Archive September 2019

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

The slightly crisper air signals the beginning of fall, and along with this seasonal change come contests with a deadline of September 30 or October 1. These literary magazine and university press awards (including one with no entry fee!) all offer either book publication or a prize valued at $1,000 or more.

University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prizes: Five prizes of $1,000 each and publication by University of Massachusetts Press are given annually for a first poetry collection, a poetry collection, a short story collection, a novella or novel, and a book of creative nonfiction. The creative writing faculty at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $30.

Boulevard Nonfiction Contest for Emerging Writers: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Boulevard is given annually for an essay by a writer who has not published a full-length book in any genre with a nationally distributed press. The editors will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $16, which includes a subscription to Boulevard.

Cave Canem Foundation Toi Derricotte & Cornelius Eady Chapbook Prize: A prize valued at approximately $2,500 is given annually for a poetry chapbook by a Black poet. The winner will receive $500, publication by Jai-Alai Books, and a weeklong residency at the Writer’s Room at the Betsy Hotel in Miami, Florida, and will give a reading at the O, Miami Poetry Festival in April 2020. Danez Smith will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $12.

University of Arkansas Press Miller Williams Arkansas Poetry Prize: A prize of $5,000 and publication by University of Arkansas Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Billy Collins will judge. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: $28.

University of Iowa Press Iowa Short Fiction Award: Two awards of publication by University of Iowa Press are given annually for first collections of short fiction. Writers who have not published a book of fiction are eligible. Deadline: September 30. Entry fee: none.

American Literary Review Literary Awards: Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in American Literary Review are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Deadline: October 1. Entry fee: $15. 

LitMag Anton Chekhov Award for Flash Fiction: A prize of $1,250 and publication in LitMag will be given annually for a piece of flash fiction. The winning story will also be reviewed by literary agency Sobel Weber Associates. Deadline: October 1. Entry fee: $16.

Southeast Missouri State University Press Mighty River Short Story Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Big Muddy, a literary journal published by Southeast Missouri State University Press, is given for a short story. The annual award will be discontinued after this year. Deadline: October 1. Entry fee: $20.

Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize: Three prizes of $5,000 each and publication in Missouri Review are given annually for a group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Deadline: October 1. Entry fee: $25, which includes a digital subscription to Missouri Review and a copy of the story collection A Faithful But Melancholy Account of Several Barbarities Lately Committed by last year's winner, Jason Brown.

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.


Deadline Approaches for Carolyn Bush Award

The Wendy’s Subway Carolyn Bush Award is currently open for submissions. The award honors the life and work of Wendy’s Subway cofounder Carolyn Bush by providing support to an emerging female-identifying writer residing in New York City. It aims to foster “innovative, hybrid, and cross-genre work that contributes to expanding the discourses and practices of poetry.” Applicants submit an early-stage poetry or cross-genre manuscript; the winner will receive editorial support to complete the manuscript for publication with Wendy’s Subway. An honorarium of $1,000, a standard royalty contract, and twenty-five author copies accompany publication. The winner will also receive free enrollment in two workshops at Wendy’s Subway, two professional development consultations, and a one-year membership to the organization’s reading room.

Using only the online submission system, submit twenty pages of an early-stage poetry or cross-genre manuscript, a 500-word personal statement, and a $15 entry fee by September 30. Manuscripts may include visual art and illustrations. The winning entry will be announced in fall 2019 and published in spring 2021. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Wendy’s Subway is a non-profit reading room, writing space, and independent publisher located in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. The Carolyn Bush Award is judged by an editorial committee composed of Wendy’s Subway staff: Harris Bauer, Corinne Butta, Adjua Greaves, Sanjana Iyer, Gabriel Kruis, Matt Longabucco, and Rachel Valinsky.

