Rainey Street Social
"...Since those halcyon days of deep-pocketed patrons are long gone, struggling writers typically have to make do with the occasional grant or free lit mag subscriptions. But for the lucky few – three so far – there's the pinch-me-I'm-dreaming Keene Prize for Literature, a not-uncontroversial $50,000 jackpot delivered annually to one University of Texas student or recent graduate...."
"...Prizewinners for the prestigious Keene Prize for Literature were announced this morning, and UT's Michener Center for Writers continues to dominate: Out of 58 submissions for the annual award, two Michener grads and two current Michener MFA candidates made the shortlist, with Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig winning the top prize for her play Lidless, described as "a poetic treatment of the issue of torture at the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." Cowhig will receive $50,000 – one of the largest student literary prizes in the world – while an additional $50,000 will be split between three additional finalists, Malachi Black for the collection of sonnets Cantos from Insomnia; Sarah Cornwell for her short stories "Mr. Legs," "Champlain," and "Other Wolves on Other Mountains"; and Sarah Smith for her collection of poetry, Enormous Sleeping Women. Full press release after the jump...."
"...The University of Texas announced today the winner of the Keene Prize, with its jaw-dropping jackpot of $50,000; Nora Boxer, a graduate of the Creative Writing Program in the English Department, took the prize for her short story, "It's the song of the nomads, baby; or, Pioneer."..."
"...Brian Hart is no stranger to accolades – in 2006, he become the first-ever recipient of the University of Texas’ Keene Prize for Literature, the largest student literary prize in existence. Now his debut novel is netting him some awfully nice notices..."
"...Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig is on a major roll. The Michener Center for Writers grad has won a second major literary prize for her play Lidless, which is also proving a hot property on the national new play circuit..."
"...Writing prizes are great news for the recipients, but they're even more spectacular for the community: You get a whole new set of rising stars to watch make their impressive trajectory. Check out the latest on these recent winners...."
"...In the bridge of "Bad Luck," a flanger guitar wrestles with a nasty harmonica, sounding like the Buckeye State's New Bomb Turks on a black day. Maybe most of the songs sound the same, but Hai Karate ain't aiming for the diversity prize here..."
"...Guests run the gamut from fiction writers such as Texas literary treasure Sandra Cisneros (she's written and illustrated her short story Pura Amor), Walter Mosley (the latest from the creator of Easy Rawlins is John Woman), and Tommy Orange (author of the widely praised new novel There There) to journalists such as The Orchid Thief writer Susan Orlean (covering the 1986 L.A. Public Library fire in The Library Book) and Pulitzer Prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas (here with his memoir Dear America; Notes of an Undocumented Citizen)..."
"...Five years ago, when I was an editor at HarperCollins, when it was still called Harper & Row, a collegial old place not yet fully incorporated into Rupert Murdoch's global media offensive, management held editors to acquisitions goals which assigned books "letter grades," A through D, with coveted A books having estimated first printings of 50,000 copies or more. There was an explicit rule that hardcover books whose first-year sales were projected below 15,000 copies would not be acquired by the firm, unless they were likely to win a major literary prize (prestige being its own bottom line, and fully depreciable under the straight-line accounting method). Editors at certain publishers (Villard and Crown come immediately to mind) have told me that they won't consider a book that won't likely advance at least 50,000 copies, and become the basis for a segment of 60 Minutes along the way...."