Round-Up: Simon & Schuster Authors Protesting, Book Deserts, and GoT

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From a protest of Milo Yiannopoulos’ book deal to the sixth Game of Thrones book, here’s the latest in literary news:

  • Simon & Schuster children’s book authors and illustrators are protesting the publishing house’s book deal with Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopolous. In December, Simon & Schuster’s conservative Threshold Editions announced a $250,000 advance book deal with Yiannopoulos. Last Thursday, over 160 children’s book and YA authors and illustrators signed a letter to Simon & Schuster CEO and president Carolyn Reidy, expressing their anger with the deal. “Threshold has placed Simon & Schuster’s considerable reputation and weight behind one of the most prominent faces of the newly repackaged white supremacist/white nationalist movement and financially supported a man who routinely denigrates, verbally attacks, and directs dangerous internet doxxing and hate campaigns against women, minorities, LGBTQ individuals, Muslims, and anyone he chooses to target who supports equality and human decency,” the letter reads.
  • In an effort to eliminate “book deserts,” neighborhoods without nearby bookstores or libraries, the National Book Foundation has partnered with publishers and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as the Department of Education to get free books to schoolchildren and families in public housing. Penguin Random House, Hachette, and Macmillan, have all signed on to be a part of the Book Rich Environment Initiative, which will begin distributing books in March.
  • Game of Thrones fans, rejoice! Maybe. George R.R. Martin said that he has made progress the sixth GoT book, The Winds of Winter. “I think it will be out this year. (But hey, I thought the same thing last year),” he wrote in a comment on his blog.