Chautauqua Institution Announces Rion Amilcar Scott as 2021 Chautauqua Janus Prize Guest Judge
Now in Fourth Year, Award Honors Innovative Short Fiction or Nonfiction
Chautauqua Institution today announced that it is accepting submissions for the Chautauqua Janus Prize, now in its fourth year. This unique literary prize celebrates an emerging writer’s single work of short fiction or nonfiction for daring formal and aesthetic innovations that upset and reorder readers’ imaginations. In addition to receiving a $5,000 award, the winner will give a reading during the 2021 summer season as part of the Institution’s CHQ Assembly online platform and appear in a forthcoming issue of the literary journal Chautauqua. The prize is funded by a generous donation from Chautauquans Barbara and Twig Branch.
Named for Janus, the Roman god who looks to both the past and the future, the prize will honor writing with a command of craft that renovates understandings of both. The 2021 winner will be selected by guest judge Rion Amilcar Scott, who will also lead a prose workshop during the 2022 summer season with the Chautauqua Writers’ Center. Scott is the author of the story collection, The World Doesn’t Require You (Norton/Liveright, 2019). His debut story collection, Insurrections (University Press of Kentucky, 2016), was awarded the 2017 PEN/Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction and the 2017 Hillsdale Award from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. Scott’s work has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, The Kenyon Review, Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2020 and Crab Orchard Review, among others. He previously taught at the Chautauqua Writers’ Center in 2019, leading a workshop and craft talk on world-building.
“Rion is indubitably one of the most, if not the most, masterful short-story writers around. His ability in building the world of Cross River in his two collections, where the past and the future blend so seamlessly, and realism and magical realism are almost indistinguishable, makes him a perfect fit to be the guest judge for the Chautauqua Janus Prize,” said Sony Ton-Aime, Chautauqua’s director of literary arts. “I could not be more excited for and confident in a guest judge for this prize, especially now when reality itself seems so elusive.”
Entries for the 2021 Chautauqua Janus Prize will be accepted through March 31, 2021. Visit chq.org/janus for more information about eligibility and submission guidelines.
About Chautauqua Literary Arts
Chautauqua Literary Arts convenes readers and writers of all ages in community, conversation, intensive craft development, and exploratory learning opportunities. With a history steeped in the literary arts, Chautauqua Institution is the home of the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle, (CLSC) founded in 1878, which honors at least nine outstanding books of fiction, nonfiction and poetry during every nine-week summer season. The Chautauqua Prize, awarded annually since 2012, celebrates a book of fiction or literary/narrative nonfiction that provides a richly rewarding reading experience and honors the author for a significant contribution to the literary arts. For three decades, writers have enjoyed the unmatched value of our Writers’ Center’s weekly summer workshops with nationally recognized authors, and the annual Writers’ Festival and literary journal Chautauqua continue to engage new readers and writers every year.
About Chautauqua Institution
Chautauqua Institution is a community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York state that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. As a community, we celebrate, encourage and study the arts and treat them as integral to all of learning, and we convene the critical conversations of the day to advance understanding through civil dialogue.
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