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
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.
(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
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!
Trans in Place: Trans Writers on Place and Environment
Inspired by the mission and role of the town common, an egalitarian gathering place, The Common aims to foster the global exchange of diverse ideas and experiences. As such, we welcome and encourage submissions from writers who are Black, Indigenous, people of color, disabled, LGBTQIA+-identifying, immigrant, international, and/or otherwise from communities underrepresented in U.S. literary magazines and journals.
In an effort to remove barriers to access, The Common will open exclusively for BIPOC writers for two weeks, and waive submission fees, now extended until July 4 at 11:59 PM EST. Outside of that time, submitters with any financial hardship can contact us at [email protected] for a fee waiver.
Exclusive Fee-Free Submission Period for BIPOC Writers
Amherst, MA, June 4, 2021 — The Common, the award-winning literary journal based at Amherst College, is a 2021 Literary Magazine Fund Grant Recipient, awarded in alliance with the Amazon Literary Partnership Literary Magazine Fund and 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 underrepresented authors who deepen our individual and collective sense of place.
With this $7,000 grant, The Common will publish, promote, and support a diverse group of writers in its print magazine and open-access website, connecting authors with a global readership. In the spring of 2022, The Common will continue its series of translated Arabic fiction with a collection of short stories from Palestinian authors, co-edited by acclaimed Jordanian author, and The Common’s Arabic Fiction Editor, Hisham Bustani. As part of The Common’s spring issue, this portfolio will feature contemporary Palestinian voices alongside poetry and prose from the US and abroad.
Recent issues of The Common have featured short stories from Morocco (Issue 21, spring 2021), literature from and about the Lusosphere (Portugal and its linguistic and colonial diaspora) in Issue 20, and fiction from Sudan in Issue 19. A collection of writing from the Arabian Gulf, co-edited with Egyptian author Noor Naga, is forthcoming this fall. All of the above portfolios have been developed with Amazon Literary Partnership support.
The Common Awarded 2021 Amazon Literary Partnership grant
On May 6th at 7pm EDT, join The Common for the virtual launch of Issue 21! Contributors Aleksandar Hemon, Celeste Mohammed, Abdelaziz Errachidi, and translator Nariman Youssef will join us from all around the world for brief readings, followed by conversation about place, culture, and translation, hosted by the magazine’s editor in chief Jennifer Acker. This event is co-sponsored by the Arts at Amherst Initiative.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email via Amherst College, containing information about joining the event. If you’d like to receive a copy of Issue 21 before the launch party, pre-order the issue here.
Give your writing a boost this spring. Join The Common for a series of craft classes with these literary luminaries.
Jim Shepard: Generating Fiction from History [register]
Vievee Francis and Curtis Bauer: Writing Toward a Poetry Chapbook or Collection [register]
W. Ralph Eubanks: How to Turn a Place into an Essay [register]
Each class includes a craft talk and Q&A with the guest author, generative exercises and discussion in breakout sessions, and a take-home list of readings and writing prompts. Students also receive exclusive access to a free “Behind the Scenes” session about what literary magazine editors look for in submissions. Recordings will be available after the fact for participants who cannot attend the live event.
Each class is $125, or $75 for current subscribers or past Weekly Writes participants.