Poets & Writers Blogs

Bellwether Prize Will Publish Emerging Novelist Writing on Social Change

Entries will soon be accepted for the 2010 Bellwether Prize, given biennially for a novel whose content "addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships." The winner will receive $25,000, courtesy of sponsor Barbara Kingsolver, author of the novels The Bean Trees (HarperCollins, 1988) and The Poisonwood Bible (HarperCollins, 1999), among others. Editor Kathy Pories of Algonquin Books will negotiate a publication contract and edit the winning manuscript.

"Fiction has a unique capacity to bring difficult issues to a broad readership on a personal level, creating empathy in a reader’s heart for the theoretical stranger," Kingsolver says in a statement on the prize Web site. "Throughout history, every movement toward a more peaceful and humane world has begun with those who imagined the possibilities. The Bellwether Prize seeks to support the imagination of humane possibilities."

Writers who are U.S. citizens may submit a manuscript of eighty thousand words or more, along with a curriculum vitae and a twenty-five-dollar entry fee, between September 1 and October 2. The contest is open to emerging writers who have some previous publication credits, but have not published a book that sold more than ten thousand copies.

The previous prizewinners are:
2008 Heidi Durrow for The Girl Who Fell From the Sky (forthcoming from Algonquin Books)

2006 Hillary Jordan for Mudbound (Algonquin Books, 2008)

2004 Marjorie Kowalski Cole for Correcting the Landscape (HarperCollins, 2005)

2002 Gayle Brandeis for The Book of Dead Birds (HarperCollins, 2003)

2000 Donna Gershten for Kissing The Virgin's Mouth (HarperCollins, 2001)

A Busy Summer for Bread Loaf’s Bakeless Winners

This summer is a significant season for the 2008 winners of the Katharine Bakeless Nason Prizes sponsored by the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. By this time next week, poet Leslie Harrison, fiction writer Skip Horack, and creative nonfiction writer Vicki Forman will all have seen their debut books hit bookstores (Harrison’s and Forman’s were published in July, and Horack’s goes on sale next Wednesday), and will be gathered at the twelve-day conference, which they will attend on fellowship.

Harrison won the Bakeless Prize in poetry for her collection Displacement, which she calls a "project book" with a distinct narrative arc. Eavan Boland was the judge. Skip Horack won in fiction for The Southern Cross, chosen by Antonya Nelson, a collection comprised of sixteen stories set in the Gulf Coast shortly before and after Hurricane Katrina. Forman received the prize in creative nonfiction, judged by Tom Bissell, for her memoir This Lovely Life, centered on her experiences as a mother of a special needs child. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is the publisher for the 2008 winners’ books. (Graywolf Press will publish the 2009 winners.)

In the midst of this celebratory time, Poets & Writers Magazine caught up with the winners to get their views on receiving the award and publishing a first book.

What was the most difficult aspect of bringing your debut book into the world, and the most fulfilling?

Skip Horack: Well, it’s pretty tough these days to get a short story collection published. So, other than getting the words down on the page, I suppose the most difficult aspect of putting my book together was keeping the faith. That said, I suppose that’s also what makes seeing the book in print most fulfilling, as nothing that comes too easily can be all that satisfying. Also, having the manuscript chosen by someone as talented as Antonya Nelson was incredibly touching.

Vicki Forman: Before winning the prize, the book had been subject to more than a few difficult rejections. As with all heartbreaking rejections, many cited the impressive language, craft and storytelling, but concluded that the story itself might be too painful for most readers. I knew the story was tough, but from my perspective, I felt there was a kind of complexity and depth to the story that carried the reader beyond the painful elements. When Tom Bissell chose the book, my sense was that it was, in fact, the story that pulled him in and carried him along, partly because it was tough but primarily because it was also complex.

What has been the most positive result of having won the Bakeless Prize?

Leslie Harrison: Well, there is the obvious positive result, which is that I have a book! Beyond that, there is a weird intangible quality to having won. Before your book gets taken, you—if you are like me—think about it a lot. You want it to happen. You wish and hope and send the manuscript out. You pay the contest fees and the postage. Then it did happen and I was really excited. Just beside myself with joy. And disbelief. I tried to convince Michael Collier [Bread Loaf Writers' Conference director and poetry editor of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt] that he should call me up every day for awhile and reassure me that it was true. He—very politely—declined, but did send, almost instantly, a letter confirming that the book had indeed won, so I could refer to that when in doubt.

