Summer Literary Seminars is very excited to announce our 2014 Literary Contest! It will be held this year in affiliation with Fence Magazine. We are also thrilled to continue our three contest partnerships, with prizes sponsored by the Los Angeles Review of Books, The Center for Fiction, St. Petersburg Review, and the esteemed Graywolf Press. Judging the contest are award-winning writers Aimee Bender (fiction), Dorothea Lasky (poetry), and Phillip Lopate (non fiction). The Arkadii Dragomoshchenko Prize for Innovative Poetry will be judged by Eugene Ostashevsky, the Sutzkever Prize will be judged by André Aciman, and the Los Angeles Review of Books Prize in Outstanding Criticism will be judged by Josip Novakovich and Mikhail Iossel.
Thanks to our generous friends at Fence, this year the contest entry will include a one-year subscription to Fence Magazine! Read on, or enter today!
Contest winners in the categories of fiction and poetry will have their work published in print in Fence Magazine. Additionally, they will have the choice of attending (airfare, tuition, and housing included) any one of the 2014 SLS programs – in Vilnius, Lithuania (July 13 - 26, 2014); or Nairobi-Lamu, Kenya (December 2014).
Second-place winners will receive a full tuition waiver for the program of their choice, and publication in an online magazine. Third-place winners will receive a 50% tuition discount and publication in an online magazine.
The contest winner in the category of non fiction will have the choice of attending (airfare, tuition, and housing included) any one of the 2014 SLS programs.
The winner of the Arkadii Dragomoshchenko Prize for Innovative Poetry will have their entry published on Charles Bernstein’s commentary page at Jacket2, a widely read site for new poetics. In addition, the winner will receive free tuition and $500 towards travel funds to attend the 2014 SLS Lithuania program. Full details here.
The winner of the Sutzkever Prize will receive full tuition for the 2014 SLS Lithuania Program, as well as a $500 travel stipend. Full details here.
The winner of The Center for Fiction Prize for excellence in short story writing will receive full tuition for any 2014 SLS Program, as well as publication in The Center for Fiction's online journal, The Literarian. (All qualifying entries automatically considered.)
The winner of the Graywolf Prize for the best novel excerpt of an emerging writer (you must have published no more than two novels) will receive full tuition for any 2014 SLS Program, as well as publication on the Graywolf website. (All qualifying entries automatically considered, please note that you have published two or less novels in your email.)
The winner of the Los Angeles Review of Books Prize in Outstanding Criticism will receive full tuition for any 2014 SLS Program as well as publication in the LA Review of Books. (All qualifying entries automatically considered.)
The winners (one fiction, one poetry) of the SLS-St. Petersburg Review Editor's Choice Award will receive publication in the journal as well as free tuition to an upcoming program. (All qualifying entries automatically considered.)
A number of select contest participants, based on the overall strength of their work, will be offered tuition scholarships, as well, applicable to the SLS-2014 programs.
Fiction Judge: Aimee Bender is the author of five books: The Girl in the Flammable Skirt (1998) which was a NY Times Notable Book, An Invisible Sign of My Own (2000) which was an L.A. Times pick of the year, Willful Creatures(2005) which was nominated byThe Believer as one of the best books of the year, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake (2010) which recently won the SCIBA award for best fiction, and an Alex Award, and The Color Master, just released in August 2013.Her short fiction has been published in Granta, GQ, Harper’s, Tin House, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, and many more places, as well as heard on PRI’s This American Life and Selected Shorts. She has received two Pushcart prizes, was nominated for the TipTree award in 2005, and the Shirley Jackson short story award in 2010. Her fiction has been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing at USC.
Poetry Judge: Dorothea Lasky was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. She earned a BA at Washington University and an MFA at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has published three collections of poetry, AWE (2007), and Black Life (2010), and Thunderbird (2012), as well as several chapbooks, including the polemical Poetry Is Not a Project (2010). Her poems have appeared in a number of prominent publications, including the New Yorker, Paris Review, and American Poetry Review. Known for her colloquial, even slangy style and dramatic readings, Lasky acknowledges that “there is a kind of arrogance, a kind of supreme power, that when infused with a little real humility and expertise, makes a poem. Because the poem is always about the speaker.” Lasky was awarded a Bagley Wright Fellowship in 2013, and she is an assistant professor of poetry at Columbia University.
