G&A: The Contest Blog

George Saunders Wins Man Booker Prize

George Saunders has won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for his novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. He will receive £50,000 (approximately $66,000). The annual award is given for a novel published in the previous year in the United Kingdom.

‘The form and style of this utterly original novel, reveals a witty, intelligent, and deeply moving narrative,” says Lola Young, who chaired the judging panel. “This tale of the haunting and haunted souls in the afterlife of Abraham Lincoln’s young son paradoxically creates a vivid and lively evocation of the characters that populate this other world. Lincoln in the Bardo is both rooted in and plays with history, and explores the meaning and experience of empathy.” The 2017 judges were Lola Young, Lila Azam Zanganeh, Sarah Hall, Tom Phillips, and Colin Thubron.

The judges considered 144 submissions for this year’s prize. The finalists, who each received £2,500, were Paul Auster, Emily Fridlund, Mohsin Hamid, Fiona Mozley, and Ali Smith.

Saunders is the second American in a row to win the Man Booker Prize, an award once limited to books by authors from the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. Paul Beatty took the 2016 prize for his novel The Sellout.

Saunders is the author of four story collections, including his critically acclaimed 2013 collection, Tenth of December. Published by Random House last March, Lincoln in the Bardo is Saunders’s first novel.

To learn more about Saunders and his novel, read “The Emotional Realist Talks to Ghosts,” the cover story of the March/April 2017 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

 

2 Elizabeths Love & Romance Contest

Feeling amorous? Submissions are currently open for the 2017 2 Elizabeths Love & Romance Contest. An award of $1,000 and publication in the inaugural 2 Elizabeths Anthology will be given annually for a group of poems or a work of short fiction with romantic themes.

Using the online submission system, submit 3 to 10 pages of poetry or 1,000 to 6,000 words of short fiction with a $22.50 entry fee by November 1. All entries are considered for publication. The editors will judge.

2 Elizabeths is a mother-daughter-run online literary magazine that publishes short stories, flash fiction, and poetry, as well as interviews, writing prompts, and other practical writing resources for writers.

Visit the contest website for more information, and check out our Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more upcoming contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Whiting Foundation Announces Creative Nonfiction Grant Recipients

The Whiting Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2017 Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grants, given annually to up to eight writers in the process of completing a book of creative nonfiction. The writers will each receive $40,000.

The grantees are:

Michael Brenson for David Smith and the Transformation of American Sculpture, forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Philip Gourevitch for You Hide That You Hate Me and I Hide That I Know, forthcoming from Penguin Press

Pacifique Irankunda for The Time of Stories, forthcoming from Random House

Seth Kantner for A Thousand Trails Home, forthcoming from Mountaineers Books

Jay Kirk for Avoid the Day, forthcoming from Harper Perennial

Meghan O’Rourke for What’s Wrong With Me? The Mysteries of Chronic Illness, forthcoming from Riverhead Books

George Packer for Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century, forthcoming from Knopf

Julie Phillips for The Baby on the Fire Escape, forthcoming from Norton

The winners were selected from a list of fifteen finalists by an anonymous judging panel. Now in its second year, the Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant “fosters original, ambitious projects that bring writing to the highest possible standard.” The applicants must have a publishing contract and be at least two years into their project. The next round of applications will open in Spring 2018.

For more than forty years, the Whiting Foundation has supported literature and the humanities through its various programs, including its annual awards for emerging writers and the new Whiting Literary Magazines Prizes, which honor literary journals. Visit the website for more information.

(Photos: Top row, from left: Michael Brenson, Philip Gourevitch, Pacifique Irankunda, Seth Kantner; Bottom row, from left: Jay Kirk, Meghan O'Rourke, George Packer, Julie Phillips)

New $10,000 Story Collection Prize

Spartanburg, South Carolina–based Hub City Press has announced the C. Michael Curtis Short Story Book Prize, a new award of $10,000 and publication for a debut story collection by a writer residing in the American South. Acclaimed short story writer Lee K. Abbott will judge the inaugural contest.

Fiction writers living in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, or West Virginia who have not yet published a book are eligible to apply. Submit a manuscript of 140 to 220 pages with a $25 entry fee by January 1, 2018. The winning book will be published in Spring 2019.

Betsy Teter, Hub City’s founder and publisher, notes that the new prize is “one of the most substantial short story prizes in North America,” and is named to honor fiction editor C. Michael Curtis, who “has been a great friend to Hub City Press over the years.” Curtis has edited notable American short story writers including Tobias Wolff, Joyce Carol Oates, and Anne Beattie.

Established in 1995, Hub City Press is dedicated to publishing works by emerging and established authors from the American South. Visit the website for more information.

