G&A: The Contest Blog

Deadline Approaches for Memoir Essay Prize

Creative Nonfiction is currently accepting submissions to its essay contest on the theme “Memoir.” The winner will receive $2,500 and publication in Creative Nonfiction. Two runners-up will receive $500; all entries will be considered for publication in the “Memoir” issue of the magazine, which will be published in 2020.

Using the online submission system, submit a previously unpublished essay of up to 4,000 words with a $20 entry fee by February 25. “Submissions must be vivid and dramatic; they should combine a strong and compelling narrative with an informative or reflective element, and reach beyond a strictly personal experience for some universal or deeper meaning,” write the editors. “We’re looking for well-written prose, rich with detail and a distinctive voice; all essays must tell true stories and be factually accurate.”

Established in 1993 by Lee Gutkind, Creative Nonfiction was one of the first literary magazines to exclusively publish the genre. Each issue addresses a specific theme, such as “Intoxication,” “Dangerous Creations,” and “Science and Religion.” Edited in Pittsburgh, the quarterly aims to demonstrate “the depth and versatility of narrative nonfiction” and show how “smart, engaging narratives can make any subject fascinating and meaningful.”

End of February Contest Roundup

As we head into the holiday weekend, consider submitting to these writing contests, all of which are open to poets, fiction writers, or nonfiction writers. Each contest offers a prize of at least $1,000 and publication and has a deadline of February 28.

Association of Writers & Writing Programs Award Series: Two prizes of $5,500 each and publication by a participating press are given annually for a poetry collection and a short story collection. In addition, two prizes of $2,500 each and publication by a participating press are given annually for a novel and a book of creative nonfiction. Entry fee: $30

Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize: A prize of €1,000 and publication in the Fish Publishing anthology is given annually for a short short story. Entry fee: €14

Glimmer Train Press Fiction Open: A prize of $3,000, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of the prize issue is given twice yearly for a short story. A second-place prize of $1,000 is also given. Entry fee: $21

Glimmer Train Press Very Short Fiction Award: A prize of $2,000, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of the prize issue is given twice yearly for a short short story. Entry fee: $16

National Poetry Series Open Competition: Five prizes of $10,000 each and publication by participating trade, university, or small press publishers are given annually for poetry collections. Publishers include Beacon Press, Ecco, Milkweed Editions, Penguin Books, and University of Georgia Press. Entry fee: $35

Red Hen Press Women’s Prose Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Hen Press is given annually for a book of fiction or nonfiction by a woman. Entry fee: $25

Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Tupelo Press is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Entry fee: $25

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

Upcoming Contest Deadlines for Writers

Writers: The deadline approaches for several writing fellowships and contests. Each contest offers a prize of at least $1,000 and is open to poets, translators, or writers of fiction and nonfiction.

Salem State University’s Claire Keyes Poetry Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Soundings East is given annually for a group of poems. Sean Thomas Dougherty will judge. Entry fee: $10. Deadline: February 15.

New American Press Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by New American Press is given annually for a book of poetry. Sara Gelston will judge. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: February 15.

Hidden River Arts Willow Run Poetry Book Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Hidden River Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Entry fee: $22. Deadline: February 15.

Ruminate’s William Van Dyke Short Story Prize: A prize of $1,500 and publication in Ruminate is given annually for a short story. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: February 15.

Cagibi Macaron Prize: Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Cagibi will be given annually for a group of poems, a story, and an essay. Major Jackson will judge in poetry, Chantel Acevedo will judge in fiction, and Sheila Kohler will judge in nonfiction. Entry fee: $18. Deadline: February 15.

Furious Flower Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Obsidian, the literary journal of Illinois State University, is given annually for a group of poems that explore Black themes. A. Van Jordan will judge. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: February 10.

Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine: A prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,300) and publication in the Hippocrates Prize anthology and on the website is given annually for a poem on a medical theme. A prize of £1,000 is also given for a poem on a medical theme written by a health professional. Entry fee: $10. Deadline: February 14.

Center for Fiction’s New York City Emerging Writers Fellowship: Fellowships of $5,000 each, membership to the Center for Fiction in New York City, and access to writing space at the center are given annually to fiction writers living in New York City who have not yet published a book of fiction. Entry fee: None. Deadline: February 15.

