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G&A: The Contest Blog

Starting next year, the London–based Man Booker Prize—whose 2013 winner will be announced next week—will be expanded to include all books written in English.

The prize has been given since 1969 for books of fiction written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth, or the Republic of Ireland. The expansion will make all books written and published in English, by authors from any country, eligible for nomination.

While the announcement, made last week on the Man Booker website by Foundation Chair Jonathan Taylor, has drawn a flurry of mixed reviews, the Foundation insists that by expanding the prize it will be “embracing the freedom of English in its versatility, in its vigour, in its vitality and in its glory wherever it may be. We are abandoning the constraints of geography and national boundaries.”

Eligible books must still be published in the United Kingdom, and UK publishers must submit titles for consideration. A few other submission guidelines have also changed.
 
The 2013 shortlist, which was announced in September, was chosen from a longlist released in July. The winner, who will be announced on October 15, will receive 50,000 British pounds, or approximately $75,000.

The Man Booker Foundation has also partnered with Apple to host a series of free podcasts featuring readings and interviews with the shortlisted authors.

The Rona Jaffe Foundation has announced the winners of its nineteenth annual Writers’ Awards, given to emerging women writers. The program offers grants of $30,000 each to writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

The 2013 winners are fiction and nonfiction writer Tiffany Briere of San Diego, California; fiction writer Ashlee Crews of Durham, North Carolina; nonfiction writer Kristin Dombek of Brooklyn, New York; poet Margaree Little of Tuscon, Arizona; fiction writer Kirstin Valdez Quade of Palo Alto, California; and nonfiction writer Jill Sisson Quinn of Scandinavia, Wisconsin. Visit the website for the winners’ complete bios.

The Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Awards program was established by author Rona Jaffe in 1995 “in recognition of the special contributions women writers make to our culture and society.” Since the program began, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million to women writers in the early stages of their careers. Past recipients have included Rachel Aviv, Eula Biss, Lan Samantha Chang, Rivka Galchen, ZZ Packer, Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts, and Tracy K. Smith. In addition to providing time to write, the program also offers assistance for things like research, travel, and child care. Nominations for the annual awards are solicited by the Foundation from writers, editors, critics, and other literary professionals.

Rona Jaffe (1931–2005) was the author of sixteen books, including Class Reunion, Family Secrets, The Road Taken, and The Room-Mating Season. Her 1958 bestselling debut novel, The Best of Everything, was reissued by Penguin in 2005.

Listen to a podcast of the 2013 winners reading from their work during a recent awards ceremony at New York University.

Georgetown Review, the literary magazine of the Georgetown, Kentucky–based Georgetown College, is currently accepting submissions to its annual magazine contest. A prize of $1,000 and publication is given for a poem, a short story, or an essay. The deadline is October 15. 

Submit a poem, a short story, or an essay of any length with a $10 entry fee ($5 for each additional entry) online via Submittable, or by mail to Georgetown Review, 400 East College Street, Box 227, Georgetown, KY 40324.

The magazine’s editors will judge. Winners will be announced on the Georgetown Review website in February 2014. To have work returned, or to receive the winner announcement by mail, include a self-addressed stamped envelope with paper submissions. Colleagues, friends, and students of the editors are ineligible. All entries are considered for publication.

Georgetown Review also sponsors an annual short story collection contest for a book of stories or novellas; and a poetry manuscript contest, which will be judged this year by Ada Limón. General submissions are read between September 1 and December 31.

Visit the website to read excerpts of work published in the current issue, including Lisa Lenzo’s Strays, which won the 2013 contest.

The MacArthur Foundation announced today that authors Karen Russell and Donald Antrim are among the 2013 MacArthur Fellows. The five-year, no-strings-attached "genius" fellowships, which were increased this year to $625,000 each, are given to individuals working in a variety of disciplines to pursue future work. 

Karen Russell is the author of three books of fiction, including her debut story collection St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves (2006); the novel Swamplandia (2011), which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and, most recently, the story collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove (2013), all published by Knopf. She was named one of the National Book Foundation’s 5 Under 35 in 2009.

Donald Antrim is the author of the novels Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World (Viking, 1993), The Hundred Brothers (Crown, 1997), and The Verificationist (Knopf, 2000), and the memoir The Afterlife (2007). He is an associate professor of writing at Columbia University in New York City.

In the following videos from the MacArthur Foundation, Russell and Antrim discuss the inspiration for their work, and what receiving the fellowships will mean for their writing and their lives.




