G&A: The Contest Blog

Deadline Approaches for the Letras Boricuas Fellowships

Submissions are open for the Letras Boricuas Fellowships. Cosponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Flamboyan Arts Fund, the fellowships aim to connect and support Puerto Rican writers. This year fifteen writers will each receive an unrestricted grant of $25,000. A second cohort of fifteen writers will be selected in 2022 and all thirty fellows will be invited to gather in San Juan in April 2023. Writers may be working in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, or children’s literature. Applications may be in Spanish and/or English.

Using only the online submission system, submit a personal statement, an artist statement, information about past publication, a résumé, and a work sample of 10 poems or up to 20 pages of writing by June 20. Spoken-word poets should submit 3 audio files of up to 2 minutes each. There is no submission fee. Writers must self-identify as Puerto Rican and live in either Puerto Rico or the United States to be eligible. Writers must also have a history of publication in their genre. Visit the website for complete guidelines, including more details about eligibility. The first cohort of fifteen writers will be announced in fall 2021.

Housed at the Flamboyan Foundation, the Flamboyan Arts Fund was created in partnership with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Hamilton, his renown musical. The fund works to “preserve, amplify, and strengthen the arts in Puerto Rico” and has provided support to both organizations and individual artists. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, meanwhile, aims to “build just communities where ideas and imagination can thrive” and is a major benefactor of the arts and humanities in the United States.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

The first literary deadlines of the summer are approaching! If you are at work on a book-length manuscript of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction, or have recently published a first book, take note of the following contests, which close on June 15, June 17, or June 23. There is also a special fellowship opportunity for writers based in Maine. All offer a cash prize of $500 or more.

42 Miles Press 42 Miles Poetry Award: A prize of $1,000, publication by 42 Miles Press, and 30 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Current and former students of Indiana University in South Bend are ineligible. David Dodd Lee will judge. Deadline: June 15. Entry fee: $25.

Autumn House Press Literary Prizes: Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication by Autumn House Press are given annually for a poetry collection, a book of fiction, and a book of creative nonfiction. Each winner also receives a $1,500 travel and publicity grant. Eileen Myles will judge in poetry, Deesha Philyaw will judge in fiction, and Steve Almond will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: June 15. Entry fee: $30.

Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Award: A prize of $1,500 and publication by Bitter Oleander Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Deadline: June 15. Entry fee: $28.

Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Awards: Three prizes are given annually to a poet, a fiction writer, and a creative nonfiction writer to honor their first books. The winners each receive an all-expenses paid trip to several of the 13 GLCA colleges, each of which pays an honorarium of at least $500, to give readings, meet with students, and lead discussions and classes. Books published in 2020 and 2021 are eligible. Faculty members of the colleges will judge. Submissions are to be made by the book’s publisher. Deadline: June 23. Entry fee: none.

Maine Arts Commission Maine Artist Fellowship: A fellowship of up to $5,000 is given annually to a poet, a fiction writer, a creative nonfiction writer, or a writer working in a genre beyond these categories who has lived in the state of Maine for at least one year. The fellow is expected to reside in the state for the year of the fellowship. Writers enrolled in a degree-granting program are ineligible. Deadline: June 17. Entry fee: none.

University of Akron Press Akron Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,500 and publication by University of Akron Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Erika Meitner will judge. Deadline: June 15. Entry fee: $25.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Deadline Extended for Reese’s Book Club LitUp Fellowship

The submission deadline for LitUp, a new fellowship program administered by Reese’s Book Club, has been extended to June 13. Conceived to champion underrepresented voices, LitUp is open to diverse writers who identify as women, who do not have an agent, and who have not yet published a book. The five fellows selected for the program’s first cohort will receive an all-expenses-paid five-day writer’s retreat, a three-month mentorship with an established author, and marketing support from Reese’s Book Club.

Using only the online submission system, submit a full-length adult or young adult fiction manuscript featuring a woman protagonist, a synopsis of up to 750 words, and a series of personal statements by June 13. There is no application fee. The inaugural class of fellows will be announced at the end of the year or in early 2022. Visit the website for complete guidelines, including details about eligibility and LitUp’s definition of diversity.

