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G&A: The Contest Blog

The Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry announced the shortlist for its 2013 Griffin Poetry Prize on Tuesday. Two awards of $65,000 CAD (approximately $59,253) each are given annually for poetry collections published during the previous year, one by a poet living in Canada and another by a poet living internationally.

The international finalists include Rachel Boast for Pilgrim’s Flower (Picador), Brenda Hillman for Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire (Wesleyan University Press), Carl Phillips for Silverchest (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), and Mira Rosenthal for her translation from the Polish of Tomasz Rózycki’s Colonies (Zephyr Press). The Canadian finalists include Anne Carson for Red Doc> (Knopf), Sue Goyette for Ocean (Gaspereau Press), and Anne Michaels for Correspondences (Knopf).

The seven finalists will each receive $10,000 CAD (approximately $9,114) and will be invited to read on June 4 at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. The winners, who will each receive $65,000 CAD (approximately $59,253), will be announced on June 5 at the Griffin Poetry Prize Awards ceremony.

The 2014 judges, chosen by the Griffin Trust trustees, are Robert Bringhurst of Canada, Jo Shapcott of the United Kingdom, and C. D. Wright of the United States. They read 539 poetry collections, including 24 translations, from 40 countries.

Based in Toronto, the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry was founded in 2000 by chairman Scott Griffin and trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson, and David Young. Carolyn Forché joined as a trustee in 2004.

Publishers may submit books for consideration by the annual deadline of December 31. Visit the Griffin Trust website for more information and complete guidelines.

Fady Joudah and Candian poet David W. McFadden won the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prizes. Joudah won for his translation from the Arabic of Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan's Like a Straw Bird It follows Me (Yale University Press); McFadden won for his collection What's the Score (Mansfield Press).

Phillips: Dinty W. Moore; Carson: Peter Smith.

The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, formerly the Orange Prize, has announced the shortlist for its 2014 award. Now in its nineteenth year, the £30,000 (approximately $50,000) London-based prize is given to a woman writer from any country for a novel written in English and published in the previous year.

The finalists are Nigerian American author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for Americanah (Knopf), Australian author Hannah Kent for Burial Rites (Picador), British American author Jhumpa Lahiri for The Lowland (Bloomsbury), Irish author Audrey Magee for The Undertaking (Atlantic Books), Irish author Eimear McBride for A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing (Faber & Faber), and American author Donna Tartt for The Goldfinch (Little, Brown).

This year’s shortlisted books were selected from a longlist of twenty. The shortlist boasts one previous Orange Prize winner, one previously shortlisted author, and three debut novelists.

The judges for the 2014 prize are Helen Fraser, the chief executive of the Girls’ Day School Trust; Mary Beard, a professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge; writer Denise Mina; Times columnist, author, and screenwriter Caitlin Moran; and Sophie Raworth, a BBC broadcaster and journalist.

“We are very excited by the books we have chosen for the shortlist,” said Helen Fraser, the chair of judges, in yesterday's announcement. “Each one is original and extraordinary in its own way—each offers something different and exciting and illuminating.” The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on June 4.

Established in 1996 to celebrate and promote fiction by women throughout the world, the Women’s Prize for Fiction was renamed and took on new sponsorship last year after a longtime partnership with telecommunications company Orange. The prize is anonymously endowed, and is the UK’s only annual book award for fiction written by women. Any woman writing in English, regardless of nationality, country of residence, age, or subject matter, is eligible.

American author A. M. Homes won the 2013 Prize for her novel May We Be Forgiven. In the video below from the Guardian, British author Jeanette Winterson interviews Homes about her winning book.

The PEN/Faulkner Foundation announced today that Karen Joy Fowler has won the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for her most recent novel, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. The $15,000 prize honors a book of fiction by an American author published in the previous year.

Fowler is the author of six novels, including the bestselling The Jane Austen Book Club (Putnam, 2004), and five short story collections. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, published by Marian Wood last May, is loosely inspired by the work of psychologist Winthrop Kellogg in the early 1930s, and tells the story of a young woman raised with a chimpanzee as a sister.

Known for writing genre-bending work, Fowler also cofounded the James Tiptree Jr. Award in 1991, a literary prize given annually for works of science fiction and fantasy that explore the understanding of gender. The prize is named for science fiction author Alice Sheldon, who wrote under the pen name James Tiptree Jr.

