G&A: The Contest Blog

Winners of the 2020 Windham-Campbell Prizes Announced

Eight writers have been named winners of the 2020 Windham-Campbell Prizes. The unrestricted grants of $165,000 are awarded annually to poets, fiction writers, nonfiction writers, and playwrights, and are intended to provide their recipients a life-changing opportunity “to focus on their work independent of financial concerns.”

This year’s winners are poets Bhanu Kapil and Jonah Mixon-Webster, fiction writers Yiyun Li and Namwali Serpell, nonfiction writers Anne Boyer and Maria Tumarkin, and playwrights Julia Cho and Aleshea Harris.

The winners were announced via a livestream video hosted by fiction writer and journalist Damian Barr. Mike Kelleher, director of the Windham-Campbell Prizes, has remarked on the ambition and prescience of their collective work, which “digs deeply into everything from the poisoned water crisis in present-day Flint, Michigan, to the vicissitudes of the surveillance state in an Afro-Futurist Zambia.”

The Windham-Campbell Prizes were established at Yale University in 2013 by novelist and memoirist Donald Windham. The prizes honor Windham’s lifelong partner, Sandy M. Campbell, and their shared wish to provide others with the kind of security that allowed Windham’s writing to flourish. Previous recipients of the award include poets Kwame Dawes and Cathy Park Hong, fiction writer John Keene, and essayist Rebecca Solnit. Winners are selected through a confidential nomination process; there are no applications for the award.

Photos (clockwise from upper left): Bhanu Kapil, Julia Cho, Yiyun Li, Maria Tumarkin, Anne Boyer, Namwali Serpell, Aleshea Harris, and Jonah Mixon-Webster

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

The first contest deadlines of spring are upon us. These poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and translation awards include a prize for fiction by a first-generation immigrant and opportunities to give readings in Ireland and New York City. All offer a cash prize of $1,000 or more, and all have deadlines of either March 30 or March 31.

Arts & Letters Prizes: Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Arts & Letters are given annually for a group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Cate Marvin will judge in poetry, Devi S. Laskar will judge in fiction, and Jason Allen will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: $20.

Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation: A prize of £3,000 (approximately $3,945) is given annually for a book of poetry or fiction translated from Arabic into English and published for the first time in English during the previous year. Translations of Arabic works of poetry or fiction originally published in 1967 or later are eligible. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: none.

Black Lawrence Press Hudson Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Black Lawrence Press, and 10 author copies is given annually for a collection of poems or short stories. The editors will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: $25.

Chautauqua Institution Janus Prize: A prize of $5,000 and publication in Chautauqua will be given annually to an emerging prose writer. The winner will also receive lodging and travel expenses to give a lecture during the Summer 2020 season of the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York. Writers who have not published a book of up to 15,000 words totaling no more than 100 pages in any prose genre are eligible. Hilary Plum will judge. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: $20.

Cleveland State University Poetry Center Lighthouse Poetry Series: A prize of $1,000 and publication by the Cleveland State University Poetry Center is given annually for a poetry collection. Randall Mann will judge. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: $28 (includes a recent book from the poetry center’s catalogue).

Elixir Press Antivenom Poetry Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Elixir Press is given annually for a first or second poetry collection. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: $30.

Fish Publishing Poetry Prize: A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,100) and publication in the 2020 Fish Publishing anthology is given annually for a single poem. The winner is also invited to read at the anthology launch event at the West Cork Literary Festival in July. Billy Collins will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: €14 (approximately $15).

Four Way Books Levis Prize in Poetry: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Four Way Books is given annually to a U.S. poet for a poetry collection. The winner will also be invited to participate in a reading in New York City. Diane Seuss will judge. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: $30.

Gemini Magazine Short Story Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gemini Magazine is given annually for a short story. The editors will judge. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: $8.

Indiana Review Poetry and Fiction Prizes: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Indiana Review are given annually for a group of poems and a story. Javier Zamora will judge in poetry and Angela Flournoy will judge in fiction. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: $20 (includes subscription).