Reese’s Book Club is curated by actor and producer Reese Witherspoon and features books with “a woman at the center of the story.” In addition to providing a reading community to its members, the book club also gives back via The Readership, billed as its “pay it forward platform.” The Readership, which seeks to “advance diverse voices, promote literacy, and make book joy available to all,” helps power LitUp.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Writers of all stripes will find opportunities in the last contests of May and the first of June. With deadlines of May 30, May 31, or June 1, these opportunities include a prize for undergraduate fiction writers, several contests awarding book publication, and grants supporting the translation of book-length works of poetry and prose. All offer a cash award of $1,000 or more and three charge no entry fee.

American Short Fiction Halifax Ranch Fiction Prize: A prize of $2,500 and publication in American Short Fiction is given annually for a short story. Deadline: June 1. Entry fee: $20.

Anhinga Press Prize for Poetry: A prize of $2,000, publication by Anhinga Press, and 25 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Ellen Bass will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $25 ($28 for electronic submissions).

BOA Editions Short Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by BOA Editions is given annually for a short story collection. Peter Conners will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $25.

Boulevard Emerging Poets Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Boulevard is given annually for a group of poems by a poet who has not published a poetry collection with a nationally distributed press. The editors will judge. Deadline: June 1. Entry fee: $16.

Bridport Arts Centre Bridport Prizes: Two prizes of £5,000 (approximately $6,871) each and publication in the Bridport Prize anthology are given annually for a poem and a short story. Two second-place prizes of £1,000 (approximately $1,375) each and publication are given in each category. A prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,375) and publication is also given for a work of flash fiction. Raymond Antrobus will judge in poetry and Robert McCrum will judge in fiction and flash fiction. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: £10 (approximately $14) for poetry, £12 (approximately $17) for fiction, and £9 (approximately $12) for flash fiction.

Center for Fiction New York City Emerging Writer Fellowship: Nine fellowships of $5,000 each and a one-year membership to the Center for Fiction in New York City are given annually to fiction writers living in New York City who have not yet published a book of fiction. Winners also have the opportunity to meet with editors and agents who represent new writers, and have access to the center’s writing space, the Writers Studio, for one year. Students who will be enrolled in a degree-granting program during the fellowship period, or who are currently under contract with a publisher for a work of fiction, are ineligible. Deadline: May 30. Application fee: none.

Elixir Press Fiction Award: A prize of $2,000, publication by Elixir Press, and 25 author copies is given annually for a short story collection or a novel. Ann Harleman will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $40.

Milkweed Editions Max Ritvo Poetry Prize: A prize of $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions is given annually to a U.S. poet for a debut poetry collection. Henri Cole will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $25.

PEN America PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants: Ten grants of $3,000 each are given annually to support the translation of book-length works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction that have not previously appeared in English or have appeared only in an “outdated or otherwise flawed translation.” An additional $5,000 grant, the PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature, will be given to support the translation of a book of fiction or nonfiction from Italian into English. Manuscripts with up to two translators are eligible. Deadline: June 1. Entry fee: none.

Salamander Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Salamander is given annually for a short story. Yiyun Li will judge. Deadline: June 1. Entry fee: $15.

Southern Poetry Review Guy Owen Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southern Poetry Review is given annually for a single poem. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $20.

Stony Brook Southampton Undergraduate Short Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a short story by a college student. The winner also receives a full scholarship to attend the Southampton Writers Conference in summer 2022, and their winning work will be considered for publication in Southampton Review. Deadline: June 1. Entry fee: none.

University of Georgia Press Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction: A prize of $1,000 and publication by University of Georgia Press is given annually for a collection of short fiction. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $30. 

