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G&A: The Contest Blog

The recipients of the inaugural Windham Campbell Prizes in fiction, nonfiction, and drama were announced this morning at Yale University. Each of the nine winners of the new prize will receive $150,000 to support their writing.

The winners in fiction are Tom McCarthy, James Salter, and Zoë Wicomb; the winners in nonfiction are Adina Hoffman, Jonny Steinberg, and Jeremy Scahill; the winners in drama are Naomi Wallace, Steven Adly Guirgis, and Tarell Alvin McCraney. 

Sponsored by Yale and established with a gift from the estate of the late writer Donald Windham, the Windham Campbell Literature Prizes recognize English-language writers at all stages of their careers. The prizes are named in honor of Windham and his longtime partner, the journalist and publisher Sandy M. Campbell. The prizes are administered by the Beinecke Rare Book Room and Manuscript Library, which also houses Windham’s papers. The awards join a list of esteemed literary prizes already sponsored by Yale, including the Bollingen Prize for Poetry and the Yale Series of Younger Poets.

“Yale is a place that hopes to inspire and recognize greatness in every field,” said Peter Salovey, president-elect of Yale University, in a press release. “The Windham Campbell Prizes allow us to fulfill that ambition in the field of world literature in ways we are only beginning to understand.”

There is no application process for the Windham Campbell Prizes. Established professionals in each category are asked to nominate names for consideration, and a selection committee meets at Yale to name up to nine writers to receive prizes. 

The winners of the inaugural prizes will receive their awards at a ceremony at Yale during the Windham Campbell Literary Festival from September 10 to September 13 in New Haven.

“I look forward to the dialogue the winners will inspire on the Yale campus and around the world,” Salovey said. “We will learn much from our prize-winners, particularly in these first years of awarding the prize.”

In the video below, Salovey announces the prize and the first annual winners.

Last night, during a ceremony at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium in New York City, the National Book Critics Circle announced the recipients of its book awards for publishing year 2012. 

D. A. Powell won in poetry for Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys (Graywolf); Ben Fountain won in fiction for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (Ecco); and Andrew Solomon won in nonfiction for Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity (Scribner).

Leanne Shapton won the autobiography award for Swimming Studies (Blue Rider Press); Robert A. Caro won the biography award with The Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson (Knopf); and Marina Warner won the criticism award for Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights (Belknap Press). 

The winners were chosen by a panel of established literary critics from a list of thirty finalists announced this past January. The shortlist in poetry included David Ferry for Bewilderment: New Poems and Translations (University of Chicago Press); Lucia Perillo for On the Spectrum of Possible Deaths (Copper Canyon Press); Allan Peterson for Fragile Acts (McSweeney’s Books); and A. E. Stallings for Olives (Triquarterly). The finalists in fiction were Laurent Binet for HHhH, translated by Sam Taylor (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Adam Johnson for The Orphan Master’s Son (Random House); Lydia Millet for Magnificence (W. W. Norton); and Zadie Smith for NW (The Penguin Press). 

The annual National Book Critics Circle awards are given for books published in the previous year. For more information about the awards, visit the NBCC website.

In the video below, watch the finalists read from their work at last night’s ceremony.   

The 2013 Susan Sontag Prize for Translation will award a grant of $5,000 for a proposed work of literary translation from French into English by a translator under the age of thirty. The deadline for applications is April 12.

The grant will be awarded in late June, and the translation must be completed by November. Eligible works include novellas, plays, and collections of poetry, short stories, or letters originally written in French. Applicants wishing to translate longer works should contact the Susan Sontag Foundation before applying so that supplementary materials can be included. Preference will be given to works that have not been previously translated.

Translators may submit a five-page sample translation of the proposed work and the same passage in the original language, along with the required application form, a personal statement, a project proposal outlining the work and describing its importance, a bibliography of the author, one academic letter of recommendation, and an official transcript from a current or most recent academic institution. Applications must be submitted via postal mail to the Susan Sontag Foundation , 76 Franklin St. #3, New York, NY 10013. Visit the website for complete submission guidelines

The winner will be notified in late June, and results will be announced on the Susan Sontag Foundation website. The winner will also be expected to participate in symposia on literary translation with established writers and translators, and give public readings of their work once the translation has been completed.

The 2012 prize was split between Julia Powers and Adam Morris, who translated Contos d'escárnio/Textos grotescos and Com os meus olhos de cão, respectively, by the Brazillian poet and novelist Hilda Hilst. The 2011 prize winner was Chenxin Jiang, for her translation from the Italian of Destino Coatto, a series of prose vignettes by Goliarda Sapienza.

The Susan Sontag Foundation Translation Prize was established in honor of Susan Sontag, who devoted much of her life’s work to championing literary translation. The prize, given annually in alternating languages, seeks to increase the practice and recognition of translation in the United States. For more information about the prize or the foundation, visit the website.  

The finalists for the thirty-third annual Los Angeles Times Book Prizes, given in ten categories for books published in 2012, were announced today. 

The finalists in poetry are Louise Glück for Poems: 1962-2012 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Rowan Ricardo Phillips for The Ground: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), D. A. Powell for Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys: Poems (Graywolf Press) Bin Ramke for Aerial (Omnidawn), and Cole Swensen for Gravesend (University of California Press).

The finalists in fiction are Jami Attenberg for The Middlesteins: A Novel (Grand Central Publishing), Michael Chabon for Telegraph Avenue (Harper), Ben Fountain for Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk (Ecco), Lauren Groff for Arcadia (Voice/Hyperion), and Lydia Millet for Magnificence (Norton).