But I still had to go to work and do laundry and shovel snow, and then I got that itch that means a new poem is bubbling away somewhere, and I realized that almost nothing had changed about my life. Winning was not going to make me thinner, better looking, smarter, more talented, or—given that I am a poet—substantially richer. But that one change, it was pretty remarkable. It was a huge vote of confidence in the work: a poet whose work I admire saying, "yes," a legendary publishing house saying, "yes," a storied writing conference also saying, "yes—we believe in this project." And because all those people believe in the book, the poems have the chance to find for themselves an audience—people to whom they will speak, and maybe even matter.

How has the process of writing and publishing the first book informed your approach to working on subsequent projects?

Horack: I feel like, to have any real chance of winning most contests, you typically have to submit a polished, compelling, and—almost—fully realized manuscript. However, outside of the contest world, I think many fiction writers approach editors and agents too early in the process, before their work is truly ready to be pitched, and thus they never really give their own manuscript a chance to be well-received. So I suppose this experience has taught me to "work up" every writing project like it is going to be submitted to the judge of a contest—and indeed, for all intents and purposes, that’s exactly what’s going to happen, whether that "judge" be an agent, an editor, or Antonya Nelson.

Of course, I think there are also many writers who hold on to their work for way too long, so it's important to strike the right balance.

Forman: To me, getting a first book published is like cracking a code. Until this work was in print, I wasn't sure I'd be able to continue writing about my son, which meant writing about disability, the way it's perceived and its daily realities. I knew I still had stories to tell in this regard, but I didn't know if those stories would ever reach an audience. Now that the book is published, I've given myself more permission to continue with those threads, and see where they take me.

Do you have a piece of advice for writers preparing to submit book manuscripts for publication, particularly those looking to enter a first book competition as you did?

Harrison: I would say that you need to believe in your work enough to send it out. Be as honest as you can about making sure your manuscript is your best work and is the best you can do and then try not to think about it while it is out in the world. Write good poems. Give the craft everything you have and then keep trying. Read everything you can. Don't panic. Keep writing.

Forman: Aside from the usual advice—put your best foot forward, do your research, follow the rules and be absolutely professional in your approach—I would also say it's very important to discharge any preconceptions or imaginings you might have about the prize, your odds at winning, or the mechanics of the process. I sent the manuscript and promptly let it go from my mind.  The worst thing a writer can do is sit around waiting to hear results. It's utterly disastrous for your writing and your day. 

Horack: Again, I think it is very important that the manuscript be quite polished, as I assume “overall readiness to be published in the near future” is an important factor in many book competitions. Also, in putting my book together, I made it my goal to get at least half of the stories accepted by various literary journals. I think that was a good strategy, as it helped ensure that a large portion of the manuscript had already been vetted, to some extent. So take advantage of all the hardworking and brilliant people working at the hundreds of literary journals out there. Finally, remember that you have to play to win. So much of being a writer is learning not to be afraid of rejection. I wish I could say that the Bakeless was the first competition I ever entered, but that’s very, very far from the truth.

 

We also asked the winners what they were anticipating about the attending the storied conference, now in its eighty-fourth year. One thing all of them said that they were geared up to do: commune with talented writers, including one another. "I think writers spend so much time fretting that it’s nice to take a moment every now and then to relax and acknowledge that you’re doing something you love, and that you’re doing it voluntarily," said Horack. "So, I suppose my main goal is to go and meet some wonderful people, learn a lot about writing and teaching, and say a truckload of thank-yous, then head back home with my batteries recharged, ready to put my head back down and write."

Manuscript entries for next year’s Bakeless Prizes will be accepted from September 15 to November 1, and the winners will be announced in spring 2010. The 2009 winners are Nick Lantz of Madison, Wisconsin, for his poetry collection We Don’t Know We Don’t Know; Belle Boggs of Washington, D.C., for her novel, Mattaponi Queen; and Kim Dana Kupperman of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for her essay collection, I Just Lately Started Buying Wings. Their books will be published in 2010.

