US author Madeline Miller won the Orange Prize for her debut novel THE SONG OF ACHILLES, published by Ecco in the US and Bloomsbury UK. Chair of judges Joanna Trollope said: “This is a more than worthy winner — original, passionate, inventive and uplifting. Homer would be proud of her.”
Executive director of PEN American Center since 2009 Steven L. Isenberg told the board that he will leave the position at the end of the year, providing notice now “to give ample time for the search for my successor and to ensure a smooth, effective transition. Isenberg will be 72 when steps down.
Scott Waxman and Waxman Literary Agency agent for the past seven years Byrd Leavell have formed a new entity, The Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. Waxman says in the announcement, “Byrd is a talented agent with a tremendous instinct for finding and developing enormous bestsellers. He is also a lot of fun to work with. I couldn’t be more excited to take the agency to the next level with Byrd as a partner.” But he declined to indicate what becomes of Waxman Literary Agency and its assets. Leavell says that going forward both of their efforts will be on behalf of the new agency only and “The Waxman Agency name will be phased out over the course of the summer.”
About 11 months after first filing for bankruptcy protection, Nebraska Book Company says the court has confirmed their third amended reorganization plan and the company expects to come out of Chapter 11 by mid-June.
In the UK, Headline is adding a new fiction imprint, Tinder Press, focused on “books that inspire a passionate response and will stand the test of time.” It will be run by fiction publisher Mary-Anne Harrington and associate publisher Leah Woodburn, aiming to issue 10 to 12 titles a year starting in spring 2013.
Former president and ceo of Little, Brown Charlie Hayward was fired from his position as president and ceo of the New York Racing Association, following allegations that the NYRA knowingly overcharged horse racing bettors on certain exotic wagers until the error was noticed by state auditors.
Scholastic announced the passing of two-time Caldecott winner (along with his wife) Leo Dillon, 79, on Saturday, May 26, from “complications of a sudden illness requiring lung surgery.” He was the first African-American to win the Caldecott, receiving the 1975 medal for Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears. The NYT adds an obituary Thursday. Scholastic also noted in a separate release the death of author, teacher, “mentor and fierce fighter for social justice” Ellen Levine, 73, also on May 26, after a long battle with lung cancer. Her works included the Caldecott Honor book Henry’s Freedom Box.
A World Book Night e-mail survey found that 97 percent of respondents said they would happily serve as “book-givers” again next year, and a Cision media survey found local print stories totaling more than 7.1 million readers (separate from national media coverage) and local TV with a combined 1.2 million viewers.