G&A: The Contest Blog

First-Book Prize for Women and Nonbinary Writers of Color

Submissions are currently open for the second annual Louise Meriwether First Book Prize, cosponsored by the Feminist Press and TAYO Literary Magazine. A prize of $5,000 and publication by the Feminist Press is given annually for a debut book of fiction or nonfiction by a woman or nonbinary writer of color.

Women and nonbinary writers of color (or those who self-identify as nonwhite) who are U.S. citizens and who have not yet published a book may submit a manuscript of 50,000 to 80,000 words by July 31. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete submission guidelines.

This year’s final judges are acclaimed authors Tayari Jones and Ana Castillo, Feminist Press executive director Jennifer Baumgardner, and TAYO editor in chief Melissa Sipin. Five finalists will be announced in October; the winner will be announced in February 2018.

Fiction writer YZ Chin won the inaugural book prize for her story collection, Though I Get Home. Of Chin’s manuscript, Sipin said, “The need to escape, to live, and to survive is rendered beautifully in these eclectic and visceral stories.”

The Louise Meriwether Prize was founded in 2016 to honor the legacy of novelist, journalist, and activist Louise Meriwether, whose 1970 novel Daddy Was a Number Runner was one of the first contemporary novels to feature a African American girl as the protagonist. The book went on to inspire the careers of authors such as Jacqueline Woodson and Bridgett M. Davis.

Learn more about the prize and sponsoring organizations at www.tayoliterarymag.com and www.feministpress.org, and visit the Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for a complete list of upcoming poetry and prose deadlines.

(Photo: YZ Chin)

July 15 Fiction and Nonfiction Contest Deadlines

If you write short stories or essays, consider submitting to the following contests offering prizes of at least $1,000 and publication—all with a July 15 deadline.

Cincinnati Review Robert and Adele Schiff Award in Prose: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Cincinnati Review is given annually for a work of fiction or creative nonfiction. Michael Griffith will judge. Entry fee: $20

Fairy Tale Review Award in Prose: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Fairy Tale Review is given annually for a work of fiction or creative nonfiction influenced by fairy tales. Helen Oyeyemi will judge. Entry fee: $10

Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers: A prize of $3,000 and publication in Masters Review is given twice yearly for a short story by a writer who has not published a novel (writers who have published story collections are eligible). The winning story will also be sent to literary agents Laura Biagi of Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners, and Amy Williams of the Williams Agency. The Masters Review editors will judge. Entry fee: $20

PRISM Creative Nonfiction Contest: A prize of $1,500 Canadian (approximately $1,170) and publication in PRISM is given annually for an essay. Entry fee: $40

The Story Prize: A prize of $20,000 is given annually to honor a short story collection written in English and published in the United States in the previous year. Two runners-up receive $5,000 each. The $1,000 Story Prize Spotlight Award is also given for a short story collection that “demonstrates the author's potential to make a significant contribution to the short story form.” Publishers, authors, or agents may submit. Larry Dark and Julie Lindsey will select the three finalists and Spotlight Award winner; three independent judges will choose the Story Prize winner. Entry fee: $75

Check out our Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more upcoming contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

July 15 Fiction and Nonfiction Contest Deadlines

If you write short stories or essays, consider submitting to the following contests offering prizes of at least $1,000 and publication—all with a July 15 deadline.

