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G&A: The Contest Blog

The Pulitzer Prize board announced the winners and finalists of the 2013 Pulitzer Prizes today in New York City. Of the twenty-one categories, the prizes in letters are given annually for works published in the previous year by American authors.

The winner in fiction is The Orphan Master’s Son (Random House) by Adam Johnson. The finalists were Nathan Englander's What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank (Knopf) and Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child (Little, Brown). The winner in poetry is Stag’s Leap (Knopf) by Sharon Olds. The finalists were Collected Poems by the late Jack Gilbert (Knopf) and The Abundance of Nothing by Bruce Weigl (TriQuarterly). The winner in general nonfiction is Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys (Harper) by Gilbert King. The finalists were Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (Random House) and David George Haskell’s The Forest Unseen: A Year's Watch in Nature (Viking).

Pulitzer Prize Administrator Sig Gissler announced the winners and finalists today at Columbia University. At a ceremony on May 20, each winner will receive $10,000.

The prize board caused a stir last year when it failed to select a winner in fiction, leaving many in the literary world—including Denis Johnson and Karen Russell, who joined the late David Foster Wallace as fiction finalists—feeling slighted, and wondering if this year’s awards would prove different. The 2013 awards were given in all twenty-one categories; visit the website for a complete list of winners.

The Pulitzer Prizes were established in 1911 by Joseph Pulitzer, a Hungarian-American journalist and newspaper publisher. A portion of his bequest was used to found the Columbia University School of Journalism in 1912 and establish the Pulitzer Prizes, which were first awarded in 1917.

Submissions to be considered for the 2014 prizes will open in May. 

The Toronto–based Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry has announced the shortlist for its 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize. Two awards of $65,000 each are given annually for poetry collections published during the preceding year, one by a poet living in Canada and another by a poet living internationally.

The international finalists include Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me, and Other Poems, by Ghassan Zaqtan and translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah (Yale University Press), Liquid Nitrogen by Jennifer Maiden (Giramondo Publishing), Night of the Republic by Alan Shapiro (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), and Our Andromeda by Brenda Shaughnessy (Copper Canyon Press). The Canadian finalists include What’s the Score? by David W. McFadden (Mansfield Press), Sailing to Babylon by James Pollock (Able Muse Press), and Personals by Ian Williams (Freehand Books). 

Judges Suzanne Buffam of Canada, Mark Doty of the United States, and Wang Ping of China each read 509 books of poetry from 40 countries, including 15 translations.

The seven finalists, who will be invited to participate in a reading in Toronto on June 12, will each receive $10,000. The two winners, to be announced at the Griffin Poetry Prize Awards ceremony on June 13, will each receive $65,000.

The Griffin Trust was founded in April 2000 by Scott Griffin, along with trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson, and David Young. Carolyn Forché joined the roster in 2004. Prize judges are selected annually by the trustees, and the prizes are awarded in the spring of each year.

Publishers may submit books for consideration by the annual deadline of December 31. Visit the Griffin Trust website for more information and complete guidelines.

The inaugural Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, sponsored by the Georgia Review, is currently open for submissions. A prize of one thousand dollars and publication in the Georgia Review will be given annually for a poem. Poets may submit up to three previously unpublished poems written in English, totaling no more than ten pages, with a fifteen-dollar entry fee by May 15. The editors will judge. 

The winning poem will be announced on August 15, and will be published in the Spring 2014 issue of the Georgia ReviewCurrent subscribers may enter the competition free of charge; nonsubscribers may choose to begin a subscription at the time of entry—thirty-five dollars for four issues, which is five dollars less than the regular price—in lieu of the entry feeSubmissions may be sent electronically or by mail to the Georgia Review, Loraine Williams Poetry Prize, 706A Main Library, 320 South Jackson Street, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602. 

Founded at the University of Georgia in 1947, the Georgia Review is a quarterly print journal of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, reviews, and visual art. “Never stuffy and never shallow,” the editors write on the magazine’s website, “the Georgia Review seeks a broad audience of intellectually open and curious readers.” Past contributors have included established writers as Rita Dove, Stephen Dunn, Louise Erdrich, Philip Levine, Barry Lopez, Joyce Carol Oates, Natasha Trethewey, David Wagoner, and Paul Zimmer, as well as many new and emerging voices. 

For more information about the Georgia Review and for complete contest guidelines, visit the website

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation has announced that George Saunders will receive the 2013 PEN/Malamud Award. Given annually for a “body of work that demonstrates excellence in the art of short fiction,” the award comes with a five-thousand-dollar purse.

Considered a master of the short story, George Saunders’s most recent collection, Tenth of December, was published in January by Random House. A professor of creative writing at Syracuse University, his previous works include the story collections and novellas CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (1997), Pastoralia (2001), The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip (2005), The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil (2005), and In Persuasion Nation (2007), and an essay collection, The Braindead Megaphone (2007). He is a regular contributor to the New Yorker, Harper’s, Esquire, GQ, and the New York Times Magazine. Saunders has received a MacArthur Fellowship, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and four National Magazine Awards.

“Saunders is one of the most gifted and seriously comic short story writers working in America today,” said Alan Cheuse, a member of the Malamud Award selection committee, which is comprised of a panel of PEN/Faulkner directors. “And his comedy, like most great comedy, is dark….He's a Vonnegutian in his soul and, paradoxically, a writer like no one but himself.”

In addition to the prize money, PEN/Malamud Award winners are also invited to give a reading as part of the PEN/Faulkner Reading Series at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. This year’s reading will take place in December. 

