G&A: The Contest Blog

Man Booker International Prize Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize was announced yesterday. The annual award is given for a book of fiction translated into English and published during the previous year. The £50,000 prize (approximately $63,900) is split between the writer and translator of the winning book, which will be announced on June 14 in London.

Each of the shortlisted authors and translators will receive £1,000 (approximately $1,280). The finalists are:

Compass (Fitzcarraldo Editions) by Mathias Enard (France) and translated by Charlotte Mandell (US)
A Horse Walks Into a Bar (Jonathan Cape) by David Grossman (Israel) and translated by Jessica Cohen (US)
The Unseen (Maclehose) by Roy Jacobsen (Norway) and translated by Don Bartlett (UK) and Don Shaw (UK)
Mirror, Shoulder, Signal (Pushkin Press) by Dorthe Nors (Denmark) and translated by Misha Hoekstra (US)
Judas (Chatto & Windus) by Amos Oz (Israel) and translated by Nicholas de Lange (UK)
Fever Dream (Oneworld) by Samanta Schweblin (Argentina) and translated by Megan McDowell (US),

“Our shortlist spans the epic and the everyday,” says Nick Barley, the chair of the judging panel. “From fevered dreams to sleepless nights, from remote islands to overwhelming cities, these wonderful novels shine a light on compelling individuals struggling to make sense of their place in a complex world.” The four other judges for the 2017 prize are Daniel Hahn, Elif Shafak, Chika Unigwe, and Helen Mort. The six finalists were selected from a longlist of thirteen, which in turn was selected from 126 submissions.

The prize, which was formerly given biennially for a fiction writer’s body of work, combined last year with the Independent’s Foreign Fiction Prize to award a single book of translated fiction. Han Kang and Deborah Smith won the 2016 prize for Smith’s translation from the Korean of Han’s novel The Vegetarian.

Upcoming Deadline: River Styx Poetry Contest

Submissions are currently open for the 2017 River Styx International Poetry Contest. A prize of $1,500 and publication in River Styx is given annually for a single poem. This year’s judge is poet Carl Phillips.

Using the online submission system, submit up to three poems with a $20 entry fee, which includes a subscription to River Styx, by April 30. Paper submissions can be mailed to River Styx Poetry Contest, 3139 A, South Grand Blvd., suite 203, St. Louis, MO 63118. All entries are considered for publication; first-, second-, and third-place winners, as well as honorable mentions, will also be published in the winter 2017 issue of River Styx.

Established in 1975, St. Louis–based literary biennial River Styx publishes international poetry, fiction, essays, interviews, and art. The magazine also hosts writing workshops and a monthly reading series in St. Louis and sponsors annual poetry and flash fiction contests. Visit the website for more information.

Jess, Whitehead Win 2017 Pulitzer Prizes

The winners of the 101st annual Pulitzer Prizes were announced today at Columbia University in New York City. Of the twenty-one categories, the prizes in letters are awarded annually for works of literature published in the previous year. Each winner receives $10,000.

Tyehimba Jess won the prize in poetry for his collection Olio (Wave Books). The finalists were the late Adrienne Rich for Collected Poems: 1950-2012 (W.W. Norton) and Campbell McGrath for XX (Ecco).

Colson Whitehead won the prize in fiction for his novel The Underground Railroad (Doubleday). The finalists were Adam Haslett’s Imagine Me Gone (Little, Brown) and C. E. Morgan’s The Sport of Kings (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

Hisham Matar won the prize in autobiography for The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between (Random House). The finalists were Susan Faludi’s In the Darkroom (Metropolitan Books) and the late Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air (Random House).

Visit the Pulitzer Prize website for a complete list of winners and finalists in each of the twenty-one categories, including general nonfiction, journalism, and drama.

Hungarian-American newspaper publisher and journalist Joseph Pulitzer established the Pulitzer Prizes in 1911, and the first prize was administered in 1917. The 2016 winners included poet Peter Balakian and fiction writer Viet Thanh Nguyen.

Listen to Tyehimba Jess read an excerpt from Olio, and hear an interview with Colson Whitehead about The Underground Railroad in Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast.

 

(Photo, from left: Tyehimba Jess, Colson Whitehead)

 

Imbolo Mbue Wins 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award

Imbolo Mbue has won the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers (Random House, 2016). She will receive $15,000, and will be honored at a ceremony at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. on May 6. The annual award is given for a book of fiction published during the previous year.

Behold The Dreamers displays a remarkable confidence impressive for a debut novel,” says Chris Abani, who judged the prize along with Chantel Acevedo and Sigrid Nunez. “Imbolo Mbue has a fine ear for dialogue and the nuance of language. Without ever leaning into sentimentality and yet managing to steer clear of cruelty, she pushes her characters through true difficulties into a believable and redemptive transformation. Behold The Dreamers reveals a writer with a capacious imagination, and the warmth and compassion to craft a career of beautiful and important novels.”