Kazuo Ishiguro Wins 2017 Nobel Prize

English novelist Kazuo Ishiguro, author of The Remains of the Day, has won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Swedish Academy made the announcement today in Stockholm, remarking that Ishiguro, sixty-two, “in novels of great emotional force, has uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.”

 

“If you mix Jane Austen and Franz Kafka, then you have Kazuo Ishiguro in a nutshell—but you have to add a little bit of Marcel Proust into the mix,” said Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, which presents the award. “He is a writer of great integrity, who doesn’t look to the side. He has developed an aesthetic universe all his own. He is exploring what you have to forget in order to survive in the first place as an individual or as a society.” 

Born in Nagasaki, Japan, in 1954, Ishiguro moved with his family to England in 1960. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kent in 1978 and a master’s from the University of East Anglia’s creative writing program in 1980. He is the author of seven novels, beginning with A Pale View of Hills (1982), and is perhaps most well known for The Remains of the Day, which won the prestigious Booker Prize for Fiction in 1989 and was made into Academy Award–nominated film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. The novel, told from the perspective of an English butler in the years leading up to World War II, deals with ideas of loyalty, love, repression, and loss.

“Ishiguro’s writings are marked by a carefully restrained mode of expression, independent of whatever events are taking place,” the prize committee said in a statement. “At the same time, his more recent fiction contains fantastic features.”

Of his 2005 novel Never Let Me Gowhich won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was also adapted into film—the prize committee remarked that Ishiguro had introduced “a cold undercurrent of science fiction into his work.” His most recent novel, The Buried Giant (Random House, 2015), was praised by the committee for its exploration of “how memory relates to oblivion, history to the present, and fantasy to reality.” Ishiguro has also published a story collection, Nocturnes, and four screenplays.

Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature, given for an author’s body of work, has been awarded 109 times to 113 writers. In a controversial decision, last year’s prize was awarded to singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Other recent winners include Belarusian journalist and nonfiction writer Svetlana Alexievich in 2015, French novelist Patrick Modiano in 2014, and Canadian short story writer Alice Munro in 2013.

 

 

 

Upcoming Deadline: Moon City Short Fiction Award

Submissions are currently open for the 2018 Moon City Short Fiction Award. A prize of $1,000 and publication by Moon City Press is given annually for a collection of short fiction.

Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 30,000 to 65,000 words with a $25 entry fee by October 1. Entries may include short stories, flash fiction, or novellas. The editors will judge.

Past winners of the award include Kim Magowan for Undoing, Michelle Ross for There’s So Much They Haven’t Told You, Laura Hendrix Ezell for A Record of Our Debts, and Cate McGowan for True Places Never Are.

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

 

Applications Open for BuzzFeed’s Emerging Writers Fellowship

BuzzFeed has opened applications for its third annual Emerging Writers Fellowship. The fellowship awards three nonfiction writers a stipend of $14,000 and career mentorship from BuzzFeed News’s senior editorial staff. Beginning in March 2018, the fellows will spend four months in BuzzFeed’s New York City office and focus on writing cultural reportage and personal essays. Applications are open until December 4.

Launched in 2015 by Saeed Jones, the fellowship’s mission is to expand the media landscape and empower emerging writers, particularly those who are “traditionally locked out” of media opportunities. “Investing in diversity and emerging voices doesn’t just have to be a conversation on panels and roundtables; it can be a reality,” Jones said in an interview with Poets & Writers Magazine last year.

With the third round of applications opening today, BuzzFeed’s new executive editor of culture, Karolina Waclawiak, spoke with Poets & Writers Magazine about the 2018 program, advice for applicants, and the value of nurturing writers beyond the fellowship’s conclusion.

Will there be any changes to the 2018 fellowship program?

There are two major changes to the upcoming program: We are accepting three fellows instead of four, and we are increasing the stipend amount from $10,000 to $14,000. These changes ensure that our fellows receive as much personal attention as possible, as well as financial viability for living in New York City for the program’s duration.

What can fellows expect during a typical week in the program?

The fellows will pitch, write, and edit original pieces on a broad range of cultural coverage, which will be published on BuzzFeed. In addition, each week we bring in an industry professional to meet with the fellows, including staff writers from other publications, book and magazine editors, and agents. These meetings have proven to be very beneficial; last year all four fellows left the program with an agent!

Who would be considered an ideal applicant?

