Beginner’s Mind

11.5.20

“Craft is not simply technical. If we take our craft seriously, or even if we want to play, we must realize that what we bring to craft is the world that crafted us,” writes Joy Priest in an installment of Craft Capsules published in July. “The way we work, our technique, holds all of our subconscious anxieties and desires.” What was the world like that shaped you, and how does it manifest in your writing? Write an essay describing how your childhood shaped the way you think and the choices you make as a writer. Consider the questions that Priest poses throughout her essay, such as, “What are you avoiding? What are you leaving out? What is uninterrogated?”

Julie Andrews and Stephen Colbert Exchange Limericks

Caption: 

In this clip from The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Julie Andrews speaks about her latest book, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years (Hachette Books, 2019), which is cowritten by her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, and exchanges personalized limericks with the host.

Erica Hunt for the New Social Environment

Caption: 

In this installment of the “New Social Environment” series for the Brooklyn Rail recorded in April, Charles Bernstein speaks with Erica Hunt about unpacking language and how writers have reimagined ways to communicate amongst each other during the pandemic. Hunt talks about her new poetry collection, Jump the Clock (Nightboat Books, 2020), in Ten Questions.

Makeover

10.29.20

In Wesley Morris’s essay “My Mustache, My Self,” published in the New York Times earlier this month, he explores how growing a mustache during quarantine led him to deeply consider his identity as a Black man. After a friend describes him as looking like “a lawyer for the N.A.A.C.P. Legal Defense Fund,” Morris meditates on how this friend “had identified a mighty American tradition and placed [his] face within it.” Either recently or in your past, has a subtle or dramatic stylistic choice in your presentation affected the way you see yourself? Write an essay that considers how a new look can alter how you view yourself, or how others perceive you.

Bryan Washington on Cooking Soondubu

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“Maybe meeting a new flavor is alchemy. Today you can’t stand it, tomorrow it’s all you can stand.” In this New Yorker video essay, Bryan Washington talks about frequenting Korean restaurants in Houston and learning how to cook soondubu, a Korean tofu stew, as a way to reconnect with his mother. Washington’s new book, Memorial (Riverhead Books, 2020), is featured in Page One in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Brooklyn Nonfiction Prize

Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival
Entry Fee: 
$0
Deadline: 
December 10, 2020
A prize of $500 and publication on the Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival is given annually for a work of nonfiction that is set in Brooklyn, New York, and renders the borough’s “rich soul and intangible qualities through the writer’s actual experiences of Brooklyn.” Submit an essay of up to 2,500 words by December 10. There is no entry fee. Visit the website for complete guidelines. Brooklyn Film & Arts Festival, Brooklyn Nonfiction Prize, P.O. Box 491, New York, NY 10156.

Upcoming Contest Deadlines

If November doesn’t already feel high stakes enough, consider submitting to some writing contests. With deadlines of either November 1 or November 2, these awards include opportunities to publish both individual stories and poems, as well as book-length works. All offer a prize of $1,000 or more.

Alice James Books Alice James Award: A prize of $2,000 and publication by Alice James Books is given annually for a poetry collection by a poet residing in the United States. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: November 2. Entry fee: $30.

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 (includes a copy of the magazine).

Fiction Collective Two Catherine Doctorow Innovative Fiction Prize: A prize of $15,000 and publication by Fiction Collective Two, an imprint of University of Alabama Press, is given annually for a novel, short story collection, novella, or novella collection. U.S. writers who have published at least three books of fiction are eligible. Joyelle McSweeney will judge. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: $25.

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. Vi Khi Nao will judge. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: $25.

Gotham Book Prize: A prize of $50,000 will be given annually for a book of fiction or creative nonfiction about New York City or that takes place in New York City published in the current year. Anna Akbari, Ric Burns, Stephanie Danler, Christina Greer, Tom Healy, Mitchell Moss, Patricia Park, Melissa Rivero, Safiya Sinclair, and Dennis Walcott will judge. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: none.

Malahat Review Open Season Awards: Three prizes of CAD $2,000 (approximately $1,490) each and publication in Malahat Review are given annually for a poem or group of poems, a short story, and an essay. Rebecca Salazar will judge in poetry, Philip Huynh will judge in fiction, and Lishai Peel will judge in creative nonfiction. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: $40 (includes subscription).

Nina Riggs Poetry Foundation Poetry Award: A prize of at least $1,000 will be given annually for a single poem that examines relationships, family, or domestic life that was published in a book or magazine in the last three years. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: none.

North American Review James Hearst Poetry Prize: A prize of $1,000 and publication in North American Review is given annually for a single poem. Maggie Smith will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: $23 (includes an issue of North American Review).

Reed Magazine Edwin Markham Prize for Poetry: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Reed Magazine is given annually for a poem or group of poems. Matthea Harvey will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: $20 (includes a copy of the prize issue).

Reed Magazine Gabriele Rico Challenge for Creative Nonfiction: A prize of $1,333 and publication in Reed Magazine is given annually for an essay. Suzanne Rico will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: $20 (includes a copy of the magazine).

Reed Magazine John Steinbeck Award for Fiction: A prize of $1,000 and publication in Reed Magazine is given annually for a short story. Rita Bullwinkel will judge. All entries are considered for publication. Deadline: November 1. Entry fee: $20 (includes a copy of the prize issue).

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.

GalleyCrush: The Freezer Door

by Staff
8.14.20
Close-up of the cover of Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s The Freezer Door

Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s The Freezer Door, forthcoming from Semiotext(e) on December 8, 2020. Editor’s Note: This book’s publication date has been changed to November 24, 2020.

Daily Records

10.22.20

Weight of the Earth: The Tape Journals of David Wojnarowicz edited by Lisa Darms and David O'Neill collects the recorded diaries of the artist, activist, and writer from 1981 through 1989 examining his life, art, and dreams. The cassettes hold a string of different modes of speaking through ideas in real time—going from stream of consciousness, to searing argument, to meditations on death, to divagations between poems and phone calls—producing a record of a singular artist’s mind in a crucial moment in history. Record yourself for two minutes each day this week and untether your thoughts in real time. How do your ideas unfold without the stop-and-go of composing the right sentence? At the end of the week, transcribe and arrange your recordings into an essay of fragments surrounding a theme.

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