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G&A: The Contest Blog

The Hong Kong-based Man Asian Literary Prize recently announced the long list for its 2012 prize. The international award is given annually for a novel by an Asian writer, written in or translated into English and published during the previous year. The winner, who will be announced in March, will receive $30,000.

The list includes Goat Days (Penguin Books India) by Benyamin of India; Between Clay and Dust (Aleph) by Musharraf Ali Farooqi of Pakistan; Another Country (Fourth Estate) by Anjali Joseph of India; The Briefcase (Counterpoint Press) by Hiromi Kawakami of Japan;Thinner Than Skin (HarperCollins Canada) by Uzma Aslam Khan of Pakistan; Ru (Clerkenwell Press) by Kim Thúy of Vietnam and Canada; Black Flower (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by Young-Ha Kim of South Korea; Island of a Thousand Mirrors (Perera Hussein) by Nayomi Munaweera of Sri Lanka; Silent House (Knopf) by Orhan Pamuk of Turkey; Honour (Viking) by Elif Shafak of Turkey; Northern Girls (Penguin China) by Sheng Keyi of China; The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books) by Tan Twan Eng of Malaysia; The Road To Urbino (Abacus) by Roma Tearne of Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom; Narcopolis (Faber and Faber) by Jeet Thayil of India; and The Bathing Women (Blue Door) by Tie Ning of China.

Thúy and Tearne were eligible this year under the Prize’s new rule regarding writers who have lost their Asian nationality through state action.

In a press release, David Parker, executive director of the prize, said: “This list testifies to the strength and variety of new writing coming out of a culturally emergent Asia. It is full of stories the world hasn’t heard before and which the world needs to hear. It brings together seven books in English translation, which means that, as well as introducing exciting debut novelists, the Prize is also bringing to international attention some best-selling and important writers who are little known outside their own language communities.”

The chair of judges, international journalist and cultural critic Maya Jaggi, is joined by Vietnamese American novelist Monique Truong and award-winning Indian novelist Vikram Chandra.

The fifteen long-listed candidates will be narrowed down to a shortlist on January 9, and the winner will be announced on March 14 at a celebratory dinner in Hong Kong.

Established in 2007, the Man Asian Literary Prize is sponsored by the Man Group, which also oversees the Man Booker Prize for British literature and the Man Booker International Prize. The 2011 winner of the Asian Literary Prize was South Korean writer Kyung-sook Shin for her novel Please Look After Mom (Knopf). She was the first woman and first South Korean writer to win the prize.

Visit the Man Asian Literary Prize website for more information and submission guidelines, and to find out more about the long-listed novelists.

In the video below, watch the longlist announcement from David Parker and a Q&A with Maya Jaggi. 

The Princeton, New Jersey-based National Poetry Series has announced the winners of its annual Open Competition. Each of the five winning poets will receive $1,000, and the winning books will be published by participating presses in the summer of 2013.

The 2012 recipients are the meatgirl whatever by Kristin Hatch of San Francisco, California, chosen by K. Silem Mohammad and to be published by Fence Books; The Narrow Circle by Nathan Hoks of Chicago, Illinois, chosen by Dean Young and to be published by Penguin Books; The Cloud that Contained the Lightning by Cynthia Lowen of Brooklyn, New York, chosen by Nikky Finney and to be published by University of Georgia Press; Visiting Hours at the Color Line by Ed Pavlić of Athens, Georgia, chosen by Dan Beachy-Quick and to be published by Milkweed Editions; Failure & I Bury the Body by Sasha West of Austin, Texas, chosen by D. Nurkse and to be published by HarperCollins.

Established in 1978, the National Poetry Series is a literary awards program that publishes five new books of poetry each year through its Open Competition. Previous winners include poets Billy Collins, Stephen Dunn, Mark Doty, Marie Howe, Nathaniel Mackey, Naomi Shihab Nye, Eleni Sikelianos, and Terrance Hayes. 

To enter the 2013 competition, United States residents may submit previously unpublished book-length poetry manuscripts, typically between forty-eight and sixty-four pages in length, with a thirty-dollar entry fee by February 15, 2013. For complete submission guidelines and to learn more about the Open Competition, visit the National Poetry Series website

The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based literary magazine cream city review is currently accepting submissions for its annual poetry and fiction contest. Winners in each genre receive a $1,000 prize and publication in the Spring 2013 issue. The deadline for entry is December 31.