Non Fiction Judge: Phillip Lopate was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1943, and received a BA from Columbia in 1964, and a doctorate from the Union Graduate School in 1979. Among his many publications he has three personal essay collections, two novels, a pair of novellas, three poetry collections, a memoir of his teaching experiences, a collection of his movie criticism. His two most recent publications are Portrait Inside My Head (personal essays) and To Show and to Tell: the Craft of Literary Nonfiction (March 2013). He has been awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a New York Public Library Center for Scholars and Writers Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts grants, and two New York Foundation for the Arts grants. After working with children for twelve years as a writer in the schools, he taught creative writing and literature at Fordham, Cooper Union, University of Houston, Hofstra University, New York University and Bennington College. He is the director of the nonfiction graduate program at Columbia University, where he also teaches writing.
Arkadii Dragomoshenko Prize Judge: Eugene Ostashevsky is the author of the poetry collections The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza andIterature, both published by Ugly Duckling Presse. He is the editor of OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism, the first collection of writings by Vvedensky and friends in English translation. Ostashevsky teaches in the liberal studies program at New York University.
Sutzkever Prize Judge: André Aciman is the author of the novels Harvard Square, Call Me by Your Name, and Eight White Nights, the memoir Out of Egypt, and two books of essays. He is also the editor of The Proust Project. He teaches comparative literature at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he directs the Writers’ Institute. Born in Alexandria, he lived in Italy and France. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and has taught at Princeton University and Bard College and is currently the chair of The Graduate Center’s doctoral program in Comparative Literature. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a fellowship from The New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. He has written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and The New Republic. Aciman lives with his wife and family in New York City.
LA Review of Books Prize Judges: Leningrad, USSR-born Mikhail Iossel is the author of “Every Hunter Wants to Know,” a collection of stories (W.W.Norton), and co-editor (with Jeff Parker) of “Amerika” (Dalkey Archive) and “Rasskazy” (Tin House/Bloomsbury), anthologies of contemporary Russian writing. He has been awarded the Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, among others. His stories have appeared, both in English and in Russian, in numerous publications, such as The New Yorker, The Literarian, Agni Review, The North American Review, and others, and were translated into a number of languages and anthologized in the Best American Short Stories and elsewhere. He teaches writing at Concordia University.
Josip Novakovich moved from Croatia to the U.S. at the age of twenty. He has published a novel, April Fool's Day, three story collections (Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust, Yolk, and Salvation and Other Disasters) and two collections of narrative essays as well as two books of practical criticism, including Fiction Writers Workshop. His work was anthologized in Best American Poetry, the Pushcart Prize collection, and O. Henry Prize Stories. He has received the Whiting Writer's Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, the Ingram Merrill Award, and an American Book Award, and he has been a writing fellow of the New York Public Library. Novakovich was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize for his body of work. He has taught at Bard, Die Freie Universitaet in Berlin, Penn State, and now, Concordia University in Montreal.
The complete guidelines for the 2014 contest are as follows:
Deadline: February 28, 2014
ALL ENTRIES WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE CONSIDERED FOR THE GRAYWOLF, CENTER FOR FICTION, ARKADII DRAGOMOSHENKO, AND SUTZKEVER PRIZES, DEPENDING ON CONTENT.
All entries should be in a standard type face and 12pt font and, if emailed, attached in .pdf, .doc or .rtf format.
For fiction: ONE short story or novel excerpt, maximum 20 (double-spaced) pages per entry.** NOTE: To qualify for the Graywolf Prize, you must have published no more than two novels (or none at all). Note in your subject line that you are submitting a novel excerpt.
For non fiction: ONE piece of non fiction, maximum 20 (double-spaced) pages per entry.
For poetry: No more than THREE poems per entry, up to 10 pages total.
Entrants may submit to any or all categories more than once; however, each entry must be accompanied by its own entry fee.
Only previously unpublished work can be submitted. (We do not count work posted on personal blogs as publications.)
In your subject line, please include your name and type of submission (short story, novel excerpt, poetry) eg. Jane Smith - Poetry
Include your complete contact information (address, telephone, email address) on the manuscript. Entries are not judged blind.
Winners will be notified in March, 2014.
Cover letters are not required.
Previous First-Place winners may not re-enter in the same genre.
Entries can be submitted electronically, to: firstname.lastname@example.org (NOTE: Please do not send payments to this address -- we request that if you pay online you use the Paypal button below.)
A $18 US reading fee must accompany each entry. Multiple entries are permissible, as long as they are accompanied by separate reading fees. The entry fee includes a one-year subscription to Fence Magazine. Already a subscriber?—you can choose a one-year extension to your current subscription or you can choose to gift a friend.
Fees can paid paid online, via Paypal, or to the address below, by cheque.
