Why do you care about layoffs at an investment firm, you ask? Well, D.E. Shaw has always been a little…different, taking pains to appeal to people outside the usual MBA/finance/quantitative analysis range. The company is known for hiring liberal arts majors and for posting jobs designed to attract media people on boards like mediabistro’s.
(Others suggest, it must be added, that D.E. Shaw is much more interested in sounding like it hires liberal arts majors than actually doing so. The highest-profile novelist on the payroll, Charles Ardai, was also the founder of internet company Juno, rather than being your typical starving artist type.)
Anyway, the company’s just cut about 150 people, so it’s probably not going to want you and your novel-in-progress.