G&A: The Contest Blog

Upcoming Poetry Contest Deadlines

Poets, start your summer on a high note by submitting your best work to writing contests! Whether you are ready to submit a single poem, chapbook, or full-length collection, the following contests offer cash prizes from $1,000 to $11,600 and publication—all with a deadline of June 30.

Bauhan Publishing May Sarton New Hampshire Book Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Bauhan Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Jennifer Militello will judge. Entry fee: $25

Cider Press Review Editors’ Prize Book Award: A prize of $1,000, publication by Cider Press Review, and 25 author copies is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. The editors will judge. Entry Fee: $26

Munster Literature Center Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition: A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,060) and publication by the Munster Literature Center is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Entry fee: $26

National Poetry Review Press Book Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by National Poetry Review Press is given annually for a poetry collection. C. J. Sage will judge. Entry Fee: $27

Omnidawn Publishing First/Second Poetry Book Prize: A prize of $3,000, publication by Omnidawn Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. Myung Mi Kim will judge. Entry Fee: $27

Parlor Press New Measure Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Parlor Press in its Free Verse Editions series is given annually for a poetry collection. Marianne Boruch will judge. Entry Fee: $28

University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s Poetry Prize: A prize of $15,000 AUD (approximately $11,600) and publication in an e-book anthology is given annually for a poem. A second-place prize of $5,000 AUD (approximately $3,870) and publication is also given. Billy Collins will judge. Entry fee: $26

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines and submission details. Check out our Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more upcoming contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Milkweed Announces Inaugural Max Ritvo Poetry Prize

Milkweed Editions, in partnership with Riva Ariella Ritvo-Slifka the Alan B. Slifka Foundation, has announced its inaugural Max Ritvo Poetry Prize. An award of $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions in April 2018 will be given for a debut poetry collection. Award-winning poet Henri Cole will judge.

Poets currently residing in the United States are eligible to apply. Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of at least 48 pages with a $25 entry fee between July 1 and August 31. Judge Henri Cole has selected four emerging poets as first readers for the prize: Ruth Awad, Graham Barnhart, Lauren Cook, Allison Pitinii Davis, and Jordan Zandi.

The prize honors the legacy of Max Ritvo, who Milkweed publisher Daniel Slager describes as “one of the most original and accomplished poets to emerge in recent years.” The press published Ritvo’s debut collection, Four Reincarnations, in 2016, a month after he died of cancer at the age of twenty-five. With an award amount of $10,000, the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize is now one of the richest first-book prizes in the United States. Visit the Milkweed website for more information and complete submission guidelines.

For more upcoming poetry and prose deadlines, visit pw.org/grants. Read more about Ritvo in “The World Beyond: A Last Interview With Max Ritvo,” written by poet Dorothea Lasky and published as on online exclusive for Poets & Writers.

Photo: Max Ritvo; Credit: Ashley Woo

David Grossman Wins Booker International Prize

Last night at ceremony in London, Israeli author David Grossman was announced the winner of the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for his novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar (Jonathan Cape). The annual £50,000 (approximately $63,600) award is given for a book of fiction translated from any language into English and published in the U.K. during the award year. The prize will be split between the author and his translator, Jessica Cohen.

The finalists, who each receive £1,000 (approximately $1,270), included French author Mathias Énard for Compass (Fitzcarraldo Editions); Norwegian author Roy Jacobsen for The Unseen (Maclehose); Danish author Dorthe Nors for Mirror, Shoulder, Signal (Pushkin Press); Israeli author Amos Oz for Judas (Chatto & Windus); and Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin for Fever Dream (Oneworld).

Set in a comedy club in a small Israeli town, A Horse Walks Into a Bar centers on a veteran comedian’s act as he confesses past wounds and unravels onstage. Judges Nick Barley (chair), Daniel Hahn, Helen Mort, Elif Şafak, and Chika Unigwe Barley selected Grossman’s novel from a list of 126 titles. Barley commented: “A Horse Walks Into a Bar shines a spotlight on the effects of grief, without any hint of sentimentality. The central character is challenging and flawed, but completely compelling. We were bowled over by Grossman’s willingness to take emotional as well as stylistic risks: every sentence counts, every word matters in this supreme example of the writer’s craft.”

Grossman, sixty-three, was born in and currently resides in Jerusalem. He is the best-selling author of more than a dozen books of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books, which have been translated into thirty-six languages. He has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the Frankfurt Peace Prize, Israel’s Emet Prize, and the French Chevalier de l’Ordre Arts et des Lettres. He is the first Israeli author to win the Man Booker International Prize.

The Man Booker International Prize was created in 2005 to highlight “one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage.” Until 2015, the award was given biennially to a living author for a body of work published either originally in English or available widely in translation.

Below, watch chair of the judges Nick Barley comment on this year’s winning novel, and visit the Man Booker website for more information about the prize.

Oswald, Abel Win 2017 Griffin Poetry Prizes

Alice Oswald and Jordan Abel have won the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prizes, given annually for poetry collections written or translated into English and published in the previous year. Oswald won the international prize for her collection Falling Awake (Norton), and Abel won the Canadian prize for Injun (Talonbooks). They each received $65,000 Canadian (approximately $48,000).

