»

| Give a Gift |

  • Digital Edition

G&A: The Contest Blog

If you think the typical contest categories are getting a little stale—it's a rare award that is given for anything other than "the best" in a specific genre or age group or level of career—you might want to consider the American Booksellers Association's inaugural Indies Choice Book Awards. The finalists in seven inventive categories, including Best Conversation Starter (Nonfiction) and Most Engaging Author, were recently announced, and owners and staff of ABA member bookstores are currently voting for the winners, who will be announced at BookExpo America in May.

Perhaps it's due in part to the award program's focus on titles that indie booksellers most enjoy selling that frees them up to be a little more playful with the categories—or maybe it's that there isn't a huge cash prize waiting for the winners at the awards ceremony—but the fine folks at ABA and the members who selected the finalists (Carla Jimenez of Inkwood Books in Tampa, Florida; Mitch Kaplan of Books & Books in South Florida and the Cayman Islands, Arsen Kashkashian of Boulder Book Store in Colorado, Valerie Koehler of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston, Collette Morgan of Wild Rumpus in Minneapolis, Matt Norcross of McLean & Eakin Booksellers in Petosky, Michigan, and jury chair Cathy Langer of Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver) deserve a nod. 

Here are five of the seven categories (for the two picture book divisions, visit the ABA Web site) and the finalists:

Best Indie Buzz Book (Fiction)
City of Thieves by David Benioff (Viking)
The Given Day by Dennis Lehane (Morrow)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Dial)
Netherland by Joseph O'Neill (Pantheon)
People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (Viking)
Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri (Knopf)

Best Conversation Starter (Nonfiction)
American Buffalo by Steven Rinella (Spiegel & Grau)
The Forever War by Dexter Filkins (Knopf)
Hurry Down Sunshine by Michael Greenberg (Other Press)
A Voyage Long and Strange by Tony Horwitz (Holt)
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami (Knopf)
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell (Riverhead)

Best Author Discovery (Debut)
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith (Grand Central)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Knopf)
Mudbound by Hillary Jordan (Algonquin)
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski (Ecco)
The Story of Forgetting by Stefan Merrill Block (Random House)
White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (Free Press)

Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book (Fiction)
Graceling by Kristin Cashore (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (HarperCollins)
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Tor)
My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger (Dial)
Savvy by Ingrid Law (Dial)

Most Engaging Author (for "the author who is an in-store star with a strong sense of the importance of indie booksellers to their local communities")
Sherman Alexie
Michael Chabon
Ann Patchett
Jon Scieszka
David Sedaris
Terry Tempest Williams

 

On Monday night, at a ceremony at the New York Public Library that was hosted by actor Ethan Hawke, Salvatore Scibona won the Young Lions Fiction Award for his debut novel The End (Graywolf, 2008). Scibona, who administers the writing fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts, joins the company of Mark Danielewski, Colson Whitehead, Jonathan Safran Foer, Anthony Doerr, Andrew Sean Greer, and others who have received the ten-thousand-dollar award given annually to an American writer no older than thirty-five.

The finalists were Jon Fasman for The Unpossessed City (Penguin, 2008), Rivka Galchen for Atmospheric Disturbances (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008), Sana Krasikov for One More Year (Spiegel & Grau, 2008), and Zachary Mason for The Lost Books of the Odyssey (Starcherone, 2008). 

Scibona and Galchen were both featured in the July/August 2008 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine—or, as we affectionately refer to it, Marilyn. In his interview, Scibona offered the following advice for first-time authors: "Read. Write at the same time in the same place at least five days a week. Socialize. Don't give in to what Chekhov called 'the egoism of the unhappy.' Resist the blues—especially when they look infinite—by pointing your mind outward and doing something for another person. But—important!—sometimes just let them be the blues. Also, school the internal critic in all the dark arts of editorial sadism, but ignore it when it attacks you personally. It likes to pretend that it's the coolest, most professionaly guy in the room. In fact, it is a cynic and a savage."

Both Galchen and Scibona, incidentally, have the same agent: Bill Clegg of the William Morris Agency. 

The critics have spoken and, not surprisingly, Roberto Bolaño’s nearly nine-hundred-page novel 2666, published last year by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, took top honors in the fiction category of the National Book Critics Circle Awards, which were announced last night at a ceremony in New York City.

There was a surprise for poets, however, when, for the first time in NBCC history, two awards were given in a single category. August Kleinzahler won for Sleeping It Off in Rapid City (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) and Juan Felipe Herrera won for Half of the World in Light (University of Arizona Press).

Other winners included Dexter Filkins for The Forever War (Knopf) in the category of nonfiction, Ariel Sabar for My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for His Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq (Algonquin) in autobiography, and Patrick French for The World Is What It Is: The Authorized Biography of V.S. Naipaul  (Knopf) in biography.

