G&A: The Contest Blog

National Book Awards Longlists Announced

This week, the National Book Foundation announced the longlists for the 2015 National Book Awards. Annual awards of $10,000 each honor the best book of the year published in the United States in the categories of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young people’s literature. The shortlists will be announced on October 14, and the winners will be named during the foundation’s National Book Award Ceremony and Benefit Dinner in New York City on November 18.

The ten finalists in fiction are Jesse Ball, A Cure for Suicide (Pantheon Books); Karen E. Bender, Refund (Soft Skull); Bill Clegg, Did You Ever Have a Family (Scout Press); Angela Flournoy, The Turner House (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); Lauren Groff, Fates and Furies (Riverhead); Adam Johnson, Fortune Smiles (Random House); T. Geronimo Johnson, Welcome to Braggsville (William Morrow); Edith Pearlman, Honeydew (Little, Brown); Hanya Yanagihara, A Little Life (Doubleday); and Nell Zink, Mislaid (Ecco).

Fiction judges Daniel Alarcón, Jeffery Renard Allen, Sarah Bagby, Laura Lippman, and David L. Ulin selected the titles from a list of 419 books.

The ten finalists in nonfiction are Cynthia Barnett, Rain (Crown Publishing Group); Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Spiegel & Grau); Martha Hodes, Mourning Lincoln (Yale University Press); Sally Mann, Hold Still (Little, Brown); Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus (Atria); Susanna Moore, Paradise of the Pacific (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); Michael PaternitiLove and Other Ways of Dying: Essays (The Dial Press); Carla Power, If the Oceans Were Ink: An Unlikely Friendship and a Journey to the Heart of the Quran (Henry Holt and Company); Tracy K. Smith, Ordinary Light (Alfred A. Knopf); and Michael White, Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir (Persea Books).

Diane Ackerman, Patricia Hill Collins, John D’Agata, Paul Holdengräber, and Adrienne Mayor judged.

The finalists in poetry are Ross Gay, Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude (University of Pittsburgh Press); Amy Gerstler, Scattered at Sea (Penguin); Marilyn Hacker, A Stranger’s Mirror (W. W. Norton & Company); Terrance Hayes, How to Be Drawn (Penguin); Jane Hirshfield, The Beauty (Alfred A. Knopf); Robin Coste Lewis, Voyage of the Sable Venus (Alfred A. Knopf); Ada Limón, Bright Dead Things (Milkweed Editions); Patrick Phillips, Elegy for a Broken Machine (Alfred A. Knopf); Rowan Ricardo Phillips, Heaven (Farrar, Straus and Giroux); and Lawrence Raab, Mistaking Each Other for Ghosts (Tupelo Press).

Poetry judges Sherman Alexie, Willie Perdomo, Katha Pollitt, Tim Seibles, and Jan Weissmiller selected the longlisted titles from 221 books.

First conferred to poet William Carlos Williams in 1950, the National Book Award is one of the country’s most prestigious prizes in literature. Other notable winners include Sherman Alexie, Jonathan Franzen, Joyce Carol Oates, and Adrienne Rich.

To learn more about the finalists and judges of this year’s awards, visit the National Book Foundation website. The foundation recently announced that author Don DeLillo will be honored with the 2015 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters during the awards ceremony on November 18.

Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

The Man Booker Foundation has announced the shortlist for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, which this year includes two American writers—Anne Tyler and Hanya Yanagihara—as well as debut novelist Chigozie Obioma. The annual award is given for a book of fiction written in English and published in the United Kingdom during the previous year. The winner receives £50,000 (approximately $77,000), and will be announced in London on October 13.

The six shortlisted authors are Marlon James of Jamaica for A Brief History of Seven Killings (Riverhead Books); Tom McCarthy of the United Kingdom for Satin Island (Knopf); Chigozie Obioma of Nigeria for The Fisherman (Little, Brown); Sunjeev Sahota of the United Kingdom for The Year of the Runaways (Knopf); Anne Tyler of the United States for A Spool of Blue Thread (Knopf); and Hanya Yanagihara of the United States for A Little Life (Doubleday). The shortlisted authors will each receive £2,500 (approximately $3,800).