Milkweed Editions Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry: A prize of $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions is given annually for a poetry collection by a poet currently residing in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin. Entry fee: None. Deadline: February 15.

Academy of American Poets Ambroggio Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe is given annually for a book of poetry originally written in Spanish by a living writer and translated into English. The poet and translator will split the prize. Rosa Alcalá will judge. Entry fee: None. Deadline: February 15.

Sarabande Books Morton and McCarthy Prizes: Two prizes of $2,000 each and publication by Sarabande Books are given annually for collections of poetry and fiction. Each winner will also receive a two-week residency at the Blackacre State Nature Preserve and Historic Homestead in Louisville, Kentucky. Sarah Gorham and Jeffrey Skinner will judge both prizes. Entry fee: $29. Deadline: February 15.

Center for Documentary Studies Documentary Essay Prize: A prize of $3,000 is given biennially for an essay that demonstrates a “reliance on documentary methods, specifically immersive fieldwork, research, and interviewing conducted over periods of time.” The winning essay will be featured in the center’s print and digital publications and will also be placed in the Archive of Documentary Arts at the Rubenstein Library at Duke University. A panel of writers, editors, and documentary artists will judge. Entry fee: $50. Deadline: February 15.

Academy of American Poets Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship: A fellowship of $25,000 and a five-week residency at the American Academy in Rome is given biennially to a U.S. translator for a work-in-progress of modern Italian poetry translated into English. Maria Frank, Giorgio Mobili, and Michael Palma will judge. Entry fee: None. Deadline: February 15.

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

Deadline Approaches for Veterans Writing Award

Submissions are open for a new writing contest for U.S. veterans and their families. The inaugural Veterans Writing Award, which is sponsored by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families and Syracuse University Press, will be given for a debut novel or short story collection.

The contest, which will award the winning entrant a $1,000 cash prize and a publication contract with Syracuse University Press, is open to U.S. veterans and active duty personnel and their immediate family members. Manuscripts do not need to directly depict military experience; the judges are interested in “original voices and fresh perspectives that will expand and challenge readers’ understanding of the lives of veterans and their families.” Women veteran writers and veterans of color are encouraged to submit.

The deadline for the award is February 15. Submit a fiction manuscript of up to 90,000 words with a cover letter that details the branch of service of the entrant or their family member. There is no entry fee for submissions, which can be e-mailed to vwasubmissions@syr.edu or mailed to Syracuse University Press, 621 Skytop Road, Suite 110, Syracuse, NY 13244. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The Veterans Writing Award Advisory Board will select the finalists, and award-winning novelist, short story writer, Vietnam veteran, and former Syracuse University faculty member Tobias Wolff will choose the winner. The winning entry will be announced in September of 2019.

Submissions Open for Lambda’s Markowitz and Córdova Prizes

Lambda Literary is currently accepting submissions for the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers and the Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction. The annual awards are given to LGBTQ poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers.

 

The Judith A. Markowitz Award is open to emerging writers who identify as LGBTQ and have published one to two books of poetry, fiction, or nonfiction. Two winners will receive $1,000 each. Using the online application system, submit a writing sample of up to 10 pages of poetry or 20 pages of prose with a nomination statement (applicants may be self-nominated). There is no application fee.

The Jeanne Córdova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction is open to trans/gender nonconforming writers and lesbian/queer-identified women. The winner will receive $2,500. Writers must have published at least one book and should display a commitment to “nonfiction work that captures the depth and complexity of lesbian/queer life, culture and/or history.” Using the online application system, submit a writing sample of up to 20 pages from a published book, a sample or outline from a work-in-progress of no more than 10 pages, and a nomination statement (applicants may be self-nominated). There is no application fee.

The deadline for both awards is February 15. Jeanne Thornton and Mecca Jamilah Sullivan won last year’s Markowitz Award; Melissa Febos received the Jeanne Córdova Prize.

Lambda Literary Foundation, which is based in Los Angeles, has been a resource for LGBTQ writers across the country since 1987. The organization is dedicated to “nurturing and advocating for LGBTQ writers” and runs several programs, fellowships, and events. The Judith A. Markowitz Award was established in 2013, while the Jeanne Córdova Prize was established last year.

Read more about Lambda Literary in Jonathan Vatner’s article “Lambda Literary Looks to the Future” in the September/October 2018 issue of Poets & Writers.

