After the postponement of the 2018 Nobel prize for literature in May, 100 Swedish writers, actors, journalists and other cultural figures have formed an organization called the New Academy, which will award its own prize this fall. A statement on their website says, “We have founded The New Academy to remind people that literature and culture at large should promote democracy, transparency, empathy and respect, without privilege, bias arrogance or sexism.”
The academy has asked Sweden’s librarians to nominate authors from anywhere in the world, with the stipulation that they have written at least two books, one of which was published in the last 10 years. The winner will be announced in October, when the Nobel winner is usually announced, and celebrated at a ceremony on December 10.
The website says of the award, “In awarding this prize, we are staging a protest. We want to show people that serious cultural work does not have to occur in a context of coercive language, irregularities or abuse. The New Academy, whose members are extremely driven and knowledgeable individuals, will work according to the time plan of the traditional Swedish Academy.”
Simon & Schuster will handle distribution for new graphic novel publisher Zuiker Press, founded by elementary school educator Michelle Zuiker and CSI franchise creator Anthony Zuiker, starting in November. Titles from Zuiker Press will be issue-based and centered on young people, covering topics including body dysmorphia, school shootings, transgender issues, opioid addiction, and more.
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Last Thursday the US Senate approved the Music Modernization Act. A version of the bill already passed in the House in April, so approval is seen as likely.
It would establish a licensing collective, to be overseen by songwriters and publishers, and paid for by digital streaming services, with rights information maintained by the copyright owners. As a result, those services would be shielded from lawsuits. A CBO report in April estimated it will cost $47 million to establish the licensing collective.
Also on Thursday, CAA launched the Amplify Database, listing 815 television writers of color last Thursday, “intended to serve not just as a resource but also as a rejoinder to the common Hollywood refrain that qualified diverse writers are hard to find.”