Imbolo Mbue is a native of Limbe, Cameroon, and currently lives in New York City. Mbue was one of the five featured authors in Poets & Writers Magazine’s 2016 roundup of the summer’s best debut fiction; read an excerpt of Behold the Dreamers in “First Fiction 2016” and listen to Mbue read the excerpt in episode eight of Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast.

The finalists for the prize, who each receive $5,000, were Viet Dinh for After Disasters (Little A), Louise Erdrich for LaRose (HarperCollins), Garth Greenwell for What Belongs to You (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), and Sunil Yapa for Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist (Little, Brown). The finalists were selected from almost five hundred novels and story collections submitted by 143 publishers.

Established in 1981, the PEN/Faulkner Award has also been given to James Hannaham, Karen Joy Fowler, E. L. Doctorow, Ann Patchett, John Updike, and Sherman Alexie, among others.

 

 

Finalists for $10,000 Lindquist & Vennum Prize Announced

Milkweed Editions has announced the finalists for the 2017 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry. The annual award is given for a poetry collection by a writer residing in Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, or South Dakota. The winner receives $10,000 and publication by Milkweed.

The six finalists are The Account of Worms by Angela Voras-Hills, Gatekeeper by Patrick Johnson, Homeboys With Slipped Halos by Michael Torres, Solve for Desire by Caitlin Bailey, To Afar From Afar by Soham Patel, and Wait by Paige Riehl.

The Milkweed editors selected the finalists from a pool of more than two hundred manuscripts; the final judge is poet Srikanth Reddy, who will announce the winner April 19. Visit the Milkweed Editions website to learn more about the finalists.

Cosponsored by the Lindquist & Vennum Foundation and Milkweed Editions, the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry was established in 2011 with the goal of “supporting outstanding poets from the upper Midwest and bringing their work to the national stage.” Previous winners include Chris Santiago, Jennifer Willoughby, Michael Bazzett, Rebecca Dunham, and Patricia Kirkpatrick.

Milkweed Editions is a Minneapolis-based independent publisher of literary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.

Photos, clockwise from top left: Patrick Johnson, Soham Patel, Paige Riehl, Angela Voras-Hills, Michael Torres, Caitlyn Bailey. 

Jenny Xie Wins Walt Whitman Award

Poet Jenny Xie has won the Academy of American Poets’ Walt Whitman Award, the nation’s largest prize for a debut poetry collection. Xie’s manuscript, Eye Level, will be published by Graywolf Press in 2018.

In addition to publication, Xie will receive $5,000 and a six-week residency at the Civitella Ranierei Center in Umbria, Italy, and will also be featured on the Academy’s website, poets.org, and in its print periodical, American Poets.

United States Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera selected Xie as this year’s winner. About Eye Level, Herrara writes: “‘Between Hanoi and Sapa’ this collection begins and continues with its ‘frugal mouth’ that ‘spends the only foreign words it owns.’ This knowing ‘travels’ in a spiral-shaped wisdom. We go places; we enter multiple terrains of seeing; we cross cultural borders of time, voices, locations—of consciousness. Then—we notice we are in a trembling stillness with all beings and all things. Jenny Xie’s Eye Level is a timely collection of beauty, clarity, and expansive humanity.”

Jenny Xie holds degrees from Princeton University and New York University’s Creative Writing Program, and has received fellowships from Kundiman, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Elizabeth George Foundation, and Poets & Writers. She is the author of the chapbook Nowhere to Arrive, which won the 2016 Drinking Gourd Chapbook Prize, and her poems are published or forthcoming in the New Republic, Tin House, Narrative, and elsewhere. Born in Hefei, China, and raised in New Jersey, Xie lives in Brooklyn, New York and teaches at New York University.

Established in 1975, the Walt Whitman Award is designed to encourage the work of emerging poets. Previous recipients include Suji Kwock KimEric PankeyMatt Rasmussen, Alberto Ríos, and Mai Der Vang, whose book, Afterland, will be published by Graywolf next month.

Upcoming Deadline: Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant

Applications are currently open for the Whiting Foundation’s second annual Creative Nonfiction Grant. Individual awards of $40,000 are given to up to six writers in the process of completing a book of creative nonfiction.

Creative nonfiction writers currently under contract with a U.S. publisher and at least two years into their contract are eligible to apply. Using the online submission system, submit up to three chapters of a manuscript-in-progress, a signed and dated contract, a progress statement, a letter of reference from the publisher, and two additional letters of reference by May 1. A panel of five anonymous judges will select the winners; the grantees will be announced in the fall. For complete guidelines and eligibility requirements, visit the website or e-mail nonfiction@whiting.org.