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

PEN/Jean Stein Grants for Literary Oral History Accepting Submissions

Submissions are open for the 2022 PEN/Jean Stein Grants for Literary Oral History, which lend support to writers at work on “literary works of nonfiction that use oral history to illuminate an event, individual, place, or movement.” While the award was previously presented to a single recipient, this will be the second cycle in which PEN America offers two grants of $15,000 each.

Using online the online submission system, submit three statements, a curriculum vitae, a project outline, a writing sample of 20 to 40 pages from the project, and 6 to 10 pages of unedited interview transcripts relevant to the sample by June 1. There is no entry fee. Only unpublished works-in-progress are eligible. No submission may be slated for publication earlier than April 1, 2022. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The PEN/Jean Stein Grants are named in honor of the author and editor Jean Stein, who died in 2017. Stein was well known for her literary oral histories, including books on Robert Kennedy and Edie Sedgwick. Last year’s grant recipients were Helen Benedict, whose work-in-progress chronicles the lives of refugees of Greece, and Brett Ashley Robinson, whose project reckons with the history of the 1985 MOVE bombing in Philadelphia.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Whether you are polishing a short piece or developing a full-length manuscript, there are several exciting writing contests accepting submissions into early May. These contests include financial support and a residency opportunity for a nonfiction writer working on a manuscript about the desert. All offer a cash prize of $1,000 or more and close on May 1, May 3, or May 5.

Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Atlanta Review is given annually for a single poem. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: May 1. Entry fee: $15.

Australian Book Review Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize: A prize of AUD $6,000 (approximately $4,681) is given annually for a story. A second-place prize of AUD $4,000 (approximately $3,121) and a third-place prize of AUD $2,500 (approximately $1,951) are also given. The winners will all be published in Australian Book Review. Gregory Day, Melinda Harvey, and Elizabeth Tan will judge. Deadline: May 3. Entry fee: AUD $25 (approximately $20).

Bristol Short Story Prize: A prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,390) and publication in Volume 14 of the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology is given annually for a short story. Irene Baldoni, Tom Robinson, and Mahsuda Snaith will judge. Deadline: May 5. Entry fee: £9 (approximately $13).

Georgia Review Loraine Williams Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,500 and publication in Georgia Review is given annually for a single poem. Arthur Sze will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: May 1. Entry fee: $15 entry fee (no fee for current subscribers).

High Desert Museum Waterston Desert Writing Prize: A prize of $2,500 and a two-week residency at the PLAYA artists and scientists’ retreat in Summer Lake, Oregon, is given annually for a nonfiction work-in-progress that “recognizes the vital role deserts play worldwide in the ecosystem and the human narrative, with the desert as both subject and setting.” The winner will also be provided with travel and lodging to attend a reception and awards ceremony at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon, in September. Deadline: May 1. Entry fee: none.

Leapfrog Press Fiction Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Leapfrog Press is given annually for a short story collection, novel, or novella. Ann Hood will judge. Deadline: May 3. Entry fee: $35.

University of Nebraska Press Backwaters Prize: A prize of $2,000, publication by University of Nebraska Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. An honorable mention prize of $1,000 and publication by University of Nebraska Press will also be given. Huascar Medina will judge. Deadline: May 1. Entry fee: $30.

Wick Poetry Center Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize: A prize of $2,500 and publication by Kent State University Press is given annually for a debut poetry collection. The winner is also invited to teach a weeklong writing workshop at Kent State University and give a reading with the judge. Tracy K. Smith will judge. Deadline: May 1. Entry fee: $30.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

BOMB Fiction Contest Open for Submissions

Submissions are open for the biennial BOMB Fiction Contest. The winning writer will receive a prize of $1,000 and publication in BOMB. Novelist Ottessa Moshfegh, the author of My Year of Rest and Relaxation and Death in Her Hands, will judge.

Using only the online submission system, submit a short story of up to 5,000 words and a cover letter with an entry fee of $25 by May 3. For writers in the United States, the entry fee includes a one-year subscription to BOMB. The winner will be revealed on July 31. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Founded in 1981, BOMB is a multimedia publishing house that spotlights artists and artwork in various disciplines, including literature, film, and visual art. In addition to publishing a print quarterly—which features interviews, portfolios, as well as essays, fiction, and poetry—BOMB maintains a regular online publication. BOMB also hosts one literary contest each year, alternating between poetry and fiction. The winner of the most recent fiction contest was Alexandra Gauss for her story “Sanssouci.”

