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G&A: The Contest Blog

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.”

Last night in Toronto, the 2013 Griffin Poetry Prizes were given for the collections Like a Straw Bird It Follows Me (Yale University Press), written by Palestinian poet Ghassan Zaqtan and translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah, and What's the Score (Mansfield Press) by Canadian poet David W. McFadden. Each winner received $65,000

The finalists, who each gave a reading along with the winners, were Jennifer Maiden for Liquid Nitrogen (Giramondo Publishing), James Pollock for Sailing to Babylon (Able Muse Press) Alan Shapiro for Night of the Republic (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Brenda Shaughnessy forOur Andromeda (Copper Canyon Press), and Ian Williams for Personals (Freehand Books).

Founded in 2000, the Griffin Poetry Prize is given annually for books of poetry written in or translated into English and published anywhere in the world. One prize is given to a living Canadian poet or translator; a second is given to a living poet or translator from any country.

This year’s judges were Suzanne Buffam of Canada, Mark Doty of the United States, and Wang Ping of China. Each read 509 books of poetry, which were submitted from forty countries, and included fifteen translations. The trustees of the Toronto–based Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry, which administers the prize select the judges annually.

Scott Griffin and trustees Margaret Atwood, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, and David Young hosted the event. Trustee Carolyn Forché presented each shortlisted poet with a leather-bound edition of their book and a $10,000 honorarium.

For the 2014 prizes, publishers may submit books published between January 1 and December 31, 2013. Only publishers can submit books for consideration; self-published titles are not eligible. The deadline for submissions is December 31. Visit the website for complete submission guidelines.

The Cincinnati Review is currently accepting entries for its 2013 Robert and Adele Schiff Awards in Poetry and Prose. Two winners will each receive one thousand dollars and publication in the Cincinnati Review.

Using the online submission manager, poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers may submit up to eight pages of poetry or up to forty pages of prose with a twenty-dollar entry fee, which includes a year-long subscription to the magazine, by July 15. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, and all entries are considered for publication. 

Winners will be announced October 1, and the winning work will be published in the Summer 2014 issue of the magazine. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Established in 2003 and published twice yearly at the University of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Review is a print journal that publishes both emerging and established writers. General submissions of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, translation, and visual art are accepted online and by mail between August 15 and April 15 annually.

Last night in London, American author A. M. Homes won the 2013 Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize) for her most recent novel, May We Be Forgiven. She will receive £30,000 (approximately $46,000). 

Founded in 1996, the Women’s Prize for Fiction is given annually for a novel written in English by a woman and published in the previous year. Homes beat out finalist Hilary Mantel, two-time Man Booker Prize recipient, whose Bring Up the Bodies—the second in her much-lauded Cromwell trilogy—was projected to win. The other finalists were Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, who won the Women’s Prize in 2010 for The Lacuna; Life After Life by Kate Atkinson; NW by Zadie Smith, who won the Women’s Prize in 2006 for On Beauty; and Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple.

Homes

“Our 2013 shortlist was exceptionally strong and our judges’ meeting was long and passionately argued,” said chair of judges Miranda Richardson, “but in the end we agreed that May We Be Forgiven is a dazzling, original, viscerally funny black comedy—a subversion of the American dream. This is a book we want to read again and give to our friends.”

“This award is super special to me,” Homes said at the ceremony. “It's the first actual book award I've won. I've always been in awe of this prize and I've always dreamed I would win it.” May We Be Forgiven, the author’s tenth book and seventh novel, was published by Viking last October. 

After last year’s announcement that the prestigious prize would end its three-year partnership with telecommunications company Orange, Women’s Prize cofounder and director Kate Mosse announced on Tuesday that, beginning next year, Bailey’s liqueur will serve as the new sponsor for the prize. 

While the award has received criticism for both its all-female focus and for the choice of partnership, Homes says the prize remains important. “Despite a lot of change and growth, we still live in a world where the work of male writers dominates,” she said in an interview with the Telegraph. “But more importantly, it’s important to read the hundreds of books that are submitted for this kind of prize and to look at the range of work of women writers, and produce a shortlist that shows that women are writing substantial, powerful, big ideas—historical work, that goes beyond gender and resonates throughout the culture.”

