Two years ago, Horace Engdahl, the Secretary of the Swedish Academy that decides the Nobel Prize, claimed that American literature had become too insular, American authors too ignorant. But the folks at the International Literary Program disagree, arguing that the “rivulets of work that do engage and which are anything but insular run deep.” The ILP seeks to encourage a tradition of engaging literature through their annual contest, which awards the author of the winning entry full airfare and tuition to the Disquiet program in Lisbon, Portugal. This year, the winner will also be published in an issue of Guernica. The ILP and Guernica are looking for any work that “broadens the landscape of North American literature outside of the borders of North America.” This could include anything from travel writing to conventional journalism to poetry to fiction to creative nonfiction. Anything that negates the charges of insularity.
For more information on the contest, including eligibility and submission particulars, visit the ILP’s website.