G&A: The Contest Blog

PEN/Faulkner Finalists Announced

Today the PEN/Faulkner Foundation announced the five finalists for its 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. The $15,000 prize is given annually for a work of fiction published in the United States in the previous year. Four finalists will each receive $5,000.

The finalists are: After Disasters (Little A) by Viet Dinh, LaRose (Harper) by Louise Erdrich, What Belongs to You (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) by Garth Greenwell, Behold the Dreamers (Random House) by Imbolo Mbue, and Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist (Lee Boudreaux Books) by Sunil Yapa.

All the finalists except for Erdrich are debut novelists. Judges Chris Abani, Chantel Acevedo, and Sigrid Nunez selected the finalists from a pool of approximately five hundred books. The winner will be announced April 4, and the awards ceremony will be held May 6 at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

Now in its thirty-seventh year, the PEN/Faulkner Award bills itself as the “largest peer-juried award in the country.” For more information about the prize and finalists, visit the PEN/Faulkner Foundation website.

(Photos from left: Viet Dinh, Louise Erdrich, Garth Greenwell, Imbolo Mbue, Sunil Yapa)

Duy Doan Wins Yale Younger Prize

Yale University Press has announced that Duy Doan has won the 2017 Yale Series of Younger Poets competition for his debut collection, We Play a Game. Doan’s book will be published by Yale University Press in April 2018 as the 112th volume in the series. Doan will also receive a fellowship at the James Merrill House in Stonington, Connecticut.

“Wide-ranging in subject, Doan’s poems include boxing, tongue twisters, hedgehogs, Billy Holiday, soccer and, hardly least of all, a Vietnamese heritage that butts up against an American upbringing in ways at once comic, estranging, off-kiltering,” says judge Carl Phillips. “Doan negotiates the distance between surviving and thriving, and offers here his own form of meditation on, ultimately, childhood, history, culture—who we are, and how—refusing all along to romanticize any of it.”

Duy Doan is the director of the Favorite Poem Project, which celebrates the role of poetry in the lives of Americans. He received his MFA from Boston University, and is a Kundiman fellow. He lives in Boston.

The longest-running poetry prize in the United States, the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize is given for a debut poetry collection. Previous winners included Adrienne Rich, John Ashbery, Jack Gilbert, Jean Valentine, and Robert Hass.

Windham-Campbell Prize Winners Announced

Yale University has announced the winners of the 2017 Windham-Campbell Prizes for Literature. Administered by Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, the annual awards are given to English-language writers from any country for an outstanding body of work or extraordinary promise. This marks the first year the prize, previously given in prose and drama, is also given in poetry; the award money has also increased from $150,000 to $165,000 for each winner.
          

The recipients in poetry are Ali Cobby Eckermann of Australia and Carolyn Forché of the United States; the winners in fiction are André Alexis of Canada and Erna Brodber of Jamaica; the winners in creative nonfiction are Maya Jasanoff of the United States and Ashleigh Young of New Zealand; and the recipients in drama are Marina Carr of Ireland and Ike Holter of the United States.

Established in 2013 by Donald Windham and Sandy M. Campbell, the Windham-Campbell Prizes highlight outstanding literary accomplishment and allow writers to focus on their work without financial concerns. The prizes are open to writers from anywhere in the world at all stages of their careers.

There is no application process for the prize; the awards are made by a group of nominators, a three-member jury in each category, and a nine-member selection committee. Past recipients include Hilton Als, Teju Cole, and Geoff Dyer.

The prizes will be conferred at an international literary festival at Yale in September. My Struggle author Karl Ove Knausgård will deliver a keynote address on the theme of “Why I Write.” All festival events are free and open to the public.

Visit the Windham-Campbell prize website for more information about the festival and this year’s prize-winners.

(Photos clockwise from top left: André Alexis, Erna Brodber, Marina Carr, Ashleigh Young, Carolyn Forché, Maya Jasanoff, Ike Holter, Ali Cobby Eckermann)

Upcoming Poetry Deadlines

Poets: Tomorrow marks a new month, which means a new set of contests with March deadlines await your verses. Whether you’re looking to submit a single poem or a full-length collection, the following contests offer awards of at least $1,000 and publication. The deadlines range from March 7 to March 17.

For opportunities to submit one or a few poems, the Pinch, the Belligham Review, and the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation each confer $1,000 for a single poem (or a group of poems for the Bellingham Review). For the Bellingham Review and the Pinch, submit up to three poems with a $20 entry fee by March 15. For the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation, submit up to three poems with a $10 entry fee by March 15.

Finishing up a chapbook? The Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award offers $1,000, publication, and a book launch. Lawrence Raab will judge. Submit a manuscript of 20 to 36 pages with a $25 entry fee by March 15.

U.S. poets who have published at least one book of poetry are eligible for the Persea Books Lexi Rudnitsky Editor’s Choice Award. A prize of $1,000, publication, and up to $1,000 for travel expenses and promotional activities is given for a poetry collection. Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of at least 40 pages with a $30 entry fee by March 7.

