation, and disability as well as department, concluded that, “At least in publishing’s case, what is at work is the tendency — conscious or unconscious — for executives, editors, marketers, sales people, and reviewers to work with, develop, and recommend books by and about people who are like them.”

Ella Boureau Named Lambda Literary’s Awards Administrator

Ella Boureau has been named awards administrator for Lambda Literary, succeeding Kathleen DeBold, who held the position since 2012.

As awards administrator, Boureau will be responsible for the smooth operation of the Lambda Literary Awards process from selection of judges to selection of the winners. She will also manage Lambda’s LGBTQ cash prizes including the Emerging Writer Award and the Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Prize. 

Working out of her New York office, Boureau will report to the organization’s executive director, Tony Valenzuela, at Lambda Literary’s Los Angeles headquarters.

Shortlists Announced for 2016 PEN Literary Awards

On Tuesday, February 2, PEN America announced the shortlists for the 2016 PEN Literary Awards, which span eight categories including debut fiction, essay, biography, and translation. 

The winners for the 2016 awards, which will hand out over $200,000 in prize money to writers and translators, will be announced on March 1, with the exception of the awards for Debut Fiction, Art of the Essay, and Literary Science Writing, as well as the PEN Open Book Award and PEN/Fusion Prize. These awards will be announced at the 2016 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on April 11 at The New School in New York City.

The shortlists announced on Tuesday are as follows:

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction ($25,000): To an author whose debut work — a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2015 — represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.

  • In the Country: Stories (Alfred A. Knopf), Mia Alvar
  • The Turner House (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Angela Flournoy
  • Mr. and Mrs. Doctor (Coffee House Press), Julie Iromuanya
  • The Sympathizer: A Novel (Grove Press), Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Mayumi and the Sea of Happiness (Europa Editions), Jennifer Tseng

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays published in 2015 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.

  • After the Tall Timber: Collected Non-Fiction (New York Review Books), Renata Adler
  • Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau/Random House), Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Quarry (New Directions), Susan Howe
  • The Givenness of Things: Essays (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Marilynne Robinson
  • Sidewalking: Coming to Terms with Los Angeles (University of California Press), David L. Ulin

PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000): For a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences published in 2015.

  • Rain: A Natural and Cultural History (Crown), Cynthia Barnett
  • The End of Plenty: The Race to Feed a Crowded World (W. W. Norton), Joel K. Bourne Jr.
  • The Boy Who Played with Fusion: Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting, and How to Make a Star (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Tom Clynes
  • Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future (Random House), Lauren Redniss
  • Island on Fire: The Extraordinary Story of a Forgotten Volcano That Changed the World (Pegasus Books), Alexandra Witze and Jeff Kanipe