Judges Sue Goyette, Joan Naviyuk Kane, and George Szirtes selected the winners from 617 submissions from 39 countries around the world.

British poet Alice Oswald has written seven poetry collections and lives in Devon, England. “Alice Oswald’s Falling Awake presents as a dark text to (re)turn (in)to, its language of ‘… maybe the last green places[…]’ striking bright inscriptions that may have been ‘falling for a long time,’” write the judges in their citation. “How fortunate we are to tread the paths of myth and that which presupposes it, and us: line, image, lilt.”

Winner of the Canadian prize, Jordan Abel has written three poetry collections, which deal with representation of indigenous peoples in anthropology and popular culture. In their citation of Abel’s work, the judges write, “Jordan Abel’s collection Injun evacuates the subtexts of possession, territory, and erasure…. Words are restored to their constituent elements as countermovements in Abel’s hands, just as they are divested of their capacity for productive violence.”

The shortlisted poets for the international prize were Jane Mead for World of Made and Unmade (Alice James Books), Donald Nicholson-Smith for his translation from the French of Abdellatif Laâbi’s In Praise of Defeat (Archipelago Books), and Denise Riley for Say Something Back (Picador). The shortlisted poets for the Canadian prize were Hoa Nguyen for Violet Energy Ingots (Wave Books) and Sandra Ridley for Silvija (BookThug). Each of the finalists received $10,000.

The winners were announced on Thursday night at a ceremony in Toronto. During the ceremony, American poet Frank Bidart was also honored with the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Established in 2000, the Griffin Poetry Prize was founded to “serve and encourage excellence in poetry.” Each year the International Prize is given to a poet from any country whose book is published in English; the Canadian Prize is given to a Canadian poet. Submissions for the 2018 prize are currently open.

Naomi Alderman Wins Baileys Prize

British writer Naomi Alderman has won the 2017 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction for her novel The Power (Viking). Alderman, who was announced the winner at an awards ceremony in London on Wednesday night, will receive £30,000 (approximately $39,000). The annual award is given for a book of fiction written by a woman from anywhere in the world and published in the previous year.

“We debated this wonderful shortlist for many hours but kept returning to Naomi Alderman’s brilliantly imagined dystopia—her big ideas and her fantastic imagination,” says Tessa Ross, who chaired the judging panel. The other judges for the 2017 prize were Sam Baker, Katie Derham, Aminatta Forna, and Sara Pascoe.

The shortlisted writers for the prize were Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀̀ for Stay With Me, Linda Grant for The Dark Circle, C. E. Morgan for The Sport of Kings, Gwendoline Riley for First Love, and Madeleine Thien for Do Not Say We Have Nothing.

The Power is Alderman’s fourth novel and is set in a dystopian future in which a genetic mutation allows women to electrocute people at will. Critics have likened the book, which Alderman dedicated to Margaret Atwood and her husband Graeme Gibson, to Atwood’s classic dystopian novel, The Handmaid’s Tale. Alderman, who is forty-two and lives in London, also writes video games and teaches at Bath Spa University.

Previous winners of the prize include Lisa McInerney, Ali Smith, Eimear McBride, Barbara Kingsolver, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Formerly known as the Orange Prize for Fiction, the prize was sponsored by the liqueur company Baileys starting with the 2014 prize. In January of this year it was announced that the prize will no longer be sponsored solely by Baileys but by a group of brands and businesses. The prize will now be called the Women’s Prize for Fiction.

 

Center for Fiction Announces Fellows

The Center for Fiction has announced the recipients of the 2017 NYC Emerging Writers Fellowships. Nine awards of $5,000 each are given annually to emerging fiction writers living in New York City.

The 2017 fellows are Amna Ahmad, Charlotte Crowe, Dana Czapnik, Erik Hoel, Andrew Mangan, Crystal Powell, Maud Streep, Alexandra Tanner, and Hubert Vigilla.

In addition to the cash prize, the winners will also receive yearlong studio space at the Center for Fiction in New York City and the opportunity to meet with agents and editors, and will give two public readings. Manuel Gonzales, Alexandra Kleeman, and Téa Obreht judged. Visit the Center for Fiction website to find out more about the winners.

Since 2010, the Center for Fiction’s Emerging Writer Fellowship program has supported sixty-two New York City–based early-career fiction writers. Writers living in any of New York’s five boroughs are eligible to apply each year.

(Top row from left: Amna Ahmad, Charlotte Crowe, Dana Czapnik; Middle row: Erik Hoel, Andrew Mangan, Crystal Powell; Bottom row: Maud Streep, Alexandra Tanner, and Hubert Vigilla)

 

Upcoming Fiction and Nonfiction Contest Deadlines

Fiction and nonfiction writers—if you’re sitting on a finished story, essay, or book-length manuscript of prose, check out the following contests with deadlines in the next week. Each contest offers a cash prize, from $1,000 to $5,000, and includes added benefits such as publication and paid trips to conferences.

American Short Fiction Short Story Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in American Short Fiction is given annually for a short story. Lauren Groff will judge. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: June 1.