The finalists for the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction are David Abrams for Fobbit (Black Cat/Grove/Atlantic,Inc.), Kevin P. Keating for The Natural Order of Things (Aqueous Books), Lydia Netzer for Shine Shine Shine (St. Martin's Press), Maggie Shipstead for Seating Arrangements (Knopf), and Robin Sloan for Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Book Store: A Novel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

For embracing new electronic forms of narrative, novelist Margaret Atwood will receive the Times Innovator's Award. Atwood’s recent projects include writing a serialized e-book for Byliner and posting her work on the collaborative writing website Wattpad. A new award series hosted by Wattpad, the Attys, whose inaugural winners were recently announced, were named in Atwood’s honor.

The winners of the 2012 book prizes will be announced at an awards ceremony on April 19 at the University of Southern California. The ceremony is open to the public; tickets will be available in late March. For more information on the event, and for a list of finalists in the additional award categories of biography, current interest, graphic novel/comics, history, mystery/thriller, science and technology, and young adult literature, visit the L.A. Times Book Prizes website

The Poetry Society of America (PSA) has announced that poet Robert Bly will receive the 2013 Frost Medal, an award presented annually for distinguished lifetime achievement in poetry. 

The PSA’s most prestigious award, the Frost Medal was established in 1930. Originally called the “Gold Medal,” the award’s early recipients included Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Wallace Stevens, and Marianne Moore. In 1984, to pay tribute to Robert Frost's longstanding association with the organization, including his tenure as honorary president from 1940-1963, the award was renamed in his honor; subsequent winners have included Gwendolyn Brooks, Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, Sonia Sanchez, and in 2012, Marilyn Nelson. Winners receive a cash prize of $2,500. 

Born in western Minnesota in 1926, Robert Bly attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and later founded the literary magazine The Fifties (later The Sixties and The Seventies), which published poetry in translation. Bly published his first book of poetry, Silence in the Snowy Fields (Wesleyan), in 1962, and received a National Book Award in 1968 for The Light Around the Body (Harper & Row). He has since published over thirty books of poetry, translation, and essays, including most recently the poetry collection Talking Into the Ear of a Donkey (Norton, 2011). A forthcoming collection, Stealing Sugar from the Castle: the Selected Poems of Robert Bly, will be published in September by Norton. 

Bly will be honored, along with the twelve recipients of the annual PSA awards, at a ceremony on Friday, April 5, at the National Arts Club in New York City. Bly will also give a reading.

The Poetry Society of America, the nation's oldest poetry organization, was founded in 1910. Its mission is “to build a larger and more diverse audience for poetry, to encourage a deeper appreciation of the vitality and breadth of poetry in the cultural conversation, and to place poetry at the crossroads of American life.” For more information about the PSA and the annual awards, visit the website

The Oklahoma City-based Arcadia Magazine is currently accepting submissions for its inaugural short story contest. The winner will receive a prize of $1,000 and publication in Arcadia. The deadline for entry is February 15.

Fiction writers may submit a short story between 4,000 and 7,000 words, along with a $15 entry fee, via Submittable. There is no required criteria beyond the word limit; stories of any subject or style are eligible. Multiple entries are welcome, but must be submitted separately. All entries will be considered for publication. 

Founded in 2009, Arcadia is a print journal published twice yearly in the spring and fall that features the work of both emerging and established writers. In addition to the contest, the magazine accepts year-round submissions of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as cultural criticism, drama, visual art, comics, music, craft essays, and everything in between—including letters, to be included in the new Epistolary feature on the journal's website. Whatever the form, the editors state on the site, We want to see it, read it, hear it, and love it. If it kicks ass, we will find a way to publish it. 

Visit the submissions page for complete guidelines. 

For more from the Arcadia editors, check out the September/October 2012 print issue of Poets & Writers Magazine for an article on how to submit to Arcadia

Barnes and Noble has announced the shortlist for its 2012 Discover Great New Writers Awards, which annually honor works of fiction and nonfiction by emerging writers published during the previous calendar year and featured in the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. Of the six finalists, one winner in each genre will be receive $10,000.  

The finalists in fiction are Amanda Coplin for The Orchardist (HarperCollins), Eowyn Ivey for The Snow Child (Reagan Arthur Books), and Karen Thompson Walker for The Age of Miracles (Random House). The finalists in nonfiction are Katherine Boo for Behind the Beautiful Forevers (Random House), Kristen Iversen for Full Body Burden (Crown Publishers), and Cheryl Strayed for Wild (Knopf).

Established in 1990, the Discover program highlights books by debut or early-career writers whose work might otherwise be overlooked by the mainstream. This year’s selections were chosen from a list of fifty-three writers. 

A group of Barnes and Noble volunteers hand-picks Discover selections each year from a list of nominees, and a panel of judges in both genres selects the award finalists and winners. This year's fiction judges are Lan Samantha Chang, Alan Cheuse, and Karl Marlantes. The nonfiction judges are Susan Cheever, Wendy McClure, and Touré.

The winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 6. Second-place finalists will receive $5,000, and third-place finalists will receive $2,500. 

The 2011 Discover Great New Writers Award winner in fiction was Scott O'Connor for Untouchable, published by Tyrus Books; Michael Levy won in nonfiction for Kosher Chinese, published by Holt. 

Barnes and Noble accepts nominations for the Discover program four times yearly. For the Fall 2013 season, books published between August and October, 2013, may be submitted by April 4. Publishers may nominate books by debut authors or writers with fewer than three previously published books. Authors may not submit their own work. Works of literary fiction (including novels and short story collections) and literary nonfiction (including essay collections, memoirs, and other nonfiction works with a strong narrative) are eligible. Self-published or digital-only titles are not eligible. For more information and complete submission guidelines, visit the website.

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