Cincinnati Review Robert and Adele Schiff Award in Prose: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Cincinnati Review is given annually for a work of fiction or creative nonfiction. Michael Griffith will judge. Entry fee: $20

Fairy Tale Review Award in Prose: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Fairy Tale Review is given annually for a work of fiction or creative nonfiction influenced by fairy tales. Helen Oyeyemi will judge. Entry fee: $10

Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers: A prize of $3,000 and publication in Masters Review is given twice yearly for a short story by a writer who has not published a novel (writers who have published story collections are eligible). The winning story will also be sent to literary agents Laura Biagi of Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency, Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners, and Amy Williams of the Williams Agency. The Masters Review editors will judge. Entry fee: $20

PRISM Creative Nonfiction Contest: A prize of $1,500 Canadian (approximately $1,170) and publication in PRISM is given annually for an essay. Entry fee: $40

The Story Prize: A prize of $20,000 is given annually to honor a short story collection written in English and published in the United States in the previous year. Two runners-up receive $5,000 each. The $1,000 Story Prize Spotlight Award is also given for a short story collection that “demonstrates the author's potential to make a significant contribution to the short story form.” Publishers, authors, or agents may submit. Larry Dark and Julie Lindsey will select the three finalists and Spotlight Award winner; three independent judges will choose the Story Prize winner. Entry fee: $75

Check out our Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more upcoming contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Deadline Extended for Omnidawn Poetry Contest

The deadline for Omnidawn’s First/Second Poetry Book Prize, which was previously June 30, has been extended to July 17. A prize of $3,000, publication by Omnidawn Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a first or second poetry collection.

Submit a manuscript of 40 to 120 pages via e-mail with a $27 entry fee, or $30 to receive a book from the Omnidawn catalogue. Visit the Omnidawn website for complete guidelines.

The judge for this year’s award is Korean American poet Myung Mi Kim, whose most recent collection is Penury (Omnidawn, 2009). Kim has previously judged Bayou Magazine’s Kay Murphy Prize for Poetry and Kelsey Street Press’s Firsts! series for women poets, among other contests.       

Recent winning titles of the First/Second Book Prize include Henry Wei Leung’s Goddess of Democracy (to be published in October), Jennifer S. Cheng’s House A (2016), and Margaret Ross’s A Timeshare (2015).

Check out our Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more upcoming contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Deadline Approaches for Crab Orchard First Book Award

Poets: Submissions are currently open for Crab Orchard’s First Book Award. A prize of $2,500, publication by Southern Illinois University Press, and a $1,500 honorarium to give a reading at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale is given annually for a debut poetry collection.

Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 50 to 75 pages with a $20 entry fee by July 10. U.S. poets who have not published a full-length book of poems in an edition of over 500 copies are eligible. Visit the Crab Orchard website for complete guidelines.

Poet Chad Davidson will judge. Davidson is the author three poetry collections published by Southern Illinois University Press, most recently From the Fire Hills (2014).

Previous winners of the Crab Orchard First Book Award include Kara van de Graaff’s Spitting Image (forthcoming in 2018), Charif Shanahan’s Into Each Room We Enter Without Knowing (2016), and Gregory Kimbrell’s The Primitive Observatory (2015).

Check out our Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more upcoming contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Below, listen to previous winner Charif Shanahan read his poem "Plantation" for the Academy of American Poets.

Upcoming Prose Contest Deadlines

Fiction and creative nonfiction writers: If you are sitting on a finished short story, essay collection, novel, or other work of prose, check out the following contests that are open to submissions for two more days! Each of the contests has a June 30 deadline and offers a prize of at least $1,000 and publication.

Autumn House Press Literary Prizes: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by Autumn House Press are given annually for a book of fiction and a book of creative nonfiction. Each winner also receives a $1,500 travel and publicity grant. Amina Gautier will judge in fiction and Alison Hawthorne Deming will judge in nonfiction. Entry fee: $30

Engine Books Fiction Prize: A prize of $2,000 and publication by Engine Books is given annually for a short story collection, a novella collection, or a novel. Maya Lang will judge. Entry fee: $30

Glimmer Train Press Short Story Award for New Writers: A prize of $2,500 and publication in Glimmer Train Stories is given three times yearly for a short story by a writer whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000. Entry fee: $18

Hidden River Arts William Van Wert Fiction Award: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a short story or a novel excerpt. Entry fee: $17

Key West Literary Seminars Emerging Writer Awards: Two prizes valued at $4,000 each are given annually for a short story and a novel-in-progress by writers who have not published a book with a major publisher. The winners will each receive $500 and full tuition, airfare, and lodging to attend the Key West Literary Seminar and Workshop Program in January 2018 in Key West, Florida. There is no entry fee.

