Archive

Archive for the ‘Contests and prizes’ Category

2011 Pushcart Prize nominations

December 1, 2011 3 comments

Pushcart Prize nominations 2011

November 5, 2011 5 comments

Once again we are soliciting suggestions from readers on our nominations for this year’s Pushcart Prize. Any work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, including translation, that has appeared in qarrtsiluni since January 1 would be eligible, so the Translation and Imprisonment issues, the chapbook series, and the currently unfolding Worship issue. Remember to hit the “Older entries” link at the bottom of each page to navigate through an issue. Grab permalinks by clicking on the titles.

Please leave suggestions in the comment thread for this post, or mail us: qarrtsiluni [at] gmail [dot] com, up to six nominations per commenter. And tell us why. We are much more likely to be swayed by articulate arguments and personal reactions than by numbers of “votes”; this isn’t a popularity contest. Please don’t nominate your own works, or tell all your friends to nominate them for you! Aside from that, anyone is welcome to make suggestions, including first-time readers, but we will give greater weight to suggestions from those who regularly comment here, indicating a long-term engagement with the magazine.

We need to print out and mail in our nominations no later than December 1, so we’ll be making our final decision before the end of the month. We realize there’s very little chance that nominations from a journal as obscure as qarrtsiluni will make it into the anthology, but given that a mere nomination is regarded by many writers as something of an honor, we like to try and make that nomination as meaningful as possible.

—Dave and Beth

Announcing Our 2011 Chapbook Contest

May 2, 2011 1 comment

We’re pleased to announce qarrtsiluni’s third annual poetry chapbook contest. The judge is renowned poet Luisa Igloria and the deadline for submissions is June 15. The winner will be announced on September 1, and publication in print and online will follow in early fall. Since we use a print-on-demand service for the paper edition and make it available world-wide through Amazon, it will remain in print for years if not decades longer than most limited-edition poetry chapbooks.

Last year’s contest was a definite success, with 60 manuscripts submitted, 10 excellent chapbooks chosen for the shortlist, and a remarkable winning manuscript, Watermark, by Clayton Michaels, which received wide notice on the web, as well as being published in full in both print and online editions, and has been used as a textbook in creative writing classes. As in 2010, selected poems from the top ten 2011 chapbooks will be published here, and two runners-up will be chosen in addition to the winner.

GUIDELINES: Before submitting, please read carefully the complete details on the contest page; all manuscripts must meet the published guidelines. Judging will be anonymous, with chapbooks identified by a number only. Beth Adams, qarrtsiluni co-managing editor, will be the contest coordinator. If you have a question that is not answered by the guidelines, please direct your inquiry to her by email: qarrtsiluni.chapbook.2011 [at] gmail.com.

HELPFUL ADVICE: Although each year’s judging is subjective, entrants may wish to take a look at last year’s finalists and winner, and to read what Pamela Johnson Parker had to say about putting together her winning collection in 2009. An interview about the chapbook contest process, with qarrtsiluni editors Dave Bonta and Beth Adams, was published in November 2009 at Read Write Poem, and toward the end contains our advice for entrants.

We hope you will consider submitting your best work to us. Good luck to everyone!

Pushcart Prize nominations 2010

November 15, 2010 12 comments

UPDATE (12/1): Here are our six nominations. Thanks to everyone who left comments and emailed suggestions.

24” by Barbara Young (New Classics issue)

Tantric” by Clayton Michaels (Watermark)

Relics” by Sherry Chandler (Health issue)

Sea of Stars” by Dick Jones (The Crowd issue)

So soft his neck, so distant from the thought of stone” by Jee Leong Koh (New Classics issue)

Apart” by Aline Soules (Chapbook Finalists 2010; originally published in The Houston Literary Review, May 2009)

***

Once again we are soliciting suggestions from readers on our nominations for this year’s Pushcart Prize. (See last year’s post for more on our thinking about this.) Any work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry that has appeared in qarrtsiluni since January 1 would be eligible: basically, the Health and New Classics issues, the chapbook series, and the currently unfolding Crowd issue. Remember to hit the “Older entries” link at the bottom of each page to navigate through an issue. Grab permalinks by clicking on the titles.

Please leave suggestions in the comment thread for this post (or if you’re shy, email us: qarrtsiluni [at] gmail [dot] com), up to six nominations per commenter. And tell us why. We are much more likely to be swayed by articulate arguments and personal reactions than by numbers of “votes”; this isn’t a popularity contest. Please don’t nominate your own works, or tell all your friends to nominate them for you! Aside from that, anyone is welcome to make suggestions, including first-time readers, but we will give greater weight to suggestions from those who regularly comment here, indicating a long-term engagement with the magazine.

We need to print out and mail in our nominations no later than December 1, so we’ll be making our final decision before the end of the month, and will announce the nominations by an update to this post, as before. In the meantime, we’d really appreciate your help in combing through the archives. Incidentally, last year, although none of our six nominations made the anthology, one of them was also later nominated by one of Pushcart’s official advisors (we don’t know who): Khadija Anderson’s poem “Islam for Americans.” It felt a bit like a vindication of our crowd-sourcing approach.