Narrative Winter Story Contest: A prize of $2,500 and publication in Narrative is given annually for a short story, a short short story, an essay, or an excerpt from a longer work of fiction or creative nonfiction. A second-place prize of $1,000 is also awarded. The editors will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: $27.

Press 53 Prime Number Magazine Awards: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Prime Number Magazine are given annually for a poem and a short story. Adrian Rice will judge in poetry and Wendy J. Fox will judge in fiction. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: $15.

Red Hen Press Nonfiction Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Hen Press is given annually for an essay collection, memoir, or book of narrative nonfiction. Kristen Millares Young will judge. Deadline: March 31. Entry fee: $25.

Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing: A prize of $10,000 and publication by Restless Books is given in alternating years for a debut book of fiction or nonfiction by a first-generation immigrant. The 2020 prize will be given in fiction. Writers who have not published a book of fiction in English are eligible. Dinaw Mengestu, Achy Obejas, and Ilan Stavans will judge. Deadline: March 31. Entry Fee: none.

Frost Farm Prize: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a poem written in metrical verse. The winner also receives a scholarship and a $400 honorarium to give a reading at the Frost Farm Poetry Conference in Derry, New Hampshire, in June. Rachel Hadas will judge. Deadline: March 30. Entry Fee: $6 per poem.

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.

 

Submissions Open for Sonora Review Nonfiction Contest

A new Sonora Review creative nonfiction contest is open for submissions. The literary journal has partnered with the University of Arizona Consortium on Gender-Based Violence for a nonfiction contest and special online issue centered on the theme “Extinction.” The winner of the nonfiction contest will be awarded $1,000 and publication of their work as a booklet to be inserted into Issue 77 of Sonora Review. Writers must respond to the specific prompt given, which explores extinction as it relates to violence against women.

 

Using only the online submission system, submit a piece of creative nonfiction of up to 6,000 words with a $15 entry fee by March 27. Author and activist Lacy M. Johnson will judge. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Established in 1980, Sonora Review is run by graduate student volunteers in the University of Arizona Creative Writing MFA program.

Photo: Lacy M. Johnson; credit: John Carrithers

Deadline Approaches for the Permafrost Book Prize in Poetry

The annual Permafrost Book Prize is open for submissions. Sponsored by Permafrost Magazine, the northernmost literary magazine in the U.S., the prize is awarded in alternate years in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. In 2020, the prize will be awarded to a poet. The winner of the contest will receive $1,000 and publication by the University of Alaska Press.

Using only the online submission system, submit a poetry collection of at least 50 pages with a $20 entry fee by March 15. Poet and naturalist Elizabeth Bradfield will judge. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The winner will be notified by May 2020. Previous winners of the journal’s book prize in poetry are Gail C. DiMaggio and Adam Tavel. Established in 1977, Permafrost is run by the graduate students of the creative writing MFA program at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks.

Deadline Approaches for the Hurston/Wright Crossover Award

Submissions are open for the Hurston/Wright Crossover Award. Administered by the Hurston/Wright Foundation and sponsored by ESPN’s online publication the Undefeated, the award honors “probing, provocative, and original new voices in literary nonfiction.” The winning writer will demonstrate an ability to work across genres or “crossover between writing styles and techniques.” The winner will receive a cash prize of $2,000, free attendance at the Hurston/Wright Foundation’s Summer Writers Week, and a complimentary ticket to the foundation’s nineteenth annual Legacy Awards Ceremony in October 2020.

 

Using only the online submission system, submit up to 20 pages of literary nonfiction with a $30 entry fee by February 29. Black writers who have not published a book in any genre, through any publishing platform, are eligible. Visit the website for complete guidelines

The winner of the competition will be announced in May and honored at the Legacy Awards Ceremony in October 2020. Founded in 1990, the Hurston/Wright Foundation conducts writing workshops, public readings, and other programs devoted to increasing Black literary representation. The Undefeated “explor[es] the intersection of race, sports, and culture.” 

