Standing up for digital rights, transmedia in Germany, and random acts of literary kindness

December 20, 2013

This week, we published a special interview with Deji Olukotun, the inaugural PEN Freedom to Write Fellow, and one of the nine Neustadt 2013 jurors. In the interview (linked below), Deji spoke about censorship and digital repression facing international authors every day. In an effort to help people learn more about these critical issues, we’ve included several resources in the links below.

Note: The WLT staff will be taking a holiday break. But don’t worry, lit links will return on January 3!

News, Reviews, and Interviews

Did you know that half of all of the world’s imprisoned writers are jailed because of something they wrote, texted, or posted online? (You can read more about digital repression and the battle over freedom of expression online in our interview with Deji Olutokun. You can also sign the petition and stand with other writers around the world.)

This week, the world celebrated World Arabic Language(s) Day, which highlights the importance and relevance of all Arabic languages.

Transmedia, or the use of multiple types of media, is one way that German publishers are supplementing the act of storytelling in new novels.

This week, the world said goodbye to Lubomir Doruzka, a renowned Czech jazz critic and translator.

The National Library of Norway announced its plans to digitize every Norwegian-language book in existence.

Three Percent reminded us this week about the long-reaching value of translating books into English.

For Your Calendar

The PEN American Center has extended the deadline for the PEN Bellwether Prize, which is awarded biennially to an unpublished novel promoting social justice.

Fun Finds and Inspiration

The upcoming holiday season is the perfect time to spread joy, so try using a few of these happiest words in English to bring out a few smiles!

If your writing tends to slump during the holiday break, here’s some inspiration: the 10 greatest essays on writing ever written.

Looking for a way to pay it forward this holiday? Try one of these random acts of literary kindness and make someone’s day.

If you’ve ever wondered which words originated during your birth year, the folks at the Oxford English Dictionary have the answer! Using their new interactive tool, you can see which popular words originated during which year, as well as how these words were first used.