—Beth and Dave

Announcing the 2010 Chapbook Contest Winners!

July 1, 2010 5 comments

What a task! Cataloging, reading, considering, and choosing a shortlist and three top manuscripts from the sixty-six submitted — and then deciding which one was the very best. Our judge this year, Ken Lamberton, called it a challenge and a privilege, and said the overall quality of the manuscripts was “amazing.” Dave and I thank him and our 2010 first-round readers for taking on the extremely difficult job of deciding among such excellent work.

Choosing the poetry that speaks to us will always be, to some extent, subjective. Because our whole purpose here is to encourage written expression, experimentation, and creativity, we’ve always had a love/hate affair with contests. So in addition to celebrating with the winners, we congratulate all the poets, and reiterate Ken’s assessment that the quality of the work — as is so often the case at qarrtsiluni — was very high, and the choice clearly difficult.

In mid-August, we’ll begin online publication of one poem from each of the shortlisted manuscripts, and the winning chapbook in its entirety. The winner will also be published in a professionally designed paper edition, and available for sale.

THE WINNERS, with Ken Lamberton’s comments:

First Prize:
Watermark by Clayton T. Michaels

Above all the others, this author most impressed me with his/her powerful, vivid images and surprising twists in the language, a sophisticated and intelligent — but not intellectual — use of language that moved me emotionally. I could see a mind at work behind the choices of images, but it was my emotions that responded to the images. For example, in the last stanza of “melancholia is a collective noun,” the author writes: “And Saint Denis, of the lachrymose silences,/carries his head with him for all eternity,/artists never quite agreeing/where his halo should go.” This is a beautiful final stanza to a poem that begins with astonishing images like “grey wax in a bowl of water” and “mouth filled with pomegranate seeds/instead of teeth.”

It’s this kind of poetry that I find most gratifying; the kind that uses just the right salient concrete images to elicit an emotional response in me, though I may not necessarily understand why I have this response.

Furthermore, the surprising juxtaposition of many images gives the poetry (see “tantric” and “drylung” for example) a wonderfully controlled surreal and mesmerizing quality — which to me not only holds the manuscript together but raises it to a level above the other submissions.

Clayton T. Michaels is a teacher, poet and musician who currently resides in Granger, Indiana. He has been a featured poet at the online journal Anti-, and his poems have appeared in The Prism Review, Nerve Cowboy, >kill author, Makeout Creek, Slipstream and The Chiron Review, among others. He currently teaches composition, creative writing, and comic-book-related courses at Indiana University South Bend, and can be found online at his blog. This is the first time his work will appear in qarrtsiluni.

Runners-Up:

itching, itching by Teresa Gilman

I was most impressed with this author’s use of imagistic language and nice turns of phrase. Some of my favorite lines include: “my chest/filled with caged starlings” and “her wilted dress moaning after him” and “receptive as a peach left out all afternoon.” Wonderful expressive language that carries emotional weight, which seems to be the theme of the manuscript. In fact, it’s this theme of relationships, love, and loss that holds the manuscript together. The chapbook holds some of the most vivid “love poems” I’ve ever read, my favorite being “The Moon-colored Flesh of Leaving.”

Alchemy and Atrophy by Tim Lockridge

This author came very close to having the winning chapbook. I was struck by the very first poem, “Something Unfolds in the Distance,” my favorite of the collection. The poem’s metaphors (“her voice is a nest of poppy seeds” and “your heart is a plastic bag and your desire a streetlight”) hold your attention as the poem’s line breaks drive the images line to line, stanza to stanza. And the author sustains this kind of writing throughout the manuscript, holding to interesting line breaks and vivid, fresh images. Some of the poems have amazing energy. The short lines in “The Inertia of Failure” really work — like a long, final exhale. Other poems — “Did You Know We Made Love Through the Worst of It?” — masterfully employ the natural rhythms of the language, in this case the poem feels like moving water. And I love the nature imagery which holds the manuscript together.

THE OTHER FINALISTS:

boygirlboygirl by Leslie Miller

Do Not Go Gentle by Jill McCabe Johnson

Dream Cabinet by Ann Fisher-Wirth

Evening Sun by Aline Soules

(E)vocation by Tiel Aisha Ansari

The Last Pub on Earth by Peter Murphy

The Narrative House by Janet McCann

Winter Horse by Nellie Hill

Bios of all the winners will be published with their selected poems in August. So stay tuned: we hope you’ll anticipate reading these poems as much as we look forward to publishing them.


 

Qarrtsiluni Chapbook Contest 2010

Final Judge: Ken Lamberton

First-round Readers: Teju Cole, Dale Favier, Brent Goodman,  Leslee Masten, Kristin McHenry, Tom Montag, Jean Morris, Pamela Johnson Parker, Susanna Rich, Carolee Sherwood, Peter Stephens, Jill Crammond Wickham.

