G&A: The Contest Blog

PEN Announces Literary Award Winners

PEN America has announced the winners of its annual literary awards. The 2017 awards will confer more than $300,000 to poets, fiction writers, nonfiction writers, translators, and playwrights.

Here are a few of this year’s winners:

Natalie Scenters-Zapico won the $5,000 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry for her poetry collection The Verging Cities (Colorado State University). Camille Dungy, Ada Limón, and Patrick Phillips judged.

Helen Oyeyemi won the $5,000 PEN Open Book Award for her story collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (Riverhead). Ishmael Beah, Major Jackson, and Bich Minh Nguyen judged.

Matthew Desmond won the $10,000 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Crown). Emily Anthes, Amy Ellis Nutt, Robin Marantz Henig, and Emma Marris judged.

Aleksandar Hemon won the $10,000 PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History for How Did You Get Here?: Tales of Displacement. Gaiutra Bahadur, Helen Epstein, and Dan Kennedy judged.

Simon Armitage won the $3,000 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for his translation from the Middle English of the Pearl Poet’s Pearl: A New Verse Translation (Liveright). Jennifer Grotz, Kyoo Lee, and Rowan Ricardo Phillips judged.

Tess Lewis won the $3,000 PEN Translation Prize for her translation from the German of Maja Haderlap’s novel Angel of Oblivion (Archipelago). Mara Faye Lethem, Jeremy Tiang, Elizabeth Lowe, Annie Tucker, and Dennis Washburn judged.

For a complete list of winners, visit the PEN website.

Winners of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay will be announced live at the PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on March 27 at the New School in New York City. Actor and comedian Aasif Mandvi will host this year’s ceremony.

Mall of America Launches Writer-in-Residence Contest

In celebration of its twenty-fifth anniversary this year, Mall of America has launched a writer-in-residence contest. One U.S. poet, fiction writer, or creative nonfiction writer will spend five days in the Bloomington, Minnesota, mall, “deeply immersed in the Mall atmosphere while writing on-the-fly impressions in their own words.” The winner will receive a $2,500 honorarium, lodging for four nights in a hotel attached to the mall, and a $400 gift card for meals.

            

The mall’s goal for the contest is to “come away…with an evocative story about Mall of America that represents the contemporary guest experience after twenty-five years of evolution as a leading retail and entertainment establishment.” To apply, submit a pitch of up to 150 words describing how you would approach the project by March 10. “Would it be a personal story? A blow-by-blow account of your experiences? The Mall as seen through the eyes of a first-time tourist or a regular guest?” Twenty-five semifinalists will then be selected to expand on their pitches in an essay of 500 to 800 words. The winner will be selected by a group of “experienced writers and journalists.” Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Located fifteen minutes from downtown Minneapolis–St. Paul, the Mall of America is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, boasting 520 stores, 50 restaurants, and the nation’s largest indoor theme park.

Upcoming Deadlines for Prose Contests

Calling all fiction and creative nonfiction writers! It’s time to polish those stories and essays; today we are rounding up prose contests with a February 28 deadline. From competitions for a short short story to a full-length nonfiction work, we have your end-of-the-month prose deadlines covered. Each of the following contests offers a prize of $1,000 to $10,000 and publication.

If you have a short short story ready to go, submit to Fish Publishing’s Flash Fiction Prize, which awards €1,000 (approximately $1,060) and publication in the Fish Publishing anthology. Chris Stewart will judge. Submit a story of up to 300 words with a €14 (approximately $15) entry fee.

Looking for a place to submit your prose chapbook? Apply to the Florida Review Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award, given annually for a chapbook of short short fiction or nonfiction, short stories, essays, or graphic narrative. The winner receives  $1,000 and publication by Florida Review. Submit a manuscript of up to 45 pages with a $25 entry fee.

Emerging short fiction writers are eligible to submit to Glimmer Train Press’s Short Story Award for New Writers. A prize of $2,500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 author copies is given three times a year for a short story by a writer whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000. Using the online submission system, submit a story of 1,000 to 12,000 words with an $18 entry fee.

For women with a full-length prose manuscript, Red Hen Press’s annual Women’s Prose Prize confers $1,000 and publication for a book of fiction or nonfiction. Aimee Bender will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a story or essay collection, a novel, or a memoir of 45,000 to 80,000 words with a $25 entry fee.

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing offers a hefty annual prize of $10,000 and publication for a debut full-length prose work by a first-generation American writer. This year’s prize will be given in nonfiction. Memoirs, essay collections, and works of narrative nonfiction by writers who have not published a work of nonfiction with a U.S. publisher are eligible. Anjali Singh, Ilan Stavans, and Héctor Tobar will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a full-length nonfiction manuscript or excerpt of at least 25,000 words with a cover letter and a curriculum vitae. And here’s the clincher: There is no entry fee.

