Last week, Restless Books introduced a new $10,000 prize for “New Immigrant Writing”:
“The ethos of America is defined by its immigrants. 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. In novels, short stories, memoirs, and works of journalism, immigrants have shown us what resilience and family devotion we’re capable of, and have expanded our sense of what it means to be American. In these times of intense xenophobia, it is more important than ever that these stories reach the broadest possible audience.
With that in mind, we are proud to announce the first Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. We are looking for extraordinary submissions from emerging writers of sharp, culture-straddling writing that addresses American identity in a global age. Each year, a distinguished panel of judges will select a winning manuscript to be published by Restless Books. We can’t wait to read what the new voices of America have to say, and to share it with the world.”
Candidates for the prize, which includes both a $10,000 advance and a contract for publication, must be first-generation American residents who have not previously published a book in English. There is no fee for submissions, and fiction will be accepted September through December 2015, while nonfiction will be accepted in the fall of 2016.
The guidelines also say, “We encourage applicants to look at the other books Restless has released and previous contest winners to get a sense of our aesthetic.” Although Restless has never published a book translated from the Arabic, they seem to publish a variety of “crossover” books with popular and literary interest.
More about the Prize for New Immigrant Writing on the Restless website.