Can you imagine what the voice of a three-thousand-year-old mummy would sound like? Last week Scientific Reports published a study that describes engineering the voice of Nesyamun—an ancient Egyptian priest and scribe whose coffin’s hieroglyphs describe him as “true of voice”—by combining his 3D-printed mouth and throat with an artificial larynx and using speech synthesizing software. This week write a personal essay about the one long-ago sound you wish to hear, if you could engineer a way. Would you choose the voice of a loved one or important historical figure, the sounds of an extinct animal or bygone technology, or perhaps simply the everyday sounds of a different era?
This month I have been featuring a variety of platforms that contribute to the literary community, including the work of Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say, and blogs and podcasts such as Icess Fernandez Rojas’s Dear Reader and Terrell Quillin’s Bootleg Like Jazz.
Today I want to shout-out the work of Mary Wimple and her workshop and reading series Words & Art. I’ve known Mary and her partner Chuck Wimple for more than ten years and have had the pleasure of seeing Mary kick major can as a poet performing her work all over town. Mary is soft-spoken, so when you get a chance to see her in action, it’s dynamite. Her energy carries over to Words & Art. The series is all about community and is accessible for any writer with a passion for the arts.
The format for these events is so inviting: Mary will host a writing workshop of sorts, really it’s an art appreciation field trip to a local gallery or museum. Participants will discuss the artwork, work on writing prompts, and discuss the effect of the art on the writing. From there, Mary will set up a future date for a reading that features poetry and prose pieces based on the artwork from the exhibit that was visited. Anyone interested in reading (even if you didn’t attend the workshop) just needs to check out the submission guidelines and submit work to Words & Art by the deadline to be considered. Selected readers will be notified about a week before the event and the public is invited to attend. I attended one of these events a while back and it is powerful work. If you love art and writing, then this is a space for you.
The next deadline for submissions is February 1 and the reading will be held on February 13 at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.Houston@pw.org or on Twitter, @houstonpworg.
The Baltic Writing Residency in Sweden offers a three- to four-week residency to a poet, fiction writer, or creative nonfiction writer in Stockholm, Sweden. The resident is provided with private lodging in a furnished cottage and a $1,000 stipend. Travel expenses and meals are not included. Using only the online application system, submit 10 pages of poetry or 20 pages of prose, a curriculum vitae, and contact information for two references with a $25 application fee by January 21, 2020. Visit the website for complete guidelines.
Baltic Writing Residency in Sweden, 831 Mulberry Street, Louisville, KY 40217. Adam Day and Michael Estes, Coordinators.
As the end of the month approaches, consider submitting fiction, poetry, or nonfiction to one of the following contests. Each has a deadline of January 30 or January 31, and all but one offer a prize of $1,000 or more.
Austin Community College Balcones Prizes: Two prizes of $1,500 each are given annually for a poetry collection and a book of fiction published during the previous year. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25 for poetry, $30 for fiction.
Autumn House Press Rising Writer Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Autumn House Press is given annually for a debut poetry collection by a writer age 33 or younger. Yona Harvey will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25.
Bauhan Publishing Monadnock Essay Collection Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Bauhan Publishing, and 50 author copies is given annually for an essay collection. Áine Greaney will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25.
Black Lawrence Press Big Moose Prize: A prize of $1,000, publication by Black Lawrence Press, and 10 author copies is given annually for a novel. The editors will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25.
Caine Prize for African Writing: A prize of £10,000 (approximately $12,600) is given annually for a previously published short story by an African writer. Shortlisted candidates will receive £500 (approximately $550). The winner and shortlisted writers will be invited to participate in workshops in Africa and London. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: none.
Chattahoochee Review Lamar York Prizes: Two prizes of $1,000 each and publication in Chattahoochee Review are given annually for a short story and an essay. Anthony Varallo will judge in fiction and Alice Bolin will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $18.
Crazyhorse Literary Prizes: Three prizes of $2,000 each and publication in Crazyhorse are given annually for a poem, a short story, and an essay. Cyrus Cassells will judge in poetry, Jamel Brinkley will judge in fiction, and Sue William Silverman will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $20 (subscription included).
