Tag Archives: creative nonfiction

24th Annual Arts & Letters Prize Winners

Arts & Letters Prize for Fiction Zoe Pappenheimer, “Apparitions”

“Apparitions” is a beautifully written story that weaves together two very compelling storylines and juxtaposes two very complex relationships. I loved the seamless way the author moves between past and present, between memory and present action, and the way the tension grows gradually through small moments in the story, through those unspoken conversations that seem to be taking place between these characters. As the title implies, there are metaphorical ghosts in this story, including ghosts of all of the characters’ former selves, but there is also a very emotionally charged surface story, one that raises questions that are both topical and timeless. This is truly a remarkable story by an extraordinarily talented writer. I loved everything about it.”

– Andrew Porter, Judge

Finalists:
Holly Pekowski, “Almost There;” Adam Peterson, “Stumbledown”

Susan Atefat Prize for Creative Nonfiction
Jodie Noel Vinson, “First Do No Harm”

“First Do No Harm” is a timely, deeply personal meditation on the experience (and ripple effects) of long Covid, as well as a rigorously researched investigation into medical history (and its own ripple effects today). The author writes of volunteering at a vaccine clinic as “an acknowledgement that we are all connected, that our decisions—to get on a plane, to shop at a store, to wear a mask, to get the jab—have consequences on other lives; that to do no harm is never a passive decision, but an always active awareness.” This essay in itself is a beautiful reminder that we are all connected, a beautiful example of an active, compassionate awareness at work. I’m grateful to have read “First Do No Harm” and am honored to award it the Arts & Letters/Susan Atefat Prize for Creative Nonfiction.

– Gayle Brandeis, Judge

Finalists:
Alisa Koyrakh, “The Love of Doing”

Rumi Prize for Poetry
W. J. Herbert, “The Birth of Venus,” “Liminal Passage,” “Ice Storm,” and “Journal of the Plague Years”

“The other selections were great, but I kept coming back to these…they work beautifully separately and apart. I love this poet’s lyric touch. Elegant diction and a light touch with imagery…These poems have an irresistible grace to them!”

– Allison Joseph, Judge

Finalists:
Laurence O’Dwyer, Vernita Hall, Saudamini Siegrist, and Donte Collins

Each winner receives $1000; the winning will appear in our Fall Issue.

Regular Submissions Open

The Arts & Letters Regular Submission Period is open August 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021.

We Accept Unsolicited Submissions of:

  • Poetry: 4-6 poems per submission (suggested)
  • Fiction: manuscripts up to 25 pages
  • Flash Fiction: 1-3 pieces per submission up to 1,000 words each
  • Creative Nonfiction: manuscripts up to 25 pages

General Submission Guidelines:

  • Send only one submission per genre at any one time. (In other words, submitting a short story and an essay at the same time is fine, but please wait to hear from us before submitting another story.)
  • All submissions must be typed and all prose double-spaced.
  • Average notification time for acceptance is 8-12 weeks.
  • Upload each entry as one document. We accept doc, docx, txt, pdf and rtf files.
  • Simultaneous submissions are fine; just please let us know right away if your work is accepted elsewhere.
  • To withdraw only part of your submission (such as a single poem), log into Submittable, go to “My Submissions,” click on your submission to Arts & Letters, and send us a message explaining which part of your submission you are withdrawing.
  • Although you may withdraw your submission at any time, the fee is nonrefundable.

NOTE: We no longer accept print submissions. Print submissions will be recycled without response. 

Why the fee?

Online submissions are quick, easy, and efficient. For the convenience of online submission we charge a $3 fee (about the cost of submitting by post), part of which goes to support the online platform. The rest directly supports the journal’s editorial and production costs (including contributor payment).

Meet the 2015 A&L Prizes Nonfiction Judge

It is a privilege to have Barbara Hurd as the judge for the Arts & Letters Journal nonfiction prize this year.

Barbara is the recipient of a 2002 NEA Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction, winner of the Sierra Club’s National Nature Writing Award and Pushcart Prizes in 2004 and 2007. She teaches creative writing in the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine.

Ms. Hurd has published several award-winning books, including: Walking the Wrack Line: On Tidal Shifts and What Remains, Entering the Stone: On Caves and Feeling Through the Dark, a Library Journal Best Natural History Book of the Year, Stirring the Mud: On Swamps, Bogs, and Human Imagination, a Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2001, and The Singer’s Temple, winner of the Bright Hill Press Poetry Award.

We are honored to have an author as esteemed as Ms. Hurd serve as this year’s nonfiction judge. Read more about Barbara and her work on her website.