Saturday, April 30, 2011

Nonfiction Competition: Greywolf Press Nonfiction Prize

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.

Procedure: We strongly encourage using our online submissions manager to submit your manuscript for the nonfiction prize. Online submissions should follow the same formatting guidelines as paper submissions: twelve-point font, double-spaced text, numbered pages. Please include the required materials as the initial pages of your manuscript file. Note that we only accept Word files (.doc and .docx).

Please send all paper submissions, including the materials listed below, to:

Graywolf Press, Attention: Nonfiction Prize
250 Third Avenue North, Suite 600
Minneapolis, MN 55401

The writing sample should be in a standard twelve-point font, double-spaced, and printed on one side of the page only. Use a rubber band or clip to hold the materials; do not staple or permanently bind any of the pages, as we may need to photocopy them for the judge. Please do not send manuscripts directly to the judge. Materials will not be returned.

Required materials:
--One-page cover letter containing a one-paragraph biographical statement and brief (2-4 sentence) description of the project. Please include any previous publications in the biographical statement.
--A two to ten-page overview of the project, including a description of what is already complete and what work remains to be finished.
--A minimum of 100 pages (25,000 words) from the manuscript. If submitting online, all required materials should be included as the initial pages of your manuscript file.

We strongly encourage using the online submissions manager, as it allows you to check the status of the manuscript, and streamlines the process of submitting. It will be open for Nonfiction Prize submissions during the month of June 2011 only.

Notification for online submissions: All online submissions will receive an email response after the winner has been chosen. We cannot answer any queries about the status of manuscripts.

Notification for paper submissions: If you would like to be notified that your paper submission has been received, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped postcard. For announcement of the winner, please enclose a self-addressed, stamped #10 (business-sized) envelope. Only those who include an SASE will receive a reply. We cannot answer any queries about the status of manuscripts.

The winner will be notified directly, and public announcement of the winner will be made on our web site in late 2011. All decisions are final, and the judge cannot comment on individual submissions.

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