The ethos of the modern world is defined by immigrants. Their stories have always been an essential component of our cultural consciousness, from Isaac Bashevis Singer to Isabel Allende, from Milan Kundera to Maxine Hong Kingston. In novels, short stories, memoirs, and works of journalism, immigrants have shown us what resilience and dedication we’re capable of, and have expanded our sense of what it means to be global citizens. In these times of intense xenophobia, it is more important than ever that these boundary-crossing stories reach the broadest possible audience.
With that in mind, we are proud to present The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing. We are looking for extraordinary unpublished submissions from emerging writers of sharp, culture-straddling writing that addresses identity in a global age.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 and share what the new voices of the world have to say.
—Ilan Stavans, Publisher
SUBMISSIONS GUIDELINES AND ELIGIBILITY
The Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing [hereafter referred to as “the Prize”] alternates yearly between accepting unpublished fiction and nonfiction submissions. Fiction submissions can take the form of a novel or a book-length 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.
Fiction manuscripts must be complete. Nonfiction submissions must consist of either a complete manuscript, or a sample of at least 25,000 words and a detailed proposal that includes a synopsis and an annotated table of contents. All submissions must be in English (translations welcome).
Candidates must be first-generation residents of their country. “First-generation” can refer either to people born in another country who relocated, or to residents of a country whose parents were born elsewhere.
Fiction candidates must not have previously published a book of fiction with a US publishing house. Nonfiction candidates must not have previously published a book of nonfiction with a US publishing house. We encourage applicants to look at the other titles Restless has published and previous contest winners to get a sense of our aesthetic.
We will accept only 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 submit the same manuscript for the Prize in subsequent years unless specifically invited by Restless.
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. We expect to work closely with the winner and provide editorial guidance.
Candidates are asked to submit a CV and a one-page cover letter as the first pages of their manuscript. 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. Fiction manuscripts must be a minimum of 45,000 words. Nonfiction samples must be at least 25,000 words. There is no fee to submit a manuscript for consideration.
Submissions for the 2020 Prize in Fiction will be accepted from October 1, 2019 until March 31, 2020.
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.