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“This prize seeks to acknowledge – and honor – the great traditions of literary nonfiction, extending from Robert Burton and Thomas Browne in the seventeenth century through Defoe and Strachey and on to James Baldwin, Joan Didion, and Jamaica Kincaid in our own time,” says Robert Polito. In looking for the winner, Polito goes on to say, “We seek the boldest and most innovative books from emerging nonfiction writers, although we define ‘emerging’ (no more than two published books) as lightly and flexibly as we define literary nonfiction. Whether grounded in observation, autobiography, or research, much of the most beautiful, daring, and original writing over the past few decades can be categorized as nonfiction. Submissions to the Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize might span memoir, biography, or history – but it’s essential that they be finished books (no miscellaneous essay collections, sample chapters, or proposals).”Eligibility: Any writer who has not published more than two books of literary nonfiction (this excludes academic work and books in other genres) and resides in the United States is eligible. We welcome submissions from previously unpublished writers. Collections of miscellaneous essays/prose are not eligible for the prize. We will consider one submission per person. Manuscripts submitted for previous years' prizes will not be reconsidered unless resubmission has been specifically invited by Graywolf’s editors or the judge.

Hi Writers,
I've been trying like crazy to come up with something newsy to share with you. But as I mentioned before, in summertime the wheels of publishing turn slowly since editors are frolicking in the Hamptons. And with the Fourth of July holiday, it's pretty quiet.

Of course, not much going on is a plus for writers: More time to write!

Thinking ahead, it is time to start getting your query letters and submissions ready for fall when publishing returns to full tilt. Here's a creative nonfiction contest Graywolf Press is putting on to whet your appetite:

Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize Submission Guidelines
Graywolf Press is pleased to announce the fourth annual Graywolf Press Nonfiction Prize. A $12,000 advance and publication by Graywolf in 2009 will be awarded to the best previously unpublished, full-length work of literary nonfiction by a writer not yet established in the genre. Robert Polito will serve as the judge.

Timeline: Submissions must arrive in the Graywolf offices between September 1-30, 2007. Please note that this is not a postmark deadline. The winner will be announced in February 2008 and published in February 2009.

And here's my question for you: Does your writing slow down in the summer? Why or why not? Do tell.

Keep Writing,
P.S. Cincinnati editors do not frolic in the Hamptons. They frolic instead in the Ohio River, dodging river barges and debris floating downriver from Pittsburgh.

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