The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference announced on Friday its plans to partner with Graywolf Press to publish the winners of the Katharine Bakeless Nason Prize, given annually for first books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Graywolf Press will first publish the works of the 2009 winners, who will be named in May, in 2010.
"I'm extremely pleased, thrilled really, that we've been able to forge a publishing partnership with Graywolf, the preeminent literary press in the country," Bread Loaf Writers' Conference director Michael Collier said. "And Graywolf is excited as well."
"I’ve been visiting the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference for years and have been impressed at the consistently high standard of their participants," said Graywolf Press director and publisher Fiona McCrae, in a press release, "so I jumped at the chance to publish the Bakeless winners at Graywolf."
The collaboration with Graywolf Press marks the end of Bread Loaf's years-long involvement with Houghton Mifflin, which Collier called "a wonderful and productive association." According to Collier, after Houghton Mifflin acquired Harcourt last year, the ensuing consolidations made it challenging for the publisher to maintain some of its projects, including the publication of the Bakeless Prize winners. Collier, who has had two poetry collections published by Houghton Mifflin, will continue to work with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as its poetry editor.
Established in 1947, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference is the oldest writers conference in the United States, and has awarded the Bakeless Prizes since 1996. In addition to publication of their debut books, the Bakeless Prize winners receive fellowships to attend the conference, held each August at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont. The 2009 award recipients will be selected by Linda Gregerson in poetry, Percival Everett in fiction, and Sue Halpern in creative nonfiction.