The five finalists were selected from a longlist of thirteen authors; Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, John Burnside, Sam Leith, Frances Osborne, and Michael Wood judged. “The writers on the shortlist present an extraordinary range of approaches to fiction,” said Wood, who is the chair of judges. “They come from very different cultures and are themselves at very different stages of their careers.”

First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize is one of the literary world’s most prestigious awards for fiction. The prize, which was previously given to writers from the United Kingdom, Ireland, or Zimbabwe, was expanded last year to include writers of any nationality writing in English. Australian writer Richard Flanagan won the 2014 prize for The Narrow Road to the Deep North.

Clockwise from top left: Marlon James (Cameron Wittig), Tom McCarthy (Ulf Andersen), Chigozie Obioma, Hanya Yanagihara (Sophia Evans), Anne Tyler (Clara Molden), Sunjeev Sahota (Murdo MacLeod)

Winners of Academy of American Poets Prizes Announced

The Academy of American Poets announced yesterday the recipients of the 2015 Academy of American Poets Prizes, which honor poets at various stages in their careers. The organization awarded more than $200,000 in prizes this year to poets including Joy Harjo, Marie Howe, Kevin Young, Todd Portnowitz, Kathryn Nuernberger, and Roger Greenwald.

Joy Harjo received this year’s Wallace Stevens Award, given annually in recognition of “outstanding and proven mastery in the art of poetry.” The award, established in 1994, carries a $100,000 stipend. Past winners include John Ashbery, James Tate, and Adrienne Rich. Harjo is the author of several poetry collections, most recently Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings (Norton, 2015). Harjo was chosen by the Academy’s Board of Chancellors; Academy chancellor Alicia Ostriker said of Harjo, “Her visionary justice-seeking art transforms personal and collective bitterness to beauty, fragmentation to wholeness, and trauma to healing.”

Marie Howe received the 2015 Academy of American Poets Fellowship, an annual prize of $25,000 given for “distinguished poetic achievement.” The winner is nominated and chosen by the Board of Chancellors. Howe is the author of three poetry collections, most recently The Kingdom of Ordinary Time (Norton, 2009). Academy chancellor Arthur Sze said, “[Howe’s] poems are acclaimed for writing through loss with verve, but they also find the miraculous in the ordinary and transform quotidian incidents into enduring revelation.”

Kevin Young won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for his collection Book of Hours (Knopf, 2014). The $25,000 prize is given annually for a poetry collection published in the United States during the previous year. Marie Howe, A. Van Jordan, and Donald Revell judged. Jordan said, “Book of Hours exemplifies what poetry can do in the world when language works at its full power.”

Todd Portnowitz received the Raiziss/de Palchi Translation Fellowship for his translation from the Italian of of poet Pierluigi Cappello’s Go Tell It to the Emperor: Selected Poems. The biennial fellowship recognizes “outstanding translations of modern Italian poetry into English,” and offers an award of $25,000 and a five-week residency at the American Academy in Rome. Adria Bernardi, Luigi Fontanella, and Giuseppe Leporace judged. “Portnowitz, in his tireless and remarkably refined effort," said Leporace, "has brilliantly grasped and then seamlessly transposed into English all the imagery and linguistic complexities contained in the work at hand.”

Kathryn Nuernberger is the recipient of the James Laughlin Award for her poetry collection The End of Pink (BOA Editions, 2016). The annual prize recognizes a “superior second book of poetry by an American poet,” and carries with it a cash award of $5,000, as well as a weeklong residency at the Betsy Hotel in Miami. Roger Greenwald won the Harold Morton Landon Translation Award for his book Guarding the Air: Selected Poems by Gunner Harding (Black Widow Press, 2014). Bill Johnston judged. The $1,000 award is given annually for a poetry collection translated from any language into English that was published during the previous year.

Established in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is the largest nonprofit organization supporting the work of American poets.