January 31 Contest Roundup for Poets

Poets! Polish those poems and full-length manuscripts this weekend and consider submitting to the following contests, all with a deadline of January 31. Each contest offers a prize of at least $1,000:

New Millennium Awards: A prize of $1,000 and publication in New Millennium Writings is given twice yearly for a poem. Alexis Williams Carr and Don Williams will judge. Entry fee: $20.

Crazyhorse Literary Prize: A prize of $2,000 and publication in Crazyhorse is given annually for a poem. Erika Meitner will judge. Entry fee: $20.

Center for African American Poetry and Poetics’ Fellowship in Creative Writing: A two-year fellowship, including an annual stipend of $48,000 and health benefits, at the Center for African American Poetry and Poetics (CAAPP) at the University of Pittsburgh will be given biennially to a poet. Poets with an MFA or PhD in creative writing who have not published more than one book and have knowledge of African American or African diasporic poetry and poetics are eligible. Entry fee: none.

Autumn House Press Rising Writer Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Autumn House Press is given annually for a debut poetry collection by a writer age 33 or younger. Stacey Waite will judge. Entry fee: $25.

Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund’s Individual Artist Grants for Women: Grants of up to $1,500 each are given to feminist poets who are citizens of the United States or Canada. Entry fee: $25.

Schaffner Press Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Schaffner Press is given annually for a poetry collection that “deals in some way with the subject of music and its influence.” Entry fee: $25.

Hurston/Wright Foundation’s Award for College Writers: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a poem by a Black college student. Entry fee: $25.

Iowa Review Awards: A prize of $1,500 and publication in Iowa Review is given annually for a group of poems. Kiki Petrosino will judge. Entry fee: $20.

Winter Anthology Writing Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Winter Anthology is given annually for a group of poems. Entry fee: $11.

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

Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards Finalists Announced

Ten finalists have been selected for the 2019 Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards. The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award offers a prize of $100,000 to a mid-career poet, while the Kate Tufts Discovery Award offers a prize of $10,000 for a first book by an emerging poet. Both prizes are given for books published in the previous year.

This year’s finalists for the Kate Tufts Discovery Award are Tyree Daye for River Hymns (American Poetry Review Press), Diana Khoi Nguyen for Ghost Of (Omnidawn Publishing), Justin Phillip Reed for Indecency (Coffee House Press), Vanessa Angélica Villarreal for Beast Meridian (Noemi Press), and Javier Zamora for Unaccompanied (Copper Canyon Press).

The finalists for the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award are CAConrad for While Standing in Line for Death (Wave Books), Terrance Hayes for American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin Books), Brenda Hillman for Extra Hidden Life, Among the Days (Wesleyan University Press), Dawn Lundy Martin for Good Stock Strange Blood (Coffee House Press), and Craig Santos Perez for from unincorporated territory [lukao] (Omnidawn).

Timothy Donnelly chaired the judging committee this year. Winners will be announced in February.

The Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award was established in 1992 by Kate Tufts at Claremont Graduate University; the Kate Tufts Discovery Award followed in 1993. The awards are given to provide recognition, visibility and financial support to poets.

PEN America Announces Finalists for 2019 Literary Awards

This morning PEN America announced the finalists for its 2019 Literary Awards, which showcase the best books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and translation published in the previous year. More than $370,000 in prize money will be awarded to the winning writers, who will be announced at a ceremony in New York City on February 26. This year more than 50 percent of the finalists are debut writers and authors published by small presses.

The $75,000 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award recognizes a book-length work in any genre. The 2019 finalists are Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah for Friday Black (Mariner Books), Ada Limón for The Carrying (Milkweed Editions), José Olivarez for Citizen Illegal (Haymarket Books), Richard Powers for The Overstory (Norton), and Tara Westover for Educated (Random House).

The finalists for the PEN/Hemingway Award, which includes $25,000 and a residency at the Ucross Foundation in Wyoming, are Akwaeke Emezi for Freshwater (Grove Press), Meghan Kenny for The Driest Season (Norton), Ling Ma for Severance (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Tommy Orange for There There (Knopf), and Nico Walker for Cherry (Knopf).

