As The Common office gears up to share exciting new works in 2021, we want to reflect on the pieces that made 2020—our 10th anniversary year—an incredibly special one! Below, you can browse our list of 2020’s most-read pieces to see which works of fiction, essays, interviews, and more left an impact on our readers.
Weekly Writes is a ten-week program designed to help you create original place-based writing, beginning January 25.
We’re offering both poetry AND prose, in two separate programs. What do you want to prioritize in 2021? Pick the program, sharpen your pencils, and get ready for a weekly dose of writing inspiration (and accountability) in your inbox!
(Amherst, Mass. — December 7, 2020)— The Common, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, has hired acclaimed poet Willie Perdomo as its new Interviews Editor. With publishing experience stretching back twenty-five years, Perdomo currently teaches English at Philips Exeter Academy.
Willie Perdomo To Join Editorial Staff of The Common
It’s that time of year again: bid for a personalized, handwritten postcard from your favorite author through The Common’s seventh annual author postcard auction! The personalization of the postcards makes them fantastic gifts, just in time for the holidays.
Join in on the fun this year for a chance to receive a postcard from New York Times-bestsellers, National Book Award-winners, and MacArthur Fellows. In the past few years, authors have famously gone all out with their postcards: expect to receive anything from long letters to drawings and doodles to haikus.
New this year, in celebration of The Common’s 10th anniversary, some bidders will also receive rewards from Penguin Classics! The first and every fifth bidder, plus the highest bidder and top two underbidders (just missed out on winning!), will receive one of a handful of books from the gorgeous Deluxe or hardcover Vitae series including F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, George Elliot’s Middlemarch, and the autobiography of Frederick Douglass.
Online bidding will open to the public at 10 am EST on November 9, 2020. Participating authors include literary powerhouses such as André Aciman,Susan Choi, and Valeria Luiselli, as well as writer-performers Jenny Slate and David Sedaris. Newcomers to the auction include acclaimed writers Anne Carson and Phil Klay and world-renowned singer/songwriter Natalie Merchant.
On October 28th at 4:30pm EDT, join The Common for the virtual launch of our 10th anniversary issue! Contributors from across the globe will be tuning in to read excerpts from Issue 20’s portfolio of writing from the Lusosphere: Portugal and its colonial and linguistic diaspora. Don’t miss out! Register for the free event at the link here.
(Amherst, Mass.October 6, 2020)— The Common, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, has announced its Literary Editorial Fellowship funded in part by generous support from alumni donors and from the Whiting Foundation, which is providing a $20,000 matching grant for two years in recognition of the magazine’s secure and important foothold in literary publishing. In 2019, The Common was the top print award winner of the Whiting Literary Magazine Prizes.
The Literary Editorial Fellow was created with two goals in mind: to strengthen the bridge between The Common’s existing Literary Publishing Internship (LPI) program for undergraduates and the professional publishing world; and to provide invaluable, real-world experience for an Amherst graduate, transferable to any job in trade or academic publishing, communications, or nonprofit management. The postgraduate position will also increase the capacity of The Common’s mentorship, publishing, and programming operations with particular focus on mentoring current student interns as they critically evaluate submissions; write, edit and proofread prose and poetry; create multimedia web features; write and design publicity materials; develop, organize and staff innovative events on campus and across the country; and research magazine production and distribution.
The Common Magazine Announces Literary Editorial Fellowship
This is the fourth installment of an online series highlighting work by Black authors published in The Common. To read The Common’s statement in support of the nationwide protests against anti-Black racism, white supremacy, and police brutality, click here.
On October 21, join The Common for a conversation about poetics in the time of pandemic and the ecology of lockdown. Acclaimed poets Dana Levin and Tess Taylor will read new work and discuss the importance of place, hope, and resilience in their creative and personal lives in a conversation moderated by Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker. This event is a fundraiser to celebrate The Common’s 10th publishing year and launch the place-based magazine into its second decade. Join us for stirring poetry and thoughtful talk!
Pandemic Poetics: Hope, Resilience, and Poetry in the Time of Lockdown
Now in its fifth year, the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing supports the voices of immigrant writers whose works straddle cultural divides, embrace the multicultural makeup of our society, and interrogate questions of identity in a global society. This prize awards $10,000 and publication with Restless Books to a writer who has produced a work that addresses the effects of global migration on identity. This year’s judges, Dinaw Mengestu, Achy Obejas, and Ilan Stavans, have selected the below five finalists. Click on the links in each section to read excerpts from their books.
Read the “Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing” Finalists