New Publication Award Highlights Black Prose Authors

Published on Jan 7, 2021

Ann Petry Award

Red Hen Press, in a new partnership with the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, announces the creation of a new publication award focusing on Black prose authors. The Ann Petry Award is for a work of previously unpublished prose, either a novel or a collection of short stories or novellas, with a minimum of 150 pages, by a Black writer.

The annual Ann Petry Award features a $3000 award and publication by Red Hen Press. In addition, the opening chapter or story of the awarded manuscript will be published in The Peauxdunque Review. The award will also include an opportunity to be in residence at The Community Library’s historic Ernest and Mary Hemingway House in Ketchum, Idaho. The residency, if accepted, would include a public program sharing the author’s work and engaging with the local community. A stipend of $250 per week accompanies this residency, and the residency may extend up to four weeks, depending on the writer’s wishes and the availability of the residency studio.

The awarded manuscript is selected through an annual submission process, with primary review by the Peauxdunque Writers Alliance, who will winnow the submissions to a list of finalists for the final judge. The inaugural judge is Maurice Carlos Ruffin. There is no fee to submit.

Submissions are now open and will close on July 30, 2021.

Please visit for more information.

Red Hen Press seeks to discover and publish works of literary excellence, support diversity in a creative industry, promote literacy in our local schools, and serve as a hub for literary events and enrichment. We are a community of readers and writers who are actively engaged in the essential human practice known as literature.

In 1994, Dr. Kate Gale and Mark E. Cull co-founded the press from their San Fernando Valley home, selling nearly all they owned to begin publishing talented writers whose works had been overlooked by large-scale publishers. Red Hen Press has since transformed into a thriving organization that supports the Greater Los Angeles Area and international communities with arts-based events and literary advocacy. The press maintains five unique programs:

Publishing: Red Hen publishes approximately twenty-five books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction each year, with over 500 books released to date and distributed internationally. Notable releases include works by Percival Everett, Judy Grahn, Tess Taylor, and more. The press also publishes ten imprints that highlight underrepresented authors from diverse locations and backgrounds. The newest series, Quill, publishes one book of fiction by a queer author per year.

Literary Events: The press cultivates nearly thirty readings annually at a variety of venues in the Greater Los Angeles Area, New York City, and internationally. Events feature both acclaimed and emerging writers from throughout the US, are either free or low-cost, and average 1,000 audience members yearly. Additionally, author events contribute up to 300–350 events per year.

Writing in the Schools (WITS): Founded in 2003, this literary education program has served over 4,000 underserved students by placing published authors into fourth- through twelfth-grade classrooms. WITS provides free creative writing workshops and books to low-income students, and at the end of the school year, students receive a professionally bound anthology of their work.

The Los Angeles Review (LAR): A literary journal available online with a “best of” annual print edition, LAR provides a platform for writers to share their standalone pieces of short stories, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.

Literary Awards: Red Hen Press and LAR proudly present ten awards (prizes totaling $12,000) each year to emerging writers. All winners receive a monetary award ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. Red Hen Press Awards winners are guaranteed book publication.

The Peauxdunque Writers Alliance (“PWA”) provides for the development of the literary arts for writers of multiple genres, providing a group setting within which writers may develop new work, public opportunities for writers to share developed work with the public, and opportunities to promote appreciation of the enrichment of the literary arts among the public. The PWA accomplishes this through two modes: “Peauxdunque in the Room” and “Peauxdunque in the World.” Peauxdunque in the Room is the group setting where members of the PWA gather in monthly meetings to share their work with each other, encourage each other, and discuss literary developments. Peauxdunque in the World are public manifestations of PWA’s mission, and include the “Yeah, You Write” reading series; public promotion of writers’ publications and performances through the PWA website and social media; publication of The Peauxdunque Review and other associated publications; and development of publicly available writing resources such as workshops, conferences, seminars, and writing competitions.

The Community Library is a privately funded, nonprofit public library in Ketchum, Idaho. The Library serves the Wood River Valley and visitors to central Idaho through its collection, contemporary programming, and regional history archive and museum. Included in its collection is the Ernest and Mary Hemingway House, which is a site of literary and historic preservation as well as a writer-in-residence program for visiting writers, scholars, and artists. The House is on the National Register of Historic Places and sits on a twelve-acre nature preserve one mile from the town center. The home’s three-bay garage was converted into a residency studio apartment in 2017 and includes a bedroom, full kitchen, living area, bathroom with shower, washer and dryer, and den, with expansive windows open to the natural mountainous landscape.

Maurice Carlos Ruffin is the author of We Cast a Shadow, which was published by One World Random House. The novel was a finalist for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award, and the PEN America Open Book Prize. It was longlisted for the Center for Fiction Prize and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. The novel was also a New York Times Editor’s Choice. Ruffin is the winner of several literary prizes, including the Iowa Review Award in fiction and the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Award for Novel-in-Progress. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Oxford American, Garden & Gun, and Kenyon Review. A New Orleans native, Ruffin is a professor of Creative Writing at Louisiana State University, and the 2020–2021 John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi. His next book The Ones Who Don’t Say They Love You will be published by One World Random House in 2021.



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