Click here for a list of the finalists.

Last year, Mary Jo Bang won the NBCC Award in poetry for Elegy (Graywolf), Junot Díaz won in fiction for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Riverhead), and Edwidge Danticat won in autobiography for Brother, I'm Dying (Knopf).

Perugia Press announced last week that Jennifer K. Sweeney of Kalamazoo, Michigan, won the Perugia Press Prize for her second poetry collection, How to Live on Bread and Music. She received $1,000, and her book will be published in a print-run of one thousand copies in September. The award is given for a first or second collection by a woman poet.

Sweeney’s manuscript was 1 of 478 manuscripts submitted last November to the prize, which charged a $22 entry fee. The judging process involved several stages: Entries were first stripped of all identifying materials and then sent to a dozen screeners who winnowed the pool down to sixteen. Those semi-finalists were sent to eight judges, who gathered for a full day of reading and discussion, at the end of which two finalists were chosen. According to Kan, Sweeney’s manuscript stood out for the author’s "confidence with language, her willingness to let her intelligence become apparent slowly."

The two finalists were sent to three final judges, but while the manuscripts were being read, one of them was withdrawn because it was taken by another press.

"This has never happened at Perugia Press before," says Kan. "It took the wind out of our sails for a day, but ultimately, knowing that both books will be published is a win-win situation and confirms that our selection process is sound."

Perugia plans to promote the book through its mailing list and by sending out galleys to review publications. “We strongly encourage our poets to plan as many readings as possible,” says Kan. “That's the best way to share the work and sell books.” Sweeney’s book will be available on Perugia’s Web site, through Amazon.com, and in independent bookstores across the country.


Wednesday was a busy day for book awards ceremonies in New York City. At the New School last night, Tobias Wolff was named winner of the annual Story Prize for Our Story Begins (Knopf, 2008), edging out finalists Jumpha Lahiri (Unaccustomed Earth, Knopf) and Joe Meno (Demons in the Spring, Akashic Books). Earlier in the day, Gin Phillips and David Sheff were named winners of Barnes & Noble's sixteenth Discover Great New Writers Awards. Phillips won in fiction for her debut novel The Well and the Mine (Hawthorne Books) and Sheff won in nonfiction for his memoir Beautiful Boy (Houghton Mifflin).

Wolff received twenty thousand dollars, while Phillips and Sheff each received ten thousand dollars as well as a year of additional marketing and merchandising support from Barnes & Noble. But the winners aren't the only ones with a little extra coin in the bank today. Story Prize finalists Lahiri and Meno each received five thousand dollars, while the second- and third-place finalists in the Discover Great New Writers Awards program each received five thousand dollars and twenty-five hundred dollars respectively. Those finalists are Benjamin Tayler for The Book of Getting Even (Steerforth Press) and Zachary Lazar for Sway (Little, Brown) in fiction and Eric Weiner for The Geography of Bliss (Twelve) and Nia Wyn for Blue Sky July (Dutton) in nonfiction.

That's sixty-five thousand dollars doled out to nine writers on one day in one city, which, considering today's installment of Daily News, is cause for either excitement or resentment, depending on your disposition.

 

 

Poet Sonia Sanchez, author of sixteen books and a Cave Canem faculty member, has received the 2009 Robert Creeley Award. A ceremony will be held on March 23 at the R. J. Grey Jr. High School Auditorium in Acton, Massachusetts; admission is free. Sanchez also will select books that have influenced her writing for inclusion in the Acton Memorial Library collection.

In its ninth year, the Creeley Award honors the memory of Robert Creeley, who lived in Acton, Massachusetts, from the age of four to fifteen. It has brought a variety of distinguished poets, including Galway Kinnell, Grace Paley, Martin Espada, and C. D. Wright, to read in Acton. Last year's winner was John Ashbery. Take a look:

In the print edition of our March/April 2009 issue, we described Narrative Magazine's Story Contest as the "Third-Person Story Contest." Since we went to press, Narrative expanded the scope of the award and is now accepting entries written from any point of view.

The $3,000 award will be given three times a year for a short story, a short short story, an essay, or an excerpt from a work of fiction or creative nonfiction of no more than 10,000 words. There is a $20 entry fee, and the deadline is March 31. Visit our Deadlines section for more upcoming grants and awards or our Grants & Awards database, if you'd rather search a year's worth.

<< first < previous Page: 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 next > last >>

673 - 679 of 690 results

Subscribe to P&W Magazine | Donate Now | Advertise | Sign up for E-Newsletter | Help | About Us | Contact Us | View Mobile Site

© Copyright Poets & Writers 2014. All Rights Reserved