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G&A: The Contest Blog

Thirteen fiction writers make up the long list for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, which was announced this week in London. The winner of the prize—one of the most prestigious awards in literary fiction—will receive 50,000 British pounds, or approximately $75,000.

This year's so-called “Booker’s Dozen” includes Five Star Billionaire (Fourth Estate) by Tash Aw, We Need New Names (Reagan Arthur Books) by NoViolet Bulawayo, The Luminaries (Granta) by Eleanor Catton, Harvest (Picador) by Jim Crace, The Marrying of Chani Kaufman (Sandstone Press) by Eve Harris, The Kills (Picador) by Richard House, The Lowland (Bloomsbury) by Jhumpa Lahiri, Unexploded (Hamish Hamilton) by Alison MacLeod, TransAtlantic (Bloomsbury) by Colum McCann, Almost English (Mantle) by Charlotte Mendelson, A Tale for the Time Being (Canongate) by Ruth Ozeki, The Spinning Heart (Doubleday Ireland) by Donal Ryan, and The Testament of Mary (Viking) by Colm Tóibín.

According to the announcement on the Booker Prize Foundation website, this year’s judges—Robert MacFarlane, Martha Kearney, Stuart Kelly, Natalie Haynes, and Robert Douglas-Fairhurst—read 151 books, and “have found works of the greatest quality in places as distant from one another as Zimbabwe and New Zealand, Canada and Malaysia and from writers at the start of their careers (Eleanor Catton, aged 28, whose book The Luminaries weighs in at a whopping 832 pages) to those who have been at the writing game for many years (Jim Crace, aged 67)—and every stage in between.”

Seven of the long-listed books are written by women, three are debuts, and only Crace and Tóibín are previous Booker finalists.    

Founded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is given annually for a book of fiction published in the previous year and written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth, or the Republic of Ireland. Hilary Mantel took the 2012 prize for her novel Bring Up the Bodies, the second installment of her acclaimed Tudor trilogy; the first, Wolf Hall, won the prize in 2009.

A shortlist will be announced September 10 and the winner on October 15. In the meantime, check out an excerpt from finalist NoViolet Bulawayo’s We Need New Names, featured as part of the annual first fiction roundup in the current issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, and an essay by Ruth Ozeki—about the creation of her long-listed novel and the relationship between readers, writers, and characters—which appeared in the May/June issue.

The New York City–based Center for Fiction has announced the long list for its 2013 Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, given for a debut novel published in the current year. The winner, who will be announced in December, will receive $10,000.

In the prize's second year of partnership with the American Booksellers Association (ABA), the nonprofit trade association for independent booksellers, member booksellers around the country served as first-round readers. Ben Fountain—who received the prize last year for his novel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ecco)—will serve as one of the final judges for this year’s prize, along with Victor LaValle, Roxana Robinson, Christine Schutt, and Luis Alberto Urrea. The short list will be announced in late August.

The long-listed finalists are:
 
Any Resemblance to Actual Persons by Kevin Allardice (Counterpoint)
The Blood of Heaven by Kent Wascom (Grove Press)
The Carriage House by Louisa Hall (Scribner)
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra (Hogarth)
Elders by Ryan McIlvain (Hogarth)
Eleven Days by Lea Carpenter (Alfred A. Knopf)
Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi (The Penguin Press)
In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods by Matt Bell (Soho Press)
The Morels by Christopher Hacker (Soho Press)
Motherlunge by Kirstin Scott (New Issues Poetry & Prose)
The Next Time You See Me by Holly Goddard Jones (Touchstone)
The Residue Years by Mitchell Jackson (Bloomsbury)
The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow by Rita Leganski (Harper Paperbacks)
Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng (Ecco)
Tampa by Alissa Nutting (Ecco)
A Teaspoon of Earth and Sea by Dina Nayeri (Riverhead Books)
The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards by Kristopher Jansma (Viking)
Wash by Margaret Wrinkle (Atlantic Monthly Press)

Wise Men by Stuart Nadler (Reagan Arthur Books)

Y by Marjorie Celona (Free Press)

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani (Riverhead Books)

You Are One of Them by Elliott Holt (The Penguin Press)

Short-listed authors, who will be announced in late August, will each receive a prize of $1,000. The winner will be announced at the Center for Fiction's annual awards dinner on December 11 in New York City. Submissions for the prize (which may be sent by publishers only) are considered annually in March.

The New York City–based PEN American Center recently announced the finalists for its annual literary awards, which this year will give nearly $150,000 in prize money to established and emerging writers and translators.