Los Angeles Review Literary Awards: Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Los Angeles Review are given twice yearly for a short story, a short short story, and an essay. Bryan Hurt will judge in fiction, Siel Ju will judge in flash fiction, and Chelsey Clammer will judge in nonfiction. Entry fee: $20

The Moth International Short Story Prize: A prize of €3,000 (approximately $3,420) and publication in the Moth is given annually for a short story. A second-place prize of publication, a weeklong retreat at the Circle of Missé in Missé, France, and a €250 (approximately $285) travel stipend; and a third-place prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,140) and publication are also given. Belinda McKeon will judge. Entry fee: $14

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines and submission details. Check out our Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more upcoming contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Upcoming Poetry Contest Deadlines

Poets, start your summer on a high note by submitting your best work to writing contests! Whether you are ready to submit a single poem, chapbook, or full-length collection, the following contests offer cash prizes from $1,000 to $11,600 and publication—all with a deadline of June 30.

Bauhan Publishing May Sarton New Hampshire Book Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Bauhan Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Jennifer Militello will judge. Entry fee: $25

Cider Press Review Editors’ Prize Book Award: A prize of $1,000, publication by Cider Press Review, and 25 author copies is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. The editors will judge. Entry Fee: $26

Munster Literature Center Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition: A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,060) and publication by the Munster Literature Center is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Entry fee: $26

National Poetry Review Press Book Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by National Poetry Review Press is given annually for a poetry collection. C. J. Sage will judge. Entry Fee: $27

Omnidawn Publishing First/Second Poetry Book Prize: A prize of $3,000, publication by Omnidawn Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. Myung Mi Kim will judge. Entry Fee: $27

Parlor Press New Measure Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Parlor Press in its Free Verse Editions series is given annually for a poetry collection. Marianne Boruch will judge. Entry Fee: $28

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize: A prize of $15,000 AUD (approximately $11,600) and publication in an e-book anthology is given annually for a poem. A second-place prize of $5,000 AUD (approximately $3,870) and publication is also given. Billy Collins will judge. Entry fee: $26

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines and submission details. Check out our Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more upcoming contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Milkweed Announces Inaugural Max Ritvo Poetry Prize

Milkweed Editions, in partnership with the Alan B. Slifka Foundation, has announced its inaugural Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. An award of $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions in April 2018 will be given for a debut poetry collection. Award-winning poet Henri Cole will judge.

Poets currently residing in the United States are eligible to apply. Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages with a $25 entry fee between July 1 and August 31. Judge Henri Cole has selected four emerging poets as first readers for the prize: Ruth Awad, Graham Barnhart, Lauren Cook, Allison Pitinii Davis, and Jordan Zandi.

The prize honors the legacy of Max Ritvo, who Milkweed publisher Daniel Slager describes as “one of the most original and accomplished poets to emerge in recent years.” The press published Ritvo’s debut collection, Four Reincarnations, in 2016, a month after he died of cancer at the age of twenty-five. With an award amount of $10,000, the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize is now one of the richest first-book prizes in the United States. Visit the Milkweed website for more information and complete submission guidelines.

For more upcoming poetry and prose deadlines, visit pw.org/grants. Read more about Ritvo in “The World Beyond: A Last Interview With Max Ritvo,” written by poet Dorothea Lasky and published as on online exclusive for Poets & Writers.

Photo: Max Ritvo; Credit: Ashley Woo

David Grossman Wins Booker International Prize

Last night at ceremony in London, Israeli author David Grossman was announced the winner of the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for his novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar (Jonathan Cape). The annual £50,000 (approximately $63,600) award is given for a book of fiction translated from any language into English and published in the U.K. during the award year. The prize will be split between the author and his translator, Jessica Cohen.

