Archive October 2019

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

With a new month swiftly approaching, the time is right to submit to these contests, all of which have a closing date of October 31 or November 1. These poetry, fiction, and nonfiction awards include opportunities to attend residencies in Italy and Oregon. Each offers a prize of $1,000 or more; one prize has an estimated value of over $6,000.

Tucson Festival of Books Literary Awards: Three prizes of $1,000 each are given annually for works of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The winners will also be invited to take part in a panel discussion at the annual Tucson Festival of Books and attend a workshop on the University of Arizona campus in March 2020. Deadline: October 31. Entry fee: $20.

Red Hen Press Benjamin Saltman Poetry Award: A prize of $3,000, publication by Red Hen Press, and a four-week residency at PLAYA in Summer Lake, Oregon, is given annually for a poetry collection. Allison Joseph will judge. Deadline: October 31. Entry fee: $25.

Poetry Society of the United Kingdom National Poetry Competition: A prize of £5,000 (approximately $6,430) and publication on the Poetry Society of the United Kingdom website is given annually for a poem. A second-place prize of £2,000 (approximately $2,570) and a third-place prize of £1,000 (approximately $1,290) are also given. The winners will also be published in Poetry Review and invited to read at festivals in the United Kingdom. Poems written in English by poets from any country are eligible. Mona Arshi, Helen Mort, and Maurice Riordan will judge. Deadline: October 31. Entry fee: $9. 

Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award: A prize of $5,000, publication by Graywolf Press, and a six-week residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy, is given annually for a poetry collection by a poet who has not published a book of poems in a standard edition. The winning book will also be distributed to 5,000 members of the Academy of American Poets. Harryette Mullen will judge. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: $35.

Briar Cliff Review Writing Contests: Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Briar Cliff Review are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. The editors will judge. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: $20, which includes a copy of the prize issue. 

Autumn House Press Poetry Chapbook Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Autumn House Press is given annually for a poetry chapbook. Gerry LaFemina will judge. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: $20. 

Fiction Collective Two Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Contest: A prize of $1,500 and publication by Fiction Collective Two is given annually for a novel, short story collection, novella, or novella collection. U.S. writers who have not previously published a book with Fiction Collective Two are eligible. Sarah Blackman will judge. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: $25.

Cutthroat Writing Awards: Three prizes of $1,200 each and publication in Cutthroat are given annually for a group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: $20.

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

October’s final deadlines include contests in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction awarding publication to the winning book or chapbook. Each of these contests has a deadline of October 31 and offers a prize of $1,000 or more in addition to publication. Good luck, writers!

American Poetry Review Honickman First Book Prize: A prize of $3,000 and publication by American Poetry Review is given annually for a first poetry collection. The winning book is distributed by Copper Canyon Press through Consortium. Li-Young Lee will judge. Entry fee: $25.

Cloudbank Books Vern Rutsala Book Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Cloudbank Books is given annually for a collection of poetry, flash fiction, or a combination of the two. Holly Karapetkova will judge. Entry fee: $25.

Comstock Review Jessie Bryce Niles Poetry Chapbook Contest: A prize of $1,000, publication by the Comstock Writers Group, and 50 author copies is given biennially for a poetry chapbook. Kathleen Bryce Niles-Overton will judge. Entry fee: $30.

Finishing Line Press Open Chapbook Competition: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Finishing Line Press is given annually for a poetry chapbook. All entries are considered for publication. Entry fee: $15.

Indiana Review Blue Light Books Prize: A prize of $2,000 and publication by Indiana University Press is given in alternating years for a collection of poetry or a collection of short fiction. The 2020 prize will be awarded in short fiction. The winner will also receive travel expenses to read at the 2020 Blue Light Reading in Bloomington, Indiana. Entry fee: $20.

Omnidawn Publishing Fabulist Fiction Chapbook Contest: A prize of $1,000, publication by Omnidawn Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a work of fabulist fiction. Kellie Wells will judge. Entry fee: $18.

River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by University of New Mexico Press is given annually for a book of creative nonfiction. Bret Lott will judge. Entry fee: $27.

Persea Books: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Persea Books is given annually for a first poetry collection by a woman who is a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. The winner also receives a six-week, all-expenses-paid residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center in Umbria, Italy. Entry fee: $30.

