The Graywolf Shortlist

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2010 at 5:46 pm

A few months ago, I sent my manuscript, The Archipelago, to Graywolf Press. Graywolf is among the most respected literary publishers in the United States. They were running a “book-length nonfiction contest,” and I just happened to have an eligible book-length nonfiction manuscript. It only made sense.

The Archipelago is about my trek through the former Yugoslavia. My friend in Ireland, Richard Gibney, is the only person to have read it from beginning to end, and he spoke very highly of it. (I prefer to reference a man with good taste than to simply say “it’s awesome”). I sent the manuscript off to Graywolf and promptly forgot about it.

This afternoon, I received a response: The Archipelago didn’t win the contest. “You should know, though,” the letter read, “that we felt your manuscript was very strong, and that yours was one of the final fifteen manuscripts considered for the prize. We truly appreciated the opportunity to consider your manuscript for the prize as well as regular publication on our list.”

Is fifteen a small number? It depends on whom you ask. But I imagine that hundreds, if not thousands, of writers submitted to this contest, and I look for any reason to celebrate. Such compliments can’t be taken lightly.


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