Don’t forget to visit the individual contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out our Grants & Awards Database and Submission Calendar for more poetry and prose contests with upcoming deadlines. Good luck, and happy writing!

Deadline Approaches for Emily Dickinson First Book Award

Submissions are currently open for the Poetry Foundation’s Emily Dickinson First Book Award. A prize of $10,000 and publication by Graywolf Press is given for a poetry collection by a U.S. writer of at least forty years of age who has not published a full-length book of poetry.

Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of forty-eight to eighty pages with a biography that includes publication history by February 27. There is no entry fee. Visit the contest page for complete guidelines.

The Emily Dickinson First Book Award is an occasional contest that is not held annually. Previous winners include Hailey Leithauser, Brian Culhane, and Landis Everson. The winner of the 2017 award will be notified by April 30, and announced publicly at the Poetry Foundation’s Pegasus Awards ceremony in Chicago in June.

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants Announced

PEN America has announced the recipients of the annual PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants. This year the judges awarded fifteen grants of $3,870 each to assist in the completion of translation projects spanning thirteen different languages. PEN also announced the winner of the inaugural $5,000 Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature.

The 2017 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant recipients are:

Nick Admussen for his translation from the Chinese of Ya Shi’s poetry collection Floral Mutter
Polly Barton for her translation from the Japanese of Misumi Kubo’s novel Cowards Who Looked to the Sky
Elizabeth Bryer for her translation from the Spanish of Aleksandra Lun’s novel The Palimpsests
Vitaly Chernetsky for his translation from the Ukrainian of Sophia Andrukhovych’s novel Felix Austria
Iain Galbraith for his translation from the German of Raoul Schrott’s Selected Poems
Michelle Gil-Montero for her translation from the Spanish of Valerie Mejer Caso’s poetry collection Edinburgh Notebook
Sophie Hughes for her translation from the Spanish of Alia Trabucco Zerán’s debut novel, The Remainder
Elisabeth Jaquette for her translation from the Arabic of Rania Mamoun’s story collection Thirteen Months of Sunrise
Kira Josefsson for her translation from the Swedish of Pooneh Rohi’s novel The Arab
Adam Morris for his translation from the Portuguese of Beatriz’s Bracher novel I Didn’t Talk
Kaitlin Rees for her translation from the Vietnamese of Nhã Thuyên’s poetry collection A Parade
Dayla Rogers for her translation from the Turkish of Kemal Varol’s novel Wûf
Christopher Tamigi for his translation from the Italian of Mauro Covacich’s novel In Your Name
Manjushree Thapa for her translation from the Nepali of Indra Bahadur Rai’s novel There’s a Carnival Today
Joyce Zonana for her translation from the French of Tobie Nathan’s novel This Land That Is Like You

The recipient of the inaugural $5,000 PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature is Douglas Grant Heise, for his translation of Luigi Malerba’s novel, Ithaca Forever.

PEN’s prize advisory board selected the fifteen grantees from a pool of 224 applicants. For more information about the winners and the Translation Fund, which is now in its fourteenth year, visit PEN’s website.

Submissions Open for the Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize

The deadline approaches for the Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize, sponsored by the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University and given for a group of poems. The winner will receive $2,000, and the runner-up will receive $1,000. Both winners will be invited to read at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in April, and will be provided with accommodations and a $500 honorarium.

Poets who have not published more than one poetry collection are eligible. Using the online submission system, submit three to five poems totaling no more than six pages by February 16 with a $20 entry fee. The winner will be notified in early March, and must attend the award ceremony on April 17 at James Madison University, where the award will be presented by Nora Brooks Blakely, Gwendolyn Brooks’s daughter.

Poet Patricia Smith will judge. She is the author of seven poetry collections, including the forthcoming Incendiary Art, which will be published by TriQuarterly Books in February.

The prize honors the centennial of poet Gwendolyn Brooks’s birth. Formally established in 2005 by Joanne V. Gabbin, the Furious Flower Poetry Center is the nation’s oldest academic center devoted to African American poetry, and works to cultivate, honor, and promote the voices of African American poets. The center hosts visiting poets; runs workshops, an annual poetry camp, panels, conferences, and seminars; and creates text and videos and other content on African American poetry.

Vievee Francis Wins Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

Claremont Graduate University has announced the winners for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the Kate Tufts Discovery Award. One of the richest prizes for poetry in the United States, the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is given annually to a midcareer poet for a book published in the previous year. The $10,000 Kate Tufts Award is given for a debut poetry collection.

Vievee Francis, a poet “known for her explorations of racial identity, modernist poetics, and feminist legacies,” received the 2017 Kingsley Tufts Award for her collection Forest Primeval (Northwestern). The book employs an “anti-pastoral” approach to examine the violence and transcendence of nature and survival.