Tupelo Press Sunken Garden Chapbook Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Tupelo Press, and 25 author copies 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.

Whiting Foundation Announces 2019 Creative Nonfiction Grant Recipients

The Whiting Foundation has announced the recipients of the 2019 Creative Nonfiction Grants, given annually to up to eight writers in the process of completing a book of creative nonfiction. This year’s grants recognize books that range from histories to works of memoir and original reporting, and for the first time celebrate a work of graphic nonfiction. The writers will each receive $40,000. 

The 2019 grantees are:

Wil S. Hylton for The Call of Empire, forthcoming from Riverhead

Channing Gerard Joseph for House of Swamm: Whee Slaves Became Queens, forthcoming from Crown

Jim Morris for The Cancer Factory, forthcoming from Beacon

Kristen Radtke for Seek You: Essays on American Loneliness, forthcoming from Pantheon

Albert Samaha for Concepcion: A Family’s Journey on the Immigrant Wave That Changed the Face of America, forthcoming from Riverhead

Damon Tabor for The Mountain in the Burning Sky, forthcoming from Random House

Walter Thompson-Hernández for The Compton Cowboys: A New Generation of Cowboys in America’s Urban Heartland, forthcoming from HarperCollins

Ilyon Woo for Master Slave Husband Wife: An American Love Story, forthcoming from 37 Ink

The winners were selected from a list of fifteen finalists by an anonymous judging panel. Now in its fourth year, the Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant “fosters original, ambitious projects that bring writing to the highest possible standard.” The applicants must have a publishing contract and be at least two years into their project. Previous recipients include Jess Row, Jennifer Block, and Sarah M. Broom. The next round of applications will open in spring 2020.

For more than forty years, the Whiting Foundation has supported literature and the humanities through its various programs, including its annual awards for emerging writers and the Whiting Literary Magazines Prizes, which honor literary journals. Visit the website for more information.

Photos: Top row: Wil S. Hylton (credit: Chris Hartlove), Channing Gerard Joseph (credit: Katie Sugarman), Jim Morris (credit: Chris Zubak-Skees), Kristen Radtke (credit: Amy Ritter). Bottom row: Albert Samaha (credit: BuzzFeed), Damon Tabor (credit: Ethan Hickerson), Walter Thompson-Hernández (credit: June Canedo), Ilyon Woo (credit: Joon Park).

Submissions Open for VanderMey Nonfiction Prize

Submissions are open for Ruminate magazine’s VanderMey Nonfiction Prize. The annual prize awards $1,500 and publication in Ruminate to a creative nonfiction work of 5,500 words or less. There is no theme or topic for the prize, and all creative nonfiction forms—including personal essays, memoirs, and literary journalism—are accepted. 

Using only the online submission system, submit a work of creative nonfiction of no more than 5,500 words and a $20 entry fee by October 30. The entry fee includes one copy of a digital issue of Ruminate. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Founded in 2006, Ruminate is a nonprofit literary arts magazine with the mission to create “a space to share good stories, poetry, and art, including the stories and work of those who are nudged forward, backwards, and sideways on the spiritual journey.” The 2018 winner of the VanderMey Nonfiction Prize was Jonathan Winston Jones, whose essay “Bison Clouds” was selected by judge Camille Dungy and published in Hauntings: Ruminate 47.

Submissions Open for Lambda Literary Awards

The 32nd Annual Lambda Literary Awards (the “Lammys”) are currently open for submissions. The Lammys honor books in more than twenty genres ranging from literary fiction and poetry to speculative fiction, comics, and memoir, and are judged “principally on literary merit and content relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer lives.” 

Submit three hard copies of a book and, if available, a .PDF version of the text, by November 15. Books put forward for consideration in this Lammys cycle must be published between January 1 and December 31, 2019, and may be nominated in no more than one category. Submissions may be made by authors as well as publishers or publicists. All authors, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, are welcome to have their work considered, except in the case of the awards that mark specific stages of an individual LGBTQ writer’s career. The fee is $55 per book; for publishers entering eleven or more books, the fee is $45 per book. Visit the website for complete guidelines. 

Finalists will be announced in March 2020. Winners will be revealed at the Lambda Literary Awards gala ceremony on June 8, 2020 at the NYU Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. Tickets for the gala will go on sale in spring 2020.