Contest Coordination and Print Publication: Beth Adams

Qarrtsiluni Managing Editors: Dave Bonta and Beth Adams

THE PROCESS: Twelve first-round readers, all accomplished writers and many of them former guest editors of qarrtsiluni, read the submitted manuscripts in order to narrow the field to a shortlist. Each chapbook, identified only by title, was read by at least two readers. A shortlist of eleven anonymous manuscripts was then advanced to Ken Lamberton for his final decisions.

THE JUDGE: Ken Lamberton‘s first book, Wilderness and Razor Wire (Mercury House, 2000), won the 2002 John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. He has published four books and more than a hundred articles and essays in places like the Los Angeles Times, Arizona Highways, the Gettysburg Review, and The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2000. In 2007, he won a Soros Justice Fellowship for his fourth book, Time of Grace: Thoughts on Nature, Family, and the Politics of Crime and Punishment (University of Arizona Press, 2007). Ken’s fifth book, Dry River: Stories of Life, Death, and Redemption on the Rio de Santa Cruz, will be published by the University of Arizona Press early next year. We’re happy to note that Dry River will contain some stories first published in qarrtsiluni! Ken holds degrees in biology and creative writing from the University of Arizona and lives with his wife in a 1890s stone cottage near Bisbee.

Announcing Our Second Annual Poetry Chapbook Contest

February 15, 2010 5 comments

We’re pleased to announce qarrtsiluni’s second annual poetry chapbook contest. The judge is renowned nonfiction author Ken Lamberton, and the deadline for submissions is April 15. The winner will be announced on August 1, and publication in print and online will follow in late summer/early fall. Since we use a print-on-demand service for the paper edition and make it available world-wide through Amazon, it will remain in print for years if not decades longer than most limited-edition poetry chapbooks.

Last year’s contest was a definite success, with 50 manuscripts submitted, 10 excellent chapbooks chosen for the shortlist, and a stunning winning entry by Pamela Johnson Parker, which has received wide notice on the web, as well as being published in full in both print and online editions. As in 2009, selected poems from the top ten 2010 chapbooks will be published here, and two runners-up will be chosen in addition to the winner.

GUIDELINES: Before submitting, please read carefully the complete details on the contest page; all manuscripts must meet the published guidelines. Judging will be anonymous, with chapbooks identified by a number only. Beth Adams, qarrtsiluni co-managing editor, will be the contest coordinator. If you have a question that is not answered by the guidelines, please direct your inquiry to her by email: qarrtsiluni.chapbook.2010 [at] gmail.com.

HELPFUL ADVICE: Although each year’s judging is subjective, entrants may wish to take a look at last year’s finalists and winner, and to read what Pamela Johnson Parker had to say about putting together her winning collection. An interview about the chapbook contest process, with qarrtsiluni editors Dave Bonta and Beth Adams, was published earlier this year at Read Write Poem, and toward the end contains our advice for entrants.

We hope you will consider submitting your best work to us. Good luck to everyone!

Categories: Contests and prizes

Pushcart Prize nominations 2009

November 15, 2009 23 comments

UPDATE (11/30): Here are our six nominations. Thanks to everyone who left comments and emailed suggestions.

Miracle Fish,” by Karla Huston and Cathryn Cofell

Patty-Cake,” by Karen Stromberg

Economy of the Untameable,” by Jane Rice

Economies,” by Monica Raymond

Some Yellow Tulips,” by Pamela Johnson Parker

Islam for Americans,” by Khadija Anderson

***

In the spirit of rewarding a few of our otherwise unpaid authors for the use of their work, this year we thought we’d start sending in nominations for the Pushcart Prize. International readers or those outside the North American small press literary scene might be unaware of it, but in many circles the Pushcart is so prestigious that a mere nomination is considered worthy of mention in an author’s bio — as if the highly subjective and arbitrary selections of a couple of yahoos like us says anything meaningful.

But then we thought: why not ask qarrtsiluni readers to help find our six nominations? That seems like one way to make them a bit more meaningful. Any work of fiction, nonfiction, or poetry that has appeared in qarrtsiluni since January 1 would be eligible (here are the minimal guidelines), which encompasses the Mutating the Signature and Economy issues as well as the currently unfolding Words of Power. Remember to hit the “Older entries” link at the bottom of each page to navigate through an issue. Grab permalinks by clicking on the titles.

Please leave suggestions in the comment thread for this post (or if you’re shy, email us: qarrtsiluni [at] gmail [dot] com), up to six nominations per commenter. And tell us why. We are much more likely to be swayed by articulate arguments and personal reactions than by numbers of “votes”; this isn’t a popularity contest. Please don’t nominate your own works! Aside from that, anyone is welcome to make suggestions, including first-time readers, but we will probably give somewhat greater weight to suggestions from those who regularly comment here, indicating a long-term engagement with the magazine.

We need to print out and mail in our nominations no later than December 1, so we’ll be making our final decision before the end of the month, and will announce the nominations by an update to this post. In the meantime, we’d really appreciate your help in combing through the archives.

—Beth and Dave