Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Eyes on the prizes, part one

One of the more pleasant duties of a literary magazine editor is choosing which of the works in a given issue to nominate for the many prize anthologies that are published each year. upstreet submits to several of these anthologies. Some of the better known ones--Best American Short Stories, Best American Essays, Best American Poetry, O. Henry Prize Stories--don't take nominations of individual pieces, but invite literary magazines to send in the entire issue, and choose that way. The same is true of Best American Nonrequired Reading, which is edited by Dave Eggers, who asks the kids at 826 Valencia, his San Francisco writing center, to help him make the selections each year.

One anthology, Best New Poets, allows eligible literary magazines to nominate two emerging poets (poets who have not published a book-length collection) each year. We submitted two nominations from upstreet number two (Stephen Ackerman and Judy Katz) for the 2007 book, but they didn't make the list, which was announced two weeks ago. Nominations for the 2008 anthology can be submitted between January 15 and April 15 of next year.

Two prize anthologies ask literary magazines to send in nominations for individual pieces that have appeared in their pages. The journal Creative Nonfiction is currently taking submissions for the second volume of its anthology, The Best Creative Nonfiction, and upstreet number three is eligible to submit. CNF Editor Harrison Candelaria Fletcher and I have chosen two personal narratives: "Born Again," by Frank Tempone, and "This Good Year," by Kelly Ruth Anderson, which were mailed in today.

The other upstreet number three editors and I are currently working on our selections for The Pushcart Prize XXXII: Best of the Small Presses 2008. We're going to nominate two poems, two creative nonfiction pieces, and two short stories. Come here at the end of next week to find out which ones.

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