Submissions Open for Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grants

Submissions are open for the annual $40,000 Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grants, given to up to eight writers “in the process of completing a book-length work of deeply researched and imaginatively composed nonfiction for a general readership.” Administered by the Whiting Foundation, the grants are meant to provide writers with the time and resources required to research and compose “original, ambitious projects that bring writing to the highest possible standard.”

Only books under contract with a U.S. publisher are eligible for the grants. In previous years, the foundation also required that books be under contract for at least two years at the time of application; this restriction has been lifted. 

Using only the online submission system, submit a résumé, a statement of progress, and three sample chapters totaling no more than 25,000 words. Applicants must also include a signed and dated contract with a U.S. publisher, the original proposal that led to the contract with the publisher, a letter of support from the book’s publisher or editor, an additional letter of support, and a list of all sources of funding received for the book to date. All materials must be received by April 20. There is no application fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines and eligibility

In 2019, eight writers were awarded grants: Wil S. Hylton, Channing Gerard Joseph, Jim Morris, Kristen Radtke, Albert Samaha, Damon Tabor, Walter Thompson-Hernández, and Ilyon Woo. Previous grant recipients also include Jess Row, the author of White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination (Graywolf Press, 2019); Jennifer Block, the author of Everything Below the Waist: Why Health Care Needs a Feminist Revolution (St. Martin’s Press, 2019); and Sarah M. Broom, whose debut memoir, The Yellow House (Grove Press, 2019), won the 2019 National Book Award for Nonfiction. 

Founded in 1963, the Whiting Foundation believes in “identifying and empowering talented people as early as possible in their creative and intellectual development.” In addition to the Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grants, the organization honors emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama with the annual Whiting Awards, and print and online publications with the annual Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes. 

Deadline Approaches for Yemassee Chapbook Contests

Submissions are open for the 6th annual Yemassee Poetry Chapbook Contest and the inaugural Yemassee Fiction Chapbook Contest. Sponsored by the literary magazine Yemassee, each contest awards a prize of $1,250, chapbook publication, and 25 author copies.

Using only the online submission system, submit 20 to 26 pages of poetry or 20 to 40 pages of fiction with a $18 entry fee by February 15. Gabrielle Calvocoressi will judge in poetry and Sarah Gerard will judge in fiction. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Based at the University of South Carolina, Yemassee publishes two print issues each year as well as ongoing Monthly Spotlights featuring new poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Previous winners of the journal’s poetry chapbook contest include Taneum Bambrick and Mick Powell.
 

Deadline Approaches for the Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry

The inaugural Derek Walcott Prize for Poetry is open for submissions. Sponsored by Arrowsmith Press, in partnership with the Derek Walcott Festival and the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, the award will be given for a poetry collection written by a living poet who is not a U.S. citizen. Books published anywhere in the world during the previous calendar year, in English or translated into English, are eligible. The winner will receive a cash prize of $1,000, a reading at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, the publication of a limited-edition broadside by Arrowsmith Press, and a weeklong residency at one of Walcott’s homes in either St. Lucia or Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. If the winning work is a translated book, the prize money will be shared between the translator and the poet.

Publishers may submit books published between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019 with a $20 entry fee by February 15. Multiple submissions are permitted, but each book requires a separate submission and fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The winner of the prize will be announced in May and will be invited to give a reading in Boston in October 2020. Glyn Maxwell, the editor of Walcott’s Selected Poems and a friend of the late poet, will judge. The prize was established by Walcott’s family to honor his lifelong support of emerging writers.

Photo: Derek Walcott

Deadline Approaches for Prize in Southern Poetry

Submissions are open for the 5th annual Prize in Southern Poetry, sponsored by the Atlanta restaurant White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails. The award is given for a poem written by a Southern writer on a given theme. This year’s theme is “shared spirit.” The winner will receive a cash prize of $1,500 and their poem will be featured on the restaurant’s Valentine’s Day menu on February 14 and 15, 2020. 

