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Community News

In the Community: Upcoming Online Literary Events and Connections

Each week, Literary Arts staff will round up news, events, and more happening in the literary community. Let us know if you have any events or book news to share.


The 10 Best Books of 2020 (New York Times)

29 Books We Couldn’t Put Down This Year (Buzzfeed)

42 Best-of Lists and Counting (Powell’s Books)

The 89 Best Book Covers of 2020 (LitHub)

Best Books of 2020 (The Guardian)

The Best Books of 2020 (Vulture)

Best Books of 2020: These 13 titles scored perfect 4-star reviews from USA TODAY’s critics

The Best Books We Read in 2020 (The New Yorker)

The Best Reviewed Nonfiction of 2020 (LitHub)

Debut Authors Roundup 2020 (Powell’s Books)

Lit Hub’s Favorite Books of the Year

Multnomah County Library’s Best of 2020 List

The New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2020

NPR’s Book Concierge: 2020

Publishers Weekly: Best Books 2020

These are the Best Books of 2020 (Bookriot)

Unemployed and Underemployed Booksellers Choose Their Favorite Books of the Year – Recommendations from The Bookstore at the End of the World (via LitHub)

Many of the books/ authors on these lists were part of the 2020 Portland Book Festival, presented by Bank of America. You can watch replays of these events in our Portland Book Festival Video Library.

Simply register for a free account to view. To request closed captioning on any video in the library, email la@literary-arts.org or call us at 503-227-2583, option 2


Author Shayla Lawson talks with OPB’s Tiffany Camhi at the Portland Book Festival (OPB)
You can also watch a recording of this live event in the Portland Book Festival video library.

Podcast—Write What You Know: an Interview with Author & Storyteller, Charles Yu (Portland Arts Museum/ NWFC)

Powell’s Virtual Events from 2020
Over 250 authors and conversation partners, all free to view online! Including Board Member Jonathan Hill, author of Odessa.

Watch or listen to Cheryl Strayed on ‘At Home with The Oregonian’
Join The Oregonian as they talk about the ways reading helps us through hard times, how Strayed and her family are spending their days during the pandemic, how she first came to write “Dear Sugar” and why she decided to revisit the column.

West x Midwest Presents: Marilynne Robinson and C Pam Zhang in Conversation (The Believer)
Transcript from the Portland Book Festival event.


Authors League Fund
The Authors League Fund provides assistance in times of emergency, when a writer is struggling to afford necessities. Recipients of Authors League Fund assistance must be career writers with a substantial body of work.

Dramatist’s League Foundation
DGF provides emergency financial assistance to individual playwrights, composers, lyricists, and librettists in dire need of funds due to severe hardship or unexpected illness.

MASS MoCA Fellowship for Writers of Color
Deadline: January 8
This fellowships shall be awarded to one writer working in English in any genre who self-identifies as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color. The fellowship funds all residency fees for up to four weeks in residence.

We Need Diverse Books Emergency Fund
We Need Diverse Books have recently updated their eligibility criteria so that even more diverse creatives can apply during this challenging time. Grant amounts range from $500–$1,000.


I Matter Poetry Contest: National Youth Foundation
Deadline: July 23, 2021
The contest is open to students in grades K—12. Submit one poem on the topic of Black Lives Matter here. Top prize is $500!

Middle-Grade Graphic Novels Are Storming the Best-Seller Lists (Portland Monthly)

Penguin Random House Creative Writing Awards Program in Partnership with We Need Diverse Books
Deadline: March 2, 2021
Calling all high school seniors attending a public high school in the United States! We Need Diverse Books and Penguin Random House are happy to announce that submissions are open for the 2021 Creative Writing Awards, a scholarship program dedicated to furthering the education of students with unique and diverse voices.


2020 End-of-Year Reflections (Write Around Portland)
Featuring work from writers from Write Around Portland’s 2020 Online & BIPOC workshops

Winterland—Shop Small PDX

The Winterland project is an opportunity to engage community and encourage residents and visitors to safely explore art pieces at window locations throughout downtown Portland, the Central Eastside, and Old Town.

Blog cover image from Portland Monthly.

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