Opportunities for the work of writers with disabilities to have their published books recognized do not come along frequently so when they do, we need to take advantage of them
This fall, Etchings Press, a student-run publisher at the University of Indianapolis, will host the 2018 Whirling Prize. This is an annual competition for which students at UIndy select a theme and then judge the competition, selecting two books to honor. Student judges welcome books that have been published since January 2016 that are connected to the theme of disability. They are interested in reading books with a focus on disabilities either visible (manifesting in symptoms people see and respond to) or invisible (like mental illness, addiction, learning disabilities). All writers focusing on related topics of any genre are welcome to participate. The winners will receive a $500 cash prize and 25 copies of a letterpress broadside designed by students of Hullabaloo Press. The winners will also be featured in an episode of a literary podcast that will air in winter 2019, discussing their work and craft with the student judges. The postmark deadline for submission is Sept. 1, 2018. If you have an eligible book and would like to participate, the guidelines may be found at http://blogs.uindy.edu/etchings/whirling-prize/.
Though it has nothing specifically to do with disability writing, this coming winter, Etchings Press will also host the 2019 Chapbook Prizes in Poetry and Prose as well as its Novella Prize. UIndy students will read unpublished manuscripts and choose a winner in each category: chapbook of poetry, chapbook of prose, and a novella. The students will then edit, design, publish and promote the chapbooks and the novella. Mixed genre and multiple author manuscripts as well as all topics/themes are welcome. The deadline for these contests is Monday, January 28, 2019. Student editors are interested in editing and publishing authors in Indiana region; the students use a 370-mile circle around Indianapolis, as the relative mileage for regional literature. If you have an unpublished, eligible book and would like to participate in the contest, they may learn more about the guidelines and the 2018 winners, Chad V. Broughman (for the forsaken…), Robert Campbell (for In the Herald of Improbable Misfortune), and James R. Gapinski (for The Edge of the Known Busline), at http://blogs.uindy.edu/etchings/chapbook-contest/.