We encourage writers with a strong desire to create an impact on cultural conversations to apply. All experience levels are welcome—don’t be deterred if you don’t have a lot of clips. Over the past two years the fellows entered the program with varying levels of experience, and all grew as writers and professionals. This is a great opportunity and a rigorous program if your goal is to become a staff writer at a major publication, or even if you just want to elevate your platform and be seen in this industry of so many writers. On a practical note, I suggest reading the work of previous fellows before applying.

After two successful years completed, what have you noticed about this fellowship that sets it apart from similar programs?

We make a point to provide support and guidance for these writers beyond the conclusion of the fellowship. Whether they need help getting into residencies—for example, two of our fellows from last year were accepted to Breadloaf—or want assistance growing their network of other writers, editors, and publishers, we care about building sustainable careers for these important voices. The mentorship doesn’t end when the program ends.

To apply, using BuzzFeed’s online application form submit a resume or CV, 3 to 5 examples of your essays or articles, a statement of purpose, and two letters of recommendation by December 4. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Photo: Karolina Waclawiak Credit: Eric Burg

Prose Contests With Upcoming Deadlines

Fiction and nonfiction writers: consider taking a chance and submitting your story, essay, or prose manuscript to a writing contest. Below is a list of contests with deadlines in the second half of September. Each contest offers a first-place prize of at least $1,000.

Ghost Story Supernatural Fiction Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication on the Ghost Story website is given twice yearly for a short story with a supernatural or magic realism theme. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $20

Hackney Literary Awards Novel Contest: A prize of $5,000 is given annually for an unpublished novel. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $30

Literal Latté Essay Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Literal Latté is given annually for a personal essay. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $10

Manchester Metropolitan University Fiction Prize: A prize of £10,000 is given annually for a short story. The winner will be invited to attend an award ceremony in Manchester, England, in November. Bonnie Greer, Angela Readman, and Nicholas Royle will judge. Deadline: September 29. Entry fee: $23

Travelers’ Tales Solas Awards: A prize of $1,000 and publication in the annual anthology The Best Travel Writing and on the Travelers Tales’ website is given annually for a travel essay. Writers from Arizona and Vermont are eligible for publication, but not the cash prize. Deadline: September 21. Entry Fee: $25

University of Iowa Press Iowa Short Fiction Award: Two awards of publication by University of Iowa Press are given annually for first collections of short fiction. Writers who have not published a book of fiction are eligible. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: 0

University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prizes: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by University of Massachusetts Press are given annually for a short story collection and a novel. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $30

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.

 

Deadline Approaches for Frontier Poetry Award

Submissions are currently open for the 2017 Frontier Poetry Award for New Poets. A prize of $2,000 and publication in Frontier Poetry is given annually for a poem by an emerging poet. Tyehimba Jess, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, will judge.

Poets with no more than two full-length published collections are eligible. There is no style or topic restriction, but the editors want “work that is blister, that is color, that strikes hot the urge to live and be.” Using the online submission system, submit up to three poems totaling no more than five pages with a $20 entry fee by September 30. Multiple submissions are allowed. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

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

Watch Tyehimba Jess read from his Pulitzer Prize–winning collection Olio:

Upcoming Poetry Book Contests

If you’ve completed a full-length poetry manuscript and want to submit it to publication contests, look no further. Below you’ll find contests with deadlines in September that offer publication and a prize of at least $1,000.

California State University in Fresno Philip Levine Prize for Poetry: A prize of $2,000 and publication by Anhinga Press is given annually for a poetry collection. C. G. Hanzlicek will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $28.

Mad Creek Books Journal/Charles B. Wheeler Poetry Prize: A prize of $2,500 and publication by Mad Creek Books, the literary trade imprint of Ohio State University Press, is given annually for a poetry collection. Kathy Fagan will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $38.

New Criterion Poetry Prize: A prize of $3,000 and publication by St. Augustine’s Press is given annually for a poetry collection that pays close attention to form. Roger Kimball, Charles Martin, and David Yezzi will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $25.

New Issues Poetry & Prose Green Rose Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by New Issues Poetry & Prose, and a reading at Western Michigan University is given annually for a poetry collection. Poets who have published at least one full-length collection of poetry are eligible. Deadline: September 30. Entry Fee: $30.

Red Mountain Press Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Mountain Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Irena Praitis will judge. Deadline: September 15. Entry fee: $28.

University of Arkansas Press Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize: A prize of $5,000 and publication by University of Arkansas Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Billy Collins will judge. Deadline September 30. Entry fee: $28.

University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prizes: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by University of Massachusetts Press are given annually for a first poetry collection and a poetry collection. The creative writing faculty at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry Fee: $30.

University of Wisconsin Press Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prizes: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication by University of Wisconsin Press are given annually for poetry collections. Deadline September 15. Entry fee: $28.

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.

 

 

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