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G&A: The Contest Blog

The London–based nonfiction press Notting Hill Editions recently announced the launch of its international William Hazlitt Essay Prize, which will be given annually for an essay. The winner will receive a cash award of £15,000 (approximately $22,674); five runners-up will each receive £1,000 (approximately $1,511).

Writers of any nationality are eligible, but essays must be written in English. Previously unpublished essays or those that have appeared in either print or online journals, but not in book form, between January 1, 2012, and July 31, 2013, are eligible. Antonia Fraser, Adam Mars-Jones, Harry Mount, David Shields, and Gaby Wood will judge. Using the online submission system, writers, publishers, or agents may submit an essay of two thousand to eight thousand words with a £10 (approximately $15) entry fee by September 1. E-mail or visit the website for more information and complete guidelines.

Devoted to “the best in essayistic nonfiction writing,” Notting Hill Editions publishes both new and classic essays and collections in hardbound editions, having recently featured work by Joshua Cohen, Deborah Levy, David Shields, and W. G. Sebald.

The prize is named for British essayist William Hazlitt (1778-1830), who wrote of the form: “…it makes familiar with the world of men and women, records their actions, assigns their motives, exhibits their whims, characterizes their pursuits in all their singular and endless variety, ridicules their absurdities, exposes their inconsistencies, ‘holds the mirror up to nature, and shows the very age and body of the time its form and pressure’; takes minutes of our dress, air, looks, words, thoughts, and actions; shows us what we are, and what we are not; plays the whole game of human life over before us, and by making us enlightened Spectators of its many-coloured scenes, enables us (if possible) to become tolerably reasonable agents in the one in which we have to perform a part. It is the best and most natural course of study.”

Audible, Inc., and the New York City–based Center for Fiction have teamed up to create a new literary prize. The Christopher Doheny Award, given for an unpublished book of fiction or nonfiction on the topic of serious illness, will include a $10,000 prize, publication, and promotion of the winning book in print and audio editions.

The award was established in memory of Christopher Doheny, a long-time Audible employee who died of cystic fibrosis in February at the age of thirty-one.

“Supporting writers and literature is the most fitting tribute to Chris, a writer himself who loved reading, discussing, and working with good books,” said Beth Anderson, EVP and publisher of Audible.

“We are pleased to be able to honor Chris, while helping to support some excellent writers working on promising manuscripts,” added Center for Fiction executive director Noreen Tomassi.
Writers who have previously published work in literary journals or magazines, or who have published a book with an independent or traditional publisher, are eligible to enter. Both adult and young adult manuscripts are eligible. Writers may submit a completed manuscript and synopsis or two sample chapters of a work in progress and a book proposal, along with a bibliography, a brief bio, and contact information by July 31. Visit the website for complete submission guidelines.

Manuscripts will be judged by a panel of three distinguished writers chosen by the Center for Fiction and a representative of Audible. Writers are encouraged to contact dohenyaward@audible.com for more information.

“We hope that this prize will help talented writers who may be battling chronic or fatal disease tell their important stories,” said Dana Doheny, Chris’s mother.
A subsidiary of Amazon, Audible, Inc., provides audiobooks for a host of digital and mobile platforms. The Center for Fiction, the only nonprofit literary organization in the United States devoted solely to fiction, offers writing classes, an expansive library, and a variety of events, awards, and fellowships for writers in New York City. The Center is also accepting monetary donations to the Chris Doheny Award; visit the website to find out how to contribute.

Emerging poets got some good news yesterday: The Ruth Lilly Fellowships, given annually by the Poetry Foundation to five poets, ages thirty-one and younger, will nearly double in value next year thanks to a $1.2 million gift from the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund.

The new endowment, announced yesterday, will be put directly toward the fellowship prizes, which currently offer $15,000 to each recipient. The awards, the first round of which will be given next year, will also bear a new name: the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowships.

The Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Fund, which gives a host of monetary awards to young poets each year—including the annual Dorothy Prizes, whose next deadline is October 5—is named in honor of poet Dorothy Sargent Fraser and her husband, Marvin Rosenberg, who met during the Depression while studying at the University of California in Berkeley. Fraser wrote and published poems under the name Dorothy Sargent; Rosenberg, a Shakespeare scholar, bequeathed his estate as a memorial to his late wife “as a means of giving a financial lift to deserving young poets.”

In Tuesday’s announcement, fund administrators Mary and Barr Rosenberg wrote on the Memorial Fund website that while they’ve been able to administer the prizes themselves the past nine years, “now it is time for the balance of Marvin’s bequest to be deployed in a long lasting way for the benefit of promising young poets….We are delighted to make this gift on Marvin’s behalf to the Poetry Foundation, so that the funds can continue to be entirely dedicated to the poets themselves. This is exactly what Marvin would have wished to bring about in Dorothy’s memory.”

The pair—Rosenberg’s son and second wife—is also hoping to find new administration for the Dorothy Prizes. Interested individuals and organizations are invited to contact Mary Rosenberg at marvinr@berkeley.edu.

For more information on the Ruth Lilly Fellowships, and to keep an eye out for submissions guidelines for the new prize, visit the Poetry Foundation website.

The Montreal–based Matrix Magazine and POP Montreal International Music Festival have teamed up to create the Lit Pop Awards—an annual literary competition for poets and fiction writers whose work “exemplifies a spirit of innovation and verve with rockstar attitude.”