Submit a poem of up to 40 lines by February 7. Writers who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, or West Virginia and who have published no more than one book are eligible. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The winner of the competition will be announced on Valentine’s Day. The 2019 prize was awarded to Heather Elouej of Johnson City, Tennessee for her poem “Hindsight.”

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

As the end of the month approaches, consider submitting fiction, poetry, or nonfiction to one of the following contests. Each has a deadline of January 30 or January 31, and all but one offer a prize of $1,000 or more.

Austin Community College Balcones Prizes: Two prizes of $1,500 each are given annually for a poetry collection and a book of fiction published during the previous year. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25 for poetry, $30 for fiction. 

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. Yona Harvey will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25.

Bauhan Publishing Monadnock Essay Collection Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Bauhan Publishing, and 50 author copies is given annually for an essay collection. Áine Greaney will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25.

Black Lawrence Press Big Moose Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Black Lawrence Press, and 10 author copies is given annually for a novel. The editors will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25.

Caine Prize for African Writing: A prize of £10,000 (approximately $12,600) is given annually for a previously published short story by an African writer. Shortlisted candidates will receive £500 (approximately $550). The winner and shortlisted writers will be invited to participate in workshops in Africa and London. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: none.  

Chattahoochee Review Lamar York Prizes: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Chattahoochee Review are given annually for a short story and an essay. Anthony Varallo will judge in fiction and Alice Bolin will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $18.

Crazyhorse Literary Prizes: Three prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Crazyhorse are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Cyrus Cassells will judge in poetry, Jamel Brinkley will judge in fiction, and Sue William Silverman will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $20 (subscription included). 

Fish Publishing Short Memoir Prize: A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,100) and publication in the Fish Publishing anthology is given annually for a short memoir. David Shields will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: €17 (approximately $19) for online entries or €19 (approximately $21) for postal entries.

Iowa Review Iowa Review Awards: Three prizes of $1,500 each and publication in Iowa Review are given annually for works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Stephanie Burt will judge in poetry, Lan Samantha Chang will judge in fiction, and Leslie Jamison will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $20.

Little Tokyo Historical Society Short Story Contest: A prize of $500 and publication in Rafu Shimpo and on the Discover Nikkei website is given annually for a short story that takes place in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: none. 

Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers: A prize of $3,000 and publication in Masters Review is given twice yearly for a short story by an emerging writer. The winning story will also be reviewed by a select group of literary agents. Kimberly King Parsons will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $20.

Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Individual Artist Grants for Women: Grants of up to $1,500 each are given in alternating years to feminist poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers who are citizens of the United States or Canada. The current round of grants will be awarded to fiction writers and mixed genre writers working in text and image. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25.

New Millennium Writings New Millennium Awards: Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication in New Millennium Writings are given twice yearly for a poem, a short story, a work of flash fiction, and a work of creative nonfiction. Alexis Williams Carr and Don Williams will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $20. 

North Carolina Writers’ Network (NCWN) Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a short story. The winning story will also be considered for publication in Thomas Wolfe Review. Randall Kenan will judge. Deadline: January 30. Entry fee: $25 ($15 for NCWN members).

Regal House Publishing Terry J. Cox Poetry Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Regal House Publishing will be given annually for a poetry collection. Peter Schmitt and the editors will judge. Deadline: January 31. 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, a novel, a short story collection, an essay collection, or a memoir that “deals in some way with the subject of music and its influence.” Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25.

Stanford Libraries William Saroyan International Prize for Writing: Two prizes of $5,000 each are given biennially for books of fiction and nonfiction. The awards, cosponsored by the Stanford Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation, are “intended to encourage new or emerging writers and honor the Saroyan legacy of originality, vitality, and stylistic innovation.” Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $50.

Winter Anthology Writing Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Winter Anthology is given annually for a group of poems, a story, or an essay. All entries are considered for publication. Sarah Gridley will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $10. 

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.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Prize Reporter's blog