Poets and fiction writers may submit three to five poems or up to twenty pages of fiction, along with a $15 entry fee, which includes a copy of the contest issue, to cream city review, Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201. Submissions must be typed, double-spaced (poetry may be single-spaced), and should include the author’s name and address. Winners will be announced on the cream city review website in the spring. The magazine’s annual nonfiction contest has been discontinued.

Founded in 1975 by Mary Zane Allen, cream city review is a volunteer-operated, non-profit literary magazine published twice yearly, in the spring and fall, by the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Boasting an international readership, the magazine is “devoted to publishing memorable and energetic pieces that push the boundaries of literature” and seeks to “explore the relationship between form and content.” The magazine publishes poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, comics, book reviews, literary criticism, author interviews, and original artwork. Approximately four thousand submissions are received each year from emerging and established writers. Past contributors have included Aimee Bender, Charles Bukowski, Robert Olen Butler, Amy Clampitt, Billy Collins, Tess Gallagher, Joy Harjo, Bob Hicok, Allison Joseph, Audre Lorde, Ben Percy, Adrienne Rich, and Alberto Ríos.

The journal’s name pays homage to Milwaukee, whose moniker “The Cream City” refers to Cream City brick, a light-yellow-colored brick made from clay native to the city, which was first produced in the early nineteenth century. For more information about cream city review and for complete submission guidelines, visit the website

New York City-based Poets House has extended the application deadline for its second annual Emerging Poets Fellowship Program to December 10. The four-month fellowship is open to emerging poets living in the five boroughs of New York City.

Funded by the Jerome Foundation, the program includes weekly writing workshops, mentoring sessions, meetings with guest speakers, and free access to the Poets House Library in lower Manhattan. From the Poets House website: “The program aims to deepen participants’ artistic practice by offering a robust professional network of poets and literary professionals, including special visits from editors and publishers, who will assist each writer with their artistic development and career.”

Emerging poets of any age may submit the required application form, a narrative biography, a personal statement, a curriculum vitae, and a work sample by mail to Poets House, Emerging Poets Residency, 10 River Terrace, New York, NY 10282. There is no application fee, and tuition is free for all poets accepted into the program. Recipients will be announced February 1.

The 2013 fellows will meet on Tuesday evenings from March 12 to June 4, 2013. Fellows will also meet one-on-one with workshop leaders and guest faculty, including poets Jen Bervin, CAConrad, Cornelius Eady, Ben Lerner, Evie Shockley, and Jean Valentine, throughout the residency.

Founded in 1985 by the late U.S. Poet Laureate Stanley Kunitz and arts administrator Elizabeth Kray, Poets House offers a variety of programs and resources—including classes, readings, lectures, exhibitions, and a 50,000-volume poetry library—to emerging and established poets in New York City. For more information on the Emerging Poets Fellowship Program, and to find an application form and complete submission guidelines, visit the Poets House website

American author Kevin Powers's debut novel, The Yellow Birds (Little, Brown, 2012), a fictional account of one man's experiences during the Iraq war, has received the 2012 Guardian First Book Award. Powers will receive ten thousand British pounds.

Inspired by Powers’s own experiences as a machine gunner in Iraq, The Yellow Birds takes its name from a marching song that Powers learned while serving in the army. Lisa Allardice, judging panel chair and editor of the Guardian Review, reported that Powers “utterly fulfilled the first book award criteria of promise, originality and raw talent.” Allardice was joined on a panel of judges by authors Ahdaf Soueif, Kate Summerscale, William Dalrymple, and Jeanette Winterson, and Guardian deputy editor Katharine Viner.

Powers was chosen from a shortlist that included two other debut novels, Scottish author Kerry Hudson's Tony Hogan Bought Me an Ice-cream Float Before He Stole My Ma (Chatto & Windus, 2012) and American novelist Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding (Little, Brown, 2011), as well as two works of nonfiction—Lindsey Hilsum's account of the Libyan revolution, Sandstorm (Penguin Press, 2012) and Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (Random House, 2012), which won the National Book Award in nonfiction in November.

Established in 1999 by the editors of the U.K.-based Guardian, the annual First Book Award is given for a debut work of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction published in the previous year. Powers joins an international cast of winners that includes Siddhartha Mukherjee, who received the award last year for The Emperor of All Maladies (Fourth Estate, 2011), as well as Philip Gourevitch, Yiyun Li, Jonathan Safran Foer, Zadie Smith, and Chris Ware.

