Whatever you think about Donald Trump’s incendiary outbursts about immigrants, one thing is clear: Immigration is at the forefront of our national conversation like never before. Amongst all the rhetoric and noise, it can be difficult to hear the voices of those who may have a much richer story to tell: the immigrants themselves. Their stories have always been an essential component of the nation’s cultural consciousness, from Isaac Bashevis Singer to Jhumpa Lahiri, from Jacob Riis to Maxine Hong Kingston, expanding our sense of what it means to be American. In these contentious times, it’s more important than ever to take a brave, empathetic leap into the lives of others, and hear what they have to say. With this in mind, we’re proud to announce The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.
Our publisher, Ilan Stavans (a Mexican-American immigrant himself), created the Prize in order to foster emerging writers of sharp, culture-straddling writing that addresses American identity in a global age. It will be an annual prize that alternates between fiction and nonfiction, beginning with fiction this year. Here are the key details:
The Prize: $10,000 and publication by Restless Books
Fiction submissions period: September through December, 2015
Nonfiction submissions period: Fall 2016
Manuscripts: must be complete and submitted in English (translations welcome)
Must be first-generation residents of the United States
Must not have previously published a book in English
The Judges: Ilan Stavans, novelist Maaza Mengiste, and bookseller Javier Molea
To enter: Visit http://www.restlessbooks.com/prize-for-new-immigrant-writing
There are more complete details in the press release attached. We’d be most appreciative if you would share this news in your publication and amongst your contacts. The judges are available for interviews and other features.