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Published August 25, 2015
The Modern Dickens Project starts by posting an opening chapter online then invites other writers to continue the story by submitting the next chapter in the developing story month-by-month for the next twelve months, resulting in a thirteen chapter book. The curators behind this project are Chris Draper, Executive Director; Rachel Vogel, Managing Editor; Kali Van Baale, Editorial Advisor; Tracey Kelley and Murl Pace, Editorial Board.

Starting in 2011, the project posts a starting chapter by an established guest author, wetting the "tone and style of the following chapters." While supported by the Iowa Arts Council, submissions are open to all writers; however, the overall story "must be distinctively Iowan."

Submissions are due by the 21 of each month with the winning chapter selected and published online by the first of the next month to keep the story contributions going.

Previous Modern Dickens Project books are The Devil is Done Sinning, Defining Darrell, and Woman, Regardless. Each is available in paperback and kindle formats.
Published July 29, 2015
better-than-war-siamak-vossoughiSince 1983, the University of Georgia Press has annualy held their Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction, which, according to their website, “was established to encourage gifted emerging writers by bringing their work to a national readership.” Siamak Vossoughi’s winning collection Better Than War will be published in September 2015.

From the publisher’s description: “The stories in Better Than War encompass narratives from a diverse set of Iranian immigrants, many searching for a balance between memories of their homeland and their new American culture. [ . . . ] All Iranian immigrants, young or old, carry with them a vivid past in their contemporary life. Vossoughi’s Better Than War is about growing up, coming of age, and raising children in America while still remembering the importance of retaining Iranian pride.”

Preorder your copy of Better Than War at the University of Georgia Press website.

Published July 08, 2015
no-map-of-the-earth-includes-stars-christina-olivaresThe Marsh Hawk Press Poetry Prize is awarded annually, with a first prize of $1,000 and publication. During this past May, the 2014 winner was published: No Map of the Earth Includes Stars by Christina Olivares.

Also the winner of YesYes Books’s 2014 Vinyl 45 Chapbook Competition with her chapbook Petition, Olivares has poems published or forthcoming in Five Quarterly, decomP, Vinyl Poetry, and PALABRA, among others.

Check out the Marsh Hawk Press website for more information about No Map of the Earth Includes Stars or pick up a copy.

Published July 01, 2015
excommunicados-charles-havertyThe John Simmons Short Fiction Award is open to any writer who hasn’t previously published a volume of prose fiction. Charles Haverty is the 2015 winner with his forthcoming collection Excommunicados.

From the University of Iowa Press’s website: “By turns haunting, hilarious, and heartbreaking, Charles Haverty’s debut collection charts the journeys of men, women, and children cast out of familiar territory into emotional terra incognita where people and things are rarely what they seem. . . . There are secrets at the center of each of these daring and original stories—secrets that separate these characters from one another but grow in the mind and the heart, connecting them with all of us.”

To be available in October 2015, copies of Excommunicados can be preordered from the University of Iowa Press website.

Published June 26, 2015
night-in-erg-chebbi-and-other-stories-edward-hamlinThe 2015 Iowa Short Fiction Award from the University of Iowa Press has been awarded to Edward Hamlin for his debut collection Night in Erg Chebbi and Other Stories.

Judge Karen Russell says of her selection, “The stories in Night in Erg Chebbi are sweeping and intimate and awesomely confident of their own effects. They document staggering, cataclysmic changes—forest fire, flash flood, revolution, murder—as well as the slow violence of grief and degenerative disease. [ . . . ] This is a collection with both depth and breadth, a book dedicated to revealing ‘the universal concealed in the weft of the particular.’ Hamlin spins the globe, jumping nimbly from a treetop lodge on a Brazilian riverbank to the lawn of a governor’s mansion on the eve of an execution to Merzouga, Morocco, ‘gateway to the dune sea of Erg Chebbi.’ [ . . . ] Each story here is a world in miniature, illuminated by the flashbulb bursts of Hamlin’s luminous, controlled prose.”

Available in August, readers can preorder a copy of Night in Erg Chebbi and Other Stories on the University of Iowa Press website.

Published June 24, 2015
we-deserve-the-gods-we-ask-for-seth-brady-tuckerThe Gival Press Poetry Award is held annually. Open to national and international poets, winners receive $1,000 and publication. The 2013 winner, We Deserve the Gods We Ask For by Seth Brady Tucker was published this past fall.

Judge Lisa Graley, winner of the previous year’s poetry award, says of her selection, “This is sinewy writing at its most sturdy and tenacious. His—tangle of silk and muscle—is sure to stagger and transfix.”

More information about the Gival Press Poetry Award and We Deserve the Gods We Ask For can be found at the Gival Press website.

Published June 17, 2015
owl-invites-your-silence-richard-parisioThe Slapering Hol Press Sanger-Stewart Chapbook Competition is open to writers who haven’t yet published a chapbook collection. Richard Parisio is the 2014 winner with his collection The Owl Invites Your Silence, released this year.

From the editors: “Parisio’s wise and moving words emerge from his training as a naturalist, teacher, journalist, and conservationist. This is a book of poems written by a poet who pays keen attention to the natural world that is quickly being destroyed. It is an important book for our time.”

Parisio has worked as an interpretive naturalist for 40 years and is a nature columnist for the local paper in New Paltz, NY. His work can be found in three regional anthologies, as well as The Kerf, Spillway, and Common Ground Review, among other journals.

Published June 12, 2015
impossible-object-lisa-sewellThe Word Works’s Tenth Gate Prize, “named in honor of Jane Hirshfield, recognizes the wisdom and dedication of mid- and late-career poets.”

Lisa Sewell was recognized in 2014 with her winning collection Impossible Object, selected by Series Editor Leslie McGrath for “its eloquence, originality, cohesion, and craft.”

Released in April, readers can pick up copies of Impossible Object from the publisher’s website or from SPD.
Published June 10, 2015
50-water-dreams-siwa-masannatWinner of the 2014 First Book Competition from the Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 50 Water Dreams by Siwar Masannat, selected by Ilya Kaminsky, is now available for purchase on the publisher's website.

Of his selection, Kaminsky says, “How lucky we are to find a poetry debut that isn't afraid of ideas, of mysteries, of politics, of passion. How brave she is to say 'I saw nobody coming so I went instead.' And to dare us: 'I want to put you in my revolution.' Like Zbigniew Herbert, this poet wants 'to hide you in my eyelids & the nation,' like Venus Khoury-Ghata, she makes a mythological pastoral, a book of voices that speak for more than one person.”

Masannat’s writing can also be found in New Orleans Review, Gargoyle, and Hayden’s Ferry Review, among other journals.
Published June 05, 2015
open-mouth-of-the-vase-amy-ashThe Open Mouth of the Vase by Amy Ash, the winner of the 2013 Cider Press Review Book Award, was published in January.

“Pain, love, regret, joy, longing, loss, humor, and an earthy sexuality all find memorable expression in these poems. Ash has a gift for reversing reader expectations in illuminating ways, as well as for coining metaphors that startle with their aptness and their ability to refresh the world,” says judge Charles Harper Webb of his selection.

The Open Mouth of the Vase is Amy Ash’s first full-length collection. Pick up a copy or learn more at the Cider Press Review website.

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