Photos: Joy Harjo, Marie Howe (credit: Benjamin Norman), Kevin Young

Rona Jaffe Award Winners Announced

The Rona Jaffe Foundation has announced the six recipients of the 2015 Rona Jaffe Writers’ Awards, which are given annually to emerging women poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers. The awards “identify and support women writers of exceptional talent in the early stages of their careers.” Each winner receives $30,000.

The 2015 recipients are poets Ashley M. Jones of Birmingham, Alabama, and Britteney Black Rose Kapri of Chicago; fiction writers Vanessa Hua of Orinda, California, Amanda Rea of Denver, and Natalie Haney Tilghman of Glenville, Illinois; and nonfiction writer Meehan Crist of New York City. Visit the website for the winners’ complete bios.

The six recipients will be honored at a private reception in New York City on September 17. The Rona Jaffe Foundation solicits nominations for the awards each year from writers, editors, publishers, academics, and other literary professionals; a committee of judges selected by the foundation chooses the recipients.

Since writer Rona Jaffe established the awards program in 1995, the foundation has awarded more than $2 million to over one hundred twenty women writers. Past recipients include poets Erin Belieu, Tracy K. Smith, and Mary Szybist; fiction writers Rebecca Lee, ZZ Packer, and Tiphanie Yanique; and nonfiction writers Rachel Aviv, Eula Biss, and Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts.

Clockwise from top left: Ashley M. Jones, Britteny Black Rose Kapri, Vanessa Hua, Amanda Rea, Natalie Haney Tilghman, Meehan Crist

End of the Month Deadline Roundup

Submissions are currently open for several prizes in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, including the New Millennium Writings Awards, the Stone Canoe Literary Prizes, and the Room of Her Own Foundation Orlando Prizes. Their deadline is July 31. To view more contests with upcoming deadlines, visit the Writing Contests, Grants & Awards database.   

The New Millennium Writings Awards are given twice yearly for a poem, a short story, a short short story, and an essay. The winners in each category receive $1,000 and publication in the print journal and on the website. National Book Award finalist Maureen N. McLane will serve as guest poetry judge.

Using the online submission system, submit up to three poems totaling no more than five pages, a short story or essay of up to 6,000 words, or a short short story of up to 1,000 words along with a $20 entry fee by July 31. Multiple and simultaneous submissions are accepted. All entries are considered for publication. All participants receive a complimentary copy of the journal. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Established in 1996 by journalist Don Williams, New Millennium Writings is an annual publication that promotes the work of new and emerging writers.

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The Stone Canoe Literary Awards are given annually to a poet, a fiction writer, and a creative nonfiction writer who have a connection to upstate New York, and who have not published a book with a nationally distributed press. Winners in each category receive $500. An additional prize of $500 is also given annually to a U.S. military veteran. The editors of Stone Canoe will judge. Winners will be announced October 31.

Using the online submission system, submit three to five poems or a short story or essay of up to 10,000 words by July 31. Though entrants must have a New York State connection, the submissions themselves may be on any subject. There is no entry fee. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Stone Canoe is an annual publication of the Upstate New York YMCA’s Downtown Writers Center, which showcases the work of writers with an upstate New York connection. The publication aims to “promote a greater awareness of the cultural and intellectual richness that characterizes life in the region.”

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Sponsored by the A Room of her Own Foundation, the Orlando Prizes are given twice yearly for a poem, a short story, a short short story, and an essay by a woman writer. The winners will each receive $1,000 and publication in the Los Angeles Review.

Using the online submission manager, submit a poem of up to 36 lines, a short short story of up to 500 words, or a short story or essay of up to 1,500 words, along with a $15 entry fee by July 31. Multiple and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

A Room of Her Own was founded in 2000 by Darlene Chandler Bassett and Mary Johnson. The nonprofit foundation's mission is "to inspire, fund, and champion works of art and literature by women."

Five American Writers Among Booker Prize Semifinalists

The longlist for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction was announced this morning. The annual prize of £50,000 (approximately $78,142) honors the best book of fiction written in English and published in United Kingdom during the previous year. This year, the list of thirteen semifinalists includes five writers from the United States: Bill Clegg, Laila Lalami, Marilynne Robinson, Anne Tyler, and Hanya Yanagihara. Writers from Britain, Ireland, New Zealand, India, Nigeria, and Jamaica complete the list.

