News & Updates - June 2022

Check out the Policy Advisory Committee's monthly column, "News & Updates," rounding up news and articles of importance to writers.


In General

Every Body (Type) Falls in Love

This week’s Publishers Weekly addresses the topic of body diversity in romance. While body diversity has improved in recent years, there is still some ground to cover. Love Embodied: Romance 2022 lists a number of books that feature plus-size protagonists, and talks with a senior editor at Harlequin and an executive editor at Carina Press about the challenges of being up against a largely “white and thin and heteronormative landscape”.

Calling All Emerging LGBTQIA+ (Romantic Suspense) Writers

The organization Sisters in Crime (SinC, has opened applications for the PRIDE award, an annual grant of $2,000 for an emerging writer in the LGBTQIA+ community, June through July 31. To see the requirements for application, visit

Curious What a Book Looks Like as a Non-fungible Token (NFT)?

Creatokia ( marketplace allows you to download a preview of a book NFT. Most of the current works look to be in German, but you’ll get the idea, trust me. Find a work that you are interested in, then click the INFORM button to get to the preview download page. Read more at Exclusive Digital Originals

Sales Fall in Big Cities

Sales are falling in big cities due to people moving to more suburban areas. Though the migration started before COVID, the pandemic has accentuated it.  Read more

AP Stylebook Update

The 56th edition of The Associated Press Stylebook has released guidelines for reporting race, gender, disability, how to refer to the Deaf community, and more.  Read more 

Legal Stuff

Governor Hochul Vetoes Library E-Book Bill in New York

Influenced by the December 2021 Maryland decision, Hochul cites the fact that the provisions of the bill are preempted by federal law. Read more

Freelance Isn’t Free

S8369 in New York expands protections for freelancers state-wide, and provides state support to recuperate unpaid wages. Read more

‘Freedom to Read’ Advocates Sound the Alarm as Obscenity Lawsuit Advances in Virginia

From Publishers Weekly, June 3, 2022: A Virginia Beach lawyer and delegate to the Virginia Assembly has sued two authors to defend their works against obscenity charges. Read more

DOJ Hits NFTs with Important Lawsuit

Wall Street Journal reports that a former NFT Marketplace employee has been charged in an insider trading scheme, a first of its kind case. The former OpenSea product manager has been charged by the Justice Department with fraud and money laundering. Read more


New App Helps Readers Find Print Books

With AI and editorial curation, Tertulia helps readers find and buy print books. The app launched on June 7 on the iOS platform. While the app has a membership fee, it also offers members a discount on books. Currently for books in print, audiobooks and ebooks will be added by the end of 2023. Read more: New app for free book discovery

Are You Interested?

Writers Critique Groups

Reedsyblog (Free) – Reedsy has hit a goldmine here. If you’ll sign up for their weekly short story Writing Prompt Contest, you will receive constructive criticism on your story. Read all about it on their blog.
Beta Readers and Critique Partners (Free) - This group started two years ago and has grown to almost 7,000.  

Critique Circle (Free membership; Premium $59; Premium Gold $95).

Absolute Write (Free membership).



Our writing life predominately demands we sit and sit and sit. Exercise is a word for the already fit. So, I won’t bore you or try to push you to exercise, though it is in your best interest to do so. Rather, I want to encourage you to take short breaks. Did you hear that? Short breaks. Purposely keep things you need in another part of the house so you are forced to get up to retrieve them. These short walks in and out of rooms will keep the blood pumping and work out the cramps in your legs and possibly your hands.  

You might also find Rae Elliott’s advice helpful:

Gifts for Writers

If you’re looking for a gift, here are a few suggestions:

  1. The Emotion Thesaurus - $6/book. There are three (3) books – The Negative Trait Thesaurus; The Positive Trait Thesaurus; and The Emotion Thesaurus by Ackerman/Puglisi.
  2. For those who like to outline (in color), try the Zebra Sarasa Pens for $11.00; $8.99 to $16.59 on Amazon.
  3. And finally, the Stress Balls for $12. These balls help relieve stress and cramps from tired hands. There are a variety of stress balls on Amazon beginning at $9.99.

For Self-Publishers

If you’re looking to self-publish and want a good software to interface nicely with Word, try the Vellum Software. There are two purchase options: Unlimited Ebooks and Paperbacks for $249.99; or Unlimited Ebooks for $199.99.  

Famous Quotes and Advice

"If there's a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it."  -- Toni Morrison

"Substitute 'damn' every time you're inclined to write 'very’; your editor will delete it and the writing will be just as it should be." -- Mark Twain

"The book that will most change your life is the book you write." -- Seth Godin

Fun Facts

Gabriel García Márquez was a Colombian writer who won the Nobel Prize. He’s famous for his novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Born March 6, 1927, and died April 17, 2014, Márquez studied law but abandoned his studies to become a journalist. He became an obsessed admirer of William Faulkner and credits him for the inspiration that drove him to become a writer. Márquez was also a good friend to Fidel Castro.


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