Archive June 2020

Deadline Approaches for the Louise Meriwether First Book Prize

Submissions are open for the 2021 Louise Meriwether First Book Prize, presented by the Feminist Press and TAYO Literary Magazine. “Granted to a manuscript that follows in the tradition of Meriwether’s Daddy Was a Number Runner, one of the first contemporary American novels featuring a young Black girl as the protagonist,” the prize honors a debut work of prose by a woman of color or a nonbinary author of color. The winning writer will receive $5,000 and publication of their book by the Feminist Press in the spring of 2021.

To submit, email a work of fiction or narrative nonfiction between 30,000 to 80,000 words and a cover letter by June 30. There is no entry fee. Feminist Press executive director and publisher Jamia Wilson, TAYO Literary Magazine editor in chief Lis P. Sipin-Gabon, author and professor Bridgett M. Davis, and past prize winner Melissa Valentine will judge. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Louise Meriwether is the author of several books and is also a journalist, antiwar activist, professor, and essayist. She has been a member of the Harlem Writers Guild since its beginning, and has won grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mellon Foundation. Meriwether received a lifetime achievement award in 2016 from the Before Columbus Foundation. That same year Gale Brewer, the Manhattan borough president, declared May 8 to be Louise Meriwether Appreciation Day. In celebration of the impact of Meriwether’s literary career, the prize furthers her “legacy of telling much-needed stories that shift culture and inspire new writers.” Finalists for the first book prize will be notified in October of this year, and the winner will be announced in March 2021. Past prize winners include YZ Chin, Claudia D. Hernández, and Cassandra Lane.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

Close out the month by submitting to contests with deadlines of June 30 or July 1. These national and international awards are given for poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and hybrid work. All offer cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to as much as $100,000.

Autumn House Press Literary Prizes: Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication by Autumn House Press are given annually for a poetry collection, a book of fiction, and a book of creative nonfiction. Each winner also receives a $1,500 travel and publicity grant. Ilya Kaminsky will judge in poetry, Dan Chaon will judge in fiction, and Jaquira Díaz will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: $30.

Claremont Graduate University Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards: The $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award is given annually to honor a book of poetry by a midcareer U.S. poet. The winner spends one week in residence at Claremont Graduate University in California. The $10,000 Kate Tufts Discovery Award is given annually to honor a first book of poetry by “a poet of genuine promise.” Deadline: July 1. Entry fee: none.

Feminist Press/TAYO Literary Magazine Louise Meriwether First Book Prize: A prize of $5,000 and publication by the Feminist Press is given annually for a debut book of fiction or narrative nonfiction by a woman of color or a nonbinary writer of color. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: none.

Finishing Line Press New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Finishing Line Press is given annually for a poetry chapbook by a woman who has not yet published a full-length collection. Leah Maines will judge. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: $16.

Futurepoem Other Futures Award: A prize of $1,000, publication by Futurepoem, and 25 author copies will be given annually for a book of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or hybrid-genre work. The editors will judge. Deadline: July 1. Entry fee: $28.

Hidden River Arts William Van Wert Memorial Fiction Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Hidden River Review of Arts & Letters is given annually for a short story or a novel excerpt. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: $17.

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation Barbara Mandigo Kelly Peace Poetry Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication on the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation website is given annually for a single poem that explores “positive visions of peace and the human spirit.” Deadline: July 1. Entry fee: $15.

The Moth International Short Story Prize: A prize of €3,000 (approximately $3,364) is given annually for a short story. A prize of a weeklong retreat at Circle of Missé in Missé, France, with a €250 (approximately $281) travel stipend, and a prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,122) are also given. The winners will all be published in the Moth. Mark Haddon will judge. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: €15 (approximately $17).

University of North Texas Press Katherine Anne Porter Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by University of North Texas Press is given annually for a collection of short fiction. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: $25.

University of Pittsburgh Press Drue Heinz Literature Prize: A prize of $15,000 and publication by University of Pittsburgh Press is given annually for a collection of short fiction. Writers who have published at least one previous book of fiction or a minimum of three short stories or novellas in nationally distributed magazines or literary journals are eligible. Deadline: June 30. Entry fee: none.

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

Pass the early days of summer by submitting to contests with a deadline of June 15. These poetry, fiction, and nonfiction awards include a special opportunity for writers in Maryland and several small press awards. All offer a cash prize of $1,000 or more.

Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Bitter Oleander Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Entry fee: $28.

New American Press Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,500, publication by New American Press, and promotional support is given annually for a book of fiction. Nick White will judge. Entry fee: $25.

Towson University Prize for Literature: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a book of poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction by a current resident of Maryland who has lived in the state for at least three years. Books published within the past three years or scheduled for publication in 2020 are eligible. Entry fee: none.

University of Akron Press Akron Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,500 and publication by University of Akron Press is given annually for a poetry collection. Additional manuscripts may also be considered for publication in the series. Philip Metres will judge. Entry fee: $25.

Willow Springs Books Spokane Prize for Short Fiction: A prize of $2,000 and publication by Willow Springs Books is given annually for a short story collection. Entry fee: $27.50.

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 the Richard J. Margolis Award

Submissions are open for the 2020 Richard J. Margolis Award. Established in the memory of journalist, essayist, and poet Richard J. Margolis, the annual prize awards $5,000 and a one-month residency at Blue Mountain Center in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, to a journalist or essayist whose work “combines warmth, humor, and wisdom and sheds light on issues of social justice.”

Submit a cover letter, a project description that includes details of current and anticipated work, a short bio, and two to three writing samples totaling no more than thirty pages by July 1. There is no entry fee. The winner will be announced in November, with the Blue Mountain Center residency to take place in summer or fall 2021. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Over the course of his career, Richard J. Margolis worked as a writer, educator, editor, and activist. He wrote widely on education, healthcare, poverty, rural America, and racial justice, among other topics, and his articles appeared regularly in such publications as the New York Times and Washington Post. His friends and family founded the Richard J. Margolis Award in 1992, a year after he died due to sudden heart failure at age sixty-one.  The award’s most recent winner is memoirist Mansoor Adayfi, who received the honor for work that turns his “fourteen-plus years of captivity at Guantánamo Bay Prison Camp into compelling narratives of human connection and hope.”