paper trail

Laura Lippman signs five-book deal with William Morrow; Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes awarded

Laura Lippman

At the New York Times, Jennifer Miller wonders if we’ve “hit peak podcast.” Currently, there are more than 700,000 podcasts available for listening, and up to 3,000 new ones started each month. “We’re not necessarily sick of listening to interesting programs” she writes, “but we’re definitely tired of hearing from every friend, relative and co-worker who thinks they’re just an iPhone recording away from creating the next ‘Serial.’”

Paul Holdengraber talks to John Waters about summer reading, working at Mary Oliver’s bookstore, and his new memoir, Mr. Know-It-All.

The 2019 Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes have been awarded.

Laura Lippman has signed a five-book deal with William Morrow. The Associated Press reports that the deal consists of three novels, a short story collection, and Lippman’s first nonfiction essay collection.

The Daily Beast’s Maxwell Tani looks at the ways G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller is “destroying” the company’s “famously freewheeling culture.” Besides encouraging editors to soften reporting on potential advertisers, Spanfeller has also laid off staff, reduced freelancer rates, and added more display ads to articles. “Spanfeller’s management style appears to be making insane proclamations divorced from any reality and leaving his handpicked crew of yes men from Forbes to attempt to execute them while the rest of the staff explains why they’re not possible and goes about its normal work,” one employee said.

“Writing seems to attract a lot of psychologically unhinged people, so I’m always impressed with authors who are able to view their career accurately, who are able to reconcile the inherent dissonance between commercial and critical success, and who seem to enjoy the process of writing without cannibalizing every other aspect of their existence in order to get it done,” Chuck Klosterman tells the New York Times. “It’s possible, of course, that these writers aren’t the way they appear on the surface, and maybe if I knew them intimately I’d conclude they were all crazy. But then again, not seeming like a self-absorbed sociopath is 75 percent of the way to actually being a normal person.”