G&A: The Contest Blog

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

The end of May has a wealth of contests for poets and fiction writers alike. With deadlines of either May 30 or May 31, these awards include several opportunities to publish book-length work. All offer a prize of $1,000 or more.

Anhinga Press Anhinga–Robert Dana Prize for Poetry: A prize of $2,000, publication by Anhinga Press, and 25 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Major Jackson will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $25 entry fee ($28 for electronic submissions).

BOA Editions Short Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by BOA Editions is given annually for a short story collection. Peter Conners will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $25.

Bridport Arts Centre Bridport Prizes: Two prizes of £5,000 (approximately $6,450) each and publication in the Bridport Prize anthology are given annually for a poem and a short story. Two second-place prizes of £1,000 (approximately $1,290) each and publication are given in each category. A prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,290) and publication is also given for a work of flash fiction. Mimi Khalvati will judge in poetry and Nell Leyshon will judge in fiction and flash fiction. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: £10 (approximately $13) for poetry, £12 (approximately $15) for fiction, and £9 (approximately $12) for flash fiction.

Elixir Press Fiction Award: A prize of $2,000, publication by Elixir Press, and 25 author copies is given annually for a short story collection or a novel. Christy Stillwell will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $40.

Gival Press Novel Award: A prize of $3,000 and publication by Gival Press is given biennially for a novel. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $50.

Milkweed Editions Max Ritvo Poetry Prize: A prize of $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions is given annually to a U.S. poet for a debut poetry collection. Henri Cole will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $25.

Oversound Chapbook Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Oversound, and 25 author copies is given annually for a poetry chapbook. francine j. harris will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $18 (subscription included).

Southern Poetry Review Guy Owen Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southern Poetry Review is given annually for a single poem. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $20 (subscription included).

University of Georgia Press Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction: A prize of $1,000 and publication by University of Georgia Press is given annually for a collection of short fiction. Roxane Gay will judge. Deadline: May 31. Entry fee: $30.

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.

Deadline Approaches for Auburn Witness Poetry Prize

The deadline is just around the corner for this year’s Auburn Witness Poetry Prize. Named for the late poet Jake Adam York and sponsored by Southern Humanities Review, the prize is given annually for a “poem of witness.” The winner of the prize will receive $1,000 and publication in Southern Humanities Review, as well as travel expenses to give a reading at Auburn University in October. This year’s judge is Paisley Rekdal.

Using only the online submission system, submit up to three poems with an entry fee of $15 by May 8. The entry fee includes a copy of the magazine. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The Auburn Witness Poetry Prize was established after Jake Adam York’s untimely death in 2012. York, an alumni of Auburn University whose writing flourished during his time as a student, “went on to write poems that, with both love and anguish, examined race relations in the South, celebrating the triumphs of the Civil Rights movement and questioning, as a native son of the South, his own complicity in its tragedies.” The award celebrates this work and his legacy. Previous winners of the prize include Teresa Dzieglewicz, Amanda Gunn, and Laura Sobbott Ross.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Get a head start this month by submitting to contests with a deadline of May 15. These poetry, fiction, and nonfiction awards include several contests for emerging writers and a prize for a documentary project that features both images and text. All offer a prize of $1,000 or more.

Academy of American Poets James Laughlin Award: A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a second book of poetry by a living poet to be published in the coming calendar year. The winner also receives an all-expenses paid weeklong residency at the Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida. Copies of the winning book are purchased and distributed to members of the Academy of American Poets. Rick Barot, Gabrielle Calvocoressi, and Honorée Jeffers will judge. Entry fee: none.

Academy of American Poets Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize: A prize of $25,000 is given annually for a poetry collection by a living poet published in the United States during the previous year. The winner also receives an all-expenses paid ten-day residency at Glen Hollow in Naples, New York. Copies of the winning book are purchased and distributed to members of the Academy of American Poets. Garrett Hongo, Carol Muske-Dukes, and Tim Seibles will judge. Entry fee: $75.

American Poetry Review Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in American Poetry Review is given annually for a single poem by a poet under the age of 40. The editors will judge. Entry fee: $15 (includes a copy of the prize issue).

Carve Raymond Carver Short Story Contest: A prize of $2,000 and publication in Carve is given annually for a short story. The winning story will also be read by three literary agents. Pam Houston will judge. Entry fee: $15 ($17 for electronic submissions).

Center for Documentary Studies Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize: A prize of $10,000 and publication in the Center for Documentary Studies digital periodical is given annually for a documentary project that incorporates images and text in any genre. The winning piece will also be placed in the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University’s Rubinstein Library. Independent and collaborative fieldwork projects are eligible. Entry fee: $60.

Gaudy Boy Press Poetry Book Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Gaudy Boy Press, an imprint of the literary nonprofit Singapore Unbound, is given annually for a poetry collection by an Asian writer. Cyril Wong will judge. Entry fee: $10.