Fish Publishing Short Memoir Prize: A prize of €1,000 (approximately $1,100) and publication in the Fish Publishing anthology is given annually for a short memoir. David Shields will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: €17 (approximately $19) for online entries or €19 (approximately $21) for postal entries.
Iowa Review Iowa Review Awards: Three prizes of $1,500 each and publication in Iowa Review are given annually for works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Stephanie Burt will judge in poetry, Lan Samantha Chang will judge in fiction, and Leslie Jamison will judge in nonfiction. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $20.
Little Tokyo Historical Society Short Story Contest: A prize of $500 and publication in Rafu Shimpo and on the Discover Nikkei website is given annually for a short story that takes place in the Little Tokyo district of Los Angeles. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: none.
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. The winning story will also be reviewed by a select group of literary agents. Kimberly King Parsons will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $20.
Money for Women/Barbara Deming Memorial Fund Individual Artist Grants for Women: Grants of up to $1,500 each are given in alternating years to feminist poets, fiction writers, and nonfiction writers who are citizens of the United States or Canada. The current round of grants will be awarded to fiction writers and mixed genre writers working in text and image. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25.
New Millennium Writings New Millennium Awards: Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication in New Millennium Writings are given twice yearly for a poem, a short story, a work of flash fiction, and a work of creative nonfiction. Alexis Williams Carr and Don Williams will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $20.
North Carolina Writers’ Network (NCWN) Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize: A prize of $1,000 is given annually for a short story. The winning story will also be considered for publication in Thomas Wolfe Review. Randall Kenan will judge. Deadline: January 30. Entry fee: $25 ($15 for NCWN members).
Regal House Publishing Terry J. Cox Poetry Award: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Regal House Publishing will be given annually for a poetry collection. Peter Schmitt and the editors will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25.
Schaffner Press Nicholas Schaffner Award for Music in Literature: A prize of $1,000 and publication by Schaffner Press is given annually for a poetry collection, a novel, a short story collection, an essay collection, or a memoir that “deals in some way with the subject of music and its influence.” Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $25.
Stanford Libraries William Saroyan International Prize for Writing: Two prizes of $5,000 each are given biennially for books of fiction and nonfiction. The awards, cosponsored by the Stanford Libraries and the William Saroyan Foundation, are “intended to encourage new or emerging writers and honor the Saroyan legacy of originality, vitality, and stylistic innovation.” Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $50.
Winter Anthology Writing Contest: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Winter Anthology is given annually for a group of poems, a story, or an essay. All entries are considered for publication. Sarah Gridley will judge. Deadline: January 31. Entry fee: $10.
“Sometimes we feel ‘blocked’ because we started a story in the wrong place or ended in the wrong place,” writes Sarah Ruhl in “Writer’s Block: Variations on a Superstition” in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine. Find a draft of an unfinished essay or one you’re uncertain about or unsatisfied with, and try starting from a different place. How does this new beginning alter the tone of the piece? Does this shift give new meaning to the true core of the story?
580 Split, a student-run annual journal of arts and literature, features innovative and risk-taking fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art.
The Kundiman Asian American Workshop Retreat will be held from June 24 to June 28 at Fordham University's Rose Hill campus in the Bronx in New York City. The retreat features poetry and fiction workshops, one-on-one mentoring, manuscript consultations, and a public reading. Faculty includes poets Jenny Boully, Philip Metres, and Matthew Olzmann; and fiction writers Nayomi Munaweera, Madeleine Thien, and Vu Tran. Tuition, which includes lodging and meals, is $375. Financial aid is available.
Kundiman Asian American Workshop Retreat, 229 West 109th Street, Suite 22, New York, NY 10025.
The Jentel Foundation offers four-week residencies from mid-January to mid-December to poets, fiction writers, and creative nonfiction writers on a cattle ranch in the Lower Piney Creek Valley, 20 miles east of Sheridan, Wyoming. Each residency includes a private room, a separate work space, access to a common living area, and a $400 stipend. For residencies from May 15 to December 13, using only the online application system submit 10 pages of poetry or up to 20 pages of prose and contact information for three references with a $30 application fee by January 15.
Jentel Artist Residency Program, 130 Lower Piney Creek Road, Banner, WY 82832. (307) 737-2311. Mary Jane Edwards, Executive Director.