paper trail

Reporting rivalries

Meghan Daum

The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded $25,000 fellowships to thirty-seven writers, both “emerging and established” (the list includes Meghan Daum, Téa Obreht, Celeste Ng, and Peter Ho Davies). They’ll be propping up the poets next: Applications are due March 9 for the 2017 fellowships.

If you didn’t like the sound of working for Amazon, beware the inside of the Washington Post: Jeff Bezos, it seems, is hands-on in his approach there, as in all things.

CNN congratulates two reporters on managing to play nicely together after they discovered they were working on the same (very interesting) story: "I can think of a lot of different reporters put together through a shotgun marriage who wouldn't have worked as well," the Marshall Project’s Bill Keller (formerly of the New York Times) noted. "I sort of had the sense that we had not only two great reporters, but also grown-ups."

Meanwhile, the Huffington Post is paying close attention to a (slightly one-sided) blurbing contest that’s been quietly playing out for years: After claiming the prolific-blurber crown in a piece in the New York Times several years ago, A. J. Jacobs has been forced to cede it to someone he quoted in that very piece, Malcolm Gladwell, whose name apparently can make bestsellers of even the books he doesn’t actually write. Back in 2012, Jacobs noted that Gladwell had told him the blurber is one who “draws attention to himself while seeming to draw attention to something else." And it’s clear that Jacobs took the message to heart: “It’s hard to compete with Malcolm Gladwell,” he is now quoted as saying. “He is always going to get the front cover. I get the back cover or, maybe, inside.” Gary Shteyngart, of course, announced his retirement from the blurbing fray more than a year ago, and we can only assume he’s been thriving ever since.