National Book Award Longlists Announced

Last week the National Book Foundation released the longlists for the 2019 National Book Awards. The awards are presented annually for the best books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, translated literature, and young people’s literature published between December 1 of the previous year and November 30 of the current year. Ten semifinalists have been nominated in each award category; the finalists, who will each receive a $1,000 prize, will be revealed on October 8. The winning authors will each receive $10,000 and will be announced at an awards ceremony in New York City on November 20.

The semifinalists in poetry:
Dan Beachy-Quick for Variations on Dawn and Dusk (Omnidawn Publishing)
Jericho Brown for The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press)
Toi Derricotte for “I”: New and Selected Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press)
Camonghne Felix for Build Yourself a Boat (Haymarket Books)
Carmen Giménez Smith for Be Recorder (Graywolf Press)
Ilya Kaminsky for Deaf Republic (Graywolf Press)
Ariana Reines for A Sand Book (Tin House Books)
Mary Ruefle for Dunce (Wave Books)
Arthur Sze for Sight Lines (Copper Canyon Press)
Brian Teare for Doomstead Days (Nightboat Books)

The semifinalists in fiction:
Taffy Brodesser-Akner for Fleishman Is in Trouble (Random House)
Susan Choi for Trust Exercise (Henry Holt)
Kali Fajardo-Anstine for Sabrina & Corina: Stories (One World)
Marlon James for Black Leopard, Red Wolf (Riverhead Books)
Laila Lalami for The Other Americans (Pantheon Books)
Kimberly King Parsons for Black Light: Stories (Vintage)
Helen Phillips for The Need (Simon & Schuster)
Julia Phillips for Disappearing Earth (Knopf)
Ocean Vuong for On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press)
Colson Whitehead for The Nickel Boys (Doubleday)

The semifinalists in nonfiction:
Hanif Abdurraqib for Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (University of Texas Press)
Sarah M. Broom for The Yellow House (Grove Press)
Tressie McMillan Cottom for Thick: And Other Essays (New Press)
Carolyn Forché for What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance (Penguin Press)
Greg Grandin for The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America (Metropolitan Books)
Patrick Radden Keefe for Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland (Doubleday)
Iliana Regan for Burn the Place: A Memoir (Agate Midway)
Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor for Race for Profit: How Banks and the Real Estate Industry Undermined Black Homeownership (University of North Carolina Press)
David Treuer for The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present (Riverhead Books)
Albert Woodfox with Leslie George for Solitary (Grove Press)

The semifinalists in translated literature:
Naja Marie Aidt for When Death Takes Something From You Give It Back: Carl’s Book translated by Denise Newman (Coffee House Press)
Eliane Brum for The Collector of Leftover Souls: Field Notes on Brazil’s Everyday Insurrections translated by Diane Grosklaus Whitty (Graywolf Press)
Nona Fernández for Space Invaders translated by Natasha Wimmer (Graywolf Press)
Vigdis Hjorth for Will and Testament translated by Charlotte Barslund (Verso Fiction)
Khaled Khalifa for Death Is Hard Work translated by Leri Price (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
László Krasznahorkai for Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming translated by Ottilie Mulzet (New Directions)
Scholastique Mukasonga for The Barefoot Woman translated by Jordan Stump (Archipelago Books)
Yoko Ogawa for The Memory Police translated by Stephen Snyder (Pantheon Books)
Pajtim Statovci for Crossing translated by David Hackston (Pantheon Books)
Olga Tokarczuk for Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Riverhead Books)

The semifinalists in young people’s literature:
Kwame Alexander
and Kadir Nelson for The Undefeated (Versify)
Laurie Halse Anderson for Shout (Viking Books for Young Readers)
Akwaeke Emezi for Pet (Make Me a World)
Cynthia Kadohata for A Place to Belong (Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)
Jason Reynolds for Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks (Atheneum)
Randy Ribay for Patron Saints of Nothing (Kokila)
Laura Ruby for Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All (Balzer + Bray)
Martin W. Sandler for 1919: The Year That Changed America (Bloomsbury Children’s Books)
Hal Schrieve for Out of Salem (Triangle Square)
Colleen AF Venable and Ellen T. Crenshaw for Kiss Number 8 (First Second Books)

