News and Events

The 2022 Author Postcard Auction is Open!

It’s that time of year again: bid for a personalized, handwritten postcard from your favorite author in The Common’s ninth annual author postcard auction! The personalization of the postcards makes them fantastic gifts, just in time for the holidays. Online bidding is open now, and closes at noon on November 30th.

Join in on the fun this year for a chance to receive a postcard from New York Times-bestsellers, National Book Award-winners, Man Booker Prize finalists, and Pulitzer Prize-winners and finalists. 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. This year, we also have singer-songwriters, cartoonists, and more!

Participating authors include literary powerhouses and popular favorites such as Fran Lebowitz, David Sedaris, Alison Bechdel, Neil Gaiman, Donna Tartt, Andrew Sean Greer, Anthony Doerr, and George Saunders. We also have songwriters Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), Craig Finn (The Hold Steady), Natalie Merchant, and Amanda Shires (The Highwomen). We’ve even got New Yorker cartoonist Chris Ware

handwritten author postcards from Chris Bachelder and Anthony Doerr

Winning bids are tax-deductible donations. All proceeds go to The Common Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to publishing and promoting art and literature from global, diverse voices.

If you’re interested in supporting The Common but don’t want to bid, click here to donate

The 2022 Author Postcard Auction is Open!
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Read Excerpts by the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing 2022 Finalists

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 Yiyun Li. 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.

Now in its seventh 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 debut writer. This year’s judges, Tiphanie Yanique, Deepak Unnikrishnan, and Ilan Stavans, have selected the below four finalists. Click on the links in each section to read excerpts from their books.
 
 

Nobody Here Plays Little Kid Games by Geimy Colón

Image of Geimy Colon's headshot.

A dark and fascinating take on the intersectionality of gender, age, and migration, Geimy Colón’s short story collection, Nobody Here Plays Little Kid Games, is a coming-of-age tale written in lush and graceful prose. Set in an unnamed Latin American country, each story begins with children innocently climbing trees, playing marbles with their friends, and experiencing their first kisses. Colón then reveals a more sinister reality as we observe the children replicate the violence of colorism, colonialism, and oppression that surrounds them. Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Colón writes stories that oscillate between the realms of innocence and the loss of innocence, refusing to shy away from the darker aspects of immigrant childhood. Nobody Here Plays Little Kid Games illustrates what occurs in the absence of adults—and what occurs because, and in spite, of them.

Read the excerpt.

 

Between This World and the Next by Praveen Herat

Image pof Praveen Herat's headshot.

Set in 1998, Between This World and the Next tells the story of Fearless, a burnt-out British photojournalist hardened by a long career in war-torn countries, and Song, a Cambodian woman who has been physically and psychologically beset by the violence in her country. When Song disappears, leaving only a mysterious videotape behind, Fearless must navigate a dangerous network of shady power brokers, transnational kingpins, sex traffickers, and arms dealers, uncovering a sprawling network of criminality and corruption in a newly post-Soviet world. A passionate exploration of power, poverty, and greed, Between This World and the Next challenges our own complicity as passive observers when exposed to a constant stream of media depicting suffering across the world. Born in London to Sri Lankan parents, Praveen Herat brings a sharp new perspective to the global ramifications of the breakup of the Soviet Union and the hidden criminal networks that impact our lives in ways beyond our reckoning.

Read the excerpt.

 

Craft by Ananda Lima

Image of Ananda Lima's headshot.

A wild and surrealistic story collection that pays homage to Kafka and Cortázar, Ananda Lima’s Craft seeks to disrupt reductive understandings of both the immigrant experience and the art and craft of writing. Blending autofiction and magical realism, Lima creates characters as enigmatic as they are endearing. From stories of women who devour miniature Americans from vending machines and are haunted by ghosts, to the writer’s recreation of her own battles with know-it-all editors, Craft boasts a cast of characters that won’t easily be forgotten. A first-generation immigrant from Brasilia, Brazil, Lima crafts innovative work that challenges traditional North American ideas about how stories should operate, what makes an immigrant narrative, how the intellectual is placed in opposition to the emotional, and whom these ideals ultimately serve.

Read the excerpt. 

 

A Bag Full of Stones by A. Molotkov

Image of A. Molotkov's headshot.

This savvy, intelligent, and delightful detective story follows pair of investigators in Portland, Oregon—a Russian immigrant man and a Black woman—as they try to solve a series of hate-crime murders. Told in the alternating perspectives of the investigators and the ghosts of the murdered immigrant victims, this wild whodunnit set in an America tranquilized by sectarian politics brings (back) to life the voices of those who are often overlooked or dismissed. With a focus on characters struggling to reconcile their distorted worldviews with reality, A Bag Full of Stones encapsulates how confused the notion of justice has become in a nation more divided than ever. Skillfully blending different lexicons, points of view, and narrative structures, A. Molotkov, a writer born in the former USSR, showcases the multifarious, inventive possibilities of immigrant writing in the United States.

Read the excerpt.