The finalists, who each receive £1,000 (approximately $1,270), included French author Mathias Énard for Compass (Fitzcarraldo Editions); Norwegian author Roy Jacobsen for The Unseen (Maclehose); Danish author Dorthe Nors for Mirror, Shoulder, Signal (Pushkin Press); Israeli author Amos Oz for Judas (Chatto & Windus); and Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin for Fever Dream (Oneworld).

Set in a comedy club in a small Israeli town, A Horse Walks Into a Bar centers on a veteran comedian’s act as he confesses past wounds and unravels onstage. Judges Nick Barley (chair), Daniel Hahn, Helen Mort, Elif Şafak, and Chika Unigwe Barley selected Grossman’s novel from a list of 126 titles. Barley commented: “A Horse Walks Into a Bar shines a spotlight on the effects of grief, without any hint of sentimentality. The central character is challenging and flawed, but completely compelling. We were bowled over by Grossman’s willingness to take emotional as well as stylistic risks: every sentence counts, every word matters in this supreme example of the writer’s craft.”

Grossman, sixty-three, was born in and currently resides in Jerusalem. He is the best-selling author of more than a dozen books of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books, which have been translated into thirty-six languages. He has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Frankfurt Peace Prize, Israel’s Emet Prize, and the French Chevalier de l’Ordre Arts et des Lettres. He is the first Israeli author to win the Man Booker International Prize.

The Man Booker International Prize was created in 2005 to highlight “one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage.” Until 2015, the award was given biennially to a living author for a body of work published either originally in English or available widely in translation.

Below, watch chair of the judges Nick Barley comment on this year’s winning novel, and visit the Man Booker website for more information about the prize.

Oswald, Abel Win 2017 Griffin Poetry Prizes

Alice Oswald and Jordan Abel have won the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prizes, given annually for poetry collections written or translated into English and published in the previous year. Oswald won the international prize for her collection Falling Awake (Norton), and Abel won the Canadian prize for Injun (Talonbooks). They each received $65,000 Canadian (approximately $48,000).

Judges Sue Goyette, Joan Naviyuk Kane, and George Szirtes selected the winners from 617 submissions from 39 countries around the world.

British poet Alice Oswald has written seven poetry collections and lives in Devon, England. “Alice Oswald’s Falling Awake presents as a dark text to (re)turn (in)to, its language of ‘… maybe the last green places[…]’ striking bright inscriptions that may have been ‘falling for a long time,’” write the judges in their citation. “How fortunate we are to tread the paths of myth and that which presupposes it, and us: line, image, lilt.”

Winner of the Canadian prize, Jordan Abel has written three poetry collections, which deal with representation of indigenous peoples in anthropology and popular culture. In their citation of Abel’s work, the judges write, “Jordan Abel’s collection Injun evacuates the subtexts of possession, territory, and erasure…. Words are restored to their constituent elements as countermovements in Abel’s hands, just as they are divested of their capacity for productive violence.”

The shortlisted poets for the international prize were Jane Mead for World of Made and Unmade (Alice James Books), Donald Nicholson-Smith for his translation from the French of Abdellatif Laâbi’s In Praise of Defeat (Archipelago Books), and Denise Riley for Say Something Back (Picador). The shortlisted poets for the Canadian prize were Hoa Nguyen for Violet Energy Ingots (Wave Books) and Sandra Ridley for Silvija (BookThug). Each of the finalists received $10,000.

The winners were announced on Thursday night at a ceremony in Toronto. During the ceremony, American poet Frank Bidart was also honored with the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Established in 2000, the Griffin Poetry Prize was founded to “serve and encourage excellence in poetry.” Each year the International Prize is given to a poet from any country whose book is published in English; the Canadian Prize is given to a Canadian poet. Submissions for the 2018 prize are currently open.

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