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 We are looking for extraordinary unpublished submissions from emerging writers of sharp, culture-straddling writing that addresses American identity in a global age.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.
—Ilan Stavans, publisher
SUBMISSIONS GUIDELINES AND ELIGIBILITY
The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing [hereafter referred to as “the Prize”] will alternate yearly between accepting unpublished fiction and nonfiction submissions, beginning with fiction in 2015. Fiction submissions can take the form of a novel or a collection of short stories. Nonfiction submissions can take the form of a memoir, a collection of essays, or a book-length work of narrative nonfiction.
Manuscripts must be complete and submitted in English (translations welcome).
Candidates must be first-generation residents of the United States. “First-generation” can refer either to people born in another country who relocated to the U.S., or to American-born residents whose parents were born elsewhere.
Candidates must not have previously published a book in English. We encourage applicants to look at the other books Restless has released and previous contest winners to get a sense of our aesthetic.
We will only accept one submission per candidate per submission period, and submissions must be under the author’s real name, not under a pseudonym. Agented submissions are welcome.
Candidates may not resubmit a manuscript for the Prize in subsequent years unless specifically invited by the Restless team.
Restless reserves the right to invite writers to submit for the Prize.
Restless reserves the right to consider any Prize submission for publication.
Submitted manuscripts may be simultaneously under consideration for publication by other publishing houses. Once a manuscript has been selected as the winner of the Prize, Restless will contact the author and ask that the manuscript be withdrawn from consideration elsewhere. A publishing contract between the winning author and Restless Books must be signed before the winner is announced.
* Please note that while Restless Books welcomes all submissions for the Prize, we do not accept unsolicited manuscripts for our publishing program.
The winner will receive a $10,000 advance and publication by Restless Books in print and digital editions no sooner than the Fall of 2016. We expect to work closely with the winner and provide editorial guidance.
Candidates are asked to submit as the first pages of their manuscript a CV, a one-page cover letter, and a detailed proposal that includes a synopsis and an annotated table of contents. The cover letter should address the candidate’s background as a writer, experience as an immigrant, and inspiration for the submitted work.
Restless will accept only electronic submissions by way of our submissions manager. The manuscript should be a PDF or Word file (.doc and .docx), and the text should be double-spaced, in twelve-point font, and with numbered pages. Nonfiction samples must be at least 25,000 words.
There is no fee to submit a manuscript for consideration.
Submissions will be accepted from September 1 until February 28, 2017.
Restless will accept open submissions in addition to soliciting nominations from authors and professionals in the field. The Restless editorial staff will review submissions and recommend a shortlist to the judges, who will select the finalists and winner.