Deadline Approaches for the Backwaters Prize in Poetry

The Backwaters Prize in Poetry is accepting submissions. Established in 1998, the prize is awarded for a book-length poetry manuscript. The winning writer will receive $2,000, publication by the Backwaters Press, and 20 author copies. An honorable mention prize of $1,000 and publication by the Backwaters Press will also be given.

Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 60 to 85 pages with a $30 entry fee by May 1. Huascar Medina will judge. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Founded in 1997, the Backwaters Press was acquired by the University of Nebraska Press (UNP) in 2018. Operating as a distinct imprint within UNP, Backwaters seeks to “plant its roots firmly in the Great Plains, delighting readers with literature of enduring value and consequence.” The winner of the 2020 prize was Nathaniel Perry for Long Rules: An Essay in Verse, which is forthcoming in November.

Cave Canem Poetry Prize Accepting Submissions

The deadline is approaching for the Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Founded in 1999 to help discover “exceptional manuscripts by Black poets of African descent,” the prize celebrates a debut book of poetry by a Black writer. The winning writer will receive $1,000, a critique session with the prize judge, publication by Graywolf Press, fifteen author copies, and a reading event.

Using only the online submission system, submit a cover letter and a manuscript of 48 to 75 pages by April 30. Only writers who have not published a full-length book of poetry are eligible. Writers who have published chapbooks or who self-published books with limited print runs are eligible. Rachel Eliza Griffiths will judge. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The Cave Canem Foundation was established in 1996 with the ambition to “remedy the under-representation and isolation of African American poets in the literary landscape.” Cave Canem’s many programs include an annual writing retreat and numerous community-based workshops. The winner of the 2020 Cave Canem Poetry Prize was Aurielle Marie, whose book, Gumbo Ya Ya, is forthcoming from the University of Pittsburgh Press in fall 2021.

 

Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize Open for Submissions

Submissions are open for the Desperate Literature Short Fiction Prize. Honoring “well-crafted, boundary-pushing fiction,” the prize is designed to give winners “the most visibility possible for their writing.” Eleven stories will be shortlisted. One winner will receive €1,500 (approximately $1,777), a weeklong residency at the Civitella Ranieri Foundation’s castle in the Umbria region of Italy, and a consultation with literary agent Charlotte Seymour of Andrew Nurnberg Associates. Two runners-up will receive €750 (approximately $889) and a consultation. All shortlisted stories will be published in a collection to be distributed to agents in the U.S. and U.K., in addition to being published in one of nine partner journals. Additionally, all finalists will be invited to participate in salons—public health conditions permitting—in Madrid, London, and Edinburgh. One shortlisted writer will also receive a ten-day residency at the Writers’ House of Georgia, which includes a €400 (approximately $474) travel stipend and an invitation to read at the Tbilisi International Festival of Literature. If the festival is canceled due to the pandemic, the writer will still be able to complete the residency.

Using only the online submission system, submit a short story of up to 2,000 words with a €20 (approximately $24) entry fee by April 15. Up to four additional entries are permitted for €10 (approximately $12) per entry. Writers from underrepresented communities or who face financial hardship can apply for a sponsored or reduced fee entry until April 1. Ottessa Moshfegh, Derek Owusu, and Isabel Waidner will judge. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Desperate Literature is a bookstore and community space in Madrid, Spain. It was jointly conceived by booksellers Terry Craven, Charlotte Delattre, Corey Eastwood, and Craig Walzer. The store “strives to be a space where good literature serves as a vehicle for dynamic cultural, linguistic and social exchange between Madrilenos, extranjeros and travelers from around the world.”

Photo: The Civitella Ranieri Foundation’s castle in Italy

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