We’re going to tackle recognition as the common thread tying together this week’s roundup of Ecotone and Lookout news. Ecotone contributor Jeff Sharlet took some e-mail bait this week and wrote back to a writer demanding an audience for his work, in this powerful and thoughtful essay for LitHub. “We read by hope and hint and free association, because publishing isn’t a meritocracy, it’s a vast, often unjust and always clumsy empire of too many words, including our own,” Jeff says, and ain’t it the truth. Those competing forces–to read, to write, to publish–are often so hard to balance.
In part, it’s why this column exists–to recognize the writers in our family who are getting the publications and awards and attention they so deserve. We like to toot their horns ever-louder. Which isn’t to say that it’s only the writers who win the awards or the grants who deserve our attention–we know that’s not the case, and we love championing work in Ecotone and Lookout from writers just starting out or writers whose voices have had trouble finding the right home for their work. But as Jeff so rightly points out (writing at one point about the incredibly talented Vievee Francis, also an Ecotone contributor)–the writers who succeed write, and often struggle to keep writing. For years, very often, before the publications or awards come, if they come at all. And when the recognition for those persevering writers does come, that’s something worth celebrating.
Today we’re honored to honor writers who are getting, this week, the recognition they’re due after so much hard work. We hope you’ll click through and read something if you’re not familiar with them.
Ecotone contributor Callan Wink’s forthcoming story collection, Dog Run Moon, has gotten some great attention this week in this preview of 2016 story collections from Barnes and Noble. His story, “Off the Track,” was published back in Ecotone 14, and we’re so happy to see Callan’s book coming out these years later–check out the story on our website.
Paul Lisicky’s memoir, The Narrow Door, a story of friendship and art and so many other things, continues to garner praise from various media outlets. To celebrate its release, we’ve made the first chapter, “Volcano,” from our Anniversary issue, available via Ecotone’s site.
Vievee Frances, mentioned in Jeff’s essay, got some other much-deserved attention this week. Her book Forest Primeval is a finalist for the 2016 PEN Open Book Award. You can read one of her poems from the book on Ecotone‘s site here.
You all know what champions we are of Edith Pearlman’s work, having published Binocular Vision in 2011. We’re thrilled to see that her new collection of stories, Honeydew, made the Story Prize long list on Saturday.
The Virginia Festival of the Book, recognizing authors and books for twelve years now, announced this year’s events, including a panel with Lookout author Matthew Neill Null called “Haunted Souls and Public Hangings.” See the full lineup of panels and activities here.
And the NEA announced its fall Literature Fellows–we’re so proud to see Ecotone contributors Vedran Husic and David Philip Mullins on the list.
Whether you’re feeling recognized or not, whether you’re waiting for some props or writing in a secret quiet space, we hope the reading and writing are bringing you great joy and satisfaction this week. We know it can be hard. Trust us. Keep fighting to say what you need to say, and we hope to see your work soon.