Applications Open for Black Mountain Institute Shearing Fellowships

Applications are now open for the Black Mountain Institute Shearing Fellowships. Hosted at the institute’s home at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the fellowships each include a $20,000 stipend, free housing in downtown Las Vegas, work space at the institute’s campus offices, and eligibility for health care coverage. The upcoming fellowships will take place during the 2020–2021 academic year; candidates may apply for residencies of one or two semesters. While the fellowship has no formal teaching requirements, incoming fellows will be expected to maintain a regular in-office presence and to engage with the Black Mountain Institute literary community.

The fellowship is open to emerging and distinguished writers who have published at least one critically-acclaimed book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction. Recent fellows include Hanif Abdurraqib, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Tayari Jones, Ahmed Naji, and Claire Vaye Watkins.

Using only the online application system, submit a one- to two-page cover letter, a ten-page writing sample, and a résumé or curriculum vitae by November 1. Finalists will be asked to submit copies of their books. There is no application fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute is “an international literary center dedicated to bringing writers and the literary imagination into the heart of public life.” Located within the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the institute is home to the Believer, a bimonthly magazine of literature, arts, and culture.

Photo: 2018–2019 fellow Claire Vaye Watkins

Submissions Open for Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes

Submissions are open for the third annual Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes. Launched in 2017, the prizes recognize publications that “actively nurture the writers who tell us, through their art, what is important.”. Three prizes will be given to print magazines and two to magazines publishing primarily online. Print publications can win up to $60,000, $30,000, and $15,000; digital publications can win up to $30,000 and $9,000. 

Across all categories, the award is dispensed over three years. Each magazine will receive an outright grant in the first year, followed by matching grants in the second and third years. The Whiting Foundation will also connect all recipients to expert advisors for consultation in matters such as fund-raising and marketing, and help organize meetings throughout the year for the winners to discuss shared challenges. 

This year the application for the prizes will include two rounds of review. Magazines are invited to submit a short-form application using the online portal by December 2. In February 2020 a limited number of applicants will be invited to complete an expanded application due in early April. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines and eligibility requirements

The Whiting Foundation hopes the financial and professional support offered by the grants will help the winners develop and achieve ambitious goals. Courtney Hodell, the foundation’s director of literary programs, notes the long-term results: “As the prize continues to mature, we see more clearly how critical these intrepid magazines are to developing and building healthy careers,” she says. “Supporting magazines benefits the entire literary landscape.” 

The 2019 print prizes went to the Common, American Short Fiction, and Black Warrior Review. The Margins and the Offing received the digital prizes. 

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 Literary Magazine Prizes, every year the organization honors emerging writers in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama with the Whiting Awards, and supports nonfiction writers completing works-in-progress with the Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grants. 

Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize Open for Submissions

Submissions are open for the inaugural Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize. Sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, with support from Treehouse Investments, the award will honor “exceptional poems that help make real for readers the gravity of the vulnerable state of our environment at present.” The award for first place is $1,000; a second-place prize of $750 and a third-place prize of $500 will also be awarded. The winners will all be published in the Academy of American Poet’s Poem-a-Day series.

Using only the online submission system, submit a poem of any length by November 1. Submissions in Spanish will be allowed if they are accompanied by an English translation. Performance or spoken word poets may submit video of their work. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

This year’s contest will be judged by environmentalist Bill McKibben and poet Julia Alvarez. “We’re grateful to have the opportunity to address the climate crisis through poetry and hope the poets’ poems we’ll publish might inspire people to learn more about the issue and how they can help,” says Jennifer Benka, executive director of the Academy of American Poets. 

Established in 1934, the Academy of American Poets is one of the largest nonprofits in the United States dedicated to supporting contemporary poetry. In addition to the Treehouse Climate Action Poem Prize, the organization annually awards more than $1 million to poets through its American Poets Prizes.