For more information about the Guardian First Book Award, visit the website. To listen to a discussion from the judges about this year's shortlist and an interview with Kevin Powers about his winning novel, check out this podcast from the Guardian

On Tuesday, the Washington, D.C.-based National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced the recipients of the 2013 Creative Writing Fellowships. The annual grants, which are given in alternating genres, were awarded this year to poets. Each of the forty fellows will receive $25,000.

The 2013 fellows are: Jose Perez Beduya of Ithaca, New York; Miriam Bird Greenberg of Berkeley, California; Sarah Blake of Havertown, Pennsylvania; Traci Brimhall of Kalamazoo, Michigan; Jenny Browne of San Antonio, Texas; Suzanne Buffam of Chicago; Ken Chen of New York City; Maxine Chernoff of Mill Valley, California; Eduardo C. Corral of Rego Park, New York; Lisa Fay Coutley of Salt Lake City; Meg Day of Salt Lake City; Ansel Elkins of Greensboro, North Carolina; Jill Alexander Essbaum of Austin, Texas; Reginald L. Flood of Quaker Hill, Connecticut; Sarah Gorham of Prospect, Kentucky; Pamela Hart of South Salem, New York; Sy Hoahwah of Benton, Arkansas; Elizabeth Hughey of Birmingham, Alabama; Joshua Kryah of Las Vegas; Rickey Laurentiis of St. Louis, Missouri; Sarah Mangold of Edmonds, Washington; Kerrin McCadden of Plainfield, Vermont; Shane McCrae of Iowa City; Philip Metres of University Heights, Ohio; Simone Muench of Chicago; John Murillo of New York City; Jacob Rakovan of Rochester, New York; Srikanth Reddy of Chicago; Roger W. Reeves of Chicago; James Richardson of Princeton, New Jersey; Rachel Richardson of Greensboro, North Carolina; David Rigsbee of Raleigh, North Carolina; Atsuro Riley of San Francisco; Allison Seay of Midlothian, Virginia; Solmaz Sharif of Los Angeles; B. T. Shaw of Portland, Oregon; Ryan Teitman of Berkeley, California; Sarah Vap of Santa Monica, California; Jake Adam York of Denver; and Rachel Zucker of New York City. 

The NEA received 1,137 eligible fellowship applications this year, which were narrowed down to 110 finalists by a panel of 22 professionals from the literary field. Final selections are made each year by the chairman of the NEA.  

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts has given more than four billion dollars in grants to individual artists and arts organizations in support of literary, visual, and performing arts. Tuesday’s announcement also named 832 arts organizations—including a number of independent presses, literary magazines, and universities—which will receive 2013 grants through the NEA’s Art Works program.

The application deadline for 2013 translation fellowships is January 3; the 2014 creative writing fellowships, whose deadline has not yet been set, will be given in fiction and creative nonfiction. For more information, visit the NEA website

American fiction writer Maggie Shipstead was recently named the winner of the 2012 Dylan Thomas Prize for young writers, an annual award of £30,000 (approximately $48,000) given by the University of Wales to a writer under the age of thirty.

Shipstead, twenty-eight, won the prize for her debut novel, Seating Arrangements (Knopf, 2012). A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, she lives in Coronado, California.

About Seating Arrangements, which turns a satirical eye toward New England wealth and family, author and prize judge Allison Pearson says, “At the age of twenty-eight, Maggie Shipstead has imagined herself inside the head of a fifty-nine-year-old male in the grip of an erotic infatuation. This is territory that has been covered by the greats of American fiction, including John Updike and Jane Smiley. Maggie Shipstead doesn’t just follow in their footsteps; she beats a distinctive and dazzling path of her own. The world has found a remarkable, humane new voice to explain us to ourselves.”

Established in 2006, the Dylan Thomas Prize, one of the world’s largest literary prizes for young writers, is given internationally for a book written in English and published in the previous year. The shortlist for the prize also included Tom Benn for The Doll Princess (Jonathan Cape), Andrea Eames for The White Shadow (Random House), Chibundu Onuzo for The Spider King’s Daughter (Faber & Faber), and D.W. Wilson for Once You Break A Knuckle (Bloomsbury).

Previous winners include Lucy Caldwell for her novel The Meeting Point (Faber & Faber, 2011), Elyse Fenton for her poetry collection Clamour (Cleveland State University, 2010), Nam Le for his short story collection The Boat (Knopf, 2008), and Rachel Trezise, whose short story collection Fresh Apples (Parthian Books) received the inaugural prize in 2006. For more information on the Dylan Thomas Prize, visit the website

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