NOTE: Online submissions and payments are preferred, but if you would rather submit the hard copy and pay by cheque, the address is below:Summer Literary Seminars
Unified Literary Contest
1455 de Maisonneuve Blvd. W.
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8 Canada
These are the complete contest guidelines.
We wish each and every one of you the best of luck with the contest!
FICTION (judged by Mary Gaitskill)
First Place: Ruth Joffre (Iowa City, Iowa)
Second Place: Andy Mozina (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
Third Place: Glenn Vanstrum (La Jolla, California)
POETRY (judged by Eileen Myles)
First Place: Jenny Zhang (Brooklyn, New York)
Second Place: CAConrad (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Third Place: Danniel Schoonebeek (Brooklyn, New York)
NON FICTION (judged by Ander Monson)
First Place: Stuart Ross (Chicago, Illinois)
Second Place: Spring Ulmer (West Chester, Pennsylvania)
Third Place: William Scott Williams (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)
Winner: Leah Bailly (Canada/Los Angeles, California)
Runners Up: Trudy Lewis (Columbia, Missouri), Margot Singer (Granville, Ohio), and Shehryar Fazli (Islamabad, Pakistan)
The Center for Fiction Prize (The Literarian)
Winner: Alake Pilgrim (Trinidad & Tobago)
Runners Up: Keya Mitra (Spokane, Washington) & Pam Zhang (San Francisco, California)
Sutzkever Centennial Translation Prize (judged by Ed Hirsch)
Winner: Lee Sharkey (Vienna, Maine )
Runners up: Jacob Oet (Swarthmore, Pennsylvania) & Heather Valencia (Thornhill, Scotland)
Arkadii Dragomoshchenko Prize for Innovative Poetry (judged by Charles Bernstein)
Winner: Maxwell Clark (New Haven, Connecticut)
Runners up: Lindsay Vella (Iowa City, Iowa) & Roberta Hatcher (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
FICTION (judged by Mary Gaitskill)
First Place: m k s volcofsky (Matthew Seidman) (Brooklyn, NY)
Second Place: Steinur Bell (Sarasota, FL)
Third Place: Aggie Zivaljevic (San Jose, CA)
POETRY (judged by Tony Hoagland)
First Place: Dianne Seuss (Kalamazoo, MI)
Second Place: Christopher Robinson (Federal Way, WA)
Third Place: Dawn Marie Knopf (Portland, OR)
NON-FICTION (judged by Ander Monson)
First Place: Will Mackin (Rio Rancho, NM)
Second Place: James Kates (Fitzwilliam, NH)
Third Place: Jim Ruland (San Diego, CA)
The Center for Fiction Award (The Literarian)
Thirii Myo Kyaw Myint (San Jose, CA)
Runners-up: Stacy Hardy & Margaret Meklin
Snowden Wright (New York, NY)
Runners-up: Rachel Cantor, Diana Svennes-Smith, Emma Smith-Stevens, & Laura Pritchett
SLS-St. Petersburg Review Award
Gabriel Tallent, Ashley Wren Collins, Justin Boening, & Cori A. Winrock
SLS Award for Emerging Writers
Karina Slobogian, Ottessa Moshfegh, & Eric Fershtman
Fiction, judged by Jayne-Anne Phillips
Place: Blair Bourassa (Kentville, NS)
Second Place: Matthew Baker (Nashville, TN)
Third Place: Rebecca Rukeyser (Iowa City, IA)
Poetry, judged by Matthew Zapruder
Lillian Bertram (Williamstown, MA)
Second Place: Chloe Honum (Provincetown, MA)
Third Place: Justin Boening (Missoula, MT)
East-European Roots Contest, judged by Phillip Lopate
Place: Nikita Nelin "The Most Current History of the Russian Jew"
Second Place:Daniella Gitlin "Notes From the Basin"
Third Place:(tie) Steven Roiphe "Brighton Beach Memory Gap"
Randall Babtkis "Three Meditations"
Poetry, judged by Mary
First Place: Helen Dimos
Second Place: Hadara Bar-Nadav
Third Place: Lillian-Yvonne Bertram
Fiction, judged by Mary Gaitskill
First Place: Gina Frangello
Second Place: Mikael Awake
Third Place: Geoff Schmidt
Poetry, judged by Ann
First Place: Caron A. Levis
Second Place: Rachel Cantor
Third Place: Lisa Gornick
Fiction, judged by Lynne Tillman
First Place: Elizabeth Senja Spackman
Second Place: Ravi Shankar
Third Place: Michael C. Peterson
SLS/Matrix Magazine Editor's Choice Award: Mona Awad