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Poets & Writers Magazine

    The shortlist for the 2015 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award was announced yesterday. Sponsored by Booktrust, Britain’s Sunday Times newspaper, and the EFG Private Bank, the annual prize of £30,000 (approximately $46,000) is given for a short story by a writer who has been published in the United Kingdom or Ireland. The finalists will each receive £1,000 (approximately $1,535). The winner will be announced at an award ceremony in a London on April 24.

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Your trusted source for information on writing contests, grants for writers, and more.


“What light comes / between / your nightgown and you?” Joshua Marie Wilkinson reads a poem from his collection Selenography (Sidebrow Books, 2010). Wilkinson is featured in "Writing the Road: Advice for Touring Poets" by Travis Mossotti in the current issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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    “At some point I realized that I’m incapable of writing poems unless someone forces me to do it. Revising is easier for me; it can happen even against my better judgment as soon as I open a document. But someone’s got to make me do that first act of writing—I have to feel accountable..."


    “In order to start writing, I need to put myself in a receptive state of mind, which isn't easy when you're busy: ‘Stop, look, and listen,’ as they used to tell school kids crossing the street. It might just mean sitting in a different place,..."

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    by Jen Michalski

    Author Jen Michalski takes us on a tour of the many literary sites writers should visit while strolling the gritty streets of Baltimore.

    by Edie Rhoads

    Join indie author Edie Rhoads as she showcases the local literary treasures of one of America’s most picturesque cities.

    by Adam Ross

    Adam Ross, author of the New York Times Notable Book Mr. Peanut, takes us on a tour of his beloved Nashville, "a great secret, cool as all get-out but never self-consciously hip or competitive," with a literary life as vibrant as its musical one.

    by Michelle Wildgen

    Author and Tin House Magazine editor Michelle Wildgen serves as our guide to the literary locales of Madison, Wisconsin, a city whose lofty earnestness in everything from food to literature inspired her two novels.

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Our Writers Retreats Issue features stories of life-changing conferences and residencies; profiles of Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tracy K. Smith and novelist T. Geronimo Johnson; an in-depth interview with literary agent Jennifer Joel; the art of reading Norwegian novelist Per Petterson; the big business of film adaptations; Bread Loaf's new conference for translators; advice for poets on reading tours; and much more.

Mar/Apr 2015

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Listen to Kelly Link read from her new story collection, Get in Trouble, one of the books featured in Page One: Where New and Noteworthy Books Begin.

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Q&A: Philip Levine’s American Lyric

The late poet laureate Philip Levine spoke in early 2012 about his plans for the position and the range of influences on his work through the years.

Agents & Editors: Jennifer Joel

Jennifer Joel, whose clients include Chris Cleave, Joe McGinniss Jr., Evan Osnos, and Shonda Rhimes, talks about the difference between selling fiction and nonfiction, what inspires her to go the extra mile for her authors, and what writers should really want out of publishing.

Reviewers & Critics: Roxane Gay

The second installment of Reviewers & Critics features longtime book critic and culture essayist Roxane Gay, a true powerhouse in literary circles.

The Telling Room

The increasing success and growth of a nonprofit writing center in Portland, Maine,­ reflects the incredible importance of storytelling in the lives of youths.


Grotz Leads Bread Loaf Translators

The director of Bread Loaf’s new Translators’ Conferences talks about how the conference came about, what shape it will take, and what it means to be a translator in today’s literary culture.

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Stories That Sing: A Profile of Michael Williams


It’s still early morning as I make my way by taxi across Cape Town, traveling from our ship in the harbor to the Artscape Theatre Center on the Foreshore. It’s a sharp, blue-sky day in late March.

Ten Years of Debut Poets


Since appearing in our annual Debut Poets roundup, a number of the one hundred and twelve poets we’ve highlighted have gone on to create a wealth of interesting and important work. The following list includes each poet we’ve featured in the past ten years, his or her debut collection, and the many full-length books that followed. 

Writers Recommend: Music and Movies


Culled from our Writers Recommend series, the music and movies that inspire authors to keep writing, with recommendations from Sandra Beasley, Chloe Caldwell, Scott Cheshire, Joshua Henkin, and others.

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Tracy K. Smith Gallery
Credit: Christy Whitney

In her new memoir, Ordinary Light, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Tracy K. Smith builds a bridge between her children and her ancestors through the power of the written word.

T. Geronimo Johnson Gallery
Credit: Sandra Dyas

For T. Geronimo Johnson, whose second novel, Welcome to Braggsville, was published in February, writing is a way to push himself and his readers into uncomfortable territory.

Vermont Studio Center Gallery
Credit: Maxwell Mackenzie

Our special section features stories of retreats that have had a lasting impact on writers, including Nancy Mendez-Booth, who shares her epiphany at the Vermont Studio Center.

Jennifer Joel Gallery
Credit: Christy Whitney

In this issue's installment of Agents & Editors, agent Jennifer Joel talks about going the extra mile for her authors, and what 
writers should really want out of publishing.