The longlisted titles are Did You Ever Have a Family (Jonathan Cape) by Bill Clegg; The Green Road (Jonathan Cape) by Anne Enright, who won the 2007 Man Booker Prize for her novel The Gathering; A Brief History of Seven Killings (Oneworld Publications) by Marlon James; The Moor’s Account (Periscope, Garnet Publishing) by Laila Lalami; Satin Island (Jonathan Cape) by Tom McCarthy; The Fishermen (ONE, Pushkin Press) by Chigozie Obioma; The Illuminations (Faber & Faber) by Andrew O’Hagan; Lila (Virago) by Marilynne Robinson; Sleeping on Jupiter (MacLehose Press, Quercus) by Anuradha Roy; The Year of the Runaways (Picador) by Sunjeev Sahota; The Chimes (Sceptre) by Anna Smaill; A Spool of Blue Thread (Chatto & Windus) by Anne Tyler; and A Little Life (Picador) by Hanya Yanagihara.

The judges—Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, John Burnside, Sam Leith, Frances Osborne, and Michael Wood—selected the thirteen titles from a list of 156 books. “The range of different performances and forms of these novels is amazing,” said Wood, chair of the judging panel. “All of them do something exciting with the language they have chosen to use.” Three of the semifinalists—Bill Clegg, Chigozie Obioma, and Anna Smaill—are debut novelists. The shortlist will be announced on September 15, and the winner will be named at a ceremony in London on October 13.

First awarded in 1969, the prize was originally restricted to writers from the British Commonwealth nations and Ireland. This is the second year that the prize has been open to writers of any nationality writing in English. Previous winners include Salman Rushdie, Hilary Mantel, and Richard Flanagan, who received the 2014 prize for his novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North. To date, Flanagan’s book has sold almost eight hundred thousand copies worldwide.

The Man Booker Foundation also administers the Man Booker International Prize; the foundation announced earlier this month that beginning in 2016, the Man Booker International Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize will merge to form one annual award for a single work of fiction translated into English. The winning author and translator of the reconfigured Man Booker International Prize will equally split a purse of £52,000.

Photos: Top row from left: Hanya Yanagihara, Marilynne Robinson, Bill Clegg. Bottom row from left: Laila Lalami, Anne Tyler.

Deadline Approaches for Dermot Healy International Poetry Prize

Submissions are open for the 2015 Dermot Healy International Poetry Prize, sponsored by the Five Glens Arts Festival in Manorhamilton, Ireland. The annual prize is given for a single poem. The winner will receive €1,000 (approximately $1,085) and publication on the festival website. Peter Fallon will judge.

Submit a poem of any length with a €5 (approximately $5) entry fee by July 24. Multiple submissions are accepted, and the prize is open to international writers. Submit via e-mail to competition@fiveglensartsfestival.com, or via postal mail to Dermot Healy Poetry Competition, 2 Old Orchard, Manorhamilton, Co. Leitrim, F91A9N3, Ireland. Visit the website for the required entry form and complete guidelines.

Judge Peter Fallon is the publisher and founder of the Gallery Press, one of Ireland’s most well-established independent publishers. He is also the author of several poetry collections, most recently Strong, My Love (The Gallery Press, 2014). In 2009, Fallon judged the Fish Poetry Prize, and chose Annie Atkins as the winner for her poem “The Locksmith.” Fallon said, “I warmed to ‘The Locksmith’ for its innocence, for the purity of its lines and for the way it unfolds the drama of a relationship and its two protagonists.” Fallon’s explanation of his judging process can be read on the Fish Publishing website.

The Five Glens Arts Festival will be held from August 21 to August 23 in Manorhamilton, a castellated town on the northwest coast of Ireland. The winner will be announced at the festival. Patrick Deeley won the inaugural prize in 2014 for his poem “Vixen,” which can be read on the festival website.

