New Millennium Writings has extended its Summer Contest deadline to July 31. A prize of $1,000 and publication both in print and online will be given for a poem, a short story, a short-short story, and an essay.
To enter, submit up to three poems (not to exceed five pages), a short story or essay of up to 6,000 words, or a short-short story of up to 1,000 words, along with a $17 entry fee by August 31. Winners will be published in the 2013 issue of New Millennium Writings and on the NMW website. Twenty poetry finalists will also receive publication. David Madden, William Pitt Root, and Don Williams will judge.
The New Millennium Awards are offered twice yearly. The most recent winners, whose work will also be included in the 2013 issue, include Charles Fishman of East Patchogue, New York, who won the Poetry Prize for “Lament for Federico García Lorca;” J. L. Schneider of Ellenville, New York, who won the Short-Short Fiction Prize for “Salvation;” and Elizabeth Heineman of Iowa City, who won the Nonfiction Prize for “Still Life with Baby.”
A selection of work from previous winners is available here.
The journal’s mission is to "promote vibrant imagery, word-craft, and pure story-telling talent” by emerging writers. The magazine, which accepts general submissions in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction year-round, also features interviews and profiles of established writers such as Lucille Clifton, Nikki Giovanni, Khaled Hosseini, Cormac McCarthy, and Pamela Uschuk.
Philadelphia’s Pew Center for Arts & Heritage has announced the recipients of the 2012 Pew Fellowships in the Arts. Thirteen artists from the Philadelphia area, including two poets, will each receive a $60,000 grant.
Poets Catie Rosemurgy and Kevin Varrone, both of Philadelphia, have been awarded the fellowships in the literature category. The “no strings attached” grants, distributed over a one- to two-year period, are given to help writers and artists advance their work. Rosemurgy is the author of two poetry collections, The Stranger Manual (2010) and My Favorite Apocalypse (2001), both published by Graywolf Press. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Alabama, and has been awarded a Rona Jaffe Award for Emerging Female Artists and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. She currently teaches at the College of New Jersey in Ewing. Kevin Varrone has had chapbooks published by ixnay press and Ugly Duckling Presse. He received his MA in creative writing from Temple University, where he teaches literature and writing.
“These artists have made significant contributions to Philadelphia’s creative community and beyond,” said Pew Fellowships in the Arts director Melissa Franklin. “The fellowship will provide them with invaluable resources to further their artistic goals and achievements, and to share their work with the public.”
Established in 1991 by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Pew Fellowships are awarded annually to writers and artists at any stage of their career. The program has awarded 268 fellowships to 274 individual and collaborative artists, for a total of nearly $14 million in grants. Past fellows have included CA Conrad, Major Jackson, and Teresa Leo.
Writers and artists are nominated and invited to apply for the prestigious award. Recipients are then selected by a panel of established professionals in the fields of literary, visual, and performing arts.
For more information on the Pew Fellowships in the Arts, visit www.pcah.us.
Black Lawrence Press is currently offering a reduced entry fee for the St. Lawrence Book Award, a prize given annually for an unpublished collection of poems or short stories. For today and tomorrow only, the fee is fifteen dollars; after tomorrow, June 30, the standard fee of twenty-five-dollars will apply.
The contest is open to any writer who has not yet published a full-length collection of poetry or short stories. The winner will receive $1,000, publication of her collection by Black Lawrence Press, and ten copies of her book.
Black Lawrence Press, an imprint of Dzanc Books, is an independent publisher of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Based in New York City, the press hosts five contests each year—including the Big Moose Prize for the novel, the Black River Chapbook Competition, and the Hudson Prize for poetry and fiction—and accepts regular submissions year-round.
To enter the St. Lawrence Book Award contest, submit a poetry collection of 45 to 90 pages or a short story collection of 120 to 280 pages using the online submission system. The deadline for the prize is August 31.
Contest finalists will be announced by October 15, and the winner will be announced shortly thereafter.
For more information about Black Lawrence Press, or to submit to the St. Lawrence Book Award, visit the website.
The American Library Association awarded its inaugural Andrew Carnegie Awards for Excellence in Literature at a ceremony last night in Anaheim, California. The organization that has for decades awarded the Caldecott and Newbery medals for children's and young adult literature is honoring for the first time books of fiction and nonfiction for adult readers.
Irish author and Man Booker alumna Anne Enright took the Carnegie Award in fiction for her fifth novel, The Forgotten Waltz, published in the United States by Norton. Also shortlisted were Russell Banks for his twelfth novel, Lost Memory of Skin (Ecco), and Pulitzer finalist Karen Russell for her first, Swamplandia! (Knopf).
In nonfiction, Robert K. Massie's biography Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman (Random House) won the Carnegie Award. The late Manning Marable's much-lauded biography Malcolm X (Viking) and James Gleick's The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood (Pantheon) were also finalists.
Each winner, selected by a committee chaired by librarian Nancy Pearl, received five thousand dollars, and each finalist received fifteen hundred dollars. As with the Caldecott and Newbery medals, copies of the honored books will also be decorated with a seal announcing the award.
Australia's prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award went this year to debut novelist Anna Funder for her best-seller All That I Am (Harper). Funder, whose novel of the Nazi resistance in Europe also won her country's Independent Bookseller’s Award for debut fiction and was named Indie Book of the Year, received $50,000 Australian (approximately $50,355).