In the following podcast from Aspen Public Radio’s First Draft series, Fowler discusses the new book, her process and inspiration, and how she came to be a writer.

The judges for this year’s PEN/Faulkner Award were Madison Smartt Bell, Manuel Muñoz, and Achy Obejas. Fowler’s novel was chosen from more than 430 novels and short story collections. In a statement released this morning, Muñoz said, “Fowler captures an altogether new dimension of the meaning—and heartbreak—of family dynamics.” Smartt Bell added, “This is a book that really does tell us something new about what it is to be human—and what it is not to be."

The finalists for the award included two short story collections, Joan Silber’s Fools (Norton) and Valerie Trueblood’s Search Party (Counterpoint); and two novels, Daniel Alarcón’s At Night We Walk in Circles (Riverhead) and Percival Everett’s Percival Everett by Virgil Russell (Graywolf). Each finalist will receive $5,000.

Fowler and the four finalists will be honored at the 34th annual PEN/Faulkner Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., on May 10. 

In the video below, Fowler reads an early excerpt from We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, originally published in the literary magazine ZYZZYVA.

A Room of Her Own Foundation is currently accepting submissions to its annual book prizes for women writers. The To the Lighthouse Poetry Book Prize is given annually for a poetry collection; the inaugural Clarissa Dalloway Book Prize will be given annually for a book of “everything but poetry.” The winner of each prize will receive $1,000, publication by Red Hen Press, and up to $1,000 in travel expenses to promote the book. The deadline is next Tuesday, April 1.

Kate Gale, the managing editor of Red Hen Press and editor of the Los Angeles Review, will judge the Clarissa Dalloway Prize. C.D. Wright will judge the To the Lighthouse Poetry Book Prize.

Women poets may enter the To the Lighthouse Poetry Book Prize by submitting a manuscript of 48 to 96 pages (two-thirds of which must be unpublished); women fiction and nonfiction writers may enter the Clarissa Dalloway Book Prize by submitting a manuscript of 50,000 to 150,000 words. Novels, novellas, memoirs, biographies, young adult literature, and graphic novels are eligible. The entry fee for both prizes is $20; entrants may submit using the online submission system or by postal mail to A Room of Her Own, Attn: TTL or CD Book Prize, P.O. Box 778, Placitas, NM 87043.

Sarah Wetzel won the 2013 To the Lighthouse Poetry Book Prize, judged by Tracy K. Smith, for her collection River Electric with Light. The winner of the 2012 prize, chosen by Evie Shockley, was Leia Penina Wilson for her collection I built a boat with all the towels in your closet.

Founded in 2000, A Room of Her Own is a nonprofit organization that works to support women writers. Their mission is “to inspire, fund, and champion works of art and literature by women.” AROHO, which is committed to Virginia Woolf’s belief that “women need money and a room of their own if they are to write,” has channeled more than $1 million into awards, fellowships, and opportunities for women writers. Visit the website for more information.

Editor's Note: As of April 4, 2014, the deadline for both the To the Lighthouse Poetry Book Prize and Clarissa Dalloway Book Prize has been extended to July 31.

Brooklyn-based literary magazine and publisher A Public Space has announced a new international Emerging Writer Fellowship program for fiction and nonfiction writers. Three winners will receive $1,000, publication in the magazine, and a six-month mentorship with an established author.

In addition, fellows who are based in or visiting New York City will be given optional access to workspace in A Public Space’s Brooklyn offices for the duration of the six-month fellowship. The application deadline is April 15.

Writers from any country who have not yet published or been contracted to write a full-length book are eligible. Fiction and nonfiction writers may submit a previously unpublished short story or essay in English and a cover letter via Submittable by 5:00pm EST on April 15. Cover letters should include a short biography and discussion of a piece of writing that has been influential, along with contact information, the title and word count of the submitted work, and publication credits. There is no application fee. Visit the website for complete submission guidelines.

Winners will be notified by June 20. The fellowship period will run from September 1, 2014 to March 1, 2015. 

Established in 2006 by founding editor Brigid Hughes, A Public Space has published the early work of writers such as Leslie Jamison, Nam Le, Corinna Vallianatos, and Jesmyn Ward, who have since gone on to win major literary awards. “These fellowships continue that tradition,” the editors write. “Our focus when reviewing applications will be on finding writers who have not yet published or been contracted to write a book-length work, but whose writing shows exceptional promise.” 