Multigenre Writers Win Ciardi/Chandra Prizes From BkMk Press

Megan Harlan and Mariko Nagai, both of them writers of poetry and fiction, have won 2009 book publication prizes from the University of Missouri's BkMk Press. Harlan, who lives in Berkeley, California, won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry for her debut collection, Mapmaking, selected by Sidney Wade. Jonis Agee chose Nagai’s first story collection, Georgic, as winner of the G. S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction. Each winner received one thousand dollars, and their books will be published by BkMk Press next year.

Harlan’s poems and stories have appeared in AGNI Online, Meridian, Prairie Schooner, and Sycamore Review, among other journals. She has also written essays about her travels to global destinations such as the Orkney Islands of Scotland and the oases of Tunisia for the New York Times.

Nagai, who lives in Tokyo and teaches at Temple University’s Japan campus, has previously published a poetry collection, Histories of Bodies, which won the 2005 Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award and was released by Red Hen Press in 2007. She has also received Pushcart Prizes in both poetry and fiction, and translates Japanese literature.

The deadline for the 2010 book prizes is January 15. The contests are open to poetry manuscripts of 50 to 110 pages and short fiction manuscripts of 125 to 300 pages, and writers should submit an entry fee of twenty-five dollars along with each submission.

Deadlines Coming Up for Three Essay Competitions

For creative nonfiction writers looking to submit work before the summer’s end, three publications have essay contests underway. Literal Latté, an online journal that publishes a yearly anthology, is accepting entries for its Ames Essay Award until September 15, and the Creative Nonfiction Prize from Hunger Mountain, a print and online arts magazine published by Vermont College of Fine Arts, is open until September 10. Each awards offers a one-thousand-dollar prize and publication of the winning work.

Real Simple magazine, whose award we covered on this blog in May, is also looking for personal essays. Its Life Lessons Essay Contest, which will award three thousand dollars and publication in the national magazine, closes on September 7.

The winner of last year’s Ames Essay Award is Margi Fox of Bellingham, Washington, for "God of Books," which is available on the Literal Latté Web site. The journal’s editors judged.

Diane Glancy of Shawnee Mission, Kansas, won Hunger Mountain’s 2008 Creative Nonfiction Prize, judged by Nick Flynn, for her essay "Discourses on Paper Dolls."  The finalists were Judy Copeland of Pomona, New Jersey, for "Louisville, 1953" and Kali Meister of Knoxville, Tennessee, for "Seven Vignettes About Rats." This year's contest will be judged by Robin Hemley.

Aldra Robinson of Los Angeles won the 2008 Life Lessons Essay Contest for "A Witness to Grace,"  which was selected by editors of Real Simple. Her piece responded to the question, "What was the most important day of your life?" This year's competition asks writers, "When did you realize that you had become a grown-up?"

Iowa Alumnus Wins Three-thousand-dollar First Book Prize

Daniel Khalastchi of Milwaukee has been named the winner of Tupelo Press’s tenth annual First Book Award for his poetry collection The Maturation of Man. He will receive three thousand dollars, and his debut book, selected by editors of College of Charleston's Crazyhorse literary journal and Tupelo Press, will be published by the Massachusetts-based independent press.

Khalastchi, whose work has appeared in jubilat, Ninth Letter, and Court Green, among other journals, is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a former fellow of the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Eleven finalists for the award were also announced. They are:
Ari Banias of New York City for One the Whistler, One the Dog

Laurie Capps of Austin, Texas, for Modern Recluse

Brett Foster of Wheaton, Illinois, for The Garbage Eater

Christina Hutchins of Albany, California, for World Without

Tanya Larkin of Somerville, Massachusetts, for Enemy Love Song

Dawn Lonsinger of Salt Lake City for fatal light awareness

Jynne Martin of New York City for We Mammals in Hospitable Times

Kathy Nilsson of Cambridge, Massachusetts, for Black Lemons

Addie Palin of Chicago for The Cautery

Juliet Rodeman of Columbia, Missouri, for Tropics of Petticoats

Amanda Rachelle Warren of Aiken, South Carolina, for Some Grain of Absolute Among the Trembling

The deadline to enter manuscripts for next year’s prize is April 15, 2010.

[Correction: Due to inaccurate information provided by the sponsoring organization, the cash value of the First Book Award was incorrectly stated in the August 3, 2009 blog post. The First Book Award is worth three thousand dollars.]