The PEN/Bingham Prize, which was previously awarded for a first book of fiction, will now be awarded for a debut story collection. The finalists for the $25,000 award are Chaya Bhuvaneswar for White Dancing Elephants (Dzanc Books), Jamel Brinkley for A Lucky Man (Graywolf Press), Helen DeWitt for Some Trick (New Directions), Akil Kumarasamy for Half Gods (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), and Will Mackin for Bring Out the Dog (Random House).

The PEN Open Book Award, worth $5,000, will be conferred to an author of color for a book-length work of any genre. The finalists are Shauna Barbosa for Cape Verdean Blues (University of Pittsburgh Press), Tyrese Coleman for How to Sit: A Memoir in Stories and Essays (Mason Jar Press), Ángel García for Teeth Never Sleep (University of Arkansas Press), Nafissa Thompson-Spires for Heads of the Colored People (Atria), and Jenny Xie for Eye Level (Graywolf Press).

The PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay is given to a collection of essays that exemplify the form. The finalists for the $10,000 award are Jabari Asim for We Can’t Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival (Picador), Alexander Chee for How to Write an Autobiographical Novel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), Brian Phillips for Impossible Owls (FSG Originals), Zadie Smith for Feel Free (Penguin Press), and Michelle Tea for Against Memoir (Feminist Press).

Visit the website for a complete list of finalists, including those for PEN awards in nonfiction, biography, translation, poetry in translation, and literary science writing.

Established in 1963, the PEN America Literary Awards have honored hundreds of writers. Layli Long Soldier, Jenny Zhang, and Alexis Okeowo were among the 2018 winners.

National Book Critics Circle Award Finalists Announced

This morning the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) announced the finalists for its 2018 awards. The awards are given annually for books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, criticism, autobiography, and biography published in the previous year.

The finalists in poetry are Terrance Hayes for American Sonnets for My Past and Future Assassin (Penguin Books), Ada Limón for The Carrying (Milkweed Editions), Erika Meitner for Holy Moly Carry Me (BOA Editions), Diane Seuss for Still Life With Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl (Graywolf Press), and Adam Zagajewski for Asymmetry, translated by Clare Cavanagh (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

The finalists in fiction are Anna Burns for Milkman (Graywolf Press), Patrick Chamoiseau for Slave Old Man, translated by Linda Coverdale (New Press), Denis Johnson for The Largesse of the Sea Maiden (Random House), Rachel Kushner for The Mars Room (Scribner), and Luis Alberto Urrea for The House of Broken Angels (Little, Brown).

The finalists in autobiography are Richard Beard for The Day That Went Missing: A Family’s Story (Little, Brown), Nicole Chung for All You Can Ever Know (Catapult), Rigoberto González for What Drowns the Flowers in Your Mouth: A Memoir of Brotherhood (University of Wisconsin Press), Nora Krug for Belonging: A German Reckons With History and Home (Scribner), Nell Painter for Old in Art School: A Memoir of Starting Over (Counterpoint), and Tara Westover for Educated (Random House).

The NBCC also announced that Tommy Orange has won the John Leonard Prize for his debut novel, There There (Knopf). The Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing was awarded to editor, columnist, and NPR Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan, while Arte Público Press received the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. Visit the NBCC website to read the full list of finalists, including those in the categories of general nonfiction, biography, and criticism.

Established in 1975, the National Book Critics Circle Awards are selected by the NBCC’s board of directors, composed of twenty-four editors and critics from leading print and online publications. Last year’s winners included poet Layli Long Soldier and novelist Joan Silber. The 2018 winners will be announced on March 14 at the New School in New York City.

Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize Open for Submissions

Zócalo Public Square is open to submissions for its eighth annual Poetry Prize. The prize is awarded to a poem that “best evokes a connection to place.” The winner will receive $500 and a published interview with Zócalo.

Submissions are currently open; the deadline is February 4. To submit, send up to three poems to poetry@zocalopublicsquare.org. There is no entry fee. The editors will judge. For complete guidelines, visit the website.

The winner will be announced in March 2019. Previous winners include Charles Jensen for his poem “Tucson”; Matt Phillips for his poem “Crossing Coronado Bridge”; and Gillian Wegener for “The Old Mill Café.”

Established in Los Angeles in 2003, Zócalo Public Square is dedicated to connecting “people to ideas and to each other by examining essential questions in an accessible, broad-minded, and democratic spirit.”

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