G&A: The Contest Blog

Fiction and Nonfiction Contest Deadlines

The following contests for fiction and creative nonfiction writers are open for submissions until May 15. Whether you have a short story, an essay, or a novel or memoir manuscript ready to submit, these contests offer prizes of $1,000 to $50,000 and publication.

Ploughshares Emerging Writer’s Contest: Two prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Ploughshares are given annually for a short story and an essay of up to 6,000 words. Writers who have not published or self-published a book or chapbook are eligible. Entry Fee: $24 (no entry fee for current subscribers)

Carve Magazine Raymond Carver Short Story Contest: A prize of $1,500 and publication in Carve Magazine is given annually for a short story of up to 10,000 words. Entry Fee: $15 ($17 for electronic submissions)

Zone 3 Press Creative Nonfiction Book Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Zone 3 Press is given biennially for a memoir or essay collection of 150 to 300 pages. Janisse Ray will judge. Entry Fee: $25

Del Sol Press First Novel Competition: A prize of $1,500, publication by Del Sol Press, and 20 author copies is given annually for a debut novel of 200 to 450 pages. Hallie Ephron will judge. Entry Fee: $30

St. Francis College Literary Prize: A prize of $50,000 is given biennially for a third, fourth, or fifth published book of fiction. Story collections and novels (including self-published books and English translations) published between June 2015 and May 2017 are eligible. Jeffery Renard Allen, Ellen Litman, and Rene Steinke will judge. There is no entry fee.

Leeway Foundation Transformation Awards: Awards of $15,000 each are given annually to women and transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, or otherwise gender-nonconforming fiction writers and creative nonfiction writers in the Philadelphia area who have been creating art for social change for five or more years. Writers who have lived for at least two years in Bucks, Camden, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, or Philadelphia counties, who are at least 18 years old, and who are not full-time students in a degree-granting arts program are eligible. There is no entry fee. 

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.

Submissions Open for BOMB Fiction Contest

Submissions are currently open for BOMB Magazine’s 2017 fiction contest. A prize of $1,000 and publication in BOMB’s literary supplement, First Proof, is given in alternating years for a group of poems and a short story. This year’s contest will be given for a short story. Novelist and essayist Paul La Farge will judge.

Using the online submission system, submit a story of up to 5,000 words with a $20 entry fee, which includes a one-year subscription to BOMB (for U.S. entrants), by May 31.

Previous winners of the fiction contest, whose winning work you can read on the BOMB website, include Jen George, Michael Baptist, Karen Walker Thompson, and Sean Madigan Hoen.

Established in 1981 as a quarterly magazine of conversations and interviews between interdisciplinary artists, BOMB is now a “multi-media publishing house that creates, disseminates, and preserves artist-generated content from interviews to artists’ essays to new literature." E-mail firstproof@bombsite.com or visit the BOMB website for more information. 

Photo: Paul La Farge. Credit: Carol Shadford

T. Geronimo Johnson Wins New $50,000 Literary Prize

Fiction writer T. Geronimo Johnson has won the Simpson Family Literary Project’s inaugural literary prize. He will receive $50,000 and a brief residency at the Lafayette Library and the University of California in Berkeley. He will also make a number of public appearances and give a public reading in the San Francisco Bay Area. The annual award is given to a midcareer fiction writer to encourage and support forthcoming work.

Johnson, whose 2015 novel, Welcome to Braggsville, was longlisted for the National Book Award, plans to use the $50,000 prize to support his forthcoming novel,which the author says “explores the convergence of Afro-futurism; global AI; the economic imperatives that amplify cultural differences; corporate religion (in all manifestations); and tech inequity. The question behind this novel is the same question that animates my previous work: How do we learn to care about people who are not like us?  I’m thrilled by the opportunity to complete this journey without interruption.”The Simpson Family Literary Prize is cosponsored by the Lafayette Library & Learning Center Foundation in Lafayette, California, and the English Department at the University of California in Berkeley. An anonymous jury selects the winner; there is no application process.

Joe Di Prisco, the Literary Project’s founder and prize chair, established the foundation in 2012 with a mission to foster and build creative writing communities in the Bay Area through collaboration between libraries and university-affiliated creative writing programs. In addition to the literary prize, the Simpson Family Literary Project sponsors community outreach programs, including creative writing classes for high school students and incarcerated youth in diverse communities in California, as well as an annual writer-in-residence program at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center.

Di Prisco says he is excited about the continued growth of the project and selecting Johnson as the winner of its inaugural prize: “The Simpson Family Literary Project is thrilled to share Johnson and his brilliant work with students, readers, writers, teachers, professors, and librarians across generations.”

(Photo: T. Geronimo Johnson; Credit: Sandra Dyas)

End of April Poetry Deadlines

With just a few days left in April, end National Poetry Month on a high note by submitting to the following poetry contests and fellowships—offering prizes of $1,000 to $25,800—all with a deadline of April 30.

Arcadia Dead Bison Editors’ Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Arcadia is given annually for a group of poems. Entry Fee: $25

Ashland Poetry Press Richard Snyder Publication Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Ashland Poetry Press, and 50 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Entry fee: $25 ($27 for electronic submissions)

Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Marsh Hawk Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Meena Alexander will judge. Entry fee: $25

Poetry Foundation Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowships: Five fellowships of $25,800 each are given annually to young poets. Writers who are U.S. residents or citizens between the ages of 21 and 31 as of April 30 are eligible. No entry fee.

Redivider Beacon Street Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Redivider is given annually for a poem. Entry fee: $20

Tupelo Press Berkshire Prize: A prize of $3,000 and publication by Tupelo Press is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. Entry fee: $28

University of Pittsburgh Press Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize: A prize of $5,000 and publication by University of Pittsburgh Press is given annually for a debut poetry collection. Entry fee: $25

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.

Caitlin Bailey Wins $10,000 Lindquist & Vennum Poetry Prize

Milkweed Editions has announced Caitlin Bailey of Saint Paul as the winner of the 2017 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry for her poetry collection, Solve for Desire. She received $10,000, and her book will be published by Milkweed Editions in November.

Judge Srikanth Reddy selected Bailey’s collection from a pool of more than two hundred manuscripts. Of the winning book Reddy said, “Solve for Desire is the work of a poet who sings, boldly, across the distances between us. ‘I am not afraid of any edge.’”

The finalists were Soham Patel, Patrick Johnson, Paige Riehl, Michael Torres, and Angela Voras-Hills. The winner and finalists were honored at Milkweed Editions’ second annual Poetry Month Party on April 13.

Given annually since 2011 by the Minneapolis-based independent press Milkweed Editions, the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry is open to poets living in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, or Wisconsin. The prize aims to celebrate the work and advance the careers of American poets living and working in the Upper Midwest. Previous winners include Chris Santiago, Jennifer Willoughby, and Rebecca Dunham. Visit the Milkweed Editions website for more information.

Photo: Caitlin Bailey

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. 

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