Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The &NOW Awards and the the Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize

After much work, with the kind help of the administration at Lake Forest College, and with the generous support of friends of the college, I and my colleagues Davis Schneiderman and Josh Corey are happy to unveil some new literary awards, and a new press. &NOW Books, an imprint of the just-founded Lake Forest College Press, will be publishing a series of anthologies called The &NOW Awards (affiliated with the &NOW Festival), and will also publish books of poetry and prose. In addition, Lake Forest's new Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize is a truly fantastic opportunity: two months to write, $10,000, and publication of a first book.

Soon Davis will be whisked off to this year's &NOW Festival in California to make the official announcements, but fret not if you can't be there for his stirring speech — here are the details as they'll appear in various print ads, and on our website.

  • &NOW Books (an imprint of Lake Forest College Press) and the &NOW Awards

    The newly formed Lake Forest College Press is pleased to announce the formation of its imprint, &NOW Books. Every two years, &NOW Books will publish The &NOW Awards: The Best Innovative Writing — a collection of the most provocative, hardest-hitting, deadly serious, patently absurd, cutting-edge, avant-everything-and-nothing work. Distribution of &NOW books will be through Northwestern University Press.

    Attendees at &NOW 2009 (Fall, SUNY Buffalo) will receive a complementary copy of the debut anthology, but writers need not attend &NOW to be included in the collection.

    The contents of the &NOW Awards will be chosen through a nomination process and we need your help. Attendees of the &NOW conference, and friends of the organization, can send up to four nominations of published creative pieces (print or online) to andnow@lakeforest.edu with the subject line: “&NOW Nominations.” Please briefly tell us why we should consider a particular piece, and, whenever possible, send us relevant author bibliography and/or web links. Nominated works must have been published since 2004 (the year of the first &NOW conference), and the first anthology will cover the period from 2004 through 2009.

    We’ll send email notification of this process after this year’s conference.

  • &NOW/Lake Forest College the Madeleine P. Plonsker Emerging Writer’s Residency Prize

    Lake Forest College, in conjunction with the &NOW Festival of Innovative Writing and Art, invites applications for an emerging writer under forty years old, with no major book publication (chapbooks and the like excepted), to spend two months (February-March or March-April 2009) in residence at our campus in Chicago’s northern suburbs on the shores of Lake Michigan. There are no formal teaching duties attached to the residency. Time is to be spent completing a manuscript, participating in the Lake Forest Literary Festival, and giving two public presentations.

    After the residency, the completed manuscript will be published, upon approval, by the new Lake Forest College Press &NOW Books imprint. The stipend is $10,000, with a housing suite and campus meals provided by the college. The position will be offered on alternate years to writers of prose and poetry, with the 2009 residency going to a poet. Hybrid genre and non-classifiable applications are welcome during either year. Send curriculum vita, manuscript in progress, and a statement of plans for the completion of the manuscript to Plonsker Residency, Department of English Lake Forest College, 555 N. Sheridan Road, Lake Forest, IL 60045. Review of manuscripts by judges Robert Archambeau, Davis Schneiderman, and Joshua Corey will begin May 15, 2008 and continue until the position is filled.

    I don't have an exterior picture of the Glen Rowan House handy, but lest you think we're planning on putting the visiting writer up in some dingy room, here are a couple of shots of the place — one of the library, and one of the view over the main terrace. It's the Lake Forest College guest house, and the visiting writer will have a suite of rooms there.

    Since we have a lot of our visiting speakers stay there, there should be plenty of opportunities to meet interesting people as they pass through.