The North Adams, Massachusetts–based Tupelo Press has announced the launch of a new online literary magazine, Tupelo Quarterly, and with it an inaugural poetry contest. The winner will receive one thousand dollars and publication in the first issue of Tupelo Quarterly

The prize is currently open for submissions. Using the online submission manager, poets residing in the United States and abroad may submit up to five previously unpublished poems in English with a twenty-dollar entry fee by August 15. Simultaneous submissions are welcome; translations are not eligible. 

Ilya Kaminsky will judge. The winner and three runners-up will be announced with the release of the first issue on October 15.  

Founded in 2001, Tupelo Press is an independent, non-profit literary press “devoted to discovering and publishing works of poetry and literary fiction by emerging and established writers.” In this new digital expansionTupelo Quarterly follows that mission and extends beyond it, publishing both unsolicited work by new writers and solicited work by established writers and visual artists. “In addition to a stunning poem or story on the page, we want to include work that takes full advantage of the medium,” the editors write in their mission statement. “We want to honor the art as received, and to extend the scope of what a literary journal can do. Tupelo Quarterly cultivates generous artistic community, celebrates intellectual and creative curiosity, and presumes abundance. We hold the gate open, not closed.”

The editors of Tupelo Quarterly, with poet and prose writer Jessamyn Johnston Smyth at the helm, will begin reading general submissions for Issue Two, due out in January 2014, in October. Detailed guidelines for open submissions will be announced on the website.

The National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) has announced the creation of the John Leonard Award, a new prize honoring a first book of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, biography, criticism, or autobiography. The recipient of the award—who will be selected by the NBCC’s member critics and editors—will be announced at the annual NBCC awards ceremony in early 2014.

The new award is named in honor of John Leonard, a literary critic and former editor of the New York Times Book Review. A founding member of the NBCC, Leonard (1939–2008) was known not only for his criticism of books, film, and television, but also for his encouragement of young critics and the attention he paid to debut writers. “One of the first American critics to write on Toni Morrison, Maxine Hong Kingston, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Leonard shared his enthusiasms with a wide reading audience,” the NBCC reported in a press release. “In creating the John Leonard Award, the NBCC recognizes his commitment to nurturing new authors.”

Founded in 1974, the National Book Critics Circle Awards are given annually "to honor outstanding writing and to foster a national conversation about reading, criticism, and literature." The awards are open to any book in English, including translations, published in the United States in the previous year. Poet D.A. Powell and fiction writer Ben Fountain received the 2012 awards. The John Leonard Award will be the first award selected directly by the NBCC’s membership—which is comprised of nearly five hundred book critics, editors, and authors nationwide—rather than by its board of directors.

American author Lydia Davis has won the fifth Man Booker International Prize. The award, worth £60,000 (approximately $90,000), was presented to Davis yesterday at an awards ceremony in London. 

Davis, whose recent prose chapbook, The Cows, was published by Sarabande Books in 2011, and whose collaborative work, Two American Scenes, is just out as part of the New Directions poetry pamphlet series, is best known for her short stories, which are often noted for their brevity. Christopher Ricks, chairman of the Man Booker International Prize panel of judges, said Davis’s “writings fling their lithe arms wide to embrace many a kind. Just how to categorize them? They have been called stories but could equally be miniatures, anecdotes, essays, jokes, parables, fables, texts, aphorisms or even apophthegms, prayers, or simply observations.”

Davis is the author of nine story collections and one novel, The End of the Story (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1994). She is also a translator of French literature, most notably Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way and Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. 

The Man Booker International Prize is given biennially to a fiction writer from any country for a body of work. Living authors who have published fiction originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language are eligible. The winner is chosen solely at the discretion of the judging panel, which this year included Ricks, Elif Batuman, Aminatta Forna, Yiyun Li, and Tim Parks. 

The finalists were U. R. Ananthamurthy, Aharon Appelfeld, Intizar Husain, Yan Lianke, Marie NDiaye, Josip Novakovich, Marilynne Robinson, Vladimir Sorokin, and Peter Stamm. The previous prize winners have included Chinua Achebe, Ismail Kadaré, Alice Munro, and Philip Roth.

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