Open to both emerging and established poets living in the United States, the Beyond Baroque Books Pacific Coast Poetry Series confers a prize of $2,000 and publication. Submit a manuscript of 48 to 70 pages with a $5 entry fee by March 15.

Another contest for full-length manuscripts is the Word Works Washington Prize, which offers an award of $1,500 and publication to a U.S. or Canadian poet. Submit a manuscript of 48 to 80 pages with a $25 entry fee by March 15.

Prairie Schooner’s Poetry Book Prize offers $3,000 and publication by University of Nebraska Press for a full-length collection. Kwame Dawes will judge. Submit a poetry manuscript of at least 50 pages with a $25 entry fee by March 15.

Emerging black poets of African descent are eligible for Cave Canem Foundation’s Poetry Prize, which grants $1,000 and publication by University of Pittsburgh Press for a first book of poetry. Vievee Francis will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 48 to 75 pages with a $20 entry fee by March 17

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and visit our Grants & Awards Database and Submission Calendar for more poetry and prose contests with upcoming deadlines.

PEN Announces Literary Award Winners

PEN America has announced the winners of its annual literary awards. The 2017 awards will confer more than $300,000 to poets, fiction writers, nonfiction writers, translators, and playwrights.

Here are a few of this year’s winners:

Natalie Scenters-Zapico won the $5,000 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry for her poetry collection The Verging Cities (Colorado State University). Camille Dungy, Ada Limón, and Patrick Phillips judged.

Helen Oyeyemi won the $5,000 PEN Open Book Award for her story collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (Riverhead). Ishmael Beah, Major Jackson, and Bich Minh Nguyen judged.

Matthew Desmond won the $10,000 PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction for Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (Crown). Emily Anthes, Amy Ellis Nutt, Robin Marantz Henig, and Emma Marris judged.

Aleksandar Hemon won the $10,000 PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History for How Did You Get Here?: Tales of Displacement. Gaiutra Bahadur, Helen Epstein, and Dan Kennedy judged.

Simon Armitage won the $3,000 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation for his translation from the Middle English of the Pearl Poet’s Pearl: A New Verse Translation (Liveright). Jennifer Grotz, Kyoo Lee, and Rowan Ricardo Phillips judged.

Tess Lewis won the $3,000 PEN Translation Prize for her translation from the German of Maja Haderlap’s novel Angel of Oblivion (Archipelago). Mara Faye Lethem, Jeremy Tiang, Elizabeth Lowe, Annie Tucker, and Dennis Washburn judged.

For a complete list of winners, visit the PEN website.

Winners of the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature, PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction, and the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay will be announced live at the PEN America Literary Awards Ceremony on March 27 at the New School in New York City. Actor and comedian Aasif Mandvi will host this year’s ceremony.

Mall of America Launches Writer-in-Residence Contest

In celebration of its twenty-fifth anniversary this year, Mall of America has launched a writer-in-residence contest. One U.S. poet, fiction writer, or creative nonfiction writer will spend five days in the Bloomington, Minnesota, mall, “deeply immersed in the Mall atmosphere while writing on-the-fly impressions in their own words.” The winner will receive a $2,500 honorarium, lodging for four nights in a hotel attached to the mall, and a $400 gift card for meals.

            

The mall’s goal for the contest is to “come away…with an evocative story about Mall of America that represents the contemporary guest experience after twenty-five years of evolution as a leading retail and entertainment establishment.” To apply, submit a pitch of up to 150 words describing how you would approach the project by March 10. “Would it be a personal story? A blow-by-blow account of your experiences? The Mall as seen through the eyes of a first-time tourist or a regular guest?” Twenty-five semifinalists will then be selected to expand on their pitches in an essay of 500 to 800 words. The winner will be selected by a group of “experienced writers and journalists.” Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Located fifteen minutes from downtown Minneapolis–St. Paul, the Mall of America is one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, boasting 520 stores, 50 restaurants, and the nation’s largest indoor theme park.

Upcoming Deadlines for Prose Contests

Calling all fiction and creative nonfiction writers! It’s time to polish those stories and essays; today we are rounding up prose contests with a February 28 deadline. From competitions for a short short story to a full-length nonfiction work, we have your end-of-the-month prose deadlines covered. Each of the following contests offers a prize of $1,000 to $10,000 and publication.

If you have a short short story ready to go, submit to Fish Publishing’s Flash Fiction Prize, which awards €1,000 (approximately $1,060) and publication in the Fish Publishing anthology. Chris Stewart will judge. Submit a story of up to 300 words with a €14 (approximately $15) entry fee.

Looking for a place to submit your prose chapbook? Apply to the Florida Review Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award, given annually for a chapbook of short short fiction or nonfiction, short stories, essays, or graphic narrative. The winner receives  $1,000 and publication by Florida Review. Submit a manuscript of up to 45 pages with a $25 entry fee.

Emerging short fiction writers are eligible to submit to Glimmer Train Press’s Short Story Award for New Writers. A prize of $2,500, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 author copies is given three times a year for a short story by a writer whose fiction has not appeared in a print publication with a circulation over 5,000. Using the online submission system, submit a story of 1,000 to 12,000 words with an $18 entry fee.