Photo: Peter Fallon

Man Booker International and Independent Foreign Fiction Prizes Merge

This morning, the Man Booker Foundation announced that beginning in 2016, the Man Booker International Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize will merge to form one annual award for an individual work of fiction translated into English. The reconfigured Man Booker International Prize will divide an award of £50,000 equally between author and translator. Each of the six shortlisted authors and translators will also receive £1,000.

Established in 2005, the Man Booker International Prize has until now awarded one prize of £60,000 biennially to “a living author for a body of work representing an achievement in fiction on the world stage.” Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai won the prize in 2015. The annual Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (IFFP), meanwhile, honored a single work of fiction translated into English. A prize of  £10,000 was split equally between author and translator. The 2015 winner was Jenny Erpenbeck’s The End of Days (Portobello Books), translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky.

Jonathan Taylor, chair of the Booker Prize Foundation, said in a press conference that the Man Booker International Prize loses momentum by being awarded every two years instead of annually, and hopes the “reconfiguration of the prize will encourage a greater interest and investment in translation."

Independent senior writer Boyd Tonkin will serve as the 2016 Man Booker International Prize chair. The longlist for the new Man Booker International Prize will be announced in March 2016, followed by the shortlist announcement in April; the winner will be announced in May. Books translated into English and published between January 1, 2015, and April 30, 2016, are eligible for the award.

Submissions Open for Masters Review Short Story Award

Submissions are currently open for the Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers. A prize of $2,000 and publication on the Masters Review website will be given for a short story. A second-place prize of $200 and a third-place prize of $100 will also be given.

Using the online submission manager, submit a previously unpublished story on any subject of up to 6,000 words with a $20 entry fee by July 15. Writers who have not published or self-published a novel-length work at the time of submission are eligible to apply. Multiple and simultaneous submissions are accepted. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Based in Portland, Oregon, the Masters Review exclusively publishes work by new and emerging writers. The review publishes fiction and nonfiction online year-round, as well as an annual print anthology of short stories.

Jim Crace Wins 2015 IMPAC Literary Award

The Dublin City Council announced today that British author Jim Crace has won the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Crace, who won for his novel Harvest (Doubleday, 2013), will receive €100,000 (approximately $113,000). The annual award, which is one of the world’s largest prizes for a single book, is given for a novel written in English and published in the previous year.

Now in its twentieth year, the IMPAC award only accepts nominations from libraries. Crace’s novel was chosen from 142 titles that were nominated by libraries in 114 cities in thirty-nine countries. The Swiss library Universitätsbibliothek Bern and the Tallahasee, Florida–based­ LeRoy Collins Leon County Public Library both nominated Crace’s novel. Valentine Cunningham, Christine Dwyer Hickey, Daniel Hahn, Kate Pullinger, Jordi Soler, and Eugene R. Sullivan judged.

“It has been an overwhelming surprise and a delight to discover that my latest book has won the IMPAC Dublin award,” said Crace. “Harvest proved to be a generous novel in the writing. Readers and critics were more than generous in their responses. And now, thanks to the further generosity of a whole wide-world network of book-loving strangers, Harvest has struck lucky again—it will be included in the distinguished and twenty-year-long list of fiction honored by this truly international and discriminating award. No writer could hope for more than that.”

The shortlisted novels for the prize were Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Lulu Norman’s translation from the French of Mahi Binebine’s Horses of God; The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan; Burial Rites by Hannah Kent; Sue Branford’s translation from the Portuguese of Bernardo Kucinski’s K; Geoffrey Strachan’s translation from the French of Andreï Makine’s Brief Loves That Live Forever; TransAtlantic by Colum McCann; Someone by Alice McDermott; and Sparta by Roxana Robinson.

Previous winners of the prize include Juan Gabriel Vásquez for The Sound of Things Falling, Colum McCann for Let the Great World Spin, Per Petterson for Out Stealing Horses, Colm Tóibín for The Master, and Edward P. Jones for The Known World.

Photo: Jim Crace. Credit: Matt Writtle.

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