Traci Lester has joined the Center for Fiction as executive director, succeeding interim executive director Michael Roberts who took over last June after the retirement of Noreen Tomassi. Lester was most recently executive director of the National Dance Institute. Board chair Erroll McDonald said in the announcement, “Ms. Lester is a proven leader with an extensive background in education and the arts. She brings more than 25 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector with an impressive track record of organizational development and growth. I am confident she will lead The Center with vision, creativity, and managerial skill as we continue to enhance and expand our programming.”
Eugene Lee has been promoted to associate production editor at Simon & Schuster Children’s.
Emily Hillebrand has been promoted to assistant editor at Diversion Books, acquiring in the categories of self-development, pop culture, current events, science, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Jaya Aninda Chatterjee of Yale University Press is launching Monarch Literary, which will “provide journalists, policy analysts, scholars, and writers seeking to self-publish or to publish with trade or scholarly presses with editorial assessments, query letter and book proposal reviews” and more.
Penguin Random House has extended their “emergency ebook terms” for libraries, launched in March 2020, through December 31. That program includes a 50 percent discount on the standard wholesale library price for one-year licenses, and an pay-per-circulation model. Skip Dye, svp, library sales & digital strategy, reiterates, “Our publishers remain unwavering in our commitment to support public and school libraries, ensuring that all of our titles are available day-and-date to consumers and patrons.”
Author of books including Girl, Stop Apologizing Rachel Hollis apologized after widespread criticism of a since-deleted (though preserved unofficially) TikTok video. Hollis was responding to an IG live audience member who called her “privileged AF” and “unrelatable” for mentioning her housecleaner in a time when many are struggling. “What is it about me that made you think I want to be relatable?,” she asked in the video, suggesting she works harder than everyone else. “Literally every woman I admire in history was unrelatable. If my life is relatable to most people, I’m doing it wrong.” In the caption to the video, she listed other “unrelatable AF” women in history, including Harriet Tubman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Oprah Winfrey, Amelia Earhart, and Frida Khalo.
Her first apology, five days after the rant and since deleted, only compounded the problem: “I made a post last week that was upsetting to people and although that was never my intent, I own that it was and I apologize,” it read in part. She continued, “Was my post upsetting because I mentioned my cleaner? I’m sure that it would make my brand more likable and more relatable if I act like I achieve all these things through hard work and organization but that’s bull—t…. I want you to know that it’s a group effort.”
Following further criticism, Hollis posted an actual apology on IG that said in part: “I’m so deeply sorry for the things I said in my recent posts and the hurt I have caused in the past few days…. I disregarded the people whose hard work doesn’t afford them financial security, often due to inherently racist and biased systems. I did not allow a space for people to voice their anger, hurt and disappointment, which caused even more pain. I acknowledge my privilege and the advantage I have as a white woman, no matter how I grew up. There are many things I would like to say to reiterate just how sorry I am, but the most important thing for me to do now, something I should have already done, is honestly, be quiet and listen. I know I have disappointed so many people, myself included, and I take full accountability. I am so sorry.”