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Kiese Laymon wins Carnegie Medal for nonfiction; Angie Thomas on rejection

Kiese Laymon

The Guardian talks toThe Hate U Give author Angie Thomas about diversity in YA literature, rejection, and her new book, On the Come Up. “Rejection is always hard . . . but what helped me was the community of unpublished authors out there on the internet, so you can connect and you can weep and mourn together. And I always had to remind myself that it only takes one yes to change everything,” she said. “I know writers who had 500 rejections, and more than that – but you just have to keep going and hope that you do get that one yes.”

The winners of the 2019 Carnegie Medals have been announced. Kiese Laymon’s Heavy: An American Memoir has won the medal for nonfiction, and Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers has won for fiction.

For the New York Times “Like a Boss” series, poet laureate Tracy K. Smith details her weekly work diary.

After BuzzFeed announced plans to layoff 15 percent of its staff—including BuzzFeed News’s entire national news desk, the majority of its national security team, and the director of quizzes—the company is defending its decision to not pay out accrued paid time off to departing employees (except in California, where the payout is required by law). “This is very common and we looked at the total severance consideration and it was fair,” CEO Jonah Peretti explained in a tweet. “I can’t really have this discussion in public . . . but I look forward to being very open-minded and transparent with the staff council in our upcoming meeting.”

“Amid mass layoffs that have affected the media landscape at large, LGBT media finds itself in a state of flux,” writes Trish Bendix on the future of LGBT-focused publications. “At this point, do we really need to keep prostrating ourselves — proving that LGBT stories are not only valuable, but “safe” — to straight and cis-led corporations and advertisers who want to appear inclusive but not too inclusive? Do we want to be another business’s cool new vanity project until they get tired of us and pull the plug? And perhaps most importantly, are we getting too far away from the reason LGBT media was created in the first place?”