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G&A: The Contest Blog

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has announced the recipients of its annual fellowships in creative writing, given this year to prose writers. Forty-two writers, representing seventeen states and Washington, D.C., each received a twenty-five thousand dollar grant.

The fellows in fiction are:
Salar Abdoh, Lina Meruane, Matthew Sharpe, and Teddy Wayne, all of New York City
Jasmine Beach-Ferrara of Boston
Sean Brendan-Brown of Olympia, Washington
Serena Crawford and Ismet Prcic, both of Portland, Oregon
Michael Czyzniejewski of Bowling Green, Ohio
Barry Gifford and Michael David Lukas, both of Berkeley, California
Frances Hwang of South Bend, Indiana
Ben Jahn of Albany, California
Adam Johnson and Suzanne Rivecca, both of San Francisco
Sheri Joseph of Atlanta
Roy Kesey of Ukiah, California
Dylan Landis of Washington, D.C.
Margaret McMullan of Evansville, Illinois
Alison Moore of Driftwood, Texas
ZZ Packer of Austin, Texas
Rae Paris of Tempe, Arizona
Aimee Phan of Oakland;
Lewis Robinson of Portland, Maine
Robert Rosenberg of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
Anne Sanow of Provincetown, Massachusetts
Gregory Blake Smith of Northfield, Minnesota
Leah Stewart of Cincinnati
Melanie Sumner of Rome, Georgia
Padma Viswanathan of Fayetteville, Arizona
Matthew Vollmer of Blacksburg, Virginia
Vinnie Wilhelm of Guilford, Connecticut
Simone Zelitch of Philadelphia

The fellows in creative nonfiction are:
Matthew Batt of Saint Paul
Douglas Bauer of Boston
Donovan Hohn of New York City
Daniel Raeburn of Chicago
Paul Reyes of Little Rock, Arkansas
Rebecca Solnit of San Francisco
Christina Thompson of Lincoln, Massachusetts
Joan Wickersham of Cambridge, Massachusetts
Frank B. Wilderson III of Irvine, California

The NEA received nearly one thousand eligible applications, 24 percent of which were in creative nonfiction and 76 percent in fiction. The ratio of awards given in each genre closely reflects the makeup of the application pool, with 21 percent of fellowships granted to creative nonfiction writers, and 79 percent to fiction writers.

This year's judging panel, which reviewed an estimated twenty-five thousand manuscript pages, included Michael Chabon, Bobbie Ann Mason, Kelly Link, William Henry Lewis, and Francisco Goldman.

The NEA's creative writing fellowships are given in alternating years to prose writers and poets. The next deadline, for poets, is March 4, 2010.

In the video below, creative nonfiction fellow Joan Wickersham reads from her 2008 book The Suicide Index (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), a finalist for the National Book Award.

Underwater New York, an online literary and arts anthology fascinated with the hidden treasures of New York City’s waterways, has teamed with Manhattan’s American Folk Art Museum to offer its first story prize. Stories submitted for the contest must be on the theme of a New York City shipwreck—real or imagined, though actual remnants of about one hundred seventy broken vessels inhabit the waters off the city’s coast, according to the Underwater New York Web site, which hosts a gallery of wreck paintings and photos for inspiration.

The winning work will be published in Underwater New York and the writer will be invited to present his or her story at the American Folk Art Museum on March 5, 2010, accompanied by shipwreck-themed readings and music and the exhibit Thomas Chambers (1808–1869): American Maritime and Landscape Painter. There is no cash award, but there isn’t an entry fee, either. The deadline is February 12, and full submission information is available on the publication's contest page.

If you’re in the know about other free, place-based literary contests such as this one, drop us a comment, or e-mail us at editor@pw.org.

In the video below, Underwater New York celebrates the launch of its Web site.

Earlier this week the Jentel Foundation, sponsor of the Jentel Artist Residency Program, and the Pushcart Prize announced that they have teamed up to grant three residencies to winners of the annual award, which honors poems, stories, essays, and "literary whatnot" nominated by magazines and small presses. This year's recipients of monthlong residencies in the Bighorn Mountains of Sheridan, Wyoming, are Heidi Hart of Salt Lake City and New Yorkers Beena Kamlani and Tom Sleigh.