Crook’s Corner Book Prize: A prize of $5,000 is given annually for a debut novel set in the American South. The winner is also entitled to receive a free glass of wine every day for a year at Crook’s Corner Café and Bar in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Eligible novels must be set primarily in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, or the District of Columbia. Elizabeth Cox will judge. Entry fee: $35. Deadline: June 1.

Nowhere Magazine Travel Writing Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Nowhere Magazine is given twice yearly for a short story or essay that “possesses a powerful sense of place.” Porter Fox will judge. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: June 1.

Salamander Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Salamander is given annually for a short story. Christopher Castellani will judge. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: June 1.

Southern Indiana Review Thomas A. Wilhelmus Short Prose Award: A prize of $2,000 and publication by Southern Indiana Review Press is given annually for a chapbook-length story collection, novella, novel excerpt, or work of creative nonfiction. David H. Lynn will judge. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: June 1.

Willow Springs Books Spokane Prize for Short Fiction: A prize of $2,000 and publication by Willow Springs Books is given annually for a short story collection. Entry fee: $27.50. Deadline: June 5.

Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition: A prize of $5,000, publication in the 86th annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection, and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in August in New York City to meet one-on-one with four agents or editors is given annually for a poem, a short story, or an essay. The winner will also be interviewed in Writer’s Digest, and will receive a subscription to the Writer’s Digest Tutorials video series. A second-place prize of $1,000 and publication is also given in each genre, including personal essay, genre short story, literary short story, and inspirational writing. Entry Fee: $30. Deadline: June 1.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines and submission details. Check out our Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more upcoming contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

Hisham Matar Wins £20,000 Rathbones Folio Prize

Hisham Matar has won the 2017 Rathbones Folio Prize for his memoir, The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between (Random House, 2016). Formerly known as the Folio Prize and given exclusively to fiction books, the annual £20,000 prize is now given for a book in any genre written in English and published in the United Kingdom in the previous year.

The Return, which also won a 2017 Pulitzer Prize, follows Matar’s return to his native home of Libya in search of answers to his father’s disappearance. About the book, Folio judges Ahdaf Soueif, Rachel Holmes, and Lucy Hughes-Hallett said, “The Return shows what a novelist at the top of his game can do with nonfiction. It gives the reader the same aesthetic, the same satisfaction of the great literary works that enter our lives and stay with us forever.” In addition to The Return, Matar is the author of two acclaimed novels, In the Country of Men (2008) and Anatomy of a Disappearance (2012).

The seven finalists were The Vanishing Man: In Pursuit of Velázquez by Laura Cumming; This Census-Taker by China Miéville; The Sport of Kings by C. E. Morgan; The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson; Golden Hill by Francis Spufford; Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien; and Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution & War by Leila Al-Shami and Robin Yassin-Kassab. The finalists were chosen from sixty-two books nominated by the Folio Prize Academy, an international group of writers and critics.

Upcoming Poetry Contest Deadlines

Poets—if you’re ready to submit a poem or two to writing contests, look no further! The following contests, open to poems or groups of poems, are considering entries until June 1. Each award includes a prize of at least $1,000 and publication.

Boston Review Poetry Contest: A prize of $1,500 and publication in Boston Review is given annually for a poem or group of poems. Mónica de la Torre will judge. Entry Fee: $20

Boulevard Emerging Poets Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Boulevard is given annually for a group of poems by a poet who has not published a poetry collection with a nationally distributed press. The Boulevard editors will judge. Entry Fee: $16

Southern Humanities Review Auburn Witness Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Southern Humanities Review is given annually for a poem of witness in honor of the late poet Jake Adam York. The winner also receives travel expenses to give a reading at Auburn University in Alabama in October. Naomi Shihab Nye will judge. Entry Fee: $15

Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition: A prize of $5,000, publication in the 86th annual Writer’s Digest Competition Collection, and an all-expenses-paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in August in New York City to meet one-on-one with four agents or editors is given annually for a poem, a short story, or an essay. The winner will also be interviewed in Writer’s Digest, and will receive a subscription to the Writer’s Digest Tutorials video series. A second-place prize of $1,000 and publication is also given in each genre, including rhyming poetry and non-rhyming poetry. Entry Fee: $20

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines and submission details. Check out our Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more upcoming contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

End of May Prose Contest Deadlines

Attention fiction and creative nonfiction writers! You have until May 31 to submit your essays, short stories, and novels to the following contests, which offer prizes of at least $1,000 and publication:

Crab Orchard Literary Prizes: Two prizes of $1,250 each and publication in Crab Orchard Review are given annually for a short story and an essay. Entry fee: $12

Bridport Arts Centre Bridport Prize: A prize of £5,000 (approximately $6,250) each and publication in the Bridport Prize anthology is given annually for a short story. A prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,250) and publication is also given for a work of flash fiction. Peter Hobbs will judge in fiction; and Kit de Waal will judge in flash fiction. Entry fees: £10 (approximately $13) for fiction and £8 (approximately $10) for flash fiction.

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. Entry fee: $25

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

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. The editors will judge. Entry fee: $40

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines and submission details. Visit our Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more upcoming contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.

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