Established in 1988, the PEN/Malamud Award honors the late writer Bernard Malamud. Past winners have included, among others, John Updike, Saul Bellow, Eudora Welty, Grace Paley, Stuart Dybek, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Munro, Junot Diaz, Lorrie Moore, Tobias Wolff, Amy Hempel, Nam Le, Edith Pearlman, and James Salter. 

Listen below as George Saunders discusses Tenth of December for the WNYC talk show Soundcheck.  

The judges for the 2013 National Book Awards were announced today. For the first time since the 1970s, the judges in each category will include not only writers, but also literary professionals such as editors, professors, and booksellers, in an attempt to broaden the reach of one of the country's most prestigious literary prizes. 

The judges in poetry include Nikky Finney, whose collection Head Off & Split won the 2011 National Book Award; Ada Limón, whose debut collection, Lucky Wreck, won the 2005 Autumn House Poetry Prize; D. A. Powell, who won the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for his collection Useless Landscape: A Guide for BoysJahan Ramazani, a professor at the University of Virginia whose book Poetry of Mourning: The Modern Elegy from Hardy to Heaney, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Craig Morgan Teicher, the poetry reviews editor for Publishes Weekly whose collection Brenda Is in the Room and Other Poems won the 2007 Colorado Prize for Poetry. 

The judges in fiction include Charles Baxter, who was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2000 for The Feast of LoveGish Jen, the author of four novels and a collection of stories, and an American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow; Charles McGrath, the former editor of the New York Times Book Review and former deputy editor at the New YorkerRick Simonson, who has been a bookseller at Elliott Bay Book Company in Seattle, Washington, for over thirty-five years; and René Steinke, a 2005 National Book Award finalist for her novel Holy Skirts, and director of the MFA program at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

The judges in nonfiction include Jabari Asim, the author of The N Word and What Obama Means, a former book reviewer for the Washington Post, and an associate professor at Emerson College; André Bernard, vice president and secretary of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation; M. G. Lord, author of The Accidental FeministForever Barbie, and Astro Turf, for which she received an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant; Lauren Redniss, a finalist for National Book Award in 2011 for Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout; and Eric Sundquist, author and chair of the English Department at Johns Hopkins University.

“The expansion of the judging pool has given us an extraordinary diversity of voices on our panels,” said Harold Augenbraum, the executive director of the National Book Foundation, which sponsors the annual awards. “We expect spirited discussions throughout the process.” 

The judges for this year’s awards will be the first group in the history of the prizes to select a long list of ten titles in each of the four categories, to be announced on September 12. Twenty finalists from the long list will be announced on October 16, and the winners in each category will be announced at the sixty-fourth annual National Book Awards ceremony in New York City on November 20.  

Louise Erdrich took the 2012 award in fiction; David Ferry won in poetry, and Katherine Boo won in nonfiction.

The National Book Awards have been given annually since 1950 for books published in the current award year. Submissions for the 2013 prizes open today. Using the new online submission system, publishers may submit books published between December 1, 2012, and November 30, 2013, until June 3. Visit the website for complete submission guidelines

Open City, an online magazine published by the New York City–based Asian American Writers’ Workshop, sponsors five annual fellowships of five thousand dollars each to Asian American creative nonfiction writers in New York City. Fellows will write short-form and long-form pieces focused on the immigrant communities of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens, which will be published in Open City. Applications are due April 8.

In addition to the grant money, the Open City Creative Nonfiction Fellows program provides membership and full access, including workspace, to the Asian American Writers’ Workshop in Manhattan, as well as career guidance, editorial feedback, and meetings with publishing professionals. The program seeks emerging writers interested in journalism, Asian American communities, and social issues such as race, culture, immigration, and gentrification. Fellows are expected to write at least one piece each month, including features, profiles, Q&As, and personal essays, to be published in Open City. The yearlong fellowship begins on April 30.

Established in 1991, the Asian American Writers’ Workshop is a national nonprofit arts organization “devoted to the creating, publishing, developing, and disseminating of creative writing by Asian Americans” through various event series and the online magazines Open City and The Margins. Open City “takes the real-time pulse of metropolitan Asian America as it’s being lived on the streets of New York right now. We tell the stories of the Asian and immigrant neighborhoods that comprise one million New Yorkers and 13 percent of the city, but that rarely find their way to mainstream media.” For complete guidelines and application form, and to learn more about the Asian American Writers' Workshop, visit the website.

In the video below, current Open City Creative Nonfiction Fellows Rishi Nath, Sukjong Hong, and Humera Afridi discuss their experiences in the fellowship program. 

The Northern Colorado Writers (NCW) short fiction contest, which offers a grand prize of one thousand dollars and publication in the NCW anthology, is given annually for a short story. The deadline is March 31. 

Fiction writers may submit a story of up to five thousand words, along with a twenty-dollar entry fee, via e-mail. Writers need not be NCW members or Colorado residents to enter. 

Novelist and short story writer Alyson Hagy, whose most recent novel, Boleto, was published by Graywolf last year, will judge. A second-place prize of two hundred and fifty dollars and a third-place prize of one hundred dollars are also given. Winners, honorable mentions, and editor’s picks will be published in Pooled Ink, NCW’s annual anthology, which this year will be released in December. 

Established in 2006 by freelance writer Kerrie Flanagan, the Fort Collins–based Northern Colorado Writers was founded in order to “encourage and support writers of all levels and genres.” The organization hosts an annual writers conference—including workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as round-tables with editors and agents—which will be held on April 26 and 27 at the Fort Collins Hilton. NCW also sponsors a creative nonfiction contest (which accepts submissions from April 1 through June 30) and a poetry contest (which accepts submissions from July 1 through September 30). 

Visit the NCW website for complete contest guidelines

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