Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: GRAYWOLF PRESS NONFICTION PRIZE

A $12,000 advance and publication by Graywolf will be awarded to the most promising and innovative literary nonfiction project by a writer not yet established in the genre. Robert Polito, Director of the Graduate Writing Program at the New School, will serve as the judge.

The 2011 prize will be awarded to a manuscript in process. We request that authors send a long sample from their manuscript, as well as a description of the work, as detailed below. We expect that we will work with the winner of the prize and provide editorial guidance toward the completion of the project. The Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize emphasizes innovation in form, and we want to see projects that test the boundaries of literary nonfiction. We are less interested in straightforward memoirs, and we turn down a large number of them every year. Before submitting your manuscript for the prize, please look at the books previously published as winners of the prize for examples of the type of work that we are seeking.

“This prize seeks to acknowledge—and honor—the great traditions of literary nonfiction, extending from Robert Burton and Thomas Browne in the seventeenth century through Defoe and Strachey and on to James Baldwin, Joan Didion, and Jamaica Kincaid in our own time,” says Robert Polito. “Whether grounded in observation, autobiography, or research, much of the most beautiful, daring, and original writing over the past few decades can be categorized as nonfiction. Submissions to the prize might span memoir, biography, or history.”

Previous winners:

2010: The Grey Album: Music, Lying, and the Blackness of Being by Kevin Young
2008: Notes from No Man’s Land: American Essays by Eula Biss
2007: Black Glasses Like Clark Kent: A GI’s Secret from Postwar Japan by Terese Svoboda
2006: Neck Deep and Other Predicaments by Ander Monson
2005: Frantic Transmissions to and from Los Angeles: An Accidental Memoir by Kate Braverman

Eligibility: Any writer who has published at least one previous book (in any genre) and resides in the United States is eligible. We will consider one submission per person. Graywolf’s editors and the prize judge reserve the right to invite submissions. Agented submissions are also welcome. Manuscripts submitted for previous years’ prizes will not be reconsidered unless resubmission has been specifically requested by Graywolf’s editors or the judge.

Timeline: Submissions must arrive in the Graywolf offices between June 1–30, 2011. This is not a postmark deadline. The winner will be announced in late 2011.

For more on the competition go to http://www.graywolfpress.org/

[Photo: Jerolek]

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