A Public Space plans to award the fellowships twice yearly; the application period for the next cycle of awards will be September 1 through October 14. Visit the website for more information.

Last night, during a ceremony at the New School in New York City, the National Book Critics Circle announced the winners of its book awards for publishing year 2013.

Frank Bidart won in poetry for Metaphysical Dog (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won in fiction for Americanah (Knopf); and Sheri Fink won in nonfiction for Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital (Crown).

Amy Wilentz won the autobiography award for Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti (Simon & Schuster); Leo Damrosch won the biography award for Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World (Yale University Press); and Franco Moretti won the criticism award for Distant Reading (Verso).

The winners were chosen by a panel of established literary critics from a list of thirty finalists announced in January. The shortlist in poetry included Lucie Brock-Broido for Stay, Illusion (Knopf); Denise Duhamel for Blowout (University of Pittsburgh Press); Bob Hicok for Elegy Owed (Copper Canyon Press); and Carmen Gimenez Smith for Milk and Filth (University of Arizona Press). The finalists in fiction were Alice McDermott for Someone (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Javier Marias for The Infatuations (Knopf); Ruth Ozeki for A Tale for the Time Being (Viking); and Donna Tartt for The Goldfinch (Little, Brown). The finalists in nonfiction were Kevin Cullen and Shelly Murphy for Whitey Bulger: America’s Most Wanted Gangster and the Manhunt That Brought Him to Justice (Norton); David Finkel for Thank You for Your Service (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); George Packer for The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); and Lawrence Wright for Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief (Knopf).

Anthony Marra won the inaugural John Leonard Prize, which honors a first book in any genre, for his novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth). Critic Katherine A. Powers won the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing award, and fiction writer, essayist, and translator Rolando Hinojosa-Smith won the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award.

The National Book Critics Circle awards are given annually for books published in the previous year. For more information about the awards, visit the NBCC website or its literary blog, Critical Mass.

In the video below from Britain's Channel 4 News, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses race, love, hair, and Americanah.

Claremont Graduate University announced today that Afaa Michael Weaver of Somerville, Massachusetts, has won the annual $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for his book The Government of Nature (University of Pittsburgh Press). The award, given annually to a midcareer poet, is one of the largest monetary poetry prizes in the United States.

Yona Harvey of Pittsburgh has won the $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award for her debut poetry collection, Hemming the Water (Four Way Books). The award is given annually to a promising new poet for a first book.

The son of a sharecropper, Afaa Michael Weaver grew up in Baltimore where, after two years in the Army, he worked in factories for fifteen years before attending Brown University on a full scholarship. The Government of Nature is his twelfth poetry collection. “He essentially invented himself from whole cloth as a poet,” said chief awards judge Chase Twichell in a press release. “It’s truly remarkable." Weaver has received two Pushcart Prizes, the May Sarton Award, and fellowships from the NEA, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Pew foundation, as well as a Fulbright appointment in Taiwan. He is also a translator of Chinese poetry, having worked with poets from China and Taiwan. He teaches at Simmons College and in Drew University’s graduate program in poetry and poetry in translation.

Yona Harvey’s poetry and prose have appeared in jubilat, Callaloo, Crab Orchard Review, Gulf Coast, Rattle, the Volta, West Branch, and elsewhere. She has received a Virginia Center for the Creative Arts residency and an Individual Artist Grant in Literary Nonfiction from The Pittsburgh Foundation. She is an assistant professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh.

Now in its twenty-second year, the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award was established at Claremont Graduate University by Kate Tufts in memory of her husband, who worked in the Los Angeles shipyards and wrote poetry as his avocation. The award is given for a work published in the previous year by a poet “who is past the very beginning but has not yet reached the pinnacle of his or her career.” The Kate Tufts Discovery Award has been given annually since 1993. A ceremony for the winners will be held in Claremont on Thursday, April 10.

Finalists for the 2014 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award were Brenda Shaughnessy for Our Andromeda (Copper Canyon Press) and Brian Teare for Companion Grasses (Omnidawn). Finalists for the 2014 Kate Tufts Discovery Award were Kim Young for Night Radio(University of Utah Press) and Leila Wilson for The Hundred Grasses (Milkweed Editions). Along with Twichell, the judges were David Barber, Kate Gale, Ted Genoways, Carl Phillips, and Stephen Burt.

Marriane Boruch won the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and Heidy Steidlmayer received the 2013 Discovery Award.

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