Archive February 2019

PEN Announces 2019 Literary Award Winners

At a ceremony last night in New York City, PEN America announced the winners of its 2019 Literary Awards. This year the organization awarded more than $370,000 to writers and translators for books and literary works published in 2018. 

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah took home the biggest prize of the night, the $75,000 PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, for his debut story collection, Friday Black (Mariner Books). The annual award is given for a book of any genre for its “originality, merit, and impact.”

The $25,000 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection went to Will Mackin for Bring Out the Dog (Random House), and Michelle Tea won the $10,000 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay for Against Memoir: Complaints, Confessions, & Criticisims (Feminist Press). Nafissa Thompson-Spires received the $5,000 PEN Open Book Award for her novel, Heads of the Colored People (Atria). The annual award is given for a book of any genre by a writer of color. 

PEN America also honored poet, essayist, and novelist Sandra Cisneros with its Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature. Cisneros, the author of several books, including the acclaimed novel The House on Mango Street, will receive $50,000. The organization also awarded its inaugural $25,000 PEN/Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award to Kenneth Lonergan; the annual award honors the year’s best writing for performance.

PEN America started its award program in 1963 to “celebrate literary excellence, encourage global discourse, champion important voices, and bring new books to life.” Visit the PEN website for a complete list of winners, finalists, and judges.

Photo: Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah

Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum Open for Residency Applications

The Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott, Arkansas, is open for applications for its 2019 writer-in-residence position. The resident will be provided with private lodging in Piggott during the month of June, access to the studio where Ernest Hemingway worked on A Farewell to Arms, and a $1,000 stipend. The writer-in-residence will also serve as mentor for a weeklong retreat at the center and will be expected to give one or two readings.

To apply, send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and writing sample to Dr. Adam Long at adamlong@astate.edu by February 28. Candidates with an MA or MFA in a relevant field are preferred. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Established in 1999, the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center aims to contribute to “the understanding of the regional, national and global history of the 1920s and 1930s eras by focusing on the internationally connected Pfeiffer family of Piggott, Arkansas, and their son-in-law and regular guest, Ernest Hemingway.” Kate Osana Simonian was awarded the inaugural residency in 2018.

Photo: The barn studio at the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center where Ernest Hemingway wrote several short stories and part of A Farewell to Arms.

 

Deadline Approaches for Memoir Essay Prize

Creative Nonfiction is currently accepting submissions to its essay contest on the theme “Memoir.” The winner will receive $2,500 and publication in Creative Nonfiction. Two runners-up will receive $500; all entries will be considered for publication in the “Memoir” issue of the magazine, which will be published in 2020.

Using the online submission system, submit a previously unpublished essay of up to 4,000 words with a $20 entry fee by February 25. “Submissions must be vivid and dramatic; they should combine a strong and compelling narrative with an informative or reflective element, and reach beyond a strictly personal experience for some universal or deeper meaning,” write the editors. “We’re looking for well-written prose, rich with detail and a distinctive voice; all essays must tell true stories and be factually accurate.”

Established in 1993 by Lee Gutkind, Creative Nonfiction was one of the first literary magazines to exclusively publish the genre. Each issue addresses a specific theme, such as “Intoxication,” “Dangerous Creations,” and “Science and Religion.” Edited in Pittsburgh, the quarterly aims to demonstrate “the depth and versatility of narrative nonfiction” and show how “smart, engaging narratives can make any subject fascinating and meaningful.”

End of February Contest Roundup

As we head into the holiday weekend, consider submitting to these writing contests, all of which are open to poets, fiction writers, or nonfiction writers. Each contest offers a prize of at least $1,000 and publication and has a deadline of February 28.

Association of Writers & Writing Programs Award Series: Two prizes of $5,500 each and publication by a participating press are given annually for a poetry collection and a short story collection. In addition, two prizes of $2,500 each and publication by a participating press are given annually for a novel and a book of creative nonfiction. Entry fee: $30

Fish Publishing Flash Fiction Prize: A prize of €1,000 and publication in the Fish Publishing anthology is given annually for a short short story. Entry fee: €14

Glimmer Train Press Fiction Open: A prize of $3,000, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of the prize issue is given twice yearly for a short story. A second-place prize of $1,000 is also given. Entry fee: $21

Glimmer Train Press Very Short Fiction Award: A prize of $2,000, publication in Glimmer Train Stories, and 20 copies of the prize issue is given twice yearly for a short short story. Entry fee: $16

National Poetry Series Open Competition: Five prizes of $10,000 each and publication by participating trade, university, or small press publishers are given annually for poetry collections. Publishers include Beacon Press, Ecco, Milkweed Editions, Penguin Books, and University of Georgia Press. Entry fee: $35

Red Hen Press Women’s Prose Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Red Hen Press is given annually for a book of fiction or nonfiction by a woman. Entry fee: $25

Tupelo Press Snowbound Chapbook Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Tupelo Press is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Entry fee: $25

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.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines for Writers

Writers: The deadline approaches for several writing fellowships and contests. Each contest offers a prize of at least $1,000 and is open to poets, translators, or writers of fiction and nonfiction.