The awards are given in ten categories for works of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, translation, and children's books. “We are proud that PEN’s Literary Awards are the most comprehensive in the country,” said PEN Executive Director, Suzanne Nossel. “This year we saw a record number of submissions from both traditional and independent publishers, including an impressive showing of emerging authors.”

The final winners and runners-up will be announced later this summer and will be honored at the 2013 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony on Monday, October 21, 2013, at CUNY Graduate Center’s Proshansky Auditorium in New York City.

Below is the full list of finalists in each category:

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize ($25,000): Given to an author whose debut work—a first novel or collection of short stories published in 2012—represents distinguished literary achievement and suggests great promise.

A Land More Kind Than Home (William Morrow), Wiley Cash

A Naked Singularity (University of Chicago Press), Sergio de la Pava

My Only Wife (Dzanc Books), Jac Jemc

Happiness Is a Chemical in the Brain (W.W. Norton & Co.), Lucia Perillo

Battleborn (Riverhead Books), Claire Vaye Watkins

PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction ($10,000): To an author of a distinguished book of general nonfiction possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective and illuminating important contemporary issues which has been published in the United States during 2011 or 2012.

Iron Curtain (Doubleday), Anne Applebaum

Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Random House), Katherine Boo

Moby-Duck (Penguin Books), Donovan Hohn

God’s Hotel (Riverhead Books), Victoria Sweet

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay ($10,000): For a book of essays published in 2012 that exemplifies the dignity and esteem that the essay form imparts to literature.

What Light Can Do (Ecco), Robert Hass

The Story of America (Princeton University Press), Jill Lepore

Waiting for the Barbarians (New York Review Books), Daniel Mendelsohn

PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award ($10,000): For a book of literary nonfiction on the subject of the physical or biological sciences published in 2012.

The Forest Unseen (Viking), David George Haskell

The Violinist’s Thumb (Little, Brown and Company), Sam Kean

Subliminal (Vintage Books), Leonard Mlodinow

Spillover (W.W. Norton & Co.), David Quammen

Rabid (Viking), Bill Wasik and Monica Murphy

PEN Open Book Award ($5,000): For an exceptional book-length work of literature by an author of color published in 2012.

Gun Dealers’ Daughter (W.W. Norton & Co.), Gina Apostol

When My Brother Was an Aztec (Copper Canyon Press), Natalie Diaz

Allegiance (Wayne State University Press), Francine J. Harris

Our Andromeda (Copper Canyon Press), Brenda Shaughnessy 

The Grey Album (Graywolf Press), Kevin Young

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography ($5,000): For a distinguished biography published in 2012.

James Joyce (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Gordon Bowker

All We Know (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Lisa Cohen

A Difficult Woman (Bloomsbury), Alice Kessler-Harris

The Lives of Margaret Fuller (W.W. Norton & Co.), John Matteson

The Black Count (Broadway Books), Tom Reiss

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing ($5,000): To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2012.

Over Time (Grove Press), Frank Deford

Road to Valor (Broadway Books), Aili and Andres McConnon

Like Any Normal Day (St. Martin’s Press), Mark Kram, Jr.

Floyd Patterson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), W.K. Stratton

PEN/Steven Kroll Award for Picture Book Writing ($5,000): To a writer for an exceptional story illustrated in a picture book published in 2012.

Snakes (Scholastic), Nic Bishop

Oh, No! (Schwartz & Wade Books), Candace Fleming and illustrator Andrea Castellani

I Lay My Stitches Down (Eerdmans), Cynthia Grady and illustrator Michele Wood

Those Rebels, John & Tom (Scholastic), Barbara Kerley and illustrator Edwin Fotheringham

The Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau (Eerdmans), Michelle Markel and illustrator Amanda Hall

PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2012.

Spit Temple by Cecilia Vicuña (Ugly Duckling Presse), Rosa Alcalá

Diadem by Marosa di Giorgio (BOA Editions), Adam Giannelli

Tales of a Severed Head by Rachida Madani (Yale University Press), Marilyn Hacker

The Smoke of Distant Fires by Eduardo Chirinos (Open Letter Books), G. J. Racz

Almost 1 Book/Almost 1 Life by Elfriede Czurda (Burning Deck), Rosmarie Waldrop

The Shock of the Lenders and Other Poems by Jorge Santiago Perednik (Action Books), Molly Weigel

PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2012.

A Long Day’s Evening by Bilge Karasu (City Lights Books), Aron Aji and Fred Stark

Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector (New Directions), Alison Entrekin

Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Rosalind Harvey

The Cardboard House by Martín Adán (New Directions), Katherine Silver

The Island of Second Sight by Albert Vigoleis Thelen (Galileo Publishers), Donald O. White

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.”

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