Oct 12, 2009    #121
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

New Letters magazine announces 24th annual literary awards prize winners

Publication awards writers a total of $4,500

New Letters – a quarterly literary and art magazine published by the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) – announces its 24th annual literary awards prize winners. Prizes include a $1,500 award for each poetry, fiction and essay winner, as well as publication in the winter 2010 issue of New Letters.

“The New Letters Literary Awards have a long tradition of discovering fresh new voices in fiction, poetry and the essay,” said Robert Stewart, New Letters editor-in-chief. “This year, we continue that tradition with amazing new writing by these three winners.”

Heather Bell of New York received the $1,500 New Letters Award for Poetry for “Aunt Marjorie” and other selected poems. Poetry judge and award-winning poet Kim Addonizio selected Bell’s poems. “The poems I chose spoke to me because they contained some combination of passion, surprise, sensibility and structure,” Addonizio said.

Rose Bunch of Florida received the $1,500 Dorothy C. Cappon Award for her essay, “Norman Mailer is Coming to Dinner.” Robin Hemley, author and director of the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa, chose the essay. “Humor is so hard to pull off in an essay, especially hard-won humor,” said Hemley. “And the humor of this piece is certainly hard-won.”

Siobhán Fallon of California received the $1,500 Alexander Cappon Award for Fiction for her story, “Inside the Break.” “[This story] impressed me with the beauty of its craft, yes, but also its timeliness, its emotional and technical authenticity and the way it bruised my heart,” said fiction judge Benjamin Percy, who is an author and professor of creative writing at Iowa State University.

Runners-up in each category will receive a complimentary copy of a recent book from New Letters’ affiliate BkMk Press. Additionally, all entries receive consideration for publication in a future issue of New Letters. The next literary awards deadline is May 18, 2010. See for details.

“Part of what makes this Awards series so successful is our scrupulous process of deadlines, format and anonymity,” Stewart said. “Writers know where they stand, and they stand with their writing.”

Subscriptions to New Letters are available for $22 per year (four issues), with discounts for longer subscriptions. Call (816) 235-1168 or visit to order.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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