Two winners will each receive a round-trip ticket and VIP pass to the POP Montreal Festival (September 25–29), accommodation at a bed and breakfast, fall publication in Matrix Magazine, a one-hundred-dollar honorarium, and a presentation at a Matrix Lit POP event during the festival. The deadline for entry is June 30. 

Eileen Myles
, whose most recent collection is Snowflake/different streets (Wave Books, 2012), will judge in poetry; Sheila Heti, whose most recent novel is How Should a Person Be? (Holt, 2012), will judge in fiction.

The contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada. Poets may submit up to five poems and fiction writers may submit stories of up to 3,000 words with a $25 entry fee. Entries may submitted via Submittable, by e-mail at litpop2013@gmail.com, or by postal mail to Matrix Publications, 1400 de Maisonneuve Blvd W., LB 658, Montreal QC, H3G 1M8. Visit the website for complete submission guidelines and payment options.

Founded in Lennoxville, Ontario, in 1975, Matrix Magazine has been published as part of the creative writing program at Concordia University in Montreal since 1994. The POP Montreal Festival, held annually since 2002, is a festival of music, visual art, and literature that “champions independence in the arts by presenting emerging and celebrated artistic talents from around the world.”

Last night in Toronto, the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prizes were given for the collections Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me (Yale University Press), written by Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan and translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah, and What's the Score (Mansfield Press) by Canadian poet David W. McFadden. Each winner received $65,000

The finalists, who each gave a reading along with the winners, were Jennifer Maiden for Liquid Nitrogen (Giramondo Publishing), James Pollock for Sailing to Babylon (Able Muse Press) Alan Shapiro for Night of the Republic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Brenda Shaughnessy forOur Andromeda (Copper Canyon Press), and Ian Williams for Personals (Freehand Books).

Founded in 2000, the Griffin Poetry Prize is given annually for books of poetry written in or translated into English and published anywhere in the world. One prize is given to a living Canadian poet or translator; a second is given to a living poet or translator from any country.

This year’s judges were Suzanne Buffam of Canada, Mark Doty of the United States, and Wang Ping of China. Each read 509 books of poetry, which were submitted from forty countries, and included fifteen translations. The trustees of the Toronto–based Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry, which administers the prize select the judges annually.

Scott Griffin and trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, and David Young hosted the event. Trustee Carolyn Forché presented each shortlisted poet with a leather-bound edition of their book and a $10,000 honorarium.

For the 2014 prizes, publishers may submit books published between January 1 and December 31, 2013. Only publishers can submit books for consideration; self-published titles are not eligible. The deadline for submissions is December 31. Visit the website for complete submission guidelines.

The Cincinnati Review is currently accepting entries for its 2013 Robert and Adele Schiff Awards in Poetry and Prose. Two winners will each receive one thousand dollars and publication in the Cincinnati Review.

Using the online submission manager, poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers may submit up to eight pages of poetry or up to forty pages of prose with a twenty-dollar entry fee, which includes a year-long subscription to the magazine, by July 15. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, and all entries are considered for publication. 

Winners will be announced October 1, and the winning work will be published in the Summer 2014 issue of the magazine. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Established in 2003 and published twice yearly at the University of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Review is a print journal that publishes both emerging and established writers. General submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translation, and visual art are accepted online and by mail between August 15 and April 15 annually.

Last night in London, American author A. M. Homes won the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) for her most recent novel, May We Be Forgiven. She will receive £30,000 (approximately $46,000). 

Founded in 1996, the Women’s Prize for Fiction is given annually for a novel written in English by a woman and published in the previous year. Homes beat out finalist Hilary Mantel, two-time Man Booker Prize recipient, whose Bring Up the Bodies—the second in her much-lauded Cromwell trilogy—was projected to win. The other finalists were Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, who won the Women’s Prize in 2010 for The Lacuna; Life After Life by Kate Atkinson; NW by Zadie Smith, who won the Women’s Prize in 2006 for On Beauty; and Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.


“Our 2013 shortlist was exceptionally strong and our judges’ meeting was long and passionately argued,” said chair of judges Miranda Richardson, “but in the end we agreed that May We Be Forgiven is a dazzling, original, viscerally funny black comedy—a subversion of the American dream. This is a book we want to read again and give to our friends.”

“This award is super special to me,” Homes said at the ceremony. “It's the first actual book award I've won. I've always been in awe of this prize and I've always dreamed I would win it.” May We Be Forgiven, the author’s tenth book and seventh novel, was published by Viking last October. 

After last year’s announcement that the prestigious prize would end its three-year partnership with telecommunications company Orange, Women’s Prize cofounder and director Kate Mosse announced on Tuesday that, beginning next year, Bailey’s liqueur will serve as the new sponsor for the prize. 

While the award has received criticism for both its all-female focus and for the choice of partnership, Homes says the prize remains important. “Despite a lot of change and growth, we still live in a world where the work of male writers dominates,” she said in an interview with the Telegraph. “But more importantly, it’s important to read the hundreds of books that are submitted for this kind of prize and to look at the range of work of women writers, and produce a shortlist that shows that women are writing substantial, powerful, big ideas—historical work, that goes beyond gender and resonates throughout the culture.”

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