News and Events

The 2021 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 eighth 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, 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. 

handwritten author postcards from Chris Bachelder and Anthony Doerr

Online bidding is open now. Participating authors include literary powerhouses and popular favorites such as Joy Williams, Maggie Shipstead, Alexander Chee, Anthony Doerr, David Sedaris, George Saunders, and Amor Towles. We also have writer-actor-comedians Phoebe Robinson and Jenny Slate, songwriters Jeff Tweedy (singer and guitarist of Wilco) and Craig Finn (frontman for The Hold Steady), and newcomers to the auction Kirstin Valdez Quade, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Aleksandar Hemon, and Lily King.

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 2021 Author Postcard Auction is Open!
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Available Positions with The Common

Consider any listing on this page active. We will continue to post future opportunities here as they arise.


reading The Common

READING STAFF (currently open for applications)

The Common invites those interested in the world of literary publishing and passionate about contemporary fiction and nonfiction to apply to join our Reading Staff. Volunteer readers evaluate short works of fiction as well as essays; readers must be open-minded yet analytical. They must judge, quickly and thoroughly, the literary merit of each submission and the rightness of its fit for The Common given its sense-of-place mission. Readers are expected to review an average of 12 stories per week, which we estimate requires between 3 and 5 hours. We welcome undergraduate and MFA students as well as avid, sophisticated readers of all kinds.

Interested applicants should be thoroughly familiar with work published in The Common. All pieces published in print and online content are available in our digital archive. Ideal candidates will have demonstrated skill and experience in critical reading and comprehension, and must be concise and articulate writers. Candidates must be able to read and review 12 pieces per week.

 

Please click here to express your interest in the reading staff position.

You will be asked for contact information as well as a CV and cover letter outlining why the position appeals to you and any relevant experience. The next step for qualified candidates is evaluating two test pieces. 

 

Available Positions with The Common
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Writing from the Arabian Gulf: The Common’s Issue 22 Launch

On November 3rd at 4:30pm EDT, join The Common for the virtual launch of Issue 22! Contributors Mona Kareem, Keija Parssinen, Tariq al Haydar, and Deepak Unnikrishnan will join us from all around the world to read their pieces from our Arabian Gulf portfolio, followed by a conversation about place and culture, hosted by the magazine’s editor in chief Jennifer Acker and portfolio co-editor Noor Naga. This event is co-hosted by Amherst College’s Center for Humanistic Inquiry and sponsored by the Arts at Amherst Initiative.

REGISTER

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email via Amherst College, containing information about joining the event. If you’d like to preorder Issue 22, you may do so here.

Image of issue 22 seashell on a blue background, announcing the details of the event.

Mona Kareem is the author of three poetry collections. She is a recipient of a 2021 NEA literary grant and a fellow at the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University. Her work appears in The Brooklyn Rail, Michigan Quarterly Review, Fence, Ambit, Poetry London, Los Angeles Review of Books, Asymptote, Words Without Borders, Poetry International, PEN America, Modern Poetry in Translation, Two Lines, and Specimen. She has held fellowships with Princeton University, Poetry International, the Arab American National Museum, the Norwich Center for Writing, and Forum Transregionale Studien. Her translations include Ashraf Fayadh’s Instructions Within and Ra’ad Abdulqadir’s Except for This Unseen Thread.

Keija Parssinen is the author of the novels The Ruins of Us, which received the Michener-Copernicus Award, and The Unraveling of Mercy Louis, which earned an Alex Award from the American Library Association. She is currently an assistant professor of English and creative writing at Kenyon College.

Tariq al Haydar‘s work has appeared in The Threepenny Review, North American Review, DIAGRAM, Beyond Memory: An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Creative Nonfiction, and other publications. His nonfiction was named as notable in The Best American Essays 2016.

Deepak Unnikrishnan is a writer from Abu Dhabi. His book Temporary People, a work of fiction about Gulf narratives steeped in Malayalee and South Asian lingo, won the inaugural Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, the Hindu Prize, and the Moore Prize.

Writing from the Arabian Gulf: The Common’s Issue 22 Launch
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Phosphorescence Reading Series: Poets from The Common

Phosphorescence Reading Series Banner With Poets' Headshots.

Join the Emily Dickinson Museum and The Common on September 23rd at 6PM EDT for the Phosphorescence Poetry Reading Series, celebrating present-day literary craft that echoes Emily Dickinson’s revolutionary voice. This reading features Elizabeth Metzger, Chloe Martinez, Rodney A. Brown, and Moriel Rothman-Zecher, all of whose work has been published in The Common.

This event is part of the Tell It Slant Poetry Festival, which brings together contemporary creativity of the Pioneer Valley and Dickinson’s legendary writing. This fully virtual festival, running September 20th – 26th, will feature panels, readings, and masterclasses. All of these events are free and open to the public, but registration is required to access the links. Please register here.

Click Here to Register

Phosphorescence Reading Series: Poets from The Common
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Read Excerpts by the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing 2021 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 sixth 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, Francisco Cantú, Shuchi Saraswat, and Ilan Stavans, have selected the below four finalists. Click on the links in each section to read excerpts from their books.

Read Excerpts by the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing 2021 Finalists
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Most Read Pieces of Summer 2021

As fall approaches, we want to celebrate the pieces that made this summer so special! Below, you can browse our list of summer 2021’s most-read pieces to see which essays, short stories, and poems left an impact on our readers. 

Most Read Pieces of Summer 2021
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Weekly Writes Summer 2021: Accountable You

Weekly Writes Summer 2021 sign-ups have now closed. To register your interest in future Weekly Writes programs, please complete this short form


Weekly Writes is a ten-week program designed to help you create original place-based writing, beginning August 2nd.

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 2021: Accountable You
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The Common Magazine Announces Second Literary Editorial Fellow

(Amherst, Mass. July 12, 2021)— The Common, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, has announced its second Literary Editorial Fellow: Elly Hong ’21. The fellowship is funded in part by generous support from alumni donors and from the Whiting Foundation, which is providing a $20,000 matching grant for the second consecutive year, 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 Fellowship 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 nonprofit, trade, or academic publishing, or a wide variety of related fields. 

The Common Magazine Announces Second Literary Editorial Fellow
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Trans in Place: Trans Writers on Place and Environment

This event has passed. Watch the recording above!


Join The Common and Foglifter for a virtual panel conversation, moderated by Callum Angus, on Thursday, July 8 at 7:30pm EST/4:30pm PDT. This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required to receive the Zoom link!

Image of Trans In Place graphic.

Trans in Place: Trans Writers on Place and Environment
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