For women with a full-length prose manuscript, Red Hen Press’s annual Women’s Prose Prize confers $1,000 and publication for a book of fiction or nonfiction. Aimee Bender will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a story or essay collection, a novel, or a memoir of 45,000 to 80,000 words with a $25 entry fee.

The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing offers a hefty annual prize of $10,000 and publication for a debut full-length prose work by a first-generation American writer. This year’s prize will be given in nonfiction. Memoirs, essay collections, and works of narrative nonfiction by writers who have not published a work of nonfiction with a U.S. publisher are eligible. Anjali Singh, Ilan Stavans, and Héctor Tobar will judge. Using the online submission system, submit a full-length nonfiction manuscript or excerpt of at least 25,000 words with a cover letter and a curriculum vitae. And here’s the clincher: There is no entry fee.

Don’t forget to visit the individual contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out our Grants & Awards Database and Submission Calendar for more poetry and prose contests with upcoming deadlines. Good luck, and happy writing!

Deadline Approaches for Emily Dickinson First Book Award

Submissions are currently open for the Poetry Foundation’s Emily Dickinson First Book Award. A prize of $10,000 and publication by Graywolf Press is given for a poetry collection by a U.S. writer of at least forty years of age who has not published a full-length book of poetry.

Using the online submission system, submit a manuscript of forty-eight to eighty pages with a biography that includes publication history by February 27. There is no entry fee. Visit the contest page for complete guidelines.

The Emily Dickinson First Book Award is an occasional contest that is not held annually. Previous winners include Hailey Leithauser, Brian Culhane, and Landis Everson. The winner of the 2017 award will be notified by April 30, and announced publicly at the Poetry Foundation’s Pegasus Awards ceremony in Chicago in June.

PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants Announced

PEN America has announced the recipients of the annual PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants. This year the judges awarded fifteen grants of $3,870 each to assist in the completion of translation projects spanning thirteen different languages. PEN also announced the winner of the inaugural $5,000 Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature.

The 2017 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant recipients are:

Nick Admussen for his translation from the Chinese of Ya Shi’s poetry collection Floral Mutter
Polly Barton for her translation from the Japanese of Misumi Kubo’s novel Cowards Who Looked to the Sky
Elizabeth Bryer for her translation from the Spanish of Aleksandra Lun’s novel The Palimpsests
Vitaly Chernetsky for his translation from the Ukrainian of Sophia Andrukhovych’s novel Felix Austria
Iain Galbraith for his translation from the German of Raoul Schrott’s Selected Poems
Michelle Gil-Montero for her translation from the Spanish of Valerie Mejer Caso’s poetry collection Edinburgh Notebook
Sophie Hughes for her translation from the Spanish of Alia Trabucco Zerán’s debut novel, The Remainder
Elisabeth Jaquette for her translation from the Arabic of Rania Mamoun’s story collection Thirteen Months of Sunrise
Kira Josefsson for her translation from the Swedish of Pooneh Rohi’s novel The Arab
Adam Morris for his translation from the Portuguese of Beatriz’s Bracher novel I Didn’t Talk
Kaitlin Rees for her translation from the Vietnamese of Nhã Thuyên’s poetry collection A Parade
Dayla Rogers for her translation from the Turkish of Kemal Varol’s novel Wûf
Christopher Tamigi for his translation from the Italian of Mauro Covacich’s novel In Your Name
Manjushree Thapa for her translation from the Nepali of Indra Bahadur Rai’s novel There’s a Carnival Today
Joyce Zonana for her translation from the French of Tobie Nathan’s novel This Land That Is Like You

The recipient of the inaugural $5,000 PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature is Douglas Grant Heise, for his translation of Luigi Malerba’s novel, Ithaca Forever.

PEN’s prize advisory board selected the fifteen grantees from a pool of 224 applicants. For more information about the winners and the Translation Fund, which is now in its fourteenth year, visit PEN’s website.

Submissions Open for the Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize

The deadline approaches for the Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize, sponsored by the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University and given for a group of poems. The winner will receive $2,000, and the runner-up will receive $1,000. Both winners will be invited to read at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in April, and will be provided with accommodations and a $500 honorarium.

Poets who have not published more than one poetry collection are eligible. Using the online submission system, submit three to five poems totaling no more than six pages by February 16 with a $20 entry fee. The winner will be notified in early March, and must attend the award ceremony on April 17 at James Madison University, where the award will be presented by Nora Brooks Blakely, Gwendolyn Brooks’s daughter.

Poet Patricia Smith will judge. She is the author of seven poetry collections, including the forthcoming Incendiary Art, which will be published by TriQuarterly Books in February.

The prize honors the centennial of poet Gwendolyn Brooks’s birth. Formally established in 2005 by Joanne V. Gabbin, the Furious Flower Poetry Center is the nation’s oldest academic center devoted to African American poetry, and works to cultivate, honor, and promote the voices of African American poets. The center hosts visiting poets; runs workshops, an annual poetry camp, panels, conferences, and seminars; and creates text and videos and other content on African American poetry.

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