Our round-up of articles of interest and key news affecting authors. In this week’s edition: The desirability of storytellers, indie bookstores report increased holiday sales, and more...

“People of Color in Publishing”: Striving for More Industry Diversity
Publishers Weekly
A new grassroots organization, People of Color in Publishing, is addressing the need for greater inclusivity within publishing.

One of America’s Most Bookish Cities Is Getting a New Lit Festival
Literary Hub
Mark your calendars, Wordplay is coming to Minneapolis in May. Steph Opitz talks about what it takes to put together a book festival from scratch.

Julie Lekstrom Himes’s Mikhail and Margarita Wins the Center for Fiction’s 2017 First Novel Prize
The Center for Fiction
The Center for Fiction awarded its 2017 First Novel Prize to Julie Lekstrom Himes for Mikhail and Margarita, her novel based on the real-life love triangle between Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov, a mysterious secret police agent, and a “strong, idealistic, seductive woman” named Margarita. Many congrats to Julie! We can’t wait to read Mikhail and Margarita.

Congress Took $101 Million in Donations from the ISP Industry—Here’s How Much Your Lawmaker Got
The Verge
ISPs are betting on being able to write the bills regarding net neutrality when the fight goes to Congressbecause they’ve paid to have that opportunity.

The Desirability of Storytellers
The Atlantic
The art of storytelling among hunter-gatherers is considered one of the most valuable and desired skills one can have. It is considered a highly valuable trait, twice that of being a good hunter.

Supreme Court Seems Split In Case Of Baker Vs. Same-Sex Couple; Eyes Now On Kennedy
NPR
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, a case that Court observers are calling the biggest case of this term. The case arose out of a Colorado baker’s refusal to create a custom wedding cake for a same-sex couple in violation of Colorado’s civil rights law. Among other issues, the court heard arguments on whetherand under what circumstanceswould “baking a cake” qualify as speech, and a cake as a medium of expression.

Against the Attention Economy: Short Stories Are Not Quick Literary Fixes
LitHub
Brandon Taylor delves into the beauty of the short story and the problems of discussing short stories as a go-to for society’s increasingly shortened attention spans.

Indies Signal Good Start to Holiday Sales
Publishers Weekly
After booming business on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, indie bookstores around the country are reporting increased sales this holiday season.