The residents were chosen from a pool of entries sent in by thirty Pushcart winners who were invited to apply by Pushcart Press editor Bill Henderson. Jim Charleton, a member of the Pushcart board and the application panel of Jentel’s residency program, selected the winners.

The nomination period has closed for the 2009 Pushcart Prizes. The next deadline for presses and magazines to submit outstanding works—all published in 2010—is December 1 of next year.

Jentel is currently accepting applications for its May through December residencies until January 15. U.S. writers who are at least twenty-five years old are eligible for monthlong stays, which include a private room and work space. Each resident also receives a four-hundred-dollar stipend.

 

Last night United States Artists (USA) announced seven writers as 2009 winners of the organization's fifty-thousand-dollar fellowship award, given annually to a total of fifty artists nationwide. The fellows are poets Ai, Brian Turner, and Kevin Young; fiction writers Antonya Nelson, Sapphire—also known for her poetry—and Justin Torres; and graphic novelist Gilbert Hernandez. Playwright Nelo Cruz also received an award.

The recipients were selected from a pool of writers nominated by fellow artists, critics, scholars, and other literary professionals. Nominated writers then submitted applications, and a peer panel chose the winners. This year's panel in literature was comprised of Jeff Chang, Anne García-Romero, Major Jackson, Alan Michael Parker, and Robert Polito.

Garcia-Romero made reference to Federico García Lorca's theory of duende—the power of the unknown that drives the creation of new things—in a write-up about the nominees and recipients of this year's award. "These writers provide us with a stirring collection of texts that reflect the complexity of twenty-first century life in this country," she says. "Infused with duende, these 'newly created things' will also have the potential to change the shape of the way we live."

According to USA, the organization has granted artists ten million dollars since the awards' creation in 2006. A poll of the inaugural winners showed that the majority of the funds were used to develop new projects, finish a project, purchase supplies, or facilitate work-related travel. Fellows also used their grants to volunteer for an arts-related cause or present their work to the public.

In the video below, fellow Brian Turner recites the title poem for his multiple-award-winning debut collection, Here, Bullet (Alice James Books, 2005).

The M Restaurant Group, China-based sponsor of the Shanghai International Literary Festival, is offering two three-month residencies in China and India to writers of any nationality working in English. One residency, in the bustling city of Shanghai, will take place before March 2011, and the India residency—located, by contrast, in a somewhat isolated area near the southern town of Pondicherry—will occur between November 2010 and February 2011. Both residents will receive one thousand dollars each in addition to airfare, lodging, and meals (or, in the case of the Shanghai resident, a stipend to cover meals). Poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers are all eligible.

The residents are encouraged to interact with their respective host communities by participating in at least two events—a workshop in a local school or a literary talk at a bookshop, for instance. The M group will assist writers in organizing their programming.

Details of how to apply are available on the literary festival Web site, but, in short, applicants should submit a project proposal, a personal statement, contact information for two references, and two writing samples totaling no more than five thousand words. An application and proof of residency are also required. All of the materials must be e-mailed to the M group contact, Cordelia Witton, by January 15. Residency recipients will be announced on March 5.

The Colorado Prize given by the Colorado Review, a fifteen-hundred-dollar award for a poetry collection that includes publication by the Center for Literary Publishing at Colorado State University, will be judged in 2010 by the journal's poetry editor Donald Revell. The poet, who has published thirteen collections as well as translations from the French of Arthur Rimbaud and Guillaume Apollinaire, is himself the recipient of a book publication award. Early in Revell's career, From the Abandoned Cities (Harper & Row, 1983) was selected by C. K. Williams for the 1982 National Poetry Series.

Revell's other collections include Gaza of Winter (University of Georgia Press, 1988), Erasures (Wesleyan University Press, 1992), My Mojave (Alice James Books, 2003), Thief of Stings (Alice James Books, 2007), and most recently, Bitter Withy (Alice James Books, 2009). He has also published a book of prose on the life of writing, The Art of Attention: A Poet's Eye (Graywolf Press, 2007).