Poets, Fiction Writers Compete for St. Lawrence Book Award

Both fiction writers and poets have the opportunity to submit their first book manuscripts to the St. Lawrence Book Award competition, which will close on August 31. The winning collection will be published by Black Lawrence Press, an imprint of Dzanc Books, and the winner will receive one thousand dollars.

The contest is unique in that its field of competition is open to both poetry and fiction—and the press asserts that no bias favors one genre over the other. “We consider this a natural extension of the literary magazine, which traditionally publishes both fiction and poetry,” the press says on its Web site. “Having a less limited focus than most other…literary contests affords Black Lawrence Press the opportunity to receive—and publish—the best writing today, period, regardless of genre.”

Poets should submit—via e-mail—manuscripts of 60 to 100 pages, and fiction writers should submit collections of 110 to 200 pages. The entry fee is twenty-five dollars.

Last year’s winner was Yelizaveta Renfro of Sidney, Nebraska, for her story collection A Catalogue of Everything in the World. Other winners have included Fred McGavran for his story collection The Butterfly Collector, Jason Tandon for his poetry collection Give Over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt, Stefi Weisburf for her poetry collection The Wind-Up Gods, and Marcel Jolley for his story collection Neither Here Nor There.

Editors of Black Lawrence Press will judge the contest. The finalists, all of whom will be considered for publication, will be announced in October, and a winner will be named shortly thereafter.

Twenty-four Authors Longlisted for Man Asian Literary Prize

The Man Group, sponsors of the Man Booker Prize, whose longlist of finalists was announced on Tuesday, has also recently released the names of twenty-four authors who will be considered for another of the literary awards financed by the company: the Man Asian Literary Prize. The prize, established in 2007, recognizes a novel by an Asian writer that has not yet been published in English, regardless of whether it has been released in another language. The winner will receive ten thousand dollars, and an additional three thousand dollars will go to the book's translator.

One hundred and fifty writers, ranging from emerging to established, submitted works for consideration. The nation most represented in the entry pool was India, followed by the Philippines and Hong Kong. Submissions were also made by writers hailing from China, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, and Taiwan.

The longlisted finalists are:
Gopilal Acharya for With a Stone in My Heart
Omair Ahmad for Jimmy the Terrorist
Siddharth Chowdhury for Day Scholar
Kishwar Desai for Witness the Night
Samuel Ferrer for The Last Gods of Indochine
Eric Gamalinda for The Descartes Highlands
Ram Govardhan for Rough With the Smooth
Kanishka Gupta for History of Hate
Kameroon Rasheed Ismeer for Memoirs of a Terrorist
Ratika Kapur for Overwinter
Mariam Karim for The Bereavement of Agnes Desmoulins
Sriram Karri for The Autobiography of a Mad Nation
Nitasha Kaul for Residue
R. Zamora Linmark for Leche
Mario I. Miclat for Secrets of the Eighteen Mansions
Clarissa V. Militante for Different Countries
Varuna Mohite for Omigod
Dipika Mukherjee for Thunder Demons
Hena Pillai for Blackland
Roan Ching-Yueh for Lin Xiu-Tzi and her Family
Edgar Calabia Samar for Eight Muses of the Fall
K. Srilata for Table for Four
Su Tong for The Boat to Redemption
Oyungerel Tsedevdamba for Shadow of the Red Star

A shortlist of finalists will be released in October, and the winner, selected by novelists Pankaj Mishra, Colm Tóibín, and Gish Jen, will be announced on November 16 in Hong Kong.

Five Young Poets Win Fifteen-thousand-dollar Fellowships

Yesterday the Poetry Foundation announced the five recipients of its 2009 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowships. U.S. poets Malachi Black, Eric Ekstrand, Chloë Honum, Jeffrey Schultz, and Joseph Spece, all under the age of thirty-one, received awards of fifteen thousand dollars each to "to use as they wish in continued study and writing of poetry."

The editors of Poetry magazine—including former Ruth Lilly fellow Christian Wiman, who now heads the journal—selected the winners from a pool of more than five hundred and fifty applications. Poems by each of the fellows will appear in the November issue.

The fellowship program, now in its twentieth year, once gave a single award annually to a poet nominated by a university writing program. It has since expanded to offer five awards, and has opened its doors to entries from all U.S. poets between the ages of twenty-one and thirty-one. Guidelines for entry into next year’s fellowship competition will be available on the Poetry Foundation’s Web site in February 2010.

