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Around the Web: New Awards, a Writing Resource, Book Buying Influences, and Literary Recipes

Hello and happy Friday everyone! It’s time for another Around the Web post.

The following are things that caught my attention while I sought ways to distract myself from the overwhelming heat. I hope you all have a comfortably cool place to check them out.

A Handy Resource

I have what might be described as an odd level of interest in reading about writing. If you’re similarly inclined (and I’m assuming some of you are, you’re here after all), or if you’re looking to improve your own writing, I suggest checking out Penguin Random House’s Writers’ Academy.

You can pay to take courses with them, but they also have free resources, webinars, and articles – some of which are very quick reads. So go take a look if you want some writing tips.

Three New Awards for Underrepresented Writers

Despite ongoing conversations about diversity in publishing, many writers still find themselves marginalized by main-stream literary institutions. In Canada, the hashtag #RacisimInCanLit, which was started by Yilin Wang, had writers recounting unpleasant interactions in the industry. These discussions have inspired a Toronto-based fundraising consultant to launch three new literary awards. Rahim Ladha has announced the following awards: Nova, a quarterly literary and animation prize for queer women, femmes, trans, and non-binar writers and illustrators in SFF in North America; Spark, a monthly literary award aimed at queer, two-spirit, Black and Indigenous writers; and Echo, a monthly literary award meant to showcase the works of writers with disabilities.

A trophy

This is a an incredible initiative, made more incredible by the fact that Ladha is currently funding the awards with his own savings and resources. Hopefully these prizes will grow and encourage more to read diversely and support diverse creators.

Check out the full story on CBC if you want to know more and consider applying if you belong to any of the identities these awards are seeking to amplify.

Book Buying Influences

What influences you to purchase a book? BookNet Canada asked this question in a recent survey and they’ve just released the results. It turns out, that familiarity with the author is the biggest influence behind book purchases, with synopsis and series familiarity coming next.

Of course, cover design, award and bestseller stickers and badges, ads, and author/celebrity endorsements also influence purchases, but not to the same extent as familiarity. So it seems author platforms may be more important than ever.

Literary Grilling

Anyone have barbecue plans this weekend? Add a bit of literary flair to your menu with some help from the latest installment of Valerie Stiver’s Eat Your Words series, “Grilling with Homer.”

The menu Stiver provides is based on Homer’s Illiad, the epic poem about the Trojan war. While the story of Troy is full of violence, it also contains many scenes in which the Greeks feast and drink, so it lends itself well to cooking inspiration.

If a souvlaki-style “Moscow Ring” or a fig tart with honey caramel sounds good to you, or if you’re just into Homer’s epics, check out the full article in the Paris Review.

Meat cooking on a barbecue

That’s all I’ve got for today, folks. Stay hydrated out there and have a wonderful weekend!

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