Four prizes of $500 each are given annually for a poetry collection, a first novel, a book of fiction, and a book of nonfiction (including creative nonfiction) by an African American writer published in the United States in the previous year. The awards honor books that depict the “cultural, historical, and sociopolitical aspects of the Black Diaspora.” Publishers may nominate books published in 2019 by December 31. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines and a list of jurors to whom books should be sent.
Three prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Mississippi Review are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Current or former University of Southern Mississippi students are ineligible. Submit three to five poems totaling up to 10 pages or a short story or essay of 1,000 to 8,000 words with a $15 entry fee ($16 for electronic submissions), which includes a copy of the prize issue, by January 1, 2020. All entries are considered for publication. Visit the website for complete guidelines.
Awards are given annually for books published in the United States during the previous year to recognize “outstanding literary achievement from the entire spectrum of America’s
“I really like the idea of continuing. I don’t like the idea of a dance starting and just being really short,” says choreographer Molissa Fenley in a 2018 interview for BOMB when asked about the heavy dose of endurance required for her pieces. “I find, physically, that the metabolic change that takes place in moving for a long time is really interesting. It opens your brain in different ways.” Write an essay where you consider a time when you continued onward with an act, whether physical, mental, or emotional, to the point of exhilaration or exhaustion. How did pushing onward for an extreme amount of time affect you? Score out the experience from beginning to eventual end.
The Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow offers residencies of one week to three months year-round to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers at a former bed-and-breakfast in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, in the heart of the Ozarks. Residents are provided with a private room, work space, and meals. The cost of the residency is $85 per day. An additional $25 flat-rate cleaning fee is charged. Submit a writing sample of up to 10 pages, a one-page project description, and two letters of reference with a $35 application fee. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Writers’ Colony at Dairy Hollow, 515 Spring Street, Eureka Springs, AR, 72632. (479) 253-7444. Linda Caldwell, Director.
If you’re looking for more community and a spirited festival, you should look into Saints and Sinners. Founded in 2003, the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival highlights LGBTQ writers and publishers from the United States and beyond. The three-day event features panel discussions, workshops, and readings and is held each spring in the French Quarter at the Hotel Monteleone—an official literary landmark that has welcomed William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, and Tennessee Williams to its rooms.
The 2020 festival is set for March 27–29 and will feature poet Savannah Sipple, fiction writer Leona Beasley, historian Frank Perez, and many others. Registration is open now with day passes and student rates available.
Saints and Sinners is a project of the Tennessee Williams & New Orleans Literary Festival, which I’ve attended several times in the past. The two festivals overlap so it’s possible to attend events from both. Last year, Saints and Sinners kicked off the festival with the return of their open mic slam and first-ever Drag Queen show. And to conclude the event, there are Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame awards given to those who best embody the mission of the festival.
My poet friend Brad Richard has attended the festival and speaks highly of it: “The Saints and Sinners Festival is a wonderful community within the larger community of the Tennessee Williams Festival. I’ve met writers I’ve always wanted to meet and discovered new ones, and found a publisher, Sibling Rivalry Press, for my third book, Butcher’s Sugar.”
Although I haven’t had the chance to attend Saints and Sinners yet, I look forward to supporting the festival and attendees in the coming year.Kelly Harris is the literary outreach coordinator for Poets & Writers in New Orleans. Contact her at NOLA@pw.org or on Twitter, @NOLApworg.
Submissions are open for the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Competition. Sponsored by the North Carolina Writers’ Network (NCWN), the annual competition seeks “lasting nonfiction that is outside the realm of conventional journalism and has relevance to North Carolinians.” Many forms of nonfiction writing are accepted, including cultural criticism, reviews, profiles, interviews, travel articles, and historical or place-based pieces. The first prize winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and be considered for publication in Ecotone. Second and third place winners will receive $300 and $200 respectively.
Submit a nonfiction manuscript of up to 2,000 words with a $12 entry fee by January 15. NCWN members pay $10. Randall Kenan will judge. Writers who are legal residents of North Carolina or members of the NCWN are eligible. Winners will be announced in March 2020. Visit the website for complete guidelines.
Founded in the mid-1980s, the NCWN “connects, promotes, and serves” the writers of North Carolina and has administered the Rose Post Creative Nonfiction Contest since 2008. In addition to awarding more than $4,000 every year through its contests, the NCWN offers editing services and online classes, and hosts various community events. The contest’s most recent winner is Pam Van Dyke, who won the 2019 award for her essay “ABC to XYZ.”
After the death of a close relative, Itaru Sasaki installed a phone booth in his backyard garden in the coastal town of Otsuchi, a glass enclosure where he could speak into a disconnected rotary phone as a way of processing his grief. After the 2011 tsunami in Japan, Sasaki opened his kaze no denwa, roughly translated into “wind phone,” to other community members mourning loved ones. Write a personal essay in the form of a letter or communication to someone no longer in your life. What would you choose to share about your own life and current updates? What feelings, emotions, or sentiments would you want to reiterate to the other person, whether for the hundredth time or for the first time?
Bloedel Reserve, 7571 Northeast Dolphin Drive, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. Laura Counsel, Special Programs Manager.
The Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts offers two- to eight-week residencies year-round to writers of all genres, including poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Residents are provided with lodging, private studio space, and a $100 weekly stipend.
Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, 801 Third Corso, Nebraska City, NE 68410. (402) 874-9600.