The fellows since the award's inception, many of whom have gone on to publish, teach, and edit literary magazines and small press publications, are:

1989 Saskia Hamilton

1990 Cathy Wagner

1991 Gregory A. Sellers

1992 James Kimbrell

1993 Davis McCombs

1994 Christian Wiman

1995 Matt D. Collinsworth

1996 Erin G. Brooks, Zarina Mullan Plath

1997 Delisa Mulkey, W. Morri Creech

1998 Christine Stewart, Robin Cooper-Stone

1999 Kevin Meaux, Maudelle Driskell

2000 Christina Pugh, Wayne Miller

2001 Ilya Kaminsky, Alissa Leigh

2002 Emily Rosko, Marc Bittner

2003 Katherine Larson, Kathleen Rooney

2004 Nathan Bartel, Emily Moore

2005 Michael McGriff, Miller Oberman

2006 Colin Cheney, David Krump

2007 Sean Brian Bishop, Megan Grumbling

2008 Nicky Beer, Roger Reeves, Michael Rutherglen, Alison Stine, Caki Wilkinson

Thirteen Novels Make Booker Prize Longlist

The judges of the Man Booker Prize announced today their first wave of selections for the 2009 award, given to honor a novel by a citizen of the British Commonwealth, Ireland, or Zimbabwe. The longlist, which will be winnowed to six finalists announced on September 8, includes three debut novelists, two former winners, and a handful of authors previously nominated for the honor. The recipient of this year's fifty-thousand-pound prize will be announced on October 6 in London.

The longlisted authors are:
A. S. Byatt for The Children's Book (Chatto and Windus)
Winner in 1990 for Possession (Chatto and Windus)

J. M. Coetzee
for Summertime (Harvill Secker)
Winner in 1983 for Life & Times of Michael K (Secker & Warburg) and in 1999 for Disgrace (Secker & Warburg); previously longlisted for Elizabeth Costello (Secker & Warburg, 2003) and Slow Man (Secker & Warburg, 2005)

Adam Foulds for The Quickening Maze (Jonathan Cape)

Sarah Hall for How to Paint a Dead Man (Faber and Faber)
Previously shortlisted for The Electric Michelangelo (Faber and Faber, 2004)

Samantha Harvey for her debut The Wilderness (Jonathan Cape)

James Lever for his debut Me Cheeta (Fourth Estate)

Hilary Mantel for Wolf Hall (Fourth Estate)
Previously longlisted for Beyond Black (Fourth Estate, 2005)

Simon Mawer for The Glass Room (Little, Brown)

Ed O'Loughlin for his debut Not Untrue & Not Unkind (Penguin)

James Scudamore for Heliopolis (Harvill Secker)

Colm Toibin for Brooklyn (Viking)
Previously shortlisted for The Master (Picador, 2004) and The Blackwater Lightship (Picador, 1999)

William Trevor for Love and Summer (Viking)
Previously shortlisted for The Story of Lucy Gault (Viking, 2002), Reading Turgenev (from Two Lives) (Viking, 1991), The Children of Dynmouth (Bodley Head, 1976), and Mrs. Eckdorf in O’Neill’s Hotel (Bodley Head, 1970)

Sarah Waters for The Little Stranger (Virago)
Previously shortlisted for The Night Watch (Virago, 2006) and Fingersmith (Virago, 2002)

The "Man Booker Dozen" was selected from a pool of 132 entries by judges Lucasta Miller, John Mullan, James Naughtie, Sue Perkins, and Michael Prodger.

Debut novelist Aravind Adiga won the 2008 prize for The White Tiger (Atlantic), which is being translated into thirty-nine languages and whose U.K. edition has sold more than a half-million copies. Other winners of the forty-year-old prize have gone on to tour the world and see their novels climb the bestseller lists. Who do you think should take this year’s influential honor–an established master, a midcareer author, or an emerging voice?

Attention Women Poets: A New Book Contest Awaits Your Work

A Room of Her Own Foundation (AROHO), named after one of Virginia Woolf’s prerequisites for a life of writing—the other being money—has created a new opportunity for a woman poet to win some of the latter, plus publication. The organization, which offers the biennial fifty-thousand-dollar Gift of Freedom Award, recently announced the first To the Lighthouse Poetry Publication Prize, a one-thousand-dollar award that includes publication of the winning poetry collection by Red Hen Press.