The Kingsley Tufts finalists were Tyehimba Jess’s Olio (Wave), Ada Limón’s Bright Dead Things (Milkweed), Jamaal May’s The Big Book of Exit Strategies (Alice James Books), and Patrick Rosal’s Brooklyn Antediluvian (Persea).

Philip B. Williams received the Kate Tufts Discovery Award for his collection, Thief in the Interior (Alice James), a book that presents a “perilous journey through a violent landscape in which race separates many from the American dream.” Williams is also featured in Poets & Writers Magazine’s twelfth annual roundup of debut poets.

The Kate Tufts finalists were Derrick Austin’s Trouble the Water (BOA), Rickey Laurentiis’s Boy With Thorn (University of Pittsburgh), Jordan Rice’s Constellarium (Orison), and Ocean Vuong’s Night Sky With Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon).

The judges for both prizes were Don Share, Elena Karina Byrne, Terrance Hayes, Meghan O’Rourke, and Brian Kim Stefans. Poetry magazine editor Don Share, this year’s judge committee chair, said Francis’s Forest Primeval is “an intense work, dark…Dantean…dreamlike in its visions…. Francis is reclaiming modernist and feminist legacies of poetry, and it takes great courage to do that.” 

In addition to Forest Primeval, which also won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry, Francis is the author of two previous poetry collections, Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University Press, 2006) and Horse in the Dark (Northwestern University Press, 2012). She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award and a Kresge Artist Fellowship. She is currently an associate professor of English at Dartmouth College and an associate editor for Callaloo.

This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Tufts Poetry Awards, which honor the memory of poet Kingsley Tufts. Previous winners of the Kingsley Tufts Award include Ross Gay, D. A. Powell, and Linda Gregerson. Past recipients of the Kate Tufts Award include Danez Smith, Yona Harvey, and Lucia Perillo. Francis and Williams will be honored at an awards ceremony in Los Angeles on April 20.

Deadline Approaches for Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize

The deadline approaches for the sixth annual Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize, given for a poem that evokes a connection to place. The winner will receive $500 and publication on the Zócalo Public Square website.

Submit up to three poems of any length via e-mail to poetry@zocalopublicsquare.org by Friday, February 3. There is no entry fee. The editors will judge. “Place may be interpreted by the poet as a place of historical, cultural, political, or personal importance,” write the editors. “It may be a literal, imaginary, or metaphorical landscape.” Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The winner will be announced in March. In 2016, 443 poets entered the prize. Interviews with recent winners and their winning poems can be read on the Zócalo website. Recent winners include Matt Phillips for his poem “Crossing Coronado Bridge” about the bridge that connects San Diego to Coronado Island; Gillian Wegener for her poem about a small town, “The Old Mill Café;” and Amy Glynn for her poem “Shoreline.”

Established in 2003, Zócalo Public Square publishes news, essays, and creative writing. The journal is based in Los Angeles.

New American Poetry Prize Open for Submissions

The deadline approaches for the 2017 New American Poetry Prize, given annually for a poetry collection. The winner receives $1,000 and publication by New American Press. Jesse Lee Kercheval will judge.

Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages with a $22.50 entry fee by January 31. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Judge Jesse Lee Kercheval is the author of fifteen books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Her most recent book is the poetry collection Extranjera/Stranger (Editorial Yaugarú, 2015), written in both Spanish and English. Kercheval is also a translator, and specializes in Uruguayan poetry. She teaches in the University of Wisconsin’s MFA Program, and spends part of each year in Montevideo, Uruguay.

Previous winners of the New American Poetry Prize include Christopher Cokinos for The Underneath, Brittney Scott for The Derelict Daughter, and Arne Weingart for Levitation for Agnostics. New American Press publishes three to five full-length books each year, including the winners of its annual poetry and fiction prizes. The press also publishes the literary journal MAYDAY Magazine, and recently released two anthologies of poetry and fiction by Midwestern writers.

Deadline Approaches for Autumn House Press Contest

Submissions are open for the 2017 Autumn House Press Rising Writer Contest, given annually for a debut poetry collection by a poet who is thirty-three years old or younger. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication by Autumn House Press. Ada Limón will judge.

Using the online submission system, submit a poetry manuscript of 50 to 80 pages with a $25 entry fee by Tuesday, January 31. All entries will be considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Judge Ada Limón is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Bright Dead Things (Milkweed Editions, 2015), which was a finalist for both the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award. Her first collection, Lucky Wreck, was published by Autumn House Press in 2006 as the winner of the press’s poetry prize.

Established in 1998, Pittsburgh-based Autumn House Press publishes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. The press has published authors such as poets Danusha Laméris, Ed Ochester, Martha Rhodes, and Gerald Stern; fiction writers Sarah Gerkensmeyer and Matthew Pitt; and nonfiction writers Jill Kandel and Sheryl St. Germain.

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