Lost Horse Press Idaho Prize for Poetry: A prize of $1,000, publication by Lost Horse Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection by a U.S poet. Entry fee: $28.

Pittsburg State University Cow Creek Chapbook Contest: A prize of $1,000, publication by Pittsburg State University, and 25 author copies is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Marcus Wicker will judge. Entry fee: $15.

Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest: Three prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Ploughshares are given annually for a poem or group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Each winner also receives a consultation with the literary agency Aevitas. Writers who have not published a book or chapbook are eligible. Ilya Kaminsky, Kirstin Valdez Quade, and Esmé Weijun Wang will judge for poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, respectively. Entry fee: $24 (includes subscription).

Ruminate Janet B. McCabe Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,500 and publication in Ruminate is given annually for a single poem. Katie Peterson will judge. Entry fee: $20 (includes a digital copy of Ruminate).

University of Nebraska Press Backwaters Prize: A prize of $2,000, publication by University of Nebraska Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. An honorable mention prize of $1,000 and publication by University of Nebraska Press will also be given. Matt Mason will judge. Entry fee: $30.

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.

We Need Diverse Books Emergency Fund Open for Applications

To help writers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be highlighting emergency funds available to writers. For more sources of support, read our running list of resources for writers in the time of coronavirus.

We Need Diverse Books is issuing grants of $500 to members of the children’s literature publishing community “who are experiencing dire financial need,” specifically diverse authors, illustrators, and publishing professionals whose incomes have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Writers and illustrators who have lost income due to canceled school or library visits, and who have published at least one book-length title for children or teens at a traditional publishing house, are eligible; children’s publishing professionals who have been furloughed or recently laid off from a publisher or literary agency are also eligible. All applicants must identify as people of color, as Native American, or as LGBTQIA+, or have a disability or belong to a marginalized religious or cultural minority; additionally, they must be U.S. residents and at least eighteen years of age.

Using online the online application system, submit information about personal finances, a statement of need, and a recent bank statement. Author and illustrator applicants must also list publication history and provide evidence of the cancellation of at least three school or library visits. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

We Need Diverse Books estimates that applications will be processed within two to three weeks. Applications will be capped at seventy but may be reopened after the judging committee has reviewed the first round.

We Need Diverse Books first emerged as a social media campaign and protest in 2014, which called out the publishing industry for the lack of diversity in children’s literature. We Need Diverse Books has since become a nonprofit organization with the vision to build “a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book.”

Upcoming Deadline for the Poetry London Prize

Submissions are open for the 2020 Poetry London Prize. This international award, given for a single poem written in English, is run by the British literary magazine Poetry London. The winner will receive £5,000 (approximately $6,170). A second-place prize of £2,000 (approximately $2,468) and a third-place prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,234) will also given. All three winning poems will be published in the magazine’s Autumn 2020 issue and on its website.

Using only the online submission system, submit poems of no more than 80 lines with a £8 entry fee (approximately $10) per poem, or £4 (approximately $5) per poem for Poetry London subscribers, by May 1. For low-income poets, limited free entries are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Poet, critic, and translator Ilya Kaminsky will judge. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The winners will be notified by July 17 and will be awarded their prizes at the Poetry London Autumn 2020 issue launch reading in September. Previous first-place winners of this competition include poets Romalyn Ante, Liz Berry, and Richard Scott.

BOMB Poetry Contest Open for Submissions

BOMB is open for submissions to its 2020 Poetry Contest. The annual award is given for a group of poems, and the winner will receive $1,000 and publication in BOMB Magazine.

Using Submittable, submit up to five poems totaling no more than 10 pages with a $20 entry fee, which includes a yearlong subscription to BOMB Magazine, by May 3. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Poet Simone White will judge. White is the author of several books and chapbooks, most recently Dear Angel of Death (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018); she teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. The winner will be announced on July 31.

Previous winners of the poetry contest include Savannah Cooper-Ramsey, Marwa Helal, and Daniel Poppick.

Published since 1981, BOMB Magazine features conversations between artists of all disciplines. The quarterly print publication is part of the larger nonprofit BOMB, which also produces online content.

Poets & Writers COVID-19 Relief Fund Open for Applications

Poets & Writers’ Board of Directors has established the Poets & Writers COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide emergency assistance to writers experiencing financial need due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund will provide grants of $1,000 each to approximately eighty writers in April. As funding allows, a second round of grants may be awarded.

Writers who are listed in the Poets & Writers Directory as of April 10, 2020; who have received a mini-grant through the Poets & Writers Readings & Workshops program; or who have received the organization’s Amy Award, the Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award, the Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, or the Galen Williams Fellowship are eligible.