Poets may submit a 48- to 96-page manuscript by September 30, along with an entry fee of twenty dollars and a cover sheet available on the AROHO Web site. Red Hen Press editor Kate Gale will judge, and the winner will be announced on November 15.

(For women writers looking to realize a significant project, the next Gift of Freedom Award, given in 2008 to fiction writer Barb Johnson of New Orleans, will be offered in 2010.)

Later this summer, Persea Books and Perugia Press will open their contests for poetry collections by women. Persea Books will accept submissions for its Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize from September 1 to November 2, and Perugia's Poetry Prize for a first or second book will run from August 1 to November 15.

Michigan College Offers Three-week Teaching Residency to One Poet

Olivet College, the 165-year-old liberal arts school located in the southern Michigan town of the same name, is looking for a poet to participate in its tradition of hosting "the best-known writers of the time." The college is currently inviting applications for the position of Sandburg-Auden-Stein poet-in-residence for a mini-term in April and May of 2011, opening the field to "poets who are establishing a name for themselves in this new millennium."

The award is named for Carl Sandburg, W. H. Auden, and Gertrude Stein, who are among the luminaries who have passed through the campus. Sinclair Lewis, Sherwood Anderson, Katherine Anne Porter, and Ford Madox Ford also spent time at Olivet, and recent resident poets are John Rybicki and Carol V. Davis.

The 2011 resident poet, who will receive room and board and a $3,100 honorarium, will teach one poetry writing class, host a public reading, and give one talk on a subject of her choice during the three-week term.

Poets who have published at least one book of poetry are eligible to apply. Olivet is asking each applicant to submit a selection of poems from her most recent book, a statement on personal poetics and teaching, a resumé, and two references. The deadline is September 10.

Sharon Olds Nominated for Prestigious U.K. Poetry Award

For only the second time in history, an American has been named a finalist for the Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection, a prestigious U.K. poetry award. Sharon Olds, nominated for One Secret Thing (Jonathan Cape), joins five other poets, each of them well established in the U.K. poetry scene, in the running for the ten-thousand-pound award, worth roughly sixteen thousand U.S. dollars.

Also nominated for best collection are:
Glyn Maxwell of England for Hide Now (Picador)
Don Paterson of Scotland, who won the Forward Prize for a first collection in 1993, for Rain (Faber and Faber)
Peter Porter of England and Australia, who won the best collection prize in 2002, for Better Than God (Picador)
Christopher Reid of England for A Scattering (Areté Books)
Hugo Williams of England for West End Final (Faber and Faber)

Representing U.S. poetry among the finalists in the two other Forward Poetry Prize categories are Meghan O’Rourke and C. K. Williams. O’Rourke, poetry editor of the Paris Review, was nominated for best debut collection for Halflife (Norton). Williams is in the running for best single poem for "Either/Or," published in the U.K. journal the Poetry Review. The first book honor carries a prize of five thousand pounds (approximately eight thousand dollars), and the single poem award is one thousand pounds (approximately sixteen hundred dollars).

The other debut collection finalists are:
Siân Hughes of England for The Missing (Salt)
Emma Jones of Australia for The Striped World (Faber and Faber)
Meirion Jordan of Wales for Moonrise (Seren)
Lorraine Mariner of England for Furniture (Picador)
J. O. Morgan of England for Natural Mechanical (CB Editions)

The finalists for best poem are:
Paul Farley of England for "Moles" from the Poetry Review
Michael Longley of Ireland for "Visiting Stanley Kunitz" from Irish Pages
Robin Robertson of Scotland for "At Roane Road" from London Review of Books
Elizabeth Speller of England for "Finistère" from the Bridport Prize Anthology
George Szirtes of Hungary and England for "Song" from the Liberal

The book awards are given annually by the Forward Arts Foundation to honor collections published in the U.K. or Ireland between October of the previous year and September of the current year. The eligibility window for poems spans from May of the previous year through April of the current year.

The Forward Prize winners will be announced in London on October 7, on the eve of U.K.’s National Poetry Day. The judges are poets Tishani Doshi, David Harsent, and Jean Sprackland, fiction writer and theatre producer Josephine Hart, and the Guardian’s poetry editor Nicholas Wroe.

For the curious, the first American finalist for best collection was August Kleinzahler, nominated for The Strange Hours Travelers Keep (Faber and Faber) in 2004.