After a week of longlist announcements in the categories of poetry, nonfiction, and young people’s literature, the National Book Foundation wrapped up its announcements late last week with the much-anticipated longlist for the foundation’s fiction prize.

The finalists are Tom Drury, Pacific (Grove Press), Elizabeth Graver, The End of the Point (Harper), Rachel Kushner, The Flamethrowers (Scribner), Jhumpa Lahiri, The Lowland (Knopf), Anthony Marra, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena (Hogarth), James McBride, The Good Lord Bird (Riverhead Books), Alice McDermott, Someone (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Thomas Pynchon, Bleeding Edge (The Penguin Press), George Saunders, Tenth of December (Random House), and Joan Silber, Fools (Norton).

As the foundation notes, the list includes “four [previous] National Book Award winners and finalists, a Pulitzer Prize winner and finalist, recipients of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship and a Guggenheim fellowship, and a debut novelist.” Among a list of favorites like Pynchon and Saunders, Anthony Marra’s debut, published this past May, has received much praise, and Lahiri has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Charles Baxter, Gish Jen, Charles McGrath, Rick Simonson, René Steinke judged.

Frank Bidart’s Metaphysical Dog (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Lucie Brock-Broido’s Stay, Illusion (Knopf), and Brenda Hillman’s Seasonal Works with Letters on Fire (Wesleyan University Press) topped a poetry longlist marked by debut poets. The lists in each category, including nonfiction and young people’s literature, were announced on the Daily Beast.

The foundation also recently named its annual 5 Under 35, and announced that E. L. Doctorow will receive the 2013 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, and Maya Angelou will receive the 2013 Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community.

The National Book Award shortlists in each category will be announced October 16, and the winners will be named at the foundation's annual awards ceremony in New York City on November 20.

The Durham, North Carolina–based Carolina Wren Press has launched the new Lee Smith Novel Prize, which will include $1,000 and publication for a novel by a Southern writer, or about the American South. The deadline is October 15.

Novels by an author originally from, currently living in, or writing about the South are eligible. Original and previously unpublished works of at least 50,000 words, written in English, may be submitted via Submittable by October 15.

The prize was established in honor of award-winning Southern writer Lee Smith, the author of ten novels and four story collections, whose forthcoming novel, Guests on Earth, will be published in October by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

“It is our hope to find and promote novelists from the South and their novels,” the Carolina Wren Press editors write on the website, “and, in the process, to explore and expand the definition of Southern literature.”

Founded in 1976 in Chapel Hill by poet Judy Hogan, Carolina Wren Press is an independent nonprofit press whose mission is, simply, “new authors, new audiences.” The press publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and children’s literature, and sponsors two other annual contests, the Doris Bakwin Award for books by women writers, and the Carolina Wren Press Poetry Series, given for a poetry collection. Visit the website to read an essay by Hogan on the history of the press.

In the video below from Algonquin Books, Lee Smith discusses the inspiration for and creation of her forthcoming novel, which is based in part on historical events that occurred North Carolina.

The New York City–based Academy of American Poets has announced the winners of the 2013 poetry prizes, an annual awards series through which over $200,000 is given to poets at various stages of their careers.  

Former United States poet laureate Philip Levine has been awarded the Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement. The $100,000 prize is given annually by the Academy for “outstanding and proven mastery of the art of poetry.” Levine’s collections include Ashes, which won the National Book Award in 1979 and the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1980; What Work Is, which won the National Book Award in 1991; The Simple Truth, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995; and, most recently, News of the World (Knopf, 2009). Levine, a former Detroit autoworker, was appointed to the poet laureate post in late 2011.

Carolyn Forché has won the Academy of American Poets Fellowship, which offers a $25,000 prize for “distinguished poetic achievement.”

Patricia Smith has been awarded the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, a $25,000 award given for the best book of poetry published in the previous year, for her most recent collection, Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, published by Coffee House Press in 2012.

Jillian Weise won the James Laughlin Award for her recent collection, The Book of Goodbyes (BOA Editions, 2013). The $5,000 prize is given to honor a poet's second book.

John Taylor received the $25,000 Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Fellowship for his translation of Selected Poems by the Italian poet Lorenzo Calogero.
 
Cynthia Hogue and Sylvain Gallais received the $1,000 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for their translation of Fortino Sámano ("The Overflowing of the Poem"), by Virginie Lalucq and Jean-Luc Nancy.

Visit the Academy of American Poets website for more information and submission guidelines for the 2014 awards.

In the video below, Philip Levine reads a selection of poems, including "What Work Is." Also listen to a podcast of Levine reading his poem "The Mercy."

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