Read Excerpts by the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing 2022 Finalists
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The Common Awarded 2022 Amazon Literary Partnership Grant

Amazon Literary Partnership Logo

We are pleased to announce that The Common has been selected as a 2022 Literary Magazine Fund Grant Recipient, awarded by the Amazon Literary Partnership Literary Magazine Fund in conjunction with the Community of Literary Magazines & Presses. Since 2017, funding from the Amazon Literary Partnership has helped further The Common’s mission of publishing and promoting emerging and diverse authors who deepen our individual and collective sense of place.   

The Common Awarded 2022 Amazon Literary Partnership Grant
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Weekly Writes Summer 2022: Accountable You

Signups for Weekly Writes Summer 2022 have now closed. If you’d like to hear about our next round of Weekly Writes, please register your interest here.


Weekly Writes is a ten-week program designed to help you create original place-based writing, beginning July 18.

We’re offering both poetry AND prose, in two separate programs. What do you want to prioritize this summer? Pick the program, sharpen your pencils, and get ready for a weekly dose of writing inspiration (and accountability) in your inbox!
    

hands writing w coffee stock image

Weekly Writes Summer 2022: Accountable You
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The Common Young Writers Program Opens Applications for Summer 2022

Students with issues of The Common

Applications are now open for The Common Young Writers Program, which offers two two-week, fully virtual summer classes for high school students (rising 9-12). Students will be introduced to the building blocks of fiction and learn to read with a writer’s gaze. Taught by the editors and editorial assistants of Amherst College’s literary magazine, the summer courses (Level I and Level II) run Monday-Friday and are open to all high school students (rising 9-12). The program runs July 25-August 5.

The cost of the two-week program is $725 for Level I, and $875 for Level II. Full and partial need-based tuition waivers are available for both levels; we hope that no student will let financial difficulty prevent them from applying. Tuition waivers will be awarded to students with strong applications who cannot attend the program without financial assistance. In the application, students will have the opportunity to briefly describe their financial circumstances and state the amount they could afford to pay, if any, if accepted into the program. No tax returns or other documentation is required.

Click here for more information and details on how to apply.

The Common Young Writers Program Opens Applications for Summer 2022
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Issue 23 Virtual Launch Party

The Common Spring Launch Party

Wednesday, May 4, 2022Image of Issue 23 cover (piece of toast on turquoise background).
5:00 pm
Via Zoom

On May 4th at 5pm EDT, join The Common for the virtual celebration of Issue 23! We welcome fiction writer Fernando Flores, poet Tina Cane, Palestinian writer Eyad Barghuthy, and Arabic translator Nashwa Gowanlock for brief readings and conversation about place, culture, and translation. The event will be hosted by the magazine’s editor in chief Jennifer Acker, in partnership with the Amherst College Creative Writing Center and Arts at Amherst Initiative. 

Please Register in Advance for the Virtual Event. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the event.

Register Here

 

Issue 23 Virtual Launch Party
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2022 Festival of Debut Authors

Join The Common’s special events team on April 13th at 7:00pm for our 2022 Festival of Debut Authors, an evening devoted to emerging talents! The celebration will highlight poets and prose writers Priyanki Sacheti, Jeremy Michael Clark, Hiten Samtani, Danielle Ola, Carlie Hoffman, and Amalia Gladhart

Hosted by Ben Shattuck and Sara Elkamel, the festival will feature readings and conversation, and aims to raise scholarship funds for the magazine’s Young Writers Program.

2022 Festival of Debut Authors
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“The Old Man of Kusumpur” Wins O. Henry Prize 2022

Cover of The Best Short Stories 2022: The O. Henry Prize Winners, edited by Valeria Luiselli. The text is in a white box in the upper left corner, and the rest shows a design of orange ovals on a purple backdrop

We are thrilled to announce that “The Old Man of Kusumpur,” written by Amar Mitra and translated from the Bengali by Anish Gupta, has been selected for the O. Henry Prize for 2022. The story was originally published in The Common Online. An anthology of the winning stories, edited by Valeria Luiselli, will be released this September from Anchor. 

This is the first year the O. Henry Prize series has considered fiction in translation. In the prize announcement, series editor Jenny Minton Quigley writes, “If stories give us a window through which to momentarily enter the soul of another person, then translated stories magically transcend the limits of the language that has shaped our consciousness.

View the full list of winners and read more about the prize at LitHub.

Congratulations to Amar, Anish, and all the winners!

“The Old Man of Kusumpur” Wins O. Henry Prize 2022
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Craft Masterclasses: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry & Translation

Blue image with title CRAFT MASTERCLASSES with THE COMMON with group headshots 

Give your writing a boost this spring. Join The Common for a series of craft classes with these literary luminaries.
 

    • Bruna Dantas Lobato: No Two Snowflakes Are Alike: How to Translate Style [register]

    • Karen Shepard on Fiction: The Children’s Hour [register]

    • Willie Perdomo on Poetry: The City and the Poet, the Street and the Poem [register]

    • Suketu Mehta on Nonfiction: Writing the City [register]

 
Each class includes a craft talk and Q&A with the guest author, generative exercises and discussion, and a take-home list of readings and writing prompts. Recordings will be available after the fact for participants who cannot attend the live event.
 
Each class is $125, or $85 for current subscribers or current and past Weekly Writes participants. 

 

Craft Masterclasses: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry & Translation
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