Deadline Approaches for Bellevue Literary Review’s Poem, Story, and Essay Contests

Bellevue Literary Journal, named after New York City’s 275-year-old Bellevue Hospital and published by the department of medicine at New York University, is winding down its annual contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The deadline is August 1 for submission of works that explore the realms of health, healing, illness, the body, and the mind. The prize in each genre is one thousand dollars and publication in the biannual journal.

The judges for the 2010 prize will be Tony Hoagland in poetry, Gail Godwin in fiction, and Phillip Lopate in creative nonfiction.

This year’s winner in poetry, selected by Naomi Shihab Nye, was Celeste Lipkes for "Moon-face." Honorable mentions were given to John Willson for "Patient Belongings" and Missy-Marie Montgomery for "Edges."

Katherine Ellis won in fiction for her story "Made With Metal and Constructed With Fire," and Buffy Cram received an honorable mention for "Mineral by Mineral." Rosellen Brown judged.

The creative nonfiction prize, judged by Natalie Angier, went to Amanda Leskovac for "Presence of Another," and Amy Nolan took finalist honors for "Close to the Bones."

All of their winning works appeared in the Spring 2009 issue. Selections from the issue, including Lipkes’s poem, are available on the journal’s Web site.

Prizewinning Poetry Collection Garners a Second Honor

Shenandoah, the literary review of Washington and Lee University in Virginia, announced today that Aaron Baker of Charlottesville, Virginia, has been selected as winner of the 2009 Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize for Emerging Writers. The $2,500 prize honors his first poetry collection, Mission Work (Houghton Mifflin, 2008), winner of the 2007 Bakeless Prize in poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference.

Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize judge Alice Friman says that the book, evocative of Baker’s experiences as a child of missionaries in Papua New Guinea, illuminates "the essential mystery that underlies all things."

Prior to the release of his collection, Baker received his MFA from University of Virginia and spent time as a Wallace Stegner fellow at Stanford University. He teaches at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.

The Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize, given for a debut book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction, will be given again in 2010 for a collection of stories. The deadline to submit a published book and an unpublished new story—the winning author’s piece will be published in Shenandoah—is March 31, 2010. Next year’s prize is two thousand dollars.

Past Shenandoah/Glasgow Prize winners are:

2008
Margot Singer in fiction for The Pale of Settlement (University of Georgia Press, 2007), selected by Cathryn Hankla

2007
Emily Rosko in poetry for Raw Goods Inventory (University of Iowa Press, 2006), selected by Sarah Kennedy

2006
Bret Anthony Johnston in fiction for Corpus Christi: Stories (Random House, 2004), selected by Donald Secreast

2005
Rebecca McClanahan in creative nonfiction for The Riddle Song and Other Rememberings (University of Georgia Press, 2002), selected by Jeffrey Hammond

2004
Catherine Barnett in poetry for Into Perfect Spheres Such Holes Are Pierced (Alice James Books, 2004), selected by Robert Wrigley

2003
Ann Pancake in fiction for Given Ground (University Press of New England, 2001), selected by David Jauss

2002
Christopher Cokinos in creative nonfiction for Hope Is a Thing With Feathers: A Personal Chronicle of Vanished Birds (Tarcher/Putnam, 2000), selected by Kim Barnes

2001
Talvikki Ansel in Poetry for My Shining Archipelago (Yale University Press, 1997), selected by R. T. Smith

Good Housekeeping Offers Three-thousand-dollar Story Prize

Esquire is doing it, and now fellow Hearst magazine Good Housekeeping has announced that it will be running a short story competition in the coming months. The prize is three thousand dollars and publication next May in the 124-year-old women’s journal that has published the work of writers including John Cheever, Somerset Maugham, Edwin Markham, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Evelyn Waugh, and Virginia Woolf.

The contest judge will be Jodi Picoult, best-selling author of—according to the tagline of her Web site—"novels about family, relationships, and love" such as My Sister’s Keeper (Atria Books, 2004) and Handle With Care (Atria Books, 2009).

Until September 15, U.S. writers can submit stories of no more than 3,500 words via e-mail. The magazine isn’t charging a fee for entries, but it is limiting submissions to one story per writer.

Two runners-up prizes of $750 each and publication on the Good Housekeeping Web site will also be given. The winners will be announced in mid-December.