Salem State University’s Claire Keyes Poetry Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Soundings East is given annually for a group of poems. Sean Thomas Dougherty will judge. Entry fee: $10. Deadline: February 15.

New American Press Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by New American Press is given annually for a book of poetry. Sara Gelston will judge. Entry fee: $25. Deadline: February 15.

Hidden River Arts Willow Run Poetry Book Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Hidden River Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Entry fee: $22. Deadline: February 15.

Ruminate’s William Van Dyke Short Story Prize: A prize of $1,500 and publication in Ruminate is given annually for a short story. Entry fee: $20. Deadline: February 15.

Cagibi Macaron Prize: Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Cagibi will be given annually for a group of poems, a story, and an essay. Major Jackson will judge in poetry, Chantel Acevedo will judge in fiction, and Sheila Kohler will judge in nonfiction. Entry fee: $18. Deadline: February 15.

Furious Flower Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Obsidian, the literary journal of Illinois State University, is given annually for a group of poems that explore Black themes. A. Van Jordan will judge. Entry fee: $15. Deadline: February 10.

Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine: A prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,300) and publication in the Hippocrates Prize anthology and on the website is given annually for a poem on a medical theme. A prize of £1,000 is also given for a poem on a medical theme written by a health professional. Entry fee: $10. Deadline: February 14.

Center for Fiction’s New York City Emerging Writers Fellowship: Fellowships of $5,000 each, membership to the Center for Fiction in New York City, and access to writing space at the center are given annually to fiction writers living in New York City who have not yet published a book of fiction. Entry fee: None. Deadline: February 15.

Milkweed Editions Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry: A prize of $10,000 and publication by Milkweed Editions is given annually for a poetry collection by a poet currently residing in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Wisconsin. Entry fee: None. Deadline: February 15.

Academy of American Poets Ambroggio Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe is given annually for a book of poetry originally written in Spanish by a living writer and translated into English. The poet and translator will split the prize. Rosa Alcalá will judge. Entry fee: None. Deadline: February 15.

Sarabande Books Morton and McCarthy Prizes: Two prizes of $2,000 each and publication by Sarabande Books are given annually for collections of poetry and fiction. Each winner will also receive a two-week residency at the Blackacre State Nature Preserve and Historic Homestead in Louisville, Kentucky. Sarah Gorham and Jeffrey Skinner will judge both prizes. Entry fee: $29. Deadline: February 15.

Center for Documentary Studies Documentary Essay Prize: A prize of $3,000 is given biennially for an essay that demonstrates a “reliance on documentary methods, specifically immersive fieldwork, research, and interviewing conducted over periods of time.” The winning essay will be featured in the center’s print and digital publications and will also be placed in the Archive of Documentary Arts at the Rubenstein Library at Duke University. A panel of writers, editors, and documentary artists will judge. Entry fee: $50. Deadline: February 15.

Academy of American Poets Raiziss/de Palchi Fellowship: A fellowship of $25,000 and a five-week residency at the American Academy in Rome is given biennially to a U.S. translator for a work-in-progress of modern Italian poetry translated into English. Maria Frank, Giorgio Mobili, and Michael Palma will judge. Entry fee: None. Deadline: February 15.

Visit the contest websites for complete guidelines, and check out Grants & Awards database and Submission Calendar for more contests in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.

Deadline Approaches for Veterans Writing Award

Submissions are open for a new writing contest for U.S. veterans and their families. The inaugural Veterans Writing Award, which is sponsored by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families and Syracuse University Press, will be given for a debut novel or short story collection.

The contest, which will award the winning entrant a $1,000 cash prize and a publication contract with Syracuse University Press, is open to U.S. veterans and active duty personnel and their immediate family members. Manuscripts do not need to directly depict military experience; the judges are interested in “original voices and fresh perspectives that will expand and challenge readers’ understanding of the lives of veterans and their families.” Women veteran writers and veterans of color are encouraged to submit.

The deadline for the award is February 15. Submit a fiction manuscript of up to 90,000 words with a cover letter that details the branch of service of the entrant or their family member. There is no entry fee for submissions, which can be e-mailed to vwasubmissions@syr.edu or mailed to Syracuse University Press, 621 Skytop Road, Suite 110, Syracuse, NY 13244. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The Veterans Writing Award Advisory Board will select the finalists, and award-winning novelist, short story writer, Vietnam veteran, and former Syracuse University faculty member Tobias Wolff will choose the winner. The winning entry will be announced in September of 2019.