Funder is also the author of the Samuel Johnson Prize–winning nonfiction book Stasiland: True Stories From Behind the Berlin Wall, published by Granta Books in 2003, which the author wrote after making a shift from previous careers in international law and television production in Germany. Her award-winning debut novel also carries threads of the real, particularly stories of pre-World War II activists who opposed Hitler's rise to power, some culled from the author's personal relationship with a German refugee living in Australia.
The other contenders for this year's Miles Franklin Award are Blood by Tony Birch, Foal's Bread by Gillian Mears, Cold Light by Frank Moorhouse, and Past the Shallows by Favel Parrett. The award is given annually for a novel that "presents Australian life in any of its phases."
In the video below, Funder describes the challenges of shaping her novel, including the importance, while crafting fiction from historical events, of getting the story "morally right."
New York City's Center for Fiction, which annually honors writers with its Flaherty Dunnan First Novel Prize and the Clifton Fadiman Medal, is accepting entries for a new short story contest. One story will be selected to be published in the Literarian, the center's journal, and the winning author will receive one thousand dollars.
For the inaugural competition, stories of up to five thousand words may be submitted via e-mail by July 2. A fifteen dollar entry fee is payable via the center's online store.
The current issue of the Literarian features a story-as-slideshow by Roberta Allen, an essay by memoirist and fiction writer Esmeralda Santiago, a fiction translation from the Spanish of Raúl Ortega Alfonso excerpted from the Barcelona Review, and recommended reading from author Dan Chaon alongside stories by emerging writers. The magazine is accessible for free on the Center for Fiction website.
In the video below, featured in the latest issue of the Literarian, Joyce Carol Oates discusses the dream that gave life to her novel Mudwoman, published this past March by Ecco.
To accompany our May/June 2012 issue's feature "Winners on Winning," part of our special section on writing contests, we're posting a selection of mini-interviews with prize recipients on the benefits of their awards and what they learned from winning. The final author in our series is New York City fiction writer Sarah Falkner, who received the Starcherone BooksPrize for Innovative Fiction in 2010 for her debut novel, Animal Sanctuary.
How did winning the Prize for Innovative Fiction change your career? Winning the prize changed my life enormously in a variety of ways—I was so surprised and elated after hearing the news that I rode my bicycle very joyously and recklessly through a rainy night in Brooklyn. The prize money was extremely helpful to me as a self-employed person of modest means and frequently-tenuous existence, but the money was the least of the advantages I have enjoyed from winning the prize. I am a writer who for various reasons did not pursue an MFA in creative writing, although I value and recognize many reasons why a person might do so, and am not myself wholly an outsider: I do possess a BFA in painting. While I might, outside of an MFA program, still be able to reach some of the same goals an MFA candidate strives for—sustained focus and purpose; devotion to craft and technique; submission to peer and mentor analysis, guidance, and feedback—there is no easy substitute for the public credential of having completed a degree program. After all, an MFA is justifiably and understandably a clear demonstration of a writer's quality and seriousness. The juried evaluation and approval process that winning a prize suggests confers some sort of quantifiable credential, a common currency that peers and the public can measure and accept. After winning the Starcherone Prize, I applied for the first time to the MacDowell Colony, and was given a fellowship; I highly doubt that without the credential of the prize I would have been accepted.
Did the award have an effect on any decisions you made as a writer, on the path you chose to take in life or in your work? Winning the prize encouraged me greatly to take myself more seriously as a writer, to feel entitled to publicly identify as a writer, and to allow my writing even more time in my life. Artistically, I have navigated many storms of cognitive dissonance during my development—my origins are of low socioeconomic status, but thanks to my mother and the wonderful thing that is the public library, I was exposed early to arts and letters that were foreign to our friends and neighbors. That both saved and ruined me. Since first studying visual art in college alongside people of greater privilege and means than I, then working for a time in the palace of inequity that is the New York City art world, I have frequently found myself at odds with myself—and others—about the necessity, wisdom, and appropriateness of identifying myself as an artist and prioritizing my artistic practice over more "practical" activities like earning a living or working for social justice, or other things that would more directly and immediately benefit my family, friends, and all sentient beings. Sometimes it's like I have an internalized hardline Maoist who tells me I shouldn't spend time alone at my computer expressing my most personal feelings in selfish bourgeois decadence when instead I could be out contributing to the collective good. Lately, the inner Maoist seems appeased by the fact that The People, or at least Some People, value my writing enough to have given it a prize and a readership.
What advice do you have for writers looking to contests as a way to get their work into the world? I don't feel qualified to speak to the majority of writers or contests out there—but for writers working in experimental, interdisciplinary, and other non-mainstream modes, and less-common forms such as novellas and chapbooks, all of which are published by only a fraction of all the presses in existence, I can attest to the fact that there are a number of very high quality small independent publishers and literary magazines who seem to use the contest model very effectively to find emerging writers. Starcherone Books, Fiction Collective 2, Dzanc Books, Fence Books, and DIAGRAM are just a few who accept unsolicited submissions [via a competition model] during a specific reading period each year. Often an esteemed writer not published by or affiliated with the press is chosen to judge the winner from a group of finalists. My only advice for writers is the obvious and logical: Read a lot, apply to contests for presses that publish lots of books you think are both generally exemplary and also somehow simpatico with your own projects, and especially apply to contests judged by writers whose books you greatly admire and with whom you feel a kinship or resonance.
Below is the video trailer for Falkner's Animal Sanctuary.