To enter the Colorado Prize competition, poets may submit manuscripts of 48 to 100 pages by January 14. An entry fee of twenty-five dollars includes a subscription to Colorado Review.

The past Colorado Prize winners and judges are:
2008
Endi Bogue Hartigan for One Sun Storm
selected by Martha Ronk

2007
Craig Morgan Teicher for Brenda Is in the Room and Other Poems
selected by Paul Hoover

2006
Jaswinder Bolina for Carrier Wave
selected by Lyn Hejinian

2005
Karen Garthe for Frayed escort
selected by Calvin Bedient

2004
Rusty Morrison for Whethering
selected by Forrest Gander

2003
G. C. Waldrep for Goldbeater's Skin
selected by Donald Revell

2002
Robin Ewing for Chemical Wedding
selected by Fanny Howe

2001
Geoffrey Nutter for A Summer Evening
selected by Jorie Graham

2000
Sally Keith for Design
selected by Allen Grossman

1999
Stephen Burt for Popular Music
selected by Jorie Graham

1998
Michael White for Palma Cathedral
selected by Mark Strand

1997
Catherine Webster for The Thicket Daybreak
selected by Jane Miller

1996
Bruce Beasley for Summer Mystagogia
selected by Charles Wright

1995
Dean Young for Strike Anywhere
selected by Charles Simic

In the video below, Revell reads from his translation of Rimbaud's Illuminations (Omnidawn Publishing, 2009). A second video from the reading is available on YouTube.

The Academy of American Poets has extended the deadline for its Raiziss/de Palchi Book Award, a five-thousand-dollar award given for an English translation of a book of Italian poetry. Publishers may now submit books through January 30.

The judges for this year's prize are Jennifer Scappettone, a poet and professor of English at University of Chicago; Paolo Valesio, professor of Italian literature at Columbia University; and Lawrence Venuti, a professor of English who works in literary translation at Temple University.

The book prize alternates with a fellowship given to a translator of Italian poetry embarking on a specific project. Past winners of the awards (no winner was selected for the fellowship in 2009) are:

2008 Book Award
Patrick Barron
The Selected Poetry and Prose of Andrea Zanzotto

2007 Fellowship
Adria Bernardi
Small Talk by Rafaello Baldini

2006 Book Prize
John DuVal
Tales of Trilussa by Carlo Alberto Salustri

2005 Fellowship
Ann Snodgrass
Selected Poems of Vittorio Sereni

2004
Andrew Frisardi
The Selected Poems of Giuseppe Ungaretti

2003 Fellowship
Michael Palma
Selected Poems of Giovanni Raboni

2002 Book Prize
Stephen Sartarelli
Songbook: The Selected Poems of Umberto Saba

2001 Fellowship
Emanuel di Pasquale
Sharing a Trip: Selected Poems by Silvio Ramat

2000 Book Prize
John P. Welle and Ruth Feldman
Peasants Wake for Fellini's Casanova by Andrea Zanzotto

1999 Fellowship
Geoffrey Brock
Disaffections: Complete Poems 19301950 by Cesare Pavese

1998 Book Prize
Michael Palma
The Man I Pretend to Be: The Colloquies and Selected Poems of Guido Gozzano

1997 Fellowship
Anthony Molino
Esercizi di tiptologia by Valerio Magrelli

1996 Book Prize
W. S. Di Piero
This Strange Joy: Selected Poems of Sandro Penna 

This month, the Academy is also open to submissions to the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for English translations, published in 2009, of books of poetry originally written in any language. The deadline is December 31.

PEN American Center and the French-American Foundation are also accepting entries to their respective translation book prizes. Publishers, agents, or translators may submit books published this year by December 14 for the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, given for a poetry collection, and the PEN Translation Prize, given for a book of poetry or prose. The French-American Foundation awards two translation prizes for a book of fiction and a book of nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) originally in French; the deadline for translations published in 2009 is December 31.

For writers currently working on a translation project, the National Endowment for the Arts is open to applications for its translation fellowships of up to twenty five thousand dollars until January 7. Buona fortuna!

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