Did you know that five of America's past six Nobel laureates in literature have been foreign-born? One even immigrated to the country illegally. Immigrants have become an increasingly important driving force behind American letters and constantly expand our sense of what it means to be American. Restless Books is proud to contribute to this cultural lifeblood in its introduction of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.
As our publisher, Ilan Stavans, says:
"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."
This year, a panel of esteemed judges (all immigrants themselves) consisting of Restless publisher Ilan Stavans, novelist Maaza Mengiste, and McNally-Jackson bookseller Javier Molea will select a book-length work of fiction to be published by Restless Books. The winning author will receive a $10,000 advance.
Submissions are open from September 1 to December 31, 2015. Finalists will be announced on April 15, 2016 and the winner in May 2016. Full submission guidelines and more information can be found at www.restlessbooks.com/prize-for-new-immigrant-writing.
Please help us spread the word about The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing! It will be an honor to share these vibrant new perspectives with the world.