Wolff Wins Story Prize, Phillips and Sheff Get Discovered

Wednesday was a busy day for book awards ceremonies in New York City. At the New School last night, Tobias Wolff was named winner of the annual Story Prize for Our Story Begins (Knopf, 2008), edging out finalists Jumpha Lahiri (Unaccustomed Earth, Knopf) and Joe Meno (Demons in the Spring, Akashic Books). Earlier in the day, Gin Phillips and David Sheff were named winners of Barnes & Noble's sixteenth Discover Great New Writers Awards. Phillips won in fiction for her debut novel The Well and the Mine (Hawthorne Books) and Sheff won in nonfiction for his memoir Beautiful Boy (Houghton Mifflin).

Wolff received twenty thousand dollars, while Phillips and Sheff each received ten thousand dollars as well as a year of additional marketing and merchandising support from Barnes & Noble. But the winners aren't the only ones with a little extra coin in the bank today. Story Prize finalists Lahiri and Meno each received five thousand dollars, while the second- and third-place finalists in the Discover Great New Writers Awards program each received five thousand dollars and twenty-five hundred dollars respectively. Those finalists are Benjamin Tayler for The Book of Getting Even (Steerforth Press) and Zachary Lazar for Sway (Little, Brown) in fiction and Eric Weiner for The Geography of Bliss (Twelve) and Nia Wyn for Blue Sky July (Dutton) in nonfiction.

That's sixty-five thousand dollars doled out to nine writers on one day in one city, which, considering today's installment of Daily News, is cause for either excitement or resentment, depending on your disposition.

 

 

Unemployment Rate Among Writers Hit 6.6 Percent in 2008

by Staff
3.5.09

The National Endowment for the Arts released a new study yesterday that shows the unemployment rate among the nation's working artists, including writers, hit 6 percent in the final quarter of 2008. The unemployment rate for writers and authors alone is slightly higher: 6.6 percent.

Sonia Sanchez Wins the Robert Creeley Award

Poet Sonia Sanchez, author of sixteen books and a Cave Canem faculty member, has received the 2009 Robert Creeley Award. A ceremony will be held on March 23 at the R. J. Grey Jr. High School Auditorium in Acton, Massachusetts; admission is free. Sanchez also will select books that have influenced her writing for inclusion in the Acton Memorial Library collection.

In its ninth year, the Creeley Award honors the memory of Robert Creeley, who lived in Acton, Massachusetts, from the age of four to fifteen. It has brought a variety of distinguished poets, including Galway Kinnell, Grace Paley, Martin Espada, and C. D. Wright, to read in Acton. Last year's winner was John Ashbery. Take a look:

Montclair Offers to Host Dodge Poetry Festival

by Staff
3.3.09

The township of Montclair, New Jersey, recently offered to host the financially beleagured Dodge Poetry Festival, a biennial event sponsored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Foundation. The festival, which was founded in 1986 in Waterloo Village, New Jersey, and moved to Hillsborough, New Jersey, in 2003, was suspended earlier this year.

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Green-Haired Gumshoes or Hidebound Hacks? Creative Nonfiction vs. Journalism

by
Michael McGregor
3.1.09

My confusion came from a curious warning. Awash in a sea of writers and would-be writers in a drab-walled meeting room at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference a few years ago in Vancouver, B.C., I was listening to author Dinty W. Moore extol the virtues of creative nonfiction writing when suddenly he straightened his stout body and leaned across the podium. "Look out," he cautioned, his tone dire, "the journalists are coming!"

Richard Nash to Leave Soft Skull, Counterpoint

by Staff
2.26.09

Richard Nash announced yesterday that he will be stepping down as editorial director of Soft Skull Press and executive editor of Counterpoint on March 10. In a press release, Counterpoint publisher Charlie Winton, who bought the financially struggling Soft Skull about eighteen months ago, indicated that the company will continue to publish the Soft Skull imprint as well as maintain its editorial office in New York City.

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