Established in 2015, the Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant provides support for multiyear book projects that require large amounts of research. The grant’s chief objective is to “foster original, ambitious projects that bring writing to the highest possible standard.” The inaugural grantees were Deborah Baker, Sarah M. Broom, Timothy N. Golden, Joshua Roebke, Sarah Elizabeth Ruden, and John Jeremiah Sullivan.

Winners of Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards Announced

The Cleveland Foundation has announced the winners of the 82nd annual Anisfield-Wolf Awards, given annually for books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction published in the previous year that “confront racism and examine diversity.” The winners will be honored at a ceremony in Cleveland on September 7.

The winners are Tyehimba Jess in poetry for Olio (Wave Books), Margot Lee Shetterly in nonfiction for Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (William Morrow), and Peter Ho Davies and Karan Mahajan in fiction for The Fortunes (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) and The Association of Small Bombs (Penguin), respectively. Isabel Allende received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Jess, Shetterly, and Allende will each receive $10,000; Davies and Mahajan will split the $10,000 fiction prize.

“The new Anisfield-Wolf winners broaden our insights on race and diversity,” said Henry Louis Gates Jr., who chairs the jury. “This year, we honor a breakthrough history of black women mathematicians powering NASA, a riveting novel of the Asian American experience, a mesmerizing, poetic exploration of forgotten black musical performance and a spellbinding story of violence and its consequences. All is capped by the lifetime achievement of Isabel Allende, an unparalleled writer and philanthropist.” Gates, along with Rita Dove, Joyce Carol Oates, Steven Pinker, and Simon Schama, judged the prize.

Established in 1935, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards have honored 236 writers, including Nobel laureates Gunnar Myrdal, Nadine Gordimer, Martin Luther King Jr., Toni Morrison, and Derek Walcott.

Whiting Award Winners Announced

Tonight at a ceremony in New York City, the Whiting Foundation announced the winners of the 2017 Whiting Awards. Among the largest monetary prizes given to emerging writers, the annual awards are given in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and drama. Each winner receives $50,000.

This year’s winners are Simone White and Phillip B. Williams in poetry; Kaitlyn Greenidge, Tony Tulathimutte, Jen Beagin, and Lisa Halliday in fiction; Francisco Cantú in nonfiction; and Clare Barron, Clarence Coo, and James Ijames in drama.

Visit the Whiting Foundation website to read more about the awardees. Excerpts from the latest work of each winner are available at the Paris Review.

Established in 1985, the Whiting Awards aim to “identify exceptional new writers who have yet to make their mark in the literary culture.” More than $7 million has been awarded to 320 emerging writers since the award’s inception. “The prize offers the gift of radical freedom to writers with the talent and imagination to match it,” said Courtney Hodell, the foundation’s director of writers’ programs.

Previous winners have included Tracy K. Smith, Jeffrey Eugenides, Jorie Graham, Elif Batuman, Alice Sola Kim, and Ocean Vuong.

The award is not open to submissions; an anonymous group of writers, editors, agents, critics, professors, booksellers, and other literary professionals are selected by the Whiting Foundation each year to nominate writers and serve as judges for the awards. Visit the Whiting Foundation website for more information.

Top row, from left: Phillip B. Williams, Simone White. Middle row: Tony Tulathimutte, Lisa Halliday, Clare Barron, Kaitlyn Greenidge. Bottom row: Francisco Cantú, Jen Beagin, James Ijames, Clarence Coo. 

National Book Critics Circle Announces Award Winners

The winners of the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Awards have been announced. The annual awards are given for books of poetry, fiction, memoir, nonfiction, biography, and criticism published in the United States in the previous year.



The winners are:

Poetry: House of Lords and Commons: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Ishion Hutchinson

Fiction: LaRose (Harper) by Louise Erdrich

Memoir: Lab Girl (Knopf) by Hope Jahren

General Nonfiction: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Crown) by Matthew Desmond

Biography: Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (Liveright) by Ruth Franklin

Criticism: White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide (Bloomsbury) by Carol Anderson

The award-winners were announced last night at a ceremony in New York City, during which the NBCC also honored the winners of three more prizes: Yaa Gyasi received the John Leonard Prize for her debut novel, Homegoing; Margaret Atwood received the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award; and Michelle Dean received the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.

The NBCC also announced the inaugural recipients of its Emerging Critics Fellowship, a new program that “aspires to identify, nurture, and support the development of the next generation of critics.” The fellows are Taylor Brorby, Paul W. Gleason, Zachary Graham, Yalie Saweeda Kamara, Summer McDonald, Ismail Muhamad, and Heather Scott Partington.

Established in 1974, the National Book Critics Circle is comprised of seven hundred working critics and book review editors throughout the country, and has administered its awards since 1975. The prizes honor “the best books published in the past year in the United States,” and is considered one of the most prestigious awards in the publishing industry.

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