Archive August 2021

The X. J. Kennedy Prize Open for Submissions

Submissions are open for this year’s X. J. Kennedy Prize. Given for a full-length poetry collection, the prize includes publication with Texas Review Press, a $10,000 advance, a standard royalty contract, and twenty author copies. Poets at any stage of their career are eligible to submit and the prize is not limited to a particular style or form of poetry.

Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of 50 to 100 pages with a $28 entry fee by September 30. Kazim Ali will judge. The winner will be revealed in December. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

The X. J. Kennedy prize was first awarded in 1998 and the most recent winner was Brooke Sahni for her debut collection, Before I Had the Word. The prize’s namesake, X. J. Kennedy, has been widely celebrated for his poetry and books for young readers. Kennedy earned the Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers in 2015 and the Frost Medal from the Poetry Society of America in 2009. In his citation for the Jackson Prize, the judges praised Kennedy for delivering “wit, savagery, and compassion” in his work. In admiration of his characteristic brevity, they added, “The size of his poems is small but their scope is vast.”

Off the Grid Poetry Prize Accepting Submissions

The deadline is approaching for the eleventh annual Off the Grid Poetry Prize. Given for a poetry collection by a writer over the age of 60, the award includes $1,000 and publication by Off the Grid Press, an imprint of Grid Books. The prize aims to reward writers “ripened in craft and vision.”

Using only the online submission system, submit a manuscript of at least 50 pages with a $25 entry fee by August 31. Jimmy Santiago Baca will judge. The winner will be announced by the end of the year. Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Poets Tam Lin Neville and Bert Stern founded Off the Grid Press in 2003 with the goal to “provide a forum for older poets who are sometimes overlooked by the current marketplace.” The press later rebranded as Grid Brooks while preserving Off the Grid Press as an imprint. While the Off the Grid Poetry Prize remains reserved for older writers, Grid Books is open to writers of all ages and champions “creative work that springs from the margins.” In addition to poetry, the press also seeks to publish scholarly editions and oral history projects.

 

Upcoming Contest Deadlines


Leave the dog days of summer behind and reinvigorate your writing practice by submitting to one of the following fourteen contests, which close on August 30 or August 31. These contests include opportunities for writers at all stages of their careers; one contest is reserved for poets over the age of 60. All offer a cash prize of $1,000 or more.

Aesthetica Creative Writing Award: Two prizes of £2,500 (approximately $3,434) each and publication in Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual are given annually for a poem and a short story. The winner in poetry also receives a membership to the Poetry Society in London, and the winner in short fiction receives a consultation with the literary agency Redhammer Management. Both winners receive a subscription to Granta and a selection of books from Vintage Books. Oz Hardwick will judge in poetry and Katy Guest will judge in fiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: £12 (approximately $16) for one poem and £18 (approximately $25) for one short story.

Black Lawrence Press St. Lawrence Book Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Black Lawrence Press is given annually for a debut collection of poems or short stories. The editors will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $25.

Ex Ophidia Press Poetry Book Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Ex Ophidia Press, and 10 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. Kathleen Flenniken will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $25.

Gemini Magazine Flash Fiction Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gemini Magazine is given annually for a short short story. The editors will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $7.

Grid Books Off the Grid Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Grid Books is given annually for a poetry collection by a writer over the age of 60. Jimmy Santiago Baca will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $25.

Gulf Coast Barthelme Prize for Short Prose: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gulf Coast is given annually for a short work of prose. Molly McCully Brown will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $20 (includes subscription).

Gulf Coast Prize in Translation: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Gulf Coast is given in alternating years for a group of poems or a prose excerpt translated from any language into English. The 2021 prize will be given for prose. Sophie Hughes will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $10 (include half-year subscription) or $20 (includes full-year subscription).

Journal of Experimental Fiction Kenneth Patchen Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Journal of Experimental Fiction and JEF Books is given annually for an innovative novel. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $25.

Masters Review Short Story Award for New Writers: A prize of $3,000 and publication in Masters Review is given twice yearly for a short story by an emerging writer. Writers who have not published a book are eligible, as are writers who have published a book with a circulation of less than 5,000. The winning story will also be sent to literary agents from the Bent Agency, Carnicelli Literary Management, Compass Talent, Fletcher & Company, Sobel Weber, and Writers House for review. Kristen Arnett will judge. Deadline: August 30. Entry fee: $20.

Munster Literature Center Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition: A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,191) and publication by the Munster Literature Center is given annually for a poetry chapbook. The winner will also receive accommodations to give a reading at the Cork International Poetry Festival in March 2022. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: €25 (approximately $30)

Omnidawn Publishing Open Book Prize: A prize of $3,000, publication by Omnidawn Publishing, and 100 author copies is given annually for a poetry collection. John Yau will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $27.

Talking Gourds Fischer Prize: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a single poem. The winner will also be featured in a Bardic Trails reading online. Donald Levering will judge. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $10 for a poem of up to three pages (add an additional $10 for postal submissions).

University of New Orleans Press Lab Prize: A prize of $10,000 and publication by University of New Orleans Press is given annually for a short story collection or novel. Deadline: August 31. Entry fee: $28.

Utica College Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize: A prize of $2,000 is given annually for a poetry collection published in the previous year by a resident of upstate New York. The winner will also give a reading and teach a master class at Utica College in April 2022. Deadline: August 31. 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.

Deadline Approaches for the Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence

Submissions are open for the 2021 Ernest J. Gaines Award for Literary Excellence. Established by the Baton Rouge Area Foundation, the prize offers $15,000 for a work of fiction by an emerging African American author in order to “support and enable the writer to focus on writing.” Travel expenses will be covered for an award ceremony in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on January 27, 2022. During the week of the ceremony, the winning writer is also asked to lead local students in writing workshops meant to inspire their creativity and interest in the arts.

Mail a completed registration form and eight copies of a published novel or short story collection (or galleys) to the Baton Rouge Area Foundation by August 15. Entries must be received by the deadline in order to be considered. Writers must be African American U.S. citizens and “not yet widely recognized for their work.” Only books published or scheduled for publication in 2021 are eligible. Anthony Grooms, Edward P. Jones, Elizabeth Nunez, Francine Prose, and Patricia Towers will judge. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines and the mailing address.

Named in honor of the celebrated Louisiana author Ernest J. Gaines, who died in 2019, the prize was conceived “to inspire and recognize rising African American writers of excellence as they work to achieve the literary heights for which Ernest J. Gaines is known.” Gabriel Bump earned the 2020 prize for his debut novel, Everywhere You Don’t Belong.