Media and Publishing

My love of literature and the performing arts and their ability to influence and transform people and society stem from early childhood exposure to books, film, live theater, dance, and classical music. After taking my first creative writing workshop during my freshman year at Mount Holyoke College, I began writing fiction and creative nonfiction in earnest, earning an MFA in Fiction Writing at the University of Washington, where I studied under National Book Award Winner Charles Johnson. Since that time, I've published more than 30 short stories, essays, and an award-winning memoir. This lifelong devotion to literature and the arts has prompted me to work with a variety of nonprofit organizations, including The Authors Guild, for which I serve as a paid communications consultant, writing about the media and publishing industry.

Op-Ed: How an antitrust trial could reshape the books we read — and who writes them

The outcome of an antitrust trial currently underway in Washington could reshape the kind of books Americans read — and who writes them.

Last November, the Department of Justice sued to stop the proposed merger of two of the country’s largest publishers, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. At the time, U.S. Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland said: “If the world’s largest book publisher is permitted to acquire one of its biggest rivals, it will have unprecedented control over this important indus

U.S. District Court Grants Win to Plaintiffs in Kiss Library eBook Piracy Suit

Authors Guild members, Amazon Publishing and Penguin Random House come together to combat ebook piracy

Seattle (December 30, 2021): The U.S. Court for the Western District of Washington awarded $7.8 million in statutory damages to 12 Authors Guild members, Amazon Publishing, and Penguin Random House for 52 acts of copyright infringement in a default judgment against Kiss Library, permanently shutting down the Ukraine-based ebook piracy ring. In a decisive opinion on December 20, 2021, Judge Mar

Join Us to Stop Book Banning

The Authors Guild advocates for the rights of professional writers to create, publish and earn a sustainable living as fiction and nonfiction writers, poets, translators, and journalists. Book banning, whether challenged by the right or the left, interferes with those rights, not only by suppressing free speech and freedom of expression but by making it harder for authors to sell copies of their work.

According to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom, the number o

Some Thoughts on Cancel Culture

Proponents of cancel culture call for the rejection and vilification of any institutions, individuals, or facts that make them uncomfortable or conflict with their worldview. I find one recent example of this trend particularly troubling—an article published by the Conference on College Composition and Communication in which five college writing instructors demanded that university professors stop requiring African-American students to use standard English in the classroom because it is

Opinion | The Justice Department’s move to block a major publishing merger supports authors — and the marketplace of ideas

Since the 1970s, authors have watched with alarm as corporate consolidation reduced the number of major publishing houses. The 2013 merger between Penguin and Random House created the country’s largest publisher (outside of Amazon) and cut the number of big traditional publishers to five — the Big Five. The merger of Penguin Random House with Simon & Schuster, the country’s third-largest publisher, would have reduced this to the Big Four — leaving only two publishers controlling more than two-th

The Benefits (and Limits) of Publishing with a University Press

If the "university press" moniker conjures the image of a stack of Ph.D. dissertations, the diversity of titles and well-known authors published under university press imprints should easily erase it: The Toni Morrison Book Club (University of Wisconsin Press, 2020); A Confederacy of Dunces (Louisiana State University Press, 1980); former U.S. Poet Laureate Billy Collins' The Apple That Astonished Paris (University of Arkansas Press, 1988); and Karla FC Holloway's A Death in Harlem (Northwestern University Press, 2019), the first volume in a proposed #HarlemBooks fiction series.

The list runs on, offering a rich mix of history, fiction, poetry, science, mystery, and humor--some books you may have read long ago, others you've never heard of--selected by members of the Association of University Presses (AUPresses), and not a dissertation or monograph in sight.

Proposed “Journalism Competition And Preservation Act” Deserves Our Support

A decade ago, print, digital, television, and radio news outlets employed approximately 114,000 journalists. That number fell below 86,000 last year, a drop of more than 25%, according to the nonpartisan Pew Center for Research. Newspaper advertising revenues in 2018, which combined with circulation revenues determine newspapers’ ability to make a profit, fell 13% in just 12 months to $14.3 billion.

A Million Little Lawsuits?

Will the legal battles sparked by the fabrications in James Frey's A Million Little Pieces—at least 16 lawsuits have been filed against the author and his publisher, Doubleday—have a chilling effect on the publication of memoirs and other nonfiction? Other publishers are understandably concerned about finding themselves in court answering such complaints. But they should keep in mind that, with some exceptions, legal precedent is on their side.

What Scarlett O'Hara Teaches Us About Authenticity

Most executives I speak to believe their companies could do a better job communicating with their customers, shareholders, talent or just with each other. All too often, however, C-suite professionals respond to corporate communications the same way that Scarlett O’Hara did whenever her actions conflicted with her beliefs—be it the invading Union Army, killing an army deserter and would-be rapist, or raising the money to pay for the taxes on Tara—declaring,“I can’t think about that now.