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
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.
The Common literary journal will receive its sixth grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2022. The Art Works grant of $10,000 will be awarded to The Common to help publish and promote place-based stories, essays, and poems by new and underrepresented writers from the US and abroad.
The Common to Receive $10,000 from the National Endowment for the Arts
Sign up for Weekly Writes Vol. 6 is now closed. Please add your email here to hear when our next Weekly Writes program opens!
Vol. 6 Accountable You Questions
Q: What makes this program different than past Weekly Writes volumes?
A: Weekly Writes Accountable You includes an additional focus on committing to a regular writing practice. After joining the Google Classroom, you’ll be asked to upload one page a week to show that you’ve worked on a prompt. This is not a submission to the magazine, and these assignments will not be read or receive any feedback. To recognize your hard work and commitment, you will receive a short note of encouragement after uploading your piece!
Q: Do I send in my weekly writing for you to read? Will I get editorial feedback on my weekly writing?
A: You will be asked to upload one page a week to Google Classroom to show that you’ve worked on at least one prompt. This is not a submission to the magazine, and these assignments will not be read or receive any feedback.
Q: I already did Weekly Writes Vol. 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5. Is this the same thing?
A: Prompts and advice for Vol. 6 are all brand new!
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!
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’s annual literary festival celebrates the College’s extraordinary literary life by inviting distinguished authors and editors to share and discuss the pleasures and challenges of verbal expression—from fiction and nonfiction to poetry and spoken-word performance. This year’s LitFest was held virtually, with authors, poets, and literature lovers joining from all around the world.
The Common’s Editor in Chief Jennifer Acker hosted two readings at LitFest: one with The Common’s student interns, and one with Amherst College alumni authors. Both events were recorded and can be watched below. Watch video recordings of all the events, readings, and discussions at LitFest ’21 here.
LitFest ’21 Readings by The Common’s Literary Publishing Interns
Student interns at The Common read short excerpts from their writing. Readers are:
Isabel Meyers ’20 (former intern, current Literary Editorial Fellow)
Elly Hong ’21 (Thomas E. Wood ’61 Fellow)
Whitney Bruno ’21
Sofia Belimova ’22
Eliza Brewer ’22
Olive Amdur ’23
LitFest ’21 Amherst College Alumni Authors Reading
Amherst College alumni read short excerpts from their recent work, and answer questions. Readers are:
Calvin Baker ’94
Chris Bohjalian ’82
Dan Chiasson ’93
Edward A. Farmer ’05
Michael Gorra ’79
Kirun Kapur ’97
Elizabeth Chiles Shelburne ’01
Ismée Williams ’95
The Common will receive its fifth grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2021. The Art Works grant of $15,000 will be awarded to The Common to help it publish diverse writers, expand its readership, and support The Common’s international portfolios.
The Common to Receive $15,000 Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts
(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.