Submit an online application, consisting of a brief set of questions about eligibility and financial need, by Sunday, April 19. Visit the website for complete guidelines. Contact relief@pw.org with any questions. The initial cohort of applicants will be notified of the status of their application by the end of April.

Poets & Writers seeded the fund with $50,000 from the organization’s reserves; donors including Zibby Owens and Michael Pietsch have provided additional support. The emergency fund is an extension of an overarching mission to foster the professional development of poets and writers, to promote communication throughout the literary community, and to help create an environment in which literature can be appreciated by the widest possible public.

Save Indie Bookstores Campaign Supports Businesses Affected by Pandemic

To help writers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be highlighting emergency funds available to writers. For more sources of support, read our running list of resources for writers in the time of coronavirus.

On April 2, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) and the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) announced the Save Indie Bookstores campaign, a fundraising effort that will provide financial relief to independent bookstores impacted by the current public health crisis.

The campaign launched with an initial donation of $500,000 from writer James Patterson and continues to collect donations through the campaign’s website. Funds raised will be granted to independent bookstores to cover operating expenses. The amount of funding awarded per store will be determined by the final amount of money raised and by the number of eligible bookstores that apply for relief.

Independent bookstores with a physical address in the United States or its territories are eligible to apply for funding. Eligible bookstores will also estimate a business loss of at least fifty percent of sales and/or net income during any thirty day period from March 15, 2020, to May 15, 2020, due to the impact of COVID-19. Additionally, they must not have “any other immediate financial resources to draw from,” such as crowd funding in excess of $20,000 or significant cash reserves. To apply, bookstore staff may submit an online application through the campaign’s website by April 27. Visit the website for more information.

Since its inception, Save Indie Bookstores has raised more than $64,000 in addition to the initial $500,000 it received from author Patterson. “In these uncertain times, it’s up to all of us to do our part and to help those in need however we can,” Patterson said of the effort. “The White House is concerned about saving the airline industry and big businesses—I get that. But I’m concerned about the survival of independent bookstores, which are at the heart of main streets across the country.”

Deadline Approaches for the Catamaran Poetry Prize

Submissions are open for the 2020 Catamaran Poetry Prize. Sponsored by the literary nonprofit Catamaran, whose mission is “to capture the vibrant and creative West Coast spirit,” the annual award is given for a poetry manuscript written by a poet living in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, or Hawaii. The winning poet will receive $1,000 and their manuscript will be published by Catamaran.

Using only the online submission system, submit a poetry collection of 60 to 100 pages with a $35 entry fee by April 20. Poet, playwright, and translator Zack Rogow will judge. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Finalists for the 2020 poetry prize will be announced on June 1. The winner will be announced by June 30, and their collection is expected to be published in November of this year. A book launch and reading, featuring the winner and finalists, will take place in the fall. Previous winners of the award are poets Susan Browne and Michelle Bitting.

Artist Relief Fund to Award $10 Million to Artists and Writers

To help writers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be highlighting emergency funds available to writers. For more sources of support, read our running list of resources for writers in the time of coronavirus.

Today a coalition of arts funders announced they will administer $10 million to artists and writers “facing dire financial emergencies due to the impact of COVID-19.” Eligible individuals can apply for an unrestricted grant of $5,000.

The fund is part of the larger Artist Relief initiative, organized by the Academy of American Poets, Artadia, Creative Capital, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, MAP Fund, National YoungArts Foundation, and United States Artists. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation contributed $5 million to the fund, the other half of which was matched by various U.S. foundations.

Practicing artists who are twenty-one or older, able to receive taxable income in the United States regardless of their citizenship status, and have lived and worked primarily in the United States over the last two years are eligible. The fund is open to artists who work in the disciplines of craft, dance, design, film, media, music, theater and performance, traditional arts, visual art, and writing.

Using Submittable, submit a brief bio and description of your artistic practice and financial situation. Visit the website for complete guidelines and eligibility requirements.

The funds will be administered over the course of five application cycles during the next six months. Artist Relief coalition partners and representatives from collaborating cultural organizations across the country will review applications every week; once accepted, grantees will receive funds within two weeks. The fund organizers plan to administer at least a hundred grants every week.

In addition to the emergency relief fund, the Artist Relief initiative will serve as an informational resource, and will collaborate with Americans for the Arts to launch the “COVID-19 Impact Survey for Artists and Creative Workers” to assess and address the needs of artists.

“In hard times like these, we turn to the arts to illuminate and help us make meaning and find connection. Without immediate intervention, individual artists and the arts ecosystem of which they are the foundation could sustain irreparable damage,” says Elizabeth Alexander, the president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. “As artists confront these new fiscal realities, we are proud to support this vital effort to address artists’ urgent needs. We call on others to join us in supporting artists so they